The Prize, established by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FCIHR) in collaboration with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, recognizes exceptional innovation by a visionary health leader of international stature. President Tessier-Lavigne will receive the Prize and deliver a public lecture on September 19, 2012 in Ottawa.
A quintessential translational scientist in the study of brain development, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne has pioneered the identification of the molecules (netrins) that direct the formation of connections among nerve cells to establish neuronal circuits in the mammalian brain and spinal cord. The mechanisms he has identified are important for understanding how the human brain forms during normal development and in other processes, including nerve regeneration following spinal cord injury and neurodegeneration, as seen in Alzheimer’s disease. He has been a featured guest on Charlie Rose and was named “Leader for the 21st Century” by Time Magazine.
A native of Trenton, Canada, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne received undergraduate degrees from McGill University and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He received a Ph.D. in neurophysiology from University College London in 1987, and performed postdoctoral work at University College London and at Columbia University. From 1991 to 2003, he held faculty positions at the University of California, San Francisco, and at Stanford University, where he was the Susan B. Ford Professor in the Humanities and Sciences. He was also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He joined Genentech, a leading biotechnology company, in 2003 and was promoted to executive vice president for research and chief scientific officer in 2009. He joined Rockefeller as president and professor in March 2011.
Dr. Tessier-Lavigne is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of The Royal Society, a fellow of The Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ameritec Prize for contributions towards a cure for paralysis, the Ipsen Foundation Prize in Neuronal Plasticity, the Viktor Hamburger Award of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience, the Wakeman Award for regeneration research, the Robert Dow Neuroscience Award, the Reeve- Irvine Research Medal, the Gill Distinguished Award in Neuroscience and the W. Alden Spencer Award. He is presently a Board member of Agios Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer.
Dr. Tessier-Lavigne is married to Dr. Mary Hynes, a well regarded neuroscientist in her own right at the Rockefeller University.
The Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research was established in 2005 by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research in recognition of Dr. Henry Friesen’s distinguished leadership, vision and innovative contributions to health and health research. The $35,000 Friesen Prize is awarded annually.
For further information on Friends of CIHR and the Friesen International Prize, please visit: www.fcihr.ca. For a full biographical sketch of President Tessier-Lavigne, please see: http://www.rockefeller.edu/research/faculty/labheads/MarcTessier-Lavigne/
For further information:
Cristina S. Castellvi, Friends of CIHR (416) 506-1597