June 27, 2012 – New York Reception – In Honour of Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Rockefeller
From left to right: 2012 Friesen Prizewinner Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Rockefeller University; Consul General of Canada John Prato (New York); Dr. Aubie Angel, President of Friends of CIHR; Cristina S. Castellvi, Administrative Assistant of Friends of CIHR; Dr. Rose Goldstein, Vice-Principal Research and International Relations, McGill University.
From left to right: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (Canada), Consul General John Prato (Canada), Marnie Pillsbury Executive Director David Rockefeller Fund, Richard E. Salomon Senior Advisor to David Rockefeller, Dr. Mary Hynes; 2012 Friesen Prizewinner Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Rockefeller University; and Henry R. Kravis, Co-Founder, KKR & Co. L.P. leading global investment firm
DR. AUBIE ANGEL
FRIENDS OF CIHR
Minister John Baird, it is so good of you to grace the occasion.
Thank you, Mr. Prato, for welcoming us to your home and for your generous hospitality in co-hosting this Reception with the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research to honour Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a great Canadian-American neuroscientist of international acclaim. Your support for Science and Education is a reflection of Canadian values, as well as society’s appreciation of creative enterprise.
There can be no more pleasant task, as President of Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Chair of the Henry G. Friesen International Prize Advisory Committee than to introduce – the 2012 Henry G. Friesen International Prizewinner. Congratulations are in order for a most accomplished scientist, medical leader and humanist, Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Rockefeller University.
Friends of CIHR, the principal sponsor of the Friesen Prize, is dedicated to supporting the goals and ideals of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and to promote science literacy and understanding in society. We do this through public lectures, social media tools and collaborations with like-minded research societies. The Friesen Lecture that Dr. Tessier-Lavigne will deliver in Ottawa will be broadcast on national radio – CBC Radio One.
A word or two about the origin of the Friesen Prize named after Dr. Henry G. Friesen, a distinguished Canadian scientist who discovered Prolactin, the hormone crucial to fertility and maintenance of pregnancy. As well, he is the visionary that led to the creation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Canada’s leading health research funding agency. Dr. Friesen was unable to attend this event, but sends his personal congratulations and I will read his message:
“I offer my personal congratulations to Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne as the 2012 recipient of the International prize that bears my name. Given his proud record of scientific achievement and leadership it is most fitting that Dr. Tessier-Lavigne was chosen; and now joins the ranks of truly outstanding individuals who were previous winners of the prize.I look forward to welcoming him to Ottawa this fall where he will be appropriately and formally recognized.”
The Friesen Prize honours individuals at an international level who embody Dr. Friesen’s vision, enterprise and scientific achievements. Nominations are gathered annually from diverse sources including universities, health research institutes and senior policy centres across the country. The prizewinner will have impeccable scientific, academic and leadership credentials, but must also be an effective communicator, willing to share his experiences and vision through public lectures, video and radio broadcasting and visiting professorships.
Based on these criteria, it is clear why Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne was selected this year and we are delighted that he has accepted this honour. His exceptional career as a developmental neurobiologist and discoverer of netrins and other regulatory neuropeptides is at the forefront of understanding the mysteries of brain structure and organization. His focus on translational research shows immense potential benefit to human health, particularly in explaining the causes and prevention of degenerative brain disease. Another important attribute is his abiding interest in attracting and mentoring the next generation of scientists and physician-scientist. Thus Dr. Tessier-Lavigne exhibits all the qualities that the Henry G. Friesen International Prize looks to recognize.
As a charitable organization, we depend on the generosity of sponsors. McGill University ranks at the top as a perennial supporter of the Friesen Prize Program, since its inception 7 years ago. Because of this and Dr. Tessier-Lavigne’s close ties with his alma mater, McGill University is the featured sponsor of this Reception. We are grateful for this endorsement and delighted to see so many McGill alumni here today.
This is a natural segway to introduce the next speaker representing McGill University. Please welcome Dr. Rose Goldstein, Vice Principal Research and International Relations for McGill University.