Citation - 2007 Friesen Prize - John Evans


John R. Evans, CC, O Ont, MD, LLDAn educator, founder, president, chairman, and medical statesman, Dr. John R. Evans has spent the past 35 years playing a central role in Canada’s health, research and innovation sectors. As Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Dr. Evans helped create a dynamic environment for innovation and leading-edge research. He currently serves as Chairman, Torstar Corporation and is Chair of the MaRS Discovery District, a not-for-profit corporation that brings together the academic, business and scientific communities to facilitate the commercialization of academic science in Canada.

As the founding Dean of McMaster University Medical School, he moved away from traditional models to set new benchmarks for training effective physicians. As founding Director of the Population, Health and Nutrition Department of the World Bank, he developed programs in population health now in use throughout the world. As Chair and CEO of Allelix Inc., he established Canada’s first biotechnology company, creating a model for Canada’s biotechnology industry. He is past Chair of the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, past Chair of the Rockefeller Foundation and a past President of the University of Toronto.

Dr. Evans earned his medical degree at the University of Toronto in 1952 followed by studies in cardiology and internal medicine in London England, Boston, and Toronto. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received his Doctoral degree from Oxford University in 1955. Since then, he has received honorary degrees from 15 universities. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Ontario. In 2000, Dr. Evans was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.