Pioneering Researchers win 2012 Jonas Salk Award
March of Dimes Canada and sanofi pasteur are pleased to announce that Dr. John Esdaile and Dr. Michael Fehlings have been selected as winners of the 2012 Dr. Jonas Salk Award. This year the two organizations chose to present two Jonas Salk Awards. Dr. John Esdaile and Dr. Michael Fehlings, both represent the best of Canadian scientists, both as researchers and humanitarians. Dr. Fehlings was recognized at March of Dimes signature gala fundraising event Ability & Beyond in Toronto this past June.
The award will be formally presented at a ceremony honouring Dr. Esdaile on November 25, 2013 at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver, BC. The reception is sponsored by RBC Global Asset Management.
In the field of rheumatology, Dr. Esdaile is a preeminent clinical epidemiologist known for both the scope of his research topics and for the rigor of his methodological approaches, having built two eminent units of rheumatology, one at McGill and the other at the University of B.C. and founding the Arthritis Research Center of Canada.
In 1984, he published the first trial of methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis, a drug that is now one of the main treatments for the condition. He has also led a multi-center Canadian initiative on osteoarthritis that has led to the development of tools for the measurement of quality of life and has completed a series of studies documenting the relationship of socioeconomic status and outcomes in systemic lupus. He has been an extraordinary leader who understands the patient’s view and has worked to focus rheumatic disease research on solving problems for patients and their families.
Dr. Esdaile is the Arthur JE Child Chair in Rheumatology Research at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine / Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary and a Professor of Medicine at The University of British Columbia.
The award is jointly presented by sanofi pasteur and March of Dimes Canada and includes a contribution of $10,000 by sanofi-pasteur in recognition of the recipient's achievement.
With the release of the life saving polio vaccine in 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk established a worldwide reputation as a scientist and a humanitarian. The Dr. Jonas Salk Award is presented annually to a Canadian scientist, physician or researcher who has made a new and outstanding contribution in science or medicine to prevent, alleviate or eliminate a physical disability.