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Honouring Achievement in Saskatchewan's Health Research Community

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

Since 2005, SHRF has honoured the following individuals in the health research community for their inspiring drive, leadership, ingenuity and achievement. From basic science discoveries to visionary health policy, these Saskatchewan health researchers have contributed to the well-being of the people of this province, our nation and our world. Nominated by their colleagues, they were selected by blue-ribbon panels of leaders in Canadian health research.

Dr. Carrie Bourassa 2020

Dr. Bourassa’s achievements include the establishment of a national network of centres focused on research, research capacity development, and knowledge translation centred on First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. She is a mentor and research lead at Morning Star Lab which focuses on community-based research into hepatitis C/HIV/AIDS, aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as water governance and policies.

Dr. Susan Whiting 2019

Dr. Whiting is one of Canada’s leading nutrition scholars and an internationally recognized authority in vitamin D and calcium supplementation. Her work has informed provincial health regions and long-term care facilities and strengthened community food security in Saskatoon. Dr. Whiting’s work has enriched the research environment in Saskatchewan by training highly qualified people for both academia and health care. She has received approximately $17 million in research funding over a career spanning four decades.

Dr. Ingrid Pickering 2018

Dr. Pickering’s work has had an international impact on understanding the effects of heavy metals on human health and the environment. The interdisciplinary nature of her work has led to important advances in health research, and her relentless pursuit of technological innovation through the use of synchrotron techniques has attracted world-class research expertise, trained highly qualified personnel and secured infrastructure in Saskatchewan, raising the visibility and research profile of the province at the national and international level.

Dr. Andrew Potter 2017

A research scientist and then CEO of VIDO-InterVac at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Potter is a world-renowned expert in the development of vaccines for both human and animal diseases. In addition to his research, he has mentored more than 40 graduate students, and contributed to over 65 patents for human and animal vaccines.

Dr. Daniel Chen 2016

Since joining the U of S in 2003, Dr. Chen has created and led an interdisciplinary and international team of researchers, spanning both the fields of engineering and health sciences. His pioneering work to develop advanced technologies for the challenging task of designing and fabricating artificial tissue/organ substitutes, or scaffolds, that can grow within patients has significant promise for ultimately providing a permanent solution to damaged tissues/organs.

Dr. Debra Morgan 2015

Dr. Morgan is widely known for demonstrating excellence and achievement in the field of rural dementia health care. She is leading an interdisciplinary research group that has been sustained over almost two decades. Dr. Morgan’s work has fundamentally changed health service delivery in Saskatchewan for older adults with dementia and their family caregivers through the establishment of the innovative, telehealth-supported Rural and Remote Memory Clinic.

Dr. John Gordon 2014

Dr. Gordon is a Professor in the Division of Respirology, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and an expert in the field of immune regulation and airway disease. He is internationally recognized as a major force in immunology who has conducted ground-breaking work on inflammatory diseases such as asthma.

Dr. Gregory P. Marchildon 2013

Dr. Marchildon has forged a reputation as a leading researcher and commentator on system performance and quality improvement provincially, nationally, and internationally. He played an instrumental role in establishing the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy. Dr. Marchildon authored and advocated for the policy that created Saskatchewan’s Cree Courts in northern Saskatchewan, in which indigenous languages became the language of the court.

Dr. Adam Baxter-Jones 2012

Dr. Baxter-Jones is a leader in the field of childhood growth and development. He is an expert in the design and analysis of longitudinal growth studies and has trained numerous Masters and PhD students. Dr. Baxter-Jones’ leadership in bone and joint imaging, including synchrotron imaging, has contributed significant knowledge to the treatment and management of bone and joint diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

Dr. Dennis Johnson 2011

Dr. Johnson is noted for his role in establishing some of the province’s primary research facilities, such as the Cameco MS Neuroscience Research Centre, the Saskatchewan Drug Research Institute, and the Canadian Light Source. In 2004, Dr. Johnson became the Director of the Saskatchewan Synchrotron Institute, an organization that provided a million dollars in funding to train Saskatchewan researchers.

Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos 2010

As a researcher, author, teacher, scientist and professor of psychology at the University of Regina, Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos is currently driving the movement toward Internet Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. She has made major contributions to improved health status by assessing the impact of anxiety on patients, leading to a more thorough assessment of the quality of patient care.

Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine 2009

Dr. Muhajarine is a champion of identifying what it is in a community that is essential to nurturing healthy children that grow up to be well- adjusted, productive citizens. He is professor and chair of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, and a research faculty member of the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU), where he leads the Healthy Children research team.

Dr. Gordon Asmundson 2008

Dr. Asmundson is a professor of psychology at the University of Regina and an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan. Over his career, he has established himself as an international authority in the fields of chronic pain and anxiety disorders. Notably, he determined that chronic pain can be worsened by anxiety and fear disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Donald Cockcroft 2006 (clinical Research)

Dr. Cockcroft is best known for his extensive research in respiratory health and is a highly respected expert on asthma. He was co-author of a paper that analyzed asthma medication use in Saskatchewan, which eventually led to the development of a warning system that flagged the potentially inappropriate use of bronchodilators in the province.

Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos 2006 (Socio-Health Research)

Dr. Hadjistavropoulos is internationally recognized as an expert on pain among seniors and a leading thinker on the ethics of pain management. One highlight of Hadjistavropoulos’ career includes diagnosing pain among seniors suffering from dementia. His research in this area led to the development of a pain assessment checklist for seniors with a limited ability to communicate.

Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk 2005 (Biomedical Research)

After assembling and mentoring a team of researchers who developed the world’s first genetically engineered vaccines for any animal species, Dr. Lorne Babiuk was named the Industrial Research Chair in Biotechnology by NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada). As head of VIDO (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization) at the U of S, he led development of novel approaches to vaccine design, working on with both animal and human models of immunology and vaccinology.

Dr. Jawahar (Jay) Kalra 2005 (Clinical Research)

Dr. Kalra is recognized for his many contributions as a clinical scientist, academic leader, and health system administrator. He led the establishment of a post-graduate program in pathology and played a key role in reorganizing laboratory medicine. His introduction of s-TSH as a first-line test for thyroid functioning was a first in Canada, reducing the need for more testing. Dr. Kalra collaborated on research advances in cardiac pharmacology and in understanding the role of oxygen radicals in disease.

Dr. James A. Dosman 2005 (Socio-Health Research)

Dr. Dosman is described as the “Father of Agricultural Medicine in Canada” for good reason. He established and led the Centre for Agricultural Medicine (now the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture) until just recently. Under his direction, this Centre became a world leader in research, teaching, extension and service. It connected with farm families and rural municipalities to identify, study and share knowledge about rural health issues, such as risks of working with grain dust.

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