The Gairdner Foundation was founded by James Arthur Gairdner in 1957. It is a non-profit organization and recognizes outstanding achievements in biomedical research not just in Canada but worldwide as well. Many medical researchers work hard in order to improve the lives of many people and as such, the foundation rewards such researchers.
The awards are divided into 3 categories and each year, 7 awardees are honoured with this prestigious award. As of 2018, more than 380 Canada Gairdner Awards have been awarded to outstanding scientists and over 80 of them have gone on to win a Nobel Prize. Let’s take a closer look at The Gairdner Foundation.
1. James Arthur Gairdner
James Arthur Gairdner appears to have been quite a character! He was born in 1893 and died in 1871. His grandchildren would call him Big Jim. He was many things during his life, including an athlete, stockbroker, philanthropist and painter. Upon his death, his estate was left to the town of Oakville. He became a millionaire and in 1957, he donated half a million dollars to establish what is known today as The Gairdner Foundation.
It all came about as a result of him suffering from arthritis. His decision to start The Gairdner Foundation shows just what a visionary he was. He left the world this lasting legacy and much of his initial instructions regarding the selection process still remains unchanged to this day.
2. Various Awards
There are 3 awards given annually. These are the Canada Gairdner International Awards, the John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award and the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award.
The Canada Gairdner International Awards is given annually to biomedical scientists who have made contributions in terms of research in helping to understand human biology and disease. A total of 5 awards are given (5 individuals) and this award can often lead to that individual being awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
The John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award is awarded to one winner who has made significant contributions in Global Health Research. It is relatively new and has been awarded for a few years only but it has fast become one of the most prestigious awards given to an individual for their research in global health. The nominees must have made huge scientific advances as well as having an impact in the developing world. The areas in which these scientific advances have been made may not necessarily have made an impact as of yet, but must be seen as having the potential to do so. in the developing world.
The Canada Gairdner Wightman Award is awarded annually to one recipient for his or her leadership in Canadian medical science. The recipient of this award must be a Canadian and must have shown leadership in medicine.
3. Prize Money
In addition to winning such a prestigious award, the winners also receive $100,000 CDN which they can use in any way that they see fit. Many have used it for further research or put the money towards their lab and have even used it to put relatives through university.
Not only is their work and research life-changing, but they also inspire others to consider a career in the medical field. This next generation of researchers will no doubt continue to make breakthroughs that will help future generations with medical problems all over the world.