Health, News, Science

Canadian Awards Predict Nobel Prize Winners

The Gairdner Award
The Gairdner Award. Image:

The Gairdner Foundation recently announced the winners of its 2012 awards.

The Canada Gairdner Awards are given to people who have made a new scientific discovery to combat disease or ease human suffering. It is one of the most important medical awards in the world.

As the Gairdner website puts it, “we’re dedicated to recognizing the world’s most creative and accomplished biomedical scientists.” Biomedical scientists work in medicine and biology (the study of living organisms).

The late James A. Gairdner established the Gairdner Foundation in 1957. Since then, 300 awards have been given. Seventy-three of those award winners have gone on to win a Nobel Prize in either medicine or chemistry.

The awards are selected by Canadians, but they are given to scientists throughout the world.

This year’s seven award winners include three people who broke through mysteries of the human circadian clock, the internal mechanism that controls our sleep and wakefulness, body temperature, and many other functions.

Another person won for his discoveries that will help people who have spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is important because it helps us with many functions including walking.

There was an award given for discoveries about how pain inside the body works and how humans react to pain.

And another was given for research that will help children with meningitis, and also for work to help prevent a mosquito-borne illness called malaria.

And finally, a doctor from Alberta won a special award, the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, for his research on infectious disease control for humans and animals. He also invented a vaccine.

Winners of the Canada Gairdner Awards, 2012

Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young, from New Hampshire, for their work their work on the human circadian clock.
Thomas Jessell of New York for his work on the nervous system and spinal cord.
Jeffrey Ravetch, from New York, for work on the immune system including pain and pain receptors.
Brian Greenwood, from England, for work on meningitis and acute respiratory infection as well as malaria prevention.
Lorne Babiuk, from Alberta, for work on infectious diseases and vaccine development.

Related Link
Visit the website for the Gairdner Awards here.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
In your opinion, what makes a scientific discovery or invention significant?

What criteria might the committee have used to choose the winners of the prize?

Reading Prompt: Analysing Texts
In an article, information is often organized into three sections: introduction, body, conclusion.

How are the introduction and conclusion similar? How are they different?

Analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Analyse a variety of texts, both simple and complex, and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning and influence the reader’s reaction (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Grammar Feature: Singular and plural nouns
A noun–a person, place or thing–can be written as either singular (there is only one of them) or plural (there are many of them). Identify 10 singular and underline them, and 10 plural nouns and circle them.