Awards recognize those working to build a culture of innovation
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The McMaster Innovator Awards were presented last week as part of the McMaster
From a pool of outstanding nominees, Jack Gauldie, professor of pathology and
molecular medicine, was honoured with the 2011 McMaster Lifetime Innovator Award,
and Mick Bhatia, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical
Sciences, was chosen as the McMaster Innovator of the Year. Adiga Life Sciences Inc
received the McMaster Industry Partner Award.
To acknowledge their achievement, all three were presented with sculptures by
artist David Hunter.
The McMaster Innovator Awards recognize researchers who contributed to
University's ongoing efforts to build a culture of innovation, commercialization and
entrepreneurship by creating a product or service to transfer their research discoveries
and inventions to society.
"This year's award winners demonstrate both the research excellence of McMaster's
faculty and our commitment to transforming research results into tangible products and
services that can improve quality-of-life and contribute to our region's economic and
social well being," said Mo Elbestawi, vice-president research and international affairs.
A distinguished researcher and world expert in cytokine biology, Gauldie was
recognized for his track record of working closely with industry to see his discoveries
applied to human disease. He's been involved in with the creation of start-up companies
to commercialize vaccines for the treatment of acne as well as vaccines for veterinary
science. He's been involved in several research collaborations to develop and
commercialize technologies related to the development of a SARS vaccine, cancer
vaccine for animals and the use of cytokines as therapeutic interventions. In addition, he
has been named as an inventor on six issued patents and several pending applications.
Bhatia's Innovator of the Year Award recognized his work at McMaster's Stem Cell
Cancer Research Institute where he and his team of researchers discovered how to make
human blood from adult human skin. The work, published in the prestigious journal
Nature, suggests that in the future, people needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment
or treatment of other blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created
from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions. Under Bhatia's leadership, the
institute has begun working to commercialize this discovery so that medical doctors can
use it to treat their patients. The institute hopes to begin the clinical trials process next
Adiga Life Sciences Inc. was awarded the 2011 McMaster Industry Partner Award.
award provides recognition to corporations who have made a significant contribution to
developing the University's research mandate. The company was recognized for its
successful research collaboration with Mark Larche, a professor in the Department of
Medicine, to develop a vaccine to treat people with an allergy to cats, as well as its
ongoing collaboration with McMaster researching the use of peptide immunotherapy to
treat allergies to house dust mites, ragweed, grass, birch tree and moulds.
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