Dr. Jerry Pelletier receives Canadian Cancer Society Award
On November 18, 2019, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) announced the winners of its most prestigious awards: the Canadian Cancer Society Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research.
The 2019 award recipients are driving game-changing advancements in cancer research, particularly in the areas of precision medicine, radiation therapy and drug development. Their work spans across multiple cancer types and fields of research, from understanding the cellular processes underlying cancer to clinical trials that have transformed the standard of care for cancer around the world. Collectively, their efforts are changing the ways we prevent, diagnose, treat and live with and beyond cancer.
Included among this year’s recipients is McGill University’s Dr. Jerry Pelletier, Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Oncology and a member of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre. Dr. Pelletier was awarded the Robert L. Noble Prize.
“The credit here goes to all the people in my lab who work so hard day-in and day-out to move the boundaries of knowledge,” says Dr. Pelletier. “I am grateful to the CCS for their recognition of this and am very humbled by it. To me, it is a symbol of solidarity between those who are making a difference to the cancer problem in the lab, with those many volunteers and donors who work tirelessly to raise money for research, and with the cancer patients themselves.”
Dr. Pelletier is a world-renowned expert in research on translation, the process by which proteins are made. Translation is a critical process for cell growth but when it goes awry, it can lead to cancer. Dr. Pelletier is internationally recognized for seminal contributions he made about how protein synthesis begins and how it is controlled. He also identified several new drugs that can stop proteins from being made and have shown great promise as treatments for a number of different cancers. Thanks to his work, new drugs are being tested and developed as therapies to help people with cancer and many other diseases.
“Today’s winners have shown tremendous dedication to the cancer cause. Their work has had significant impact on both the cancer research community and the lives of people affected by cancer,” says Dr Judy Bray, Vice President of Research at CCS. “It is thanks to research advancements made by scientists like our award recipients that the overall cancer survival rate has increased from 55% in the early 1990s to 63% today, and I have no doubt we will continue to see progress as a result of their efforts.”
The Awards for Excellence promote and recognize outstanding achievements and progress in Canadian cancer research. Nominees for the award are evaluated by a selection committee comprised of leading researchers from across the country who serve on CCS’s Advisory Council on Research along with previous award winners. Each award comes with a contribution to the recipient’s research program. Award winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Toronto today hosted by Canadian actor Allan Hawco.
“With nearly 1 in 2 Canadians expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, there is still much more that needs to be done to create a world where no Canadian fears cancer,” says Bray. “That’s why we continue to invest in innovative and impactful cancer research in communities across Canada to help people to live longer and enhance their quality of life. We are grateful to our funded researchers for their tireless work in helping us achieve this goal and to our donors for making all of this possible.”
Congratulations Dr. Pelletier!