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U of S Scientist Wins Prix Galien Canada Research Award

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October 20, 2005

Source: University of Saskatchewan:

U of S Scientist Wins Prix Galien Canada Research Award

Organization: University of Saskatchewan Communications
Released: Oct. 20, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Thursday, October 20th, 2005 2005-10-14-VIDO

U of S Scientist Wins Prix Galien Canada Research Award

Lorne Babiuk, director of the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and
Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), has been named the 2005 recipient of
the Prix Galien Canada Research Award which honors a leading researcher
judged to have made the most significant contribution to pharmaceutical
research in the country.

The award, judged by an eight-person jury of leading university and
industrial scientists in the pharmaceutical field across Canada, recognizes
outstanding research in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of diseases.
The Prix Galien gold medal and plaque will be presented to Babiuk at a gala
ceremony November16th in Montreal.

Babiuk, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Vaccinology and Biotechnology,
is being honoured for his visionary research into the mechanisms by which
infectious organisms cause disease and mammals respond to infection. By
understanding these mechanisms, researchers can speed development of new
ways to treat and prevent disease.

"Dr. Babiuk has been described by his colleagues as a research visionary,"
says Jacques Gagne, president of Prix Galien Canada. "He has been a pioneer
in bringing the importance of veterinary medicine and the link between
animal diseases and human diseases to the forefront in Canada. His
discoveries and impact on society have been significant."

U of S president Peter MacKinnon noted that Babiuk's ground-breaking
research has greatly advanced the unique life sciences cluster of research
facilities on campus. "Not only has he expanded our understanding of
biology, he has ensured through industry advancement that his findings
benefit health. He is highly deserving of this prestigious award," he said.

Babiuk, a professor of veterinary medicine with the Western College of
Veterinary Medicine, is interested in "natural" immunity and its potential
to improve vaccine efficiency and complement or replace antibiotics.

"The impact of his research ranges from the development of vaccines and
technologies with potential to save thousands of human lives to those that
contribute indirectly to human health by protecting the livestock upon which
humans depend," said Jim Blackburn, executive-director of the Canadian
Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs, a U of S professor emeritus,
and a member of the Prix Galien jury.

When few believed that biotechnology could fight infectious disease in the
animal-health industry, Babiuk assembled and mentored a team of researchers
that developed the world's first genetically engineered vaccines for any
animal species. Under his leadership, VIDO researchers have developed a
growing library of patented technologies, including five "world firsts" in
vaccine development.

"This award is an exceptional honour and a testament to the tremendous
researchers working at VIDO that have made our teamwork model so
successful," said Babiuk.

Babiuk was the recipient of the first Natural Sciences and Engineering
Research Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair in Biotechnology. He
serves on several scientific advisory boards and boards of directors
including the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity, the Canada
Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada, and the International Centre for
Infectious Diseases.

The Prix Galien caps an exciting year for Babiuk and VIDO. In March, the
federal government awarded $24 million towards a new International Vaccine
Centre to be built adjacent to VIDO by 2009. In June, Babiuk and his team
were awarded $6.9 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to develop vaccines for
newborns. In August, Babiuk was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The Prix Galien was created in 1969 by French pharmacist Roland Mehl. It was
named after Roman philosopher and teacher Claudius Galenus, said to be the
most distinguished physician of antiquity after Hippocrates. Countries
currently awarding the prize include Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy,
Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the U.S.A. and The United


For more information, contact:

Tess Laidlaw
Communications Officer, VIDO
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-1506

Kathryn Warden
Research Communications Director
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-2506



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