York University is pleased to host top genetics researcher and 2013 Canada Gairdner Award winner Dr. Stephen J. Elledge as part of Gairdner’s National Program lecture series celebrating biomedical science.  Dr. Elledge, an award-winning professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School, will share his first-hand knowledge and expertise on genetic approaches to cancer as he inspires and encourages the next generation of Canadian scientists.

2013 Canada Gairdner Laureate: Dr. Stephen Joseph Elledge, Ph.D, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

The work: Dr. Elledge’s research led to the identification and characterization of a signal transduction pathway, also known as the “anti-cancer pathway,” which senses and responds to DNA damage. These pathways are responsible for many things, most importantly detecting when cells have over-multiplied. When this detection occurs, the pathway sends a signal to the cell so it can begin to repair itself. This means that the pathway has the ability to suppress tumor development. 

Why it matters: Dr. Elledge’s pioneering work has laid the foundation for our current understanding of DNA damage response and has informed the important field of genome instability. The discovery of signal transduction pathways lead to a new way of thinking about DNA damage. Knowledge about the inner workings of this sensory pathway has led to a better understanding of how cancer occurs as well as different ways of treating it.

 "Gairdner's National Program allows students from universities across Canada access to some of the world’s greatest medical scientists," says Dr. John Dirks, president and scientific director of the Gairdner Foundation. "Along with the Canada Gairdner Awards, the National Program is part of Gairdner's efforts to promote a stronger culture of research and innovation across the country, inspiring the next generation of Canadian scientists."

The Gairdner National Program is a month-long lecture series designed to engage and inspire young scientists. Each year, Canada Gairdner Award recipients travel from coast to coast giving lectures and meeting with over 6,000 students at 21 universities, including York U.

What:  2013 Canada Gairdner Award Lecture

Who:  Dr. Stephen Elledge, 2013 Canada Gairdner Laureate, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

When:  October 23, 2013

Where:  Main lecture – 1:30 p.m.

Senate Chamber, Ross Building (N940 – building 28 on the map)

Dr. Stephen Elledge, 2013 Canada Gairdner International Laureate, Harvard Medical School, Boston

Genetic approaches to cancer

Student Lecture – 10-11:30 a.m.

Faire/Fecan Theater, Accolade Building East (building 92 on the map)

Dr. Stephen Elledge, 2013 Canada Gairdner International Laureate

Harvard Medical School, Boston

Protecting the blueprints: How a cell is like a city

- and -

Dr. Pamela Ohashi, Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute

Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto

iPods, iPads, and iTherapy: New Trends in Cancer

NOTE: Dr. Elledge is available for interviews.


About York University

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.

The Gairdner Foundation: Making Science Matter
The Canada Gairdner Awards were created in 1959 to recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. They are Canada's only globally known and respected international science awards, and Gairdner is the only national organization that consistently brings the world's best biomedical researchers to Canada to share their ideas and work with scientists across the country. In so doing, it enlarges networks and enhances Canada's international reputation, while providing a realistic and unbiased benchmark for Canada's leading scientists.

Media Contact: Tabassum Siddiqui, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x 4454 / tsiddiq@yorku.ca