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About Sickkids
About SickKids

April 30, 2008

SickKids scientist receives Ontario Premier’s Summit Award

Toronto – Stephen Scherer, senior scientist at SickKids Research Institute and director of The Centre for Applied Genomics, received the highly coveted Premier's Summit Award last evening at an awards gala hosted by Premier Dalton McGuinty. SickKids President and CEO Mary Jo Haddad had the honour of presenting the prestigious award to Dr. Scherer. The award was created by the Government of Ontario to provide support to outstanding medical research leaders in Ontario .

“This award represents the strong support that researchers in this province require from government in order to continue to move research forward,” commented Scherer. “By fostering a strong relationship with government and business, the scientific community will be able to take their research to the next level and translate their knowledge into commercialized opportunities that will benefit all Ontarians.”

In its second year, the Premier's Summit Award is part of the government's innovation strategy and is designed to assist leading researchers in expanding their research activities in the province. Award winners were chosen by an international selection committee which considered the nominees' contributions to medical research and transformational change, along with their potential for further contributions in their field. Each award recipient receives a total of $5 million over a five-year period: $2.5 million from the award program, matched by $2.5 million from the sponsoring institution.

“All of us at SickKids are proud of Stephen Scherer's achievements,” commented SickKids Chief of Research Janet Rossant. “The Premier's Summit Award is a well-deserved recognition of Steve's contribution to our understanding of human genetics and disease. This award enables him to take his innovative research here at SickKids to the next level."

Scherer is best known for his work in the field of genetics where he has spent the better part of his career finding a deeper understanding of the composition of the human genome. He was a co-discoverer of wide-spread structural variability in chromosomes known as copy number variations, which his team later found to be the most common form of genetic variation in humans. This discovery, dubbed by Science magazine the scientific breakthrough of 2007, has altered our understanding of our genetic makeup and has led to many exciting discoveries into genetic-related diseases. Scherer's long-standing endeavours include the study of human chromosome 7 as a model of the chromosomal basis of disease, and building genomics infrastructure to facilitate biomedical research. Most recently, Scherer and his team have been able to identify particular chromosomal regions that are directly related to autism spectrum disorder.

With over 240 peer-reviewed papers to his credit, Scherer previous awards include the prestigious Steacie Prize in the Natural Sciences and Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Award . He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Chair of Genome Canada 's Science and Industry Advisory Board, and Council Member of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO).

Frances Shepherd a research leader in lung cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital , University Health Network also received the award.

For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs
The Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Suite 1742, Public Affairs, First floor Atrium
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-5058
Fax: 416-813-5328