Jack Gauldie is the winner of Life Sciences Ontario’s community service award for his contributions to health sciences and medicine.
A McMaster Distinguished University Professor, Gauldie is being honoured for his work as a scientist and for his many contributions to the administration of research during his career.
“The contributions of the life sciences sector have never been more important as we face the once-in-a-lifetime challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jason Field, president and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario (LSO). “Every year, LSO’s awards recognize excellence in life sciences. This year’s award recipients represent the many diverse ways our sector impacts the everyday lives of Canadians through science, innovation, and leadership,” he said.
Gauldie, a professor emeritus and previously chair of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, is best known as a scientist for discovering how immune signalling molecules called ‘cytokines’ like Interleukin 6 affect people’s responses to infections, auto-immune diseases and chronic conditions including cancer.
When researching pulmonary fibrosis in the 1980s, Gauldie discovered how cytokines drove the development of scar tissue in the lungs, details that helped lead the pharmaceutical industry to develop two new treatments. He published more than 400 scientific articles.
“This is indeed a great honour,” Gauldie said.
“It has been a wonderful experience, over the years, seeing Ontario support and develop international strengths in basic, translational and clinical biomedical research, becoming recognized as a national leader, with a full and exciting spectrum of life sciences activity.”
Gauldie served on the Gairdner Foundation’s medical review panel and advisory board from 2002 to 2011. He was vice-president, research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton from 2016 to 2021 and earlier served on its board from 2002 to 2015.
Gauldie was on the board of Genome Ontario from 2011 to 2019 and served as its acting chair in 2018-2019. He has also served on the Ontario Research Fund Advisory board since 2005 and has chaired it since 2011.
Gauldie, a member of the Canadian water polo team for the 1972 Olympics, and subsequent executive of the Canadian Water Polo Association, previously received the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1976 for service in sport. This was followed by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for service in medicine. He is a member of the Order of Canada and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
The awards will be celebrated at the LSO’s Celebration of Success Awards Presentation in Toronto on May 18.