Last week the Robarts Research Institute awarded the 2017 J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine to Dr. V. Wee Yong from the University of Calgary. Every year a theme is chosen for the prize, and this year the theme was Multiple Sclerosis. I was honored to participate as a member of the organizing committee and particularly pleased to see Dr. Yong receive the prize.
Dr. Yong has been an important leader in developing the MS research community in Canada and internationally. He has also made very important contributions to the field through his research. His interest in re-purposing approved drugs as novel (and affordable) MS treatments stands out in particular. I remember some of the early experiments from his group testing minocycline as a therapy in animal models of MS from my time as a graduate student at the University of Calgary, and it is very exciting to see these come to fruition in human trials many years later.
The scientific symposium for the day turned out really well. Our external panel members gave outstanding presentations, introducing attendees to the excellent and collaborative research that is occurring in Canada and internationally. I had the opportunity to talk about our work and collaborations with Drs. Ravi Menon and Sarah Morrow here at Western University.
The day ended with the Leaders in Innovation Dinner honoring Dr. Yong as well as guests Ann and Mitt Romney. Kate and Yodit had the chance to talk about their work with attendees at the reception.