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The Canada Gairdner Awards

The Canada Gairdner Awards recognize the world’s most creative and accomplished biomedical scientists who are advancing humanity and the world.

The Gairdner Foundation was established in 1957 with the main goal of recognizing and rewarding international excellence in fundamental research that impacts human health. Annually, seven awards are given: five Canada Gairdner International Awards for biomedical research, one John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, specifically for impact on global health issues, and one Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, reserved for a Canadian.

395 awards have been bestowed on laureates from 35 countries and of those awardees, 92 have gone on to receive Nobel Prizes.

The Gairdner Foundation also engages in outreach programs across Canada and acts as a convener with the public, policymakers and other stakeholders on the impact of science on our everyday lives.

About The Gairdner Awards

Annually, seven awards are given:

The Canada Gairdner International Awards

  • 5 Awarded Annually

  • Awarded to outstanding biomedical scientists who have made original contributions to medicine resulting in an increased understanding of human biology and disease.

The Canada Gairdner Global Health Award

  • 1 Awarded Annually (Can be shared)

  • Awarded for scientifically based research that has improved the health and well-being of those facing health inequities worldwide.

The Canada Gairdner Wightman Award

  • 1 Awarded Annually

  • Awarded to a Canadian health researcher who demonstrates extraordinary leadership paired with exceptional science.

Laureates each receive $100,000 CDN that can be put towards anything the laureate wishes. Past laureates have used their winnings to support their labs, their research or even paid for their niece to attend medical school.



" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al