Dr. Steven Narod MD’79, Women’s College Hospital senior scientist and a Tier One Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer, has been awarded the prestigious Killam Prize for Health Sciences by the Canadian Council for the Arts. Each year, the Council recognizes leading Canadian scholars who demonstrate exceptional career achievements. This award is in recognition of Dr. Narod’s revolutionary contributions to advancing our global understanding of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers through his more than 20 years of research. Dr. Narod proudly accepted his award on May 3 from the Governor General, The Right Honourable David Johnston, in Ottawa at Rideau Hall.
“I am honoured to be recognized by the Canadian Council for the Arts with this award,” said Dr. Steven Narod, Women’s College Hospital senior scientist. “I have spent the last 30 years trying to understand hereditary breast and ovarian cancer by studying generations of affected women. We have had some successes in the prevention and treatment of these cancers but there is more to be done. Over the next few years I hope to focus on early stages of breast cancer and breast cancer in young women.”
For more than 20 years at Women’s College Hospital, Dr. Narod has dedicated himself to advancing the health of women. His groundbreaking, innovative research has led to numerous discoveries – including the BRCA 1 and 2 mutations. He studies various aspects of cancer genetics, including prevention, screening and treatment. Dr. Narod has identified genetic mutations in a number of ethnic populations, including people of French-Canadian, Bahamian and Ashkenazi Jewish descent. His database of over 15,000 women with mutations from 30 countries supports numerous international collaborations. He has leadership roles in genetic cancer studies in North America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Currently, his studies focus on chemoprevention and MRI surveillance as an alternative to preventive surgeries as a means of reducing breast cancer risk and mortality.
With more than 700 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Narod is one of the most published and highly cited cancer researchers in the world. In 2012, Dr. Narod was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
“We are very proud of Dr. Narod’s work in deepening our knowledge about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Paula Rochon, vice president, research, at Women’s College Hospital. “His work has undoubtedly saved the lives of countless women in Canada and around the world. To be named a Killam Laureate is truly a prestigious honour and one well-deserved by Steven.”