Pediatrician, geneticists claim CMA's highest honours during annual meeting presentations

Steven Wharry

Canadian Medical Association Journal 1996; 155: 577-578

Steven Wharry is associate editor of CMA News.

© 1996 Canadian Medical Association (text and résumé)

In brief

At every annual meeting, the CMA presents awards to honour outstanding contributions to medicine, health care and humanity. This year Dr. Jack Bowman, a Winnipeg pediatrician, was awarded the CMA's highest honour, the F.N.G. Starr Award. Pediatrician and geneticist Dr. Charles Scriver of Montreal received the Medal of Service, while Toronto researcher Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui received the Medal of Honour. The CMA also granted Senior Membership to 34 physicians.

En bref

À toutes les assemblées annuelles, l'AMC souligne par des distinctions les contributions exceptionnelles à la médecine, aux soins de santé et à l'humanité. Cette année, le Dr Jack Bowman, pédiatre de Winnipeg, a reçu la plus haute distinction de l'AMC, c.-à-d. le prix F.N.G. Starr. Pédiatre et généticien, le Dr Charles Scriver, de Montréal, a reçu la Médaille de service, tandis que le Dr Lap-Chee Tsui, chercheur de Toronto, a reçu la Médaille d'honneur. L'AMC a aussi décerné le titre de membre émérite à 34 médecins.

The F.N.G. Starr Award, the "Victoria Cross of Canadian medicine," is the highest award the CMA can bestow upon one of its members. It honours physicians who have made outstanding contributions to science, the fine arts or literature, or may recognize those who have served humanity with courage and endured great hardship to promote health or the saving of life, advanced the life of their community or improved medical service in Canada.

Dr. John (Jack) Bowman of Winnipeg was awarded the 1996 F.N.G. Starr Award during the CMA's recent annual meeting in Sydney, NS, in recognition of his work in the battle against Rh hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn.

After graduating with the University Gold Medal in Medicine and the Manitoba Medical Association Gold Medal for Highest Overall Standing in Medicine in 1949, the Manitoba native spent a year in general practice before being certified in pediatrics. He led the world-renowned Manitoba Rh program, which turned maternal-fetal Rh disease from "a scourge of the newborn into a relatively minor problem in terms of outcome." This work has since saved thousands of lives.

His colleagues laud his clinical investigation and teaching skills, but they also praise his unwavering commitment to his patients. "I well remember him discussing with me his options should a severely isoimmunized fetus be delivered on the day of his daughter's wedding," recalled Dr. Mary Seshia, director of newborn services at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. "He indicated to me that he was not sure whether he would attend the delivery or the wedding!"

The author of more than 160 articles, papers and book chapters, Dr. Bowman has presented hundreds of papers to regional, provincial, national and international meetings during the last 30 years. He received many awards during his medical career, including the Order of Canada and the Manitoba Medical Association's Distinguished Service Award, and just recently was inducted into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, the highest honour the province of Manitoba can bestow on people who have made outstanding contributions to their community.

Dr. Bowman is medical director of the Rh Laboratory at the Health Sciences Centre at the University of Manitoba, where he is also professor of pediatrics and child health. He and his wife, Constance May, have five children.

CMA Medal of Service

Dr. Charles Scriver of Montreal was presented the CMA Medal of Service for his outstanding work in the field of genetics. His work to establish a nationwide metabolite screening program for newborns was considered landmark work in genetics research.

A 1955 graduate of McGill University, Dr. Scriver began his career in genetics as a McLaughlin travelling fellow. He was appointed to the Department of Paediatrics at McGill and as a Markle scholar in 1961, becoming a professor in pediatrics in 1969.

As well as his work in the metabolite screening program, Dr. Scriver was also instrumental in establishing a "food bank" in Montreal to provide food for children with metabolic disorders. He has been active in research using molecular genetic methods to study the origin and distribution of genes in human populations and applying this knowledge in the Canadian health care system.

He has been a leader in many academic societies, including the Society for Pediatric Research and the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation. He has been director of the Medical Research Council's Group in Genetics and codirector of the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network, and was appointed to the Alva Chair in Human Genetics at McGill University in 1994.

He has received many major awards and honours, including the Order of Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society's Ross Award and the Medal of Excellence of the Institut de Recherche cliniques de Montréal.

He currently is professor of pediatrics, biology and genetics at McGill University and is on staff at the Montreal Children's Hospital. He and his wife, Esther, have four children.

CMA Medal of Honour

The contributions of Lap-Chee Tsui, PhD, to medical research in the field of cystic fibrosis (CF) earned him the 1996 CMA Medal of Honour.

In 1989 Dr. Tsui led a team of researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto that identified the defective gene responsible for CF. The discovery has been called "one of the most significant discoveries in the history of human genetics" and has opened the door to new drug treatments for this disease.

Since that milestone, Dr. Tsui has continued to search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. His work has provided the basis for gene-therapy protocols in the US and for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Research Development Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Dr. Tsui earned his BSc in biology in 1972 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and his PhD in Biological Sciences in 1979 at the University of Pittsburgh. He is senior research scientist and staff geneticist at the Hospital for Sick Children and professor in the University of Toronto's Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics and Institute of Medical Science. Dr. Tsui, an officer in the Order of Canada, received the Henry Friesen Award, which is awarded by the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, in 1995. He is married and has two children.

Senior Members

CMA Senior Memberships recognize long-term, distinguished medical service.

The 1996 recipients from British Columbia were Dr. Trevor Sandy, Vancouver; Dr. John O'Brien-Bell, Surrey; Dr. Marc Villanueva, Comox; Dr. Archibald Young, Chilliwack; Dr. G. Scott Wallace, Victoria; Dr. William Govan, Kelowna; Dr. Owen Gloster, Duncan, and Dr. L. Mitchell Greene, Prince Rupert.

Dr. William Buchan, Whitehorse, was named a senior member in the Yukon.

Recipients from the Prairies were Dr. Gerald Higgins, now of Burlington, Ont.; Drs. John Ibberson and Arnold Murray, both of Calgary;
Dr. William Onerheim, Red Deer, Alta.; Dr. Stanley Windle, now of Victoria, BC; Dr. Barrie Duncan, Regina; Dr. William Wolfe, North Battleford, Sask., and Drs. Dwight Parkinson and Howard Reed, both of Winnipeg.

Ontario recipients were Dr. Fraser Mustard, Toronto, and Dr. John Walker, London.

Recipients from Quebec were Dr. Henri Charette, Hull; Dr. Maurice Langlois, Magog; Dr. Lionel Montminy, Ste-Foy; Dr. Maurice Vignault, Sorel; Dr. Jean Lafrenière, Trois-Rivières; Dr. Irène Legault-Charbonneau, Mont-Royal, and Dr. Jean Drouin, Sept-Îles.

Senior Members from Atlantic Canada were Dr. Frederick Woodruff, St. John's; Dr. James Saunders, Summerside, PEI; Drs. Patrick Flynn and Irving A. Perlin, Halifax; Dr. Okechukwu Ikejiani, Glace Bay, NS; Dr. Henrik Tonning, Rothesay, NB, and Dr. John Bennett, now of Nepean, Ont.

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