Canadian Cancer Society presents Awards for Excellence

24 May 2013


Each year, the Canadian Cancer Society honours exceptional Canadian scientists who have made a significant contribution to progress in cancer research. This year, two recipients of the four national Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research are based in Ontario.

Dr Steven Narod, Senior Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute, is the recipient of the O. Harold Warwick Prize, which is given to a scientist whose research has had a major impact on cancer control in Canada.

Dr Aaron Schimmer, Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute, is the recipient of the Bernard and Francine Dorval Prize, which is given to a promising investigator who began their independent research within the previous 10 years and who has made outstanding contributions to basic biomedical research.

“We’re proud to honour these outstanding scientists for their achievements — one a world leader in breast cancer research and one with impressive momentum in cancer research,” says Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “We couldn’t support such remarkable researchers without the generous support of our donors and volunteers.”

Dr Narod is a world leader in the field of breast and ovarian cancer genetics. He was the first to show that BRCA breast cancer genes also increase the risk of ovarian cancer. This discovery opened the door to a new way of thinking about cancer and new strategies for the prevention and treatment of these cancers in high-risk women.

Dr Narod’s award was presented to him by Victoria Warwick, a cancer survivor and daughter of the late Dr O. Harold Warwick, a pioneering researcher in cancer control and treatment, who became the first executive director of both the former National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society.

“I was an oncology social worker for years and my husband practices medical oncology. These factors, in addition to having had cancer myself, have made me realize on a daily basis how important the drive in cancer research is,” said Warwick.

Dr Aaron Schimmer’s research focuses on drug discovery for leukemia patients. Using automated and robotic equipment, he is developing new tools that could advance our understanding of biological vulnerabilities in leukemia cells. He has already advanced three drugs from his lab into clinical trials for patients with leukemia and related blood disorders and his work in novel therapeutics has resulted in over 20 patents and patent applications.

Dr Schimmer’s award was presented by Bernard and Francine Dorval, who have made a significant philanthropic investment in the Canadian Cancer Society’s research program. In recognition of their gift, the Society announced today that it will rename the Canadian Cancer Society Young Investigator Award to the Bernard and Francine Dorval Prize.

Now retired, Bernard Dorval is the former Deputy Chair, TD Canada Trust. He was one of three Co-Chairs for the 2006 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball in Montreal, which raised more than $2 million.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY: 1-866-786-3934).


For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026