Presentation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Gold Leaf Prizes

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Rideau Hall, Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Welcome, all of you, to Rideau Hall for this presentation of the Gold Leaf Prizes in health research.

The human body is an incredibly complex and sometimes fragile machine.

We have learned so much about it, and yet we have so much still to learn.

That’s where our best researchers come in.

That’s where you come in, the recipients of the CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes.

You have dedicated your lives to helping others by researching cures and tackling specific challenges that ultimately benefit our collective health.

Pardon the pun, but that’s nothing to sneeze at!

The work you do is not only cutting edge, but also internationally recognized. You’re helping people around the world, and at the same time putting Canada on the map.

Each of you has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to excellence and to teamwork, two essential elements in our overall success.

Let me touch on each of these in turn.

First, the pursuit of excellence. Your contributions to health research are impressive, and you’re most deserving of this accolade.

Perhaps the most telling sign of this is the fact that you were nominated by those who know you best and who know the great impact of your work.

Canadians across the country are doing remarkable work in health research, and you are leaders in the field.

Together, you’re raising the bar for all, creating the peaks of achievement that will foster an overall culture of excellence.

And you would be the first to admit you aren’t alone in this endeavour. Teamwork—the second element of success—has been an essential part of your journey.

You have surrounded yourself with knowledgeable, talented and highly-motivated people who enhance your efforts.

You rely on these team members for essential contributions. They’re a critical part of your success.

That you recognize your dependence on others is one of the reasons you’re receiving this prize today.

One of the distinguishing features of this country is the value we place in health care and caring for each other. There is a long tradition of excellence in health research and discovery in Canada, and you are extending this tradition in bold and important new ways.

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada, let us also look back on the proud history of research in our nation and how it—and by extension, all of you—have helped to shape a better country.

Congratulations on your success!

Thank you.