Crick group leader John Diffley has won the prestigious 2019 Canada Gairdner International Award for 'pioneering research on the eukaryotic DNA replication cycles including initiation, regulation and responses to DNA damage.'
This is the 60th anniversary of the awards, founded by the Gairdner Foundation in 1969 to recognise significant discoveries in biomedical research. The Foundation presents five international awards of 100,000 Canadian dollars every year, to honour the world’s most significant biomedical and global health researchers.
"This is a tremendous honour," said John Diffley. "It’s great to get such an endorsement for the work our lab has been doing over the past thirty years. I have to thank everyone in the lab for this award – it was all up to them and it couldn’t have happened without them. We’ll be having a big party, that’s for sure!"
John was awarded the prize for his contributions to our understanding of DNA replication. By describing the exact sequence of events involved in DNA replication, his work has provided key insights into how replication is coordinated with many other cellular events. This has helped scientists to understand the processes behind genome instability and tumour heterogeneity in cancer.
Paul Nurse, Director of the Crick, said: "This is a very significant award, given in recognition of internationally important biomedical and global health research. It recognises John’s contributions to our understanding of DNA replication and the insights his work has provided."
Dr Janet Rossant, President & Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation, said: "On the 60th anniversary of the Canada Gairdner Awards, the Gairdner Foundation continues to uphold the tradition of honouring the best and brightest researchers from around the world. Whether it is the field of global mental health, stem cell biology or fundamental cell biology and DNA cell replication, the work of each of this year’s laureates is both critical and extraordinary."