Narod Awarded Killam Prize

Apr 18, 2016
Author: 
Heidi Singer

A pioneering University of Toronto breast cancer researcher is to be awarded the prestigious Killam Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Professor Steven NarodProfessor Steven Narod

Steven Narod, a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Departments of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology will receive the Prize for his work in health research at a ceremony in Rideau Hall May 3, along with two other U of T researchers and two researchers from other universities. 

Narod was one of the co-discoverers of the BRCA 1 and 2 genes, which, when mutated, substantially increase a woman’s chances of developing breast and ovarian cancers.     He is the among the most published and highly cited breast cancer researchers in the world, with more than 550 peer-reviewed publications on various facets of breast cancer, including prevention, screening and treatments.  His "h index" score (which measures a researcher's output and number of citations) is 99, far higher than average for the biomedical sciences.

“Steven has saved many lives with his discoveries around breast and ovarian cancers,” says Professor Trevor Young, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. “He has made a massive impact on the state of research into these two terrible diseases. I am delighted to congratulate Steven for this richly deserved honour.”

Narod has identified founder 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 led cancer genetics studies in North America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Of particular importance was documenting the role of preventive oophorectomy on reducing death from breast and ovarian cancer.

His current studies focus on chemoprevention and MRI surveillance as an alternative to preventive surgeries as a means of reducing breast cancer risk and mortality.

Narod is a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, where he leads the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit. In 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He holds the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer.

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