Awarding Alumni Achievements

Nov 4, 2014
Erin Howe

The Faculty of Medicine celebrated three of its most outstanding medical alumni at the Dean’s Honour Roll Luncheon on November 3rd.

The Dean’s Alumni Awards program recognizes one graduate in each of three categories:

  • Rising Star: an alumnus/a who has graduated within the past 15 years and has made great contributions to the Faculty, their local healthcare community or academic achievement
  • Alumni Volunteer: an individual whose volunteerism has enhanced the Faculty of Medicine experience for students, staff, and fellow alumni
  • Lifetime Achievement: a graduate whose outstanding work has earned them national or international prominence.
Alumni Awards 2014

This year’s winners are:

Rising Star Award – Dr. An-Wen Chan

Dr. An-Wen Chan completed his residency in Dermatology at the Faculty of Medicine in 2008.  In 2013, Chan launched the SPIRIT Initiative, which improves the quality and efficiency of clinical trials. The initiative has been widely endorsed, adopted by a number of European countries and translated into five languages. Chan also launched World Health Organization standards for clinical registration, which improve research quality and transparency.

Alumni Volunteer Award – Dr. Barnett Giblon

Dr. Barnett Giblon received his MD from the Faculty of Medicine in 1957. Since 1971, he has held many roles with the Medical Alumni Association and University of Toronto Alumni Association as well as various positions on Faculty committees and councils. Between 2004 and 2010, he also co-chaired the Access to Excellence Campaign, which raised funds for medical student financial support.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Jack Laidlaw

Dr. Jack Laidlaw received his MD from the Faculty of Medicine in 1944 and later earned a Master’s and a PhD in biochemistry. He conducted endocrine research Harvard University and became a leader in the field. He helped create the Clinical Investigation Unit at Toronto General Hospital in 1956 and became the founder of its Division of Endocrinology. In 1967, he became the founding Director of the Institute of Medical Science, which trains clinicians as scientists.

This marks the award program’s second year. More than 50 alumni were nominated for consideration.

The luncheon was also an opportunity to celebrate the leadership and contributions of Dean Catharine Whiteside, who will complete her second term as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the end of the year.

“Dean Whiteside has truly embraced the spirit of advancement, philanthropic fundraising, outreach and alumni engagement,” said David Palmer, Vice-President of Advancement for the University of Toronto, before leading a toast to the Dean. “Leading by example, she has encouraged a culture of advancement that has resulted in huge rewards for the faculty, students, researchers and indeed the Canadian public, who are ultimately the beneficiaries of so much that goes on at the country’s top medical school.”

 “It has been a great privilege to serve as the 15th Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto,” said Dean Whiteside. “Most importantly, it has given me the opportunity to meet and get to know all who contribute to the value of our Faculty of Medicine as we recognize and fulfill our social responsibility. As I complete my second term I look forward to joining the many volunteers, donors and supporters of this great institution.” 


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