UBC microbiologist Robert E.W. Hancock has received the Prix Galien 2012 Research Award, widely considered the most prestigious honour in Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation. Hancock is being recognized for pioneering work unravelling the complex interactions between antibiotics and bacteria.
"The Prix Galien is a testament to Bob Hancock's profound impact on Canadian health research," said Simon Peacock, Dean of UBC's Faculty of Science. "His research focuses on the growing challenge of antibiotic resistance and has resulted in new therapeutic approaches to infectious diseases, like malaria."
Hancock is a leader in Canadian health research, focusing on the prevention and treatment of infectious disease. At UBC he established the Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research (CMDR) and also co-founded the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), a national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre.
Hancock's research interests include antibiotic uptake and resistance, cationic peptides as novel antimicrobials, innate immunity, and bacterial genomics. His breakthrough discovery of a novel way of selectively modulating immunity and suppressing harmful inflammation while retaining protective immunity has, according to Prix Galien Canada, the potential to revolutionize human healthcare.
The Prix Galien is open to any researcher or team who has been involved for at least the last five years in biopharmaceutical research making a substantial contribution to the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of disease.
Previous UBC winners of the award include Pieter Cullis (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Michael Hayden (Faculty of Medicine and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics), Julia Levey (Department of Microbiology and Immunology) and David Dolphin (Department of Chemistry).