Published: June 22, 2011
Updated: June 22, 2011
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By Duke Medicine News and Communications
Victor J. Dzau, MD, chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and chief executive officer of Duke University Health System, has been named the 2011 winner of the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research.
The prize is awarded annually and will be presented to Dzau in Ottawa on September 14, 2011.
Previous winners include Dr. Joseph B. Martin, former dean of Harvard Medical School, who won the first award in 2006; Dr. John R. Evans, president and CEO of MaRS Discovery District (2007); Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute (2008); Sir John Bell, Regis Professor of Medicine at Oxford University (2009); and Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University (2010).
Dzau’s selection cites his “international stature that best exemplifies Henry Friesen’s prescience, organizational creativity, and broad impact on health research and health research policy.”
“I am honored and deeply moved to receive this award,” Dzau said. “It is humbling indeed to join the distinguished ranks of past award winners.”
Dzau was born in China, grew up in Hong Kong, and graduated from McGill University with a BSc and a MD. He is a physician and pioneering translational research scientist, and is widely recognized as one of the most influential medical leaders worldwide.
Prior to coming to Duke Medicine in 2004, Dzau was the Hersey Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine and chairman of Medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Before his days at Harvard, Dzau served as chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.
Dzau’s research established the current understanding of the renin-angiotensin system, which is now known to underlie a wide range of heart and blood vessel diseases, from hypertension to heart failure. His work led directly to the development of drugs that inhibit this system and which now represent the foundation of modern medical therapy for many cardiac disorders.
Dzau continues to lead a thriving research lab, exploring innovative stem cell and genetic treatments for heart and blood vessel diseases. He has received numerous honors for his contributions to research and medicine. He has published more than 400 research papers and six books.
He serves on the Council of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has chaired the NIH Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee, as well as the Council of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology of the American Heart Association, and has served on the Advisory Council to the Director of NIH.
He is an active and regular participant in the annual World Economic Forum, and a visionary on the importance of public-private partnerships to transform health and health care.
Proud of his Canadian roots, Dzau has given his time generously to serve Canada, including as a member of the International Review Panel for the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Review Board for the Canadian Excellence in Research Chairs, the Gairdner Award Medical Advisory Board, the Scientific Board of the University Health Network of Toronto, and the International Review Board of the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, among others.