MaRS Board Chair, Dr. John Evans, wins prestigious Friesen Prize in Health Research

Toronto, May 7, 2007 – Canadian physician Dr. John Evans has been named the winner of the 2007 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

The prestigious Friesen Prize recognizes the exceptional leadership, vision and innovative contributions of Dr. Henry Friesen, a visionary medical scientist credited with the discovery of the hormone human prolactin.

Founding Dean of the McMaster University Faculty of Medicine and former President of the University of Toronto, Dr. Evans has an international reputation as a builder in education, health sciences and entrepreneurial sectors of medicine.

He has also been linked to many major health research policy initiatives and played key roles in successful infrastructure renewal, both private and public.

Formally trained in internal medicine and cardiology, Dr. Evans studied education for public health and population-based medicine and served as Director of the Population, Health and Nutrition Department of the World Bank in Washington.

He later returned to Toronto as Chairman and CEO of Allelix Inc., a biotechnical research company. He is also Chairman of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the MaRS Discovery District, as well as serving as Co-Chair of the Toronto Regional Research Alliance.

As winner of the 2007 Friesen Prize, Dr. Evans will be the keynote speaker at a Public Forum to be held in Montreal on September 19th in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

The annual Friesen lecture is considered an important event for many of the principal players in Canada’s medical community, as it focuses on topics related to the advancement of health research and its evolving contributions to society.

Given that the anticipated audience for the Public Forum will include policy leaders at the highest level, Dr. Evans is in a position to effect additional positive change in the field of medicine by sharing his experience and best practices as a leader and innovator in the international medical research.

Contact Information:

For more information on the award, or to set-up an interview with Dr. Evans, please contact:

  • Kathryn Hendrick at 613.722.6521, ext. 6349 or by cellular at 416.277.6281; or
  • Joanna Filion at 613.722.6521 ext 6767 or by cellular at 613.867-6521; or
  • Marilyn Williams at 204.787.3794

About MaRS

MaRS Discovery District ( is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District

Ross Wallace