Cal Stiller: Canadian Hall of Famer

Cal Stiller
Cal Stiller

Physician. Scientist. Entrepreneur. Policy innovator. In baseball parlance, Dr. Cal Stiller, a founding member of the MaRS Board, may be the only Canadian to continue to hit the cycle.

And he’s being inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in the spring.

As a basic scientist, he helped define Type I diabetes as an autoimmune disease. As a clinician-scientist, he organized North America’s first multi-centre clinical trial for the anti-rejection drug Cyclosporine in kidney transplantation, creating the foundation for subsequent studies that put Canada on the world stage.

As a medical entrepreneur, he established the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund, which, for years, led venture capital in the life sciences. And as a public policy champion he has been instrumental in founding a number of institutions: Robarts Research Institute in London, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and MaRS.

“Wherever you see creative institutions in medical research and innovation in Canada during the past decade you will find the guiding hand and explosive energy of Cal Stiller,” said Dr. John Evans, MaRS founder and Chair Emeritus.

From 1984 to 1996, Dr. Stiller established and led the Multi-Organ Transplant Service (MOTS) at The University of Western Ontario’s University Hospital, the first of its kind in Canada and one of the first in the world. During this time, he had a remarkable run as a crusader for organ donation and the organ donor card, and popularized, if not coined, the term “Gift of Life”.

Read more here about the indefatigable Dr. Stiller and the other physicians who will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in April 2010.