The Gairdner, Canada's highest scientific honor, recognizes medical science leaders whose accomplishments have advanced the frontiers of knowledge. The Gairdner Award in Canada is comparable to the Lasker Award in the United States, both being the highest scientific honors in their respective countries and often the precursors to the Nobel Prize" said Dr. Richard Murphy, President and CEO of the Salk Institute. Dr. Evans received the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 2004 and, in 2005, the Grande Mdaille d'Or, France's highest scientific honor.
Dr. Evans' work brought to light the common mechanism by which a diverse group of hormones and vitamins - steroid hormones, thyroid hormones, and fat-soluble molecules such as vitamins A and D - control the body's metabolism, development and reproduction. Scientists had known since the early 1900s that hormones directed organ physiology, but, until Dr. Evans' discovery, they had no idea how the minute amounts of hormones produced by the body actually triggered the changes.
Because nuclear receptors wield such physiological power, their discovery provided a multitude of targets for clinical scientists to develop new, more effective, and safer drugs. As a result, Dr. Evans' technology has been used to discover more than half a dozen drugs for cancer, diabetes and heart disease, with many more on the way.
In 1985, Dr. Evans discovered how cortisol, a steroid hormone that regulates glucose metabolism, accomplishes its mission. Like a messenger carrying an urgent message, cortisol sweeps into a cell's nucleus where it is met by molecules called nuclear receptors. They grab the cortisol molecules and together they clamp down in specifi
Contact: Gina Kirchweger