Dr. Jeff Wrana, Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI), part of Sinai Health System, has been awarded the McLaughlin Medal by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), recognizing his pivotal contributions to our understanding of biology, human diseases, and its treatment. The RSC also recognized his leadership in the promotion of “Canadian science through collaborative research facilities and international impact.” Dr. Wrana’s vast accomplishments include delineation of the Transforming Growth Factor beta signal transduction system which plays a key role in cancer development and spread.

“The McLaughlin medal recognizes sustained excellence and anyone who knows Jeff also knows that he has not only made a prolonged series of major discoveries in developmental biology and cancer, he is continually pushing the wavefront of impactful research,” said Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

Internationally recognized for his research, Dr. Wrana’s focus has been on the complex network of molecular/ cellular pathways that work together to control cells, which, when disrupted, lead to diseases such as cancer.  His research, and collaboration with researchers across the LTRI and beyond, aims to discover new diagnostic tests and novel targets for treatment.

Dr. Wrana has played a leading role in ensuring researchers have access to the most sophisticated technology to analyze genes, proteins and new models of disease.  He established the high throughput, robotics facility which, together with the proteomics facility, forms the Network Biology Collaboration Centre (NBCC) based at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Centre.  The NBCC assists Canadian and International scientists in their investigation of complex biological networks related to human health and disease by providing access to world-class expertise in functional proteomics and genomics.

As Full Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, Dr. Wrana has trained more than 70 students and fellows and provided high school students experiences of real life science in his lab, based at Mount Sinai Hospital. “We anticipate further advances in our understanding of cell signalling networks, thanks to Jeff’s visionary approach to cancer and systems biology,” said Trevor Young, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto.

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