HAMILTON: JUNE 7, 2010 – A McMaster University professor, working on the next generation of molecular imaging probes for the early detection of disease, has been named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.
John Valliant, associate professor in the departments of Chemistry and Medical Physics, and CEO and scientific director of the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), was included in the annual list of exceptional people, published in today’s edition of The Globe and Mail. He was selected from more than 1,100 nominees across Canada from private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Winners were chosen based on vision and leadership; innovation and achievement; impact; community involvement and contribution; and strategy for growth.
Under Valliant’s leadership, McMaster University in collaboration with the CPDC is developing new molecular imaging technologies, or probes, that seek out disease within patients and provide imaging equipment, like positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, with a clear beacon to identify problem areas. These advanced probes indicate regions of altered biochemical activity showing how aggressively diseases are progressing and how well they might respond to treatment.
CPDC, the only Centre of its kind in the world, is based at McMaster and was created as a partnership between the University, federal and provincial governments and industry partners. The Centre acts as a bridge between university research and clinical use of new imaging tools-helping to get technology out of the lab, approved by regulators, and into the hands of physicians.
Valliant’s research, teaching and work at the CPDC has fostered significant investment in medical isotope research, development and clinical translation in Hamilton. This includes a $22-million investment in nuclear research and the nuclear reactor at McMaster through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. It has also attracted the installation of a prototype molecular breast imaging camera in Hamilton, which is part of a trial to evaluate new technology for the early detection of breast cancer in high-risk women.
In addition to research, Valliant is actively involved in teaching at McMaster, which includes teaching first-year chemistry. He also led a successful proposal to establish a new training program for the next generation of probe development scientists, in a partnership with the Cross Cancer Institute at the University of Alberta. This program will teach scientists to work in a collaborative environment and to solve key problems in basic science medicine, including the current medical isotope crisis.
CPDC discovers, develops and distributes molecular imaging probes for the early diagnosis of diseases and to assess the effectiveness of treatments. An important part of Ontario’s health system, CPDC provides a reliable, daily supply of imaging probes to hospitals across the province. CPDC also works collaboratively with industry and academic partners, offering the research, manufacturing and regulatory expertise needed to move innovative probe technology and new therapeutic drugs from R&D labs to clinical use. The CPDC is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, part of the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program, and is supported by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, GE Healthcare, Cancer Care Ontario, and McMaster University.
About McMaster University
McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 145,000 alumni in 128 countries.
About Canada’s Top 40 Under 40
Canada’s Top 40 Under 40TM is a prestigious national award program that honours 40 Canadians in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors under the age of 40. The program, now in its 15th year, is managed by founding sponsor, The Caldwell Partners International, and partner sponsors Deloitte, National Bank Financial, The Globe and Mail, and WestJet. A list of the Recipients of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 are published in The Globe and Mail on June 7. Honorees will attend a series of celebratory events at the beginning of June in Toronto, including an Awards Ceremony to be held at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre at noon on Tuesday, June 8, where they will be presented with their Top 40 Crystal Cube.
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