NCU Alumnus Dr.Guan Yi Receive 2021 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award


In the afternoon of April 7, the Gairdner Foundation made an announcement on its official website that Dr. GUAN Yi , NCU alumnus of Class 1978, professor of the University of Hong Kong, and an expert in medical microbiology has been awarded the 2021 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award together with Professor Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris at the University of Hong Kong, clinical public health virologist.

According to announcement, the two distinguished experts were awarded for their significantly contributing to understanding the origins and options for control of newly emerging infectious disease outbreaks in Asia, notably zoonotic influenza ( including H5N1H9N2H6N1H7N9H5Nx, etc.) and severe acute respiratory syndrome(SARS). They established complete and comprehensive methods and strategies in virus surveillance, human infection tracing, in-depth investigation, diagnosis and control of emerging infectious diseases. Their evidence-based methods are therefore provided to control avian influenza viruses in Asia during the 2009 swine flu, MERS and 2019 COVID-19 pandemics.

The Canada Gairdner Awards, including Canada Gairdner International Award, John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, and Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, are given annually by the Gairdner Foundation to individuals for outstanding discoveries or contributions to medical science. Receipt of the Gairdner is traditionally considered a precursor to winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine; According to statistics, since the first Gairdner Award was given in 1959, a total of 403 scientists have won the awards so far,102 of whom won Nobel Prizes. In 2021,there are seven individuals receiving the awards.

Guan Yi , studied in the Medical Department of the former Jiangxi Medical College in 1978 and later began his research career on influenza and other newly emerging infectious diseases, is now the Chair Professor in Emerging Viral Diseases, Daniel C K Yu Endowed Professor in Virology, School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong; director of State Key Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases, the University of Hong Kong; director of Joint Institute of Virology (Shantou University-The University of Hong Kong), Shantou University; Director of Guangdong-Hong Kong Joint Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Shantou University and co-director of World Health Organization H5 Reference Laboratory. He is a three-time interviewed figure by the famous Time magazine and was selected as one of the 18 global medical heroes by it. In 2017, Guan's team won the special prize of the China’s National Science and Technology Progress Award.