3 USask researchers named Canadian Academy of Health Sciences fellows

Three researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have been named fellows in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Doctors Volker Gerdts, Walter Siqueira and Cheryl Waldner were inducted as fellows in the CAHS on Monday.

“We congratulate these exceptional scholars, who exemplify USask’s strength and diversity in health research,” Baljit Singh, USask’s vice-president of research, said in a release.

“Their leadership unlocks the creativity, innovation and community potential of interdisciplinary exploration.”

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Gerdts is the director and chief executive of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

VIDO has played a leadership role in COVID-19 research, developing a vaccine that is currently in clinical trials.

“I am honoured to become a member of the CAHS; this is a great recognition of the team effort at VIDO,” Gerdts said.

“I am pleased to work with the Academy to developing strategies for Canada to better prepare for the next disease outbreak.”

Gerdts has more than 150 publications under his name, secured more than $225 million in funding for VIDO and given more than 250 interviews and presentations during the pandemic.

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Siqueira is internationally renowned for his expertise with saliva.

The College of Dentistry professor and associate dean leads the Salivary Proteomics Research Laboratory at the university.

The research focuses on how saliva and its components can be used to improve the health of patients, both in diagnosis and as therapeutics.

“To date, only 11 dentists have been elected as a member of the CAHS,” Siqueira said.

“This is without question a major milestone in my career as both an academic and scientist.”

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Waldner has a three-decade career researching health and productivity in cattle herds.

The professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) department of large animal clinical sciences has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and 6,000 citations.

“It’s an honour to be included in this group of scientific leaders who are dedicated to the betterment of health for all,” Waldner said.

“Animal and human health is intrinsically linked, and I’m grateful to be recognized for my commitment to improving the health and lives of both animals and people.”

The CAHS is one of three national academies that comprise the Council of Canadian Academies.

According to the CAHS, it is the highest honour granted to scholars in Canada.

Fellows to the CAHS are elected based on their demonstrated leadership, creativity, distinctive competencies and commitment to advancing academic health sciences.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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