The Gairdner Foundation has recognized Dr. James Hogg with the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, the premier honour for leadership in medical science in Canada.
Dr. Hogg, principal investigator at the UBC James Hogg Research Centre at St. Paul's Hospital and an emeritus professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia, was selected for his research leadership in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
More than 700,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with COPD, an incurable disease that inflames the lungs and greatly affects breathing. Dr. Hogg has worked on COPD for more than 40 years and maintains an active research program focused on the inflammatory process in the lungs.
Recent research suggests a new direction, which could lead to a treatment capable of reversing destruction of lung tissue in COPD. Hogg's work stresses the importance of finding a diagnostic before symptoms appear, which would lead to the prevention of COPD.
The Wightman Award is the latest in a series of honours Hogg has received. In 1992, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and he became an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005. In 2003, he was recognized with the prestigious American Society for Investigative Pathology Chugai Award.
Hogg was the first full-time professor based at St. Paul's, giving the Pulmonary Research Laboratory an important link with the University of British Columbia. In addition to its research, the lab served as a diagnostic referral centre for lung disease in B.C. The lab quickly established itself as the focal point of research excellence in the area of heart-lung conditions. Today, it is known as the UBC James Hogg Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, named in his honour.