MADAM CHANCELLOR, Dr. Janet Rossant is widely recognized for her ground-breaking work in understanding the roles of genes in embryo development.
Her major research findings relate to the question of how genetically identical cells adopt distinct characteristics during embryo development, and are paramount for better understanding of diseases caused by abnormal development processes, ranging from birth defects to genetic predispositions to various diseases, including cancer.
Dr. Rossant trained at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. She came to Canada in 1977 to Brock University, then to the Samuel Lunenfield Research Institute at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Today, she is today a senior scientist in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program, Chief of Research at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is also Deputy Scientific Director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network and Director of the Centre for Modeling Human Disease at the Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics.
She is also actively involved in the international developmental and stem cell biology communities and has contributed to the scientific and ethical discussion on public issues related to stem cell research. She chaired the working group of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research on stem cell research, which developed guidelines for federally funded research in this area.
Dr. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology and the Michael Smith Prize in Health Research, Canada’s most prestigious health research award. She is a fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Science.
Madam Chancellor, in recognition of her pioneering work in one of the most important areas of human health research, I ask you to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon JANET ROSSANT.