Daniel Drucker
(Photo by Johnny Guatto)

Daniel Drucker receives Canada Gairdner International Award

The University of Toronto’s Daniel Drucker has been jointly awarded a 2021 Canada Gairdner International Award for research that has helped revolutionize treatments for type 2 diabetes, obesity and intestinal disorders.

Drucker, a professor in the department of medicine at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and a senior scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Sinai Health, received the honour with Joel Habener of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Jens Juul Holst of the University of Copenhagen.

Working both independently and collaboratively over more than four decades, Holst, Habener and Drucker discovered the peptides known as GLP-1 and GLP-2, detailed their molecular and physiological effects in cells and animals and translated those findings in human studies that have led to several new classes of drugs.

The award comes as U of T celebrates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a finding that paved the way for a century of ground-breaking research at the university and its partner hospitals.

“I am extremely excited and honoured that the Gairdner Foundation has recognized our collective work on the glucagon-like peptides, and its translational importance for the treatment of metabolic disorders," said Drucker. “I am also very grateful for the dozens of contributions made by so many talented trainees that I have been privileged to work with at the University of Toronto.”

The Gairdner Foundation was established in 1957 to recognize fundamental research that impacts human health, bestowing 395 awards to scientists from 35 countries.

Read the U of T News story