Steven Narod (supplied image)

Steven Narod awarded McLaughlin Medal by Royal Society of Canada

Steven Narod, a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Temerty Faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto, has been awarded the 2023 McLaughlin Medal by the Royal Society of Canada.

The award recognizes important research of sustained excellence in any branch of medical sciences.

Narod, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer, is renowned for his research on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, that when mutated, substantially increase a woman’s lifetime risk of breast or ovarian cancer. His current research focuses on the efficacy of treatment options for women with BRCA1 mutations and breast cancer.

Narod’s research into hereditary breast cancer began at the International Agency in Research in Cancer in Lyon, France, in 1987 and continued upon his return to Canada in 1990, first at McGill University and then, starting in 1995, at U of T. Narod is credited as a co-discoverer of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and has studied the distribution of mutations worldwide since their discoveries. He says that one of his earliest proud moments was his major paper linking hereditary breast cancer susceptibility to hereditary ovarian cancer susceptibility.

“It’s nice to know that the work is really having impact,” he says, adding he’s motivated by the community of researchers and his drive to find answers. “I enjoy working with my students and my fellows. I enjoy being part of an active community here at the University of Toronto. I like hearing the work that others do and seeing the success of younger colleagues.

“The ultimate goal is I’d like to see an effective treatment for hereditary breast cancer.”