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McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Newsmagazine — Volume 6, Issue 1, Spring 2012

Community of Distinction:2012 inductees

A champion of research at McMaster University; an internationally renowned researcher in reproductive health, and a pioneer in the field of gene therapy were honoured by McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences in September.

Gerhard Gerber, John Sellors and Frank Graham were inducted into the Faculty's Community of Distinction in a ceremony attended by faculty, staff, family and friends. For each inductee, a colleague shared a few words about their contribution.

The Community of Distinction honours alumni, faculty and staff of the Faculty of Health Sciences who have brought distinction and recognition to McMaster University and the Faculty through innovative scholarship and outstanding research.

The biographies and photographs of the inductees have joined the gallery, located in the Ewart Angus Centre within the Health Sciences Centre. Each year, up to five individuals are selected to join the Community of Distinction. The gallery was established in 2003.

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Gerhard Gerber, PhD

Gerhard Gerber

Gerhard Gerber was a biochemistry researcher and professor who became an entrepreneurial visionary in developing McMaster as one of Canada's top research intensive universities. He joined McMaster in 1978 and created an innovative co-op educational program while chair of the Department of Biochemistry for five years from 1991. However, it was during his term as McMaster's vice-president research and international affairs from 1996 to 2001 that he attracted significant new federal funding, established important research infrastructure and created a culture stressing the economic and social value of research that still impacts the Faculty of Health Sciences and the University. He became a professor emeritus in 2007.

Frank Graham, PhD

Gerhard Gerber

Frank Graham developed an international reputation for himself and McMaster University with his pioneering developments in the field of gene therapy and his reputation for innovation and excellence in molecular virology. He joined the cancer research group of the departments of pathology and biology in 1975 and became one of the most cited scientists in biology for his work defining mechanisms of cancer transformation caused by adenoviruses. Renowned as an effective mentor and collaborator, accolades include being named a McMaster Distinguished University Professor and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The professor emeritus retired to Italy in 2003.

John Sellors, MD

Gerhard Gerber

John Sellors was a graduate of the first class of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster in 1972 who went on to exemplify the impact primary care physicians can make locally, nationally and globally. A Stoney Creek doctor for 22 years, he was a faculty member in family medicine at McMaster from 1979 to 2011, including a term as the department's director of research. He was internationally known for his work in reproductive health, particularly cervical cancer prevention. An exceptional researcher and educator, he used his sense of humour to bring people together. He was also responsible for building new collaborations between pharmacists and family physicians.