|Pioneer: UCT graduate Prof Michael Hayden has won the prestigious 2007 Prix Galien Canada, dubbed the Oscar of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology world. (Image courtesy of Filmwest Associates)|
UCT alumnus Professor Michael Hayden has received the prestigious 2007 Prix Galien Canada, dubbed the Oscar of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology world.
Hayden, now a professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia in Canada, won the accolade for his "pioneering, ground-breaking" medical research.
The Cape Town-born geneticist pioneered the development of predictive testing for Huntington's disease, a rare inherited neurological disorder.
Hayden, who co-founded three pharmaceutical companies, helped determine how specific genes lead to the disease, as well as premature coronary artery disease and diabetes. Recently, he provided the first evidence of a cure for Huntington's disease.
"I feel like a student just starting out," he is quoted in a recent article in the newspaper Vancouver Sun. "There are so many things yet to be discovered.'
Hayden, a multi-award winning student, graduated from UCT with a medical degree in 1975 and a PhD in genetics in 1979. He is currently spearheading a fundraising campaign to build a centre for at-risk youth in Cape Town.
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