MSFHR celebrates 2014 Scholars and Aubrey J. Tingle Prize winner
11 February 2015
MLA Sam Sullivan put it best in describing the impressive crowd at last month’s “MSFHR Celebrates” event.
“It’s frightening to think of the brainpower in this room,” he quipped.
With more than two dozen MSFHR Scholars and 2014 Aubrey J. Tingle Prize winner Dr. Samuel Aparicio in attendance, no one was going to argue.
MSFHR brought together Aparicio and the 2014 Scholar Award recipients January 29 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle for a celebration of BC’s health research excellence. In attendance were members of MSFHR’s management team and board of directors, along with representatives of partner organizations, universities, and research institutes.
Speaking on behalf of the provincial government, Sullivan, the MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, praised the new scholars for their contributions to the economy and to improving lives – including his.
“You’re doing so much for so many individuals like me who can live a happy and prosperous life because of you,” Sullivan told the scholars.
Highlighting the evening was the presentation of the 2014 Aubrey J. Tingle Prize to Aparicio, a renowned breast cancer researcher and BC Cancer Agency scientist. Aparicio was recognized for his internationally acclaimed research that has produced breakthroughs in fields of cancer genomics, mouse genetic models, high-throughput screens, and translational breast cancer research. He is the fifth researcher to receive the Aubrey J. Tingle Prize, named in honour of MSFHR’s founding president and CEO.
In his remarks, Aparicio sought to answer the question “Why am I here?” by paying tribute to the mentors and colleagues who shaped his career. He looked back fondly on undergraduate experiences at Cambridge University that helped him become hooked on the idea of using science to inquire about the world.
“I just discovered what the power of a really great idea is,” Aparicio said. “When you have a really great idea and you have the great good fortune to be able to take that idea and then suddenly gain some understanding about how a small corner of the universe works, it’s like a drug and you’re kind of hooked on it. And so I got hooked on it for life.”
Aparicio also acknowledged colleagues throughout BC’s health research community whose contributions have been vital to his work.
“The remarkable thing about this collection of colleagues whom I value and cherish dearly is that not only do they influence me on a daily basis, but they represent the phenomenal diversity of intellectual talent that’s present here in Vancouver,” he said.