Canadian biology scientists

Thomas J. Hudson, MD (born June 12, 1961) is a genome biologist who has spearheaded physical mapping of haplotypes in human and mouse genomes.  His efforts have been recognized in creation of the HapMap Project and the Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, which are based at McGill University in Montreal.

He has reported a great number of gene mutations in rare and complex diseases such as asthma, type II diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease through the use of sequencing, genotyping, expression profiling and bioinformatics.

Marco Marra (born June 30, 1966) is a genomics scientist who has lead research on the genome sequencing of the SARS virus during its global peak epidemic in 2003.  He is currently the director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Science Center (GCS) of the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA).  The BCCA is one of the leading genome centers in Canada and is recognized around the world for its accomplishments in sequencing and mapping of genomes of humans and other significant species.

Sidney Altman (born May 7, 1939) is a molecular biologist who has been recognized for his work on the catalytic properties of ribonucleic acid enzyme P (RNAase P), a bacterial protein complex that plays a key role in the differentiation of transfer ribonucleic acids (tRNAs).  Transfer RNAs are important in protein synthesis that occurs in the cytoplasm of every cell.  He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Thomas R. Cech, for their research on RNase P, in 1989.

Brian C. Goodwin is a mathematical biologist who is known for founding the field of theoretical biology, a specialized mathematics filed that concentrates on explaining biological processes in terms of equations derived from mathematics and physics.  He was educated in McGill University and later moved to the United Kingdom to serve as professor at the Open University.

Patrick Moore (born 1947) is well-known for spearheading Greenpeace, an environmental organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The organization is active in campaigning against nuclear testing and whaling, as well as environmental issues such as global warming, deforestation and genetic engineering.  He earned his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of British Columbia and has long been an active consultant on environmental issues, sources of alternative energy and global warming.

William Rees (born December 18, 1943) has been recognized as the creator of the concept of “ecological footprint,” a method that calculates human-made impact on the ecosystem, which has sparked debate over sustainable development and human carrying capacity.

He is a professor at the University of British Columbia, teaching public policy and planning as related to the global environment and other ecological conditions for sustainable socioeconomic development.  He earned his PhD in population ecology from the University of Toronto.  His book entitled “Our Ecological Footprint,” has been published in at least nine different languages.

Robert Hall Haynes (August 27, 1931 – December 22, 1998) was a Canadian geneticist and biophysicist who has been recognized for his research work on DNA repair and mutagenesis.  In 1984, he introduced the principle of terraforming through ecopoiesis for space exploration initiatives.  He had honorably served as President two high-standard scientific organizations, the International Congress of Genetics in 1998 and the Royal Society of Canada in 1995.

Charles Leonard Huskins (1897 – 1953) was a Canadian cytogeneticist who has been recognized for his work on mutations in oats and wheat.  He is also one of the first scientists to perform research on duplications in relation to the evolution of cordgrasses.

He had also spent time working of meiotic chromosomes and analyzing chiasma frequencies in mice and grasshoppers.  He spent several years teaching at McGill University’s Department of Genetics.  Upon his demise, the Genetics Society of Canada had established the Huskins Memorial lecture to honor his work in the field of genetics.