An exemplary builder in health research and innovation and committed global health advocate
As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Dirks has made major contributions in renal physiology and served in leadership positions in medical faculties across Canada. He has also nurtured his interest in international health at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan. But the transformation of the Gairdner Foundation and its international awards program stands as Dr. Dirks’ most enduring work. The Gairdner Awards (recently renamed the Canada Gairdner Awards) acknowledge the best and most important research accomplishments in biomedical science. With imagination and persistence, Dr. Dirks brought radical changes to the organization that raised the international profile of the awards and ensured the continued significant impact of the award for years to come.