2012 INDUCTEE Lap-Chee Tsui, PhD Cells, Genetics & Genomics


December 21, 1950

(Shanghai, China)


MD, University of Pittsburgh (1979)

Awards & Honours:

2014: Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research

2011: Gold Bauhinia Star

See All Awards
Picture Lap-Chee Tsui

Identified the gene that causes cystic fibrosis

Portrait of Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui

A pioneering leader in the field of genomics

Driven by a commitment to science, and a creative approach to difficult problems, Lap-Chee Tsui has made extraordinary contributions to science through his discoveries and is a leader in developing the field of genomics both in Canada and internationally. The decade-long march to discover the cystic fibrosis gene began when he arrived in Canada and applied a new theory called genetic linkage to map the most common inherited disease affecting Caucasians: cystic fibrosis. The work of Lap-Chee Tsui, in collaboration with Dr. John Riordan at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and Dr. Francis Collins at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Michigan, led to mapping the CF gene to chromosome 7.

Key Facts

The search for the cystic fibrosis gene was one of the most closely watched endeavours in all of science

The discovery of the cystic fibrosis gene has been described as the most significant breakthrough in human genetics in 50 years

The three articles that announced the discovery of the cystic fibrosis gene have become “citation classics”

Became a leader in the Human Genome Project in Canada and the world

Developed the world’s best genetic map of chromosome 7, which is known to have disease causing mutations

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

Building on the foundational work completed in the discovery of the CF gene, Lap-Chee Tsui has remained a leading figure in CF research. The identification of the CF gene provides hope for diagnosis and treatment and his work on mapping Chromosome 7 has led to further discoveries by his group in Toronto and by many collaborators around the world. His laboratory also developed the free-chromatin mapping method and pioneered other techniques that have made a huge impact in genomics. His successful legacy will not only be measured as a researcher but also in shaping future leaders of human genetics research.

Picture of Lap-Chee Tsui


  • Photo of Lap-Chee Tsui at Induction

    Lap-Chee Tsui inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Toronto, Ontario

  • Named one of the Ten Giants of Science by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto

  • Recognized for his significant contributions to human genetics, appointed Associate Editor of the American Journal of Human Genetics

    Later, Dr. Tsui also became the Director of the American Society of Human Genetics.

  • The discovery of the CFTR gene defective in cystic fibrosis was published in three foundational papers

    Cells, Genetics & Genomics

  • Joined the Hospital for Sick Children’s Department of Genetics and Research Institute as well as became a faculty member of the Department of Medical Genetics and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto

  • After graduating from the University of Pittsburg with a PhD in biological sciences, came to Canada as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Genetics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto


He is an insightful, creative and scientific visionary.