Biomedical engineering pioneer receives international award

Brash%2CJohn-McMaster-cropped.jpeHAMILTON – Professor John Brash, PEng, director of the School of Biomedical Engineering at McMaster University, is given the Founders Award by the Society for Biomaterials at its annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Professor Brash receives the honour for his more than 40 years of research, leading to the development of life-saving devices such as prosthetic heart valves, vascular stents and grafts, heart-assist devices, and heart-lung bypass systems. In the process, he has helped to establish Canada as a biomaterials leader.
“I am honoured and humbled to receive this award given the calibre of past recipients,” says Prof. Brash. “Much of the recognition must be shared with the numerous colleagues, peers, and students I have been fortunate to have worked with over the years.”
Prof. Brash is just the second Canadian to receive the prestigious award, of which only 14 have been presented since it was established in 1987. Michael Sefton, U of T professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry, received the award in 2008.
“[Professor Brash’s] seminal literature contributions have guided the work of countless biomaterials scientists, including me,” says Heather Sheardown, associate professor of chemical engineering at McMaster. “Another of John’s important contributions is in the training of a new generation of biomaterials scientists who have gone on to work in academia and industry, continuing to advance the field and carrying with them a passion ignited during their time in the Brash lab.”
Prof. Brash joined McMaster in 1972 from Stanford Research Institute, where he’d been since 1964 after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the National Research Council of Canada. He received his BSc in 1958 from the University of Glasgow, where he also earned his PhD in applied chemistry three years later. He served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMasterMcMaster_Engineering-cropped.jpg from 1997 to 2000. He has published several books and received numerous awards, including the Clemson Award for Basic Research and the R.S. Jane Memorial Award from the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and served as president of the Canadian Biomaterials Society from 1986 to 1988.
Prof. Brash’s discoveries have been incorporated into the technology of some of Canada’s most successful biomedical companies, including Toronto-based Interface Biologics Inc. and Angiotech Inc. in Vancouver.

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