The 2019 winner of the $250,000 Dr. Rogers Prize, Dr. Bonnie J. Kaplan, PhD was announced at a gala award dinner held in Vancouver, BC on September 26th, 2019. Dr. Kaplan is a Professor Emerita in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. In the late 1990’s, she challenged the conventional model of psychiatric research by studying the role of nutrition in mental illness and brain disorders. She dealt with skepticism and attacks on her work for over fifteen years, resolutely meeting and exceeding calls for evidence. Her research provided the initial ground-breaking data showing that treatment with a broad spectrum of micronutrients, carefully formulated, could be used instead of psychotropic drugs to treat a range of mental disorders. She is widely published and lectures around the world on the importance of improving nutrient intake to prevent and treat psychiatric symptoms.
The evening’s keynote address was presented by Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD. Dr Fasano is Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center (MIBRC) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Dr. Fasano’s group was responsible for the discovery of zonulin in 2000, a protein involved in the regulation of tight junctions, which is released in conditions of dysbiosis. Current research directed by Dr. Fasano is focused on the basic science of the gut microbiome and intestinal mucosal biology, as well as translational science focused on interventional clinical trials in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
The Dr. Rogers Prize is awarded biennially at an Award Gala Dinner in Vancouver, BC to celebrate the achievements of individuals who have impacted the practice and progress of health care. Past keynote speakers have included Dr. Helene Langevin, Director of the Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine (Harvard Medical School); Dr. Jeffrey Bland, author of The Disease Delusion; Dr. Irving Kirsch, author of The Emperor’s New Drugs, and Dr. Wayne Jonas, former CEO and President of the Samueli Institute.