Aled Edwards Honored as Officer of the Order of Canada for his contribution to Open Science Drug Discovery

Government General Mary Simon has announced 53 new Order of Canada appointments- one of Canada’s highest honours. This prestigious recognition celebrates individuals from diverse backgrounds for their outstanding contributions to Canada.

Established in 1067, the Order of Canada acknowledges remarkable achievements, dedication to the community and service to the nation, with over 7,600 people spanning various sectors invested in making a difference in Canada.

Among the 12 Officers who showed continued exceptional or extraordinary service to the country, is Aled Edwards. Aled serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and the Temerty Nexus Chair of Health Innovation and Technology at the University of Toronto.

Aled’s elevation within the Order is a result of his collaborative leadership and innovation. According to Rideau Hall, Edwards received a promotion to Officer, receiving the honour "For bolstering Canada’s reputation in the global scientific and innovation communities with his conception of the role of open science in drug discovery.”

Internationally recognized for his expertise in structural biology, chemical biology, drug discovery, and science policy, Aled Edwards has led and established extensive, complex, public-private partnerships. Among these is the SGC, which is arguably the longest-running and most well-known pre-competitive partnership in drug discovery.

He has also played a pivotal role in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Structure-Guided Drug Discovery Coalition, which was instrumental in leading the 2019 Medicines for Malaria Ventures Drug Discovery Project of the Year. Additionally, he is highly contributing to YCharOS, a Canadian open access company which earned the 2021 Irv and Helga Cooper International Open Science Prize.

Aled’s accomplishments extend to his tenure as the founding CEO and CSO of Affinium Pharmaceuticals, which successfully developed the antibiotic afabicin, one of only six novel antibiotics in the global late-stage discovery pipeline. His valuable insights and leadership have further benefited the scientific community, including his service on the National Research Council during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he published influential papers on pandemic preparedness.

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