Gordon Guyatt awarded Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research

headshot of Gordon Guyatt in a red shirt against a grey backdrop.

Distinguished University Professor Gordon Guyatt coined the phrase Evidence-Based-Medicine, now a global standard.

Distinguished McMaster University professor Gordon Guyatt has been awarded the prestigious 2024 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research. 

Guyatt, a professor with the department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact in the Faculty of Health Sciences, helped pioneer the development of evidence-based medicine at McMaster. 

“I am honoured to receive this prize,” said Guyatt, one of the world’s most-cited living scientists. 

“The Friesen award is unique in that it comes with the obligation — to me, the opportunity — of delivering a series of lectures across Canada. I remain passionate about getting the message out and will surely enjoy the experience.”  

The Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research is awarded to individuals who demonstrate exceptional innovation and leadership in health research. It comes with a $35,000 cash prize and the opportunity to deliver a public lecture at a prominent Canadian academic institution. 

As this year’s winner, Guyatt will also be interviewed by CBC Radio One’s IDEAS. 

“Dr. Guyatt’s contributions to the health-care landscape in Canada and around the globe are remarkable in scope, influence and perpetuity. His international stature in the clinical health-care arena continues to grow, placing him in the context of other giants in applied health-care research,” says Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences. “Many congratulations to Gordon.” 

Guyatt has published more than 1,800 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Overall, his work has been cited, according to the Web of Science, more than 206,000 times and, according to Google Scholar, more than 560,000 times. 

Guyatt was the lead editor for the “Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature,” a guide aimed at helping clinicians integrate the principles of evidence-based medicine into their clinical practice.

He also played a key role as the lead methodologist in the creation of 19 COVID-19 guidelines, which were developed in partnership with the World Health Organization and the MAGIC (Making GRADE the Irresistible Choice) initiative. “GRADE” refers to a systematic approach to rating the quality of evidence and grading strength of recommendation that Guyatt played a key role in developing and is now used by over 110 organizations worldwide including the WHO, the Cochrane Collaboration, and UpToDate.  

The annual award is named in honour of a distinguished Canadian endocrinologist renowned for his pioneering contributions to health research and policy. It was established by the Friends of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2005. 

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