Dr. Eaves is a world authority on stem cells with translational impact on bone marrow transplantation treatments for leukemia and breast cancer.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame celebrates Canadian heroes whose work advances heath in Canada and the world, and fosters future generations of health professionals through the delivery of local and national youth education programs, scholarships and awards.
"Upon initial notification of this totally unexpected and enormous honour, I was truly overwhelmed. My first thought was that it really recognizes a huge team effort over several decades, and the seminal importance of fundamental research to progress in medicine," said Dr. Eaves. "Of course, it did not escape my notice that it will also serve as a potent indicator that the achievements of women in science can come to the fore."
"Dr. Eaves has made major scientific contributions in our understanding of normal and cancer stem cells, a type of cells that can develop in multiple types of different cells and can renew normal tissues or blood components. These calls are incredibly important in our understanding of how cancers develop," commented BC Cancer vice president of research Dr. François Bénard. "She is a role model for our scientists and trainees. BC Cancer is very proud of her contributions to drive science to help patients affected by cancer."
Dr. Eaves is a world authority on stem cells of the blood-forming system and their regulation in normal and perturbed states. Spanning four decades, her work has advanced curative therapies for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and identified "quiescent" CML stem cells, the first recognition of this cellular state as a hallmark of many types of chemo-resistant cancer stem cells. The full import of this discovery has yet to be fully realized with continuing implications for ongoing cancer research.
Dr. Eaves has also pioneered robust methods for quantifying primitive hematopoietic and mammary cells from both mice and humans that have become 'gold standards' and the basis of standardized reagents with significant commercial applications.
Dr. Eaves has served as president of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, associate scientific director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network and president of the International Society of Experimental Hematology. She has published more than 500 papers, mentored more than 100 post-graduate trainees and received numerous national and international awards and honours. She is currently editor-in-chief of the journal Experimental Hematology.
Dr. Eaves and the other five 2019 inductees will be celebrated at a ceremony on May 2, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec. Inductees are showcased in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame virtual hall at www.cdnmedhall.org and at an exhibit hall in London, Ontario.
She has previously been recognized with the 2018 Tobias Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research, the 2016 Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research from the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Medicine and, with her husband Dr. Allen Eaves, Canadian Blood Services' 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award.