null David Rosenblatt receives Garrod Association Pioneer Award
A senior scientist at the RI-MUHC, Dr. Rosenblatt is a preeminent world expert in the area of the genetics of vitamin B12
(Source: Health E-News.) David Rosenblatt, MDCM, professor in the departments of Human Genetics, Medicine, Pediatrics and Biology at McGill University, and senior scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Garrod Association’s Pioneer Award, in recognition of his many contributions to the field of inherited metabolic diseases in Canada.
“It is an honour for me to be recognized by my peers in Canada,” says Dr. Rosenblatt. “It is indeed a privilege to be listed alongside the previous Pioneer Awardees of the Garrod Association.”
A member of the Child Health and Human Development Program at the RI-MUHC, Dr. Rosenblatt is the preeminent world expert in the area of the genetics of vitamin B12. Using highly selected patients and taking advantage of changing technologies, he has provided basic biological insights and novel approaches to diagnosis. His research is a classic example of how the study of patients with rare diseases can lead to important generalizable biological discoveries. Through complex genetic analyses of patients with specific biochemical abnormalities, he defined the genetic pathway essential for B12’s activities, enabling a mechanistic understanding of its metabolism and related inherited diseases.
Dr. Rosenblatt’s laboratory is one of two in the world – and the only one in North America – for the genetic analysis of patients suspected of having an inherited B12-related disease. His studies have revealed the genetic pathway required for B12 processing, and guided specific therapies for patients in each group. In a series of outstanding papers over several decades, this research established Dr. Rosenblatt as one of the leading geneticists and physicians in world of this clinically and biologically important field.
Due to the discoveries by Dr. Rosenblatt, patients with genetic diseases affecting B12 can be detected by newborn screening for metabolites and confirmed by next generation gene panels for rapid diagnosis prior to developing symptoms. Diagnoses that in the past could take months to establish may now be made within a few days. Optimal treatment is achieved by this early pre-symptomatic screening and diagnosis. Previously, patients with severe symptoms were often diagnosed too late for good outcomes; for couples at high risk, pre-implantation diagnosis followed by in vitro fertilization is now possible.
Dr. Rosenblatt has a distinguished record of service and leadership that has been recognized both in Canada and internationally. He has taught and mentored several generations of geneticists who have now established their own careers. During his time as Chair, Dr. Rosenblatt transformed the Department of Human Genetics at McGill UniveDersity, implementing his vision of basic research that has a direct impact on patient care.
Congratulations Dr. Rosenblatt!
July 20, 2022