Professor Emerita Gillian Wu recipient of John D. Reynolds Award

Kinesiology & Health Science Professor Emerita Gillian Wu has been awarded the prestigious John D. Reynolds Award from the Canadian Society for Immunology (CSI).

Gillian Wu
Gillian Wu

Wu will receive the award at the upcoming CSI conference in Ottawa, running April 1 to 4.

The award is named in honor of Dr. John D. Reynolds, who served the CSI for more than 20 years in multiple capacities, including as councilor and president. In addition to these contributions, the award is designed honor him for his creative technological leadership that led the CSI into the 21st Century in conference and membership management. It was his volunteer service that pushed the CSI to the forefront Internationally.

The John D. Reynolds award is given to a long-term member of CSI for their exceptional service to the CSI in multiple capacities. It was created to recognize immunology scientists who, through their volunteer service, have aided the CSI in fulfilling its mandate to foster and support immunology research and education throughout Canada.

“I am very proud to be honoured with the John D. Reynolds Award,” said Wu, who has worked with the CSI since 1986 and remains an active member.

Wu says during her time with the CSI, mentoring a new generation of immunologists in the society is what she is most proud of – and likely the reason for her nomination.

She attended her first CSI annual meeting in 1987 and has attended all but one since, and has served the CSI in many hierarchical positions.

“But for me, as important as our research results have been, the results of the supervisory roles, the committees, boards, and societies in which I have served have made me most proud and grateful,” she said. “Looking back, by far my most valued memories focus on mentoring and seeing accomplishments of my trainees, my colleagues, the boards and committees I served on, and the societies in which I played a role.”

Wu earned a BSc at McMaster, an MSc in medical biophysics at U of T (the first woman to graduate from this program) and later a PhD. During her career, she joined the Basel Institute for Immunology in Switzerland, where she focused research in the emerging field of molecular immunology. From there, she became a professor in the newly formed Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto in 1986.

Wu joined York University as Dean of Science and Engineering in 2001 with the mandate to develop a Faculty of Engineering, and build up the health and biological sciences.