Please Enter a Search Term

Inaugural John Lewis Paton Award for Dr. Patrick Parfrey

By Meaghan Whelan | Dec. 19, 2013

Dr. Patrick Parfrey’s outstanding legacy of teaching, research and public engagement has been recognized with Memorial University’s newest and most prestigious award for faculty.

The John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship, named after the founding president of Memorial University College, recognizes faculty members who over the course of their careers make extraordinary contributions across the continuum of teaching and learning, research and public engagement.

“Dr. Parfrey is an outstanding scholar and the ideal choice for the inaugural John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor. “He is an accomplished educator and an outstanding community leader.  His research has improved the lives of people world-wide. He has also mentored and inspired scores of medical and graduate students and he has helped improve health care delivery throughout the province.”

IDr. Patrick Parfrey, inaugural recipient of the John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorshipn supporting Dr. Parfrey’s nomination, Dr. Johannes Mann, professor of medicine at Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen and chief of medicine at Munich General Hospitals in Germany, wrote: “Dr. Parfrey’s original contributions to nephrology more often than not led us to re-write textbooks. In many aspects of daily patient care, nephrologist world-wide refer to his seminal papers. I do not exaggerate that I am using his papers daily on my teaching rounds.”

Dr. Parfrey’s research has had a global impact on the management of cardiac disease in chronic kidney disease, treatment in end-stage kidney disease, hepatitis in end-stage kidney disease, contrast media induced acute kidney disease and inherited cystic disease of the kidney. He played a lead role in global randomized controlled trials of therapies in chronic kidney disease. He has led or collaborated in national/international interdisciplinary research teams that have determined the molecular genetic bases of cystic diseases, arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy and colorectal cancer.

Over the last 30 years, Dr. Parfrey has been an educator and mentor in Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine in the undergraduate and graduate programs.  He has trained more than 50 post-graduate students in the clinical epidemiology program that he helped found, and past students have credited him with helping them develop critical thinking and communication skills. Geoff Warden, PhD candidate and medical student, said this about his mentor: “Dr. Parfrey teaches his students to develop a critical mind by pointing his students in the right direction, but allowing them to make connections and draw their own conclusions. His use of real-life examples in the classroom leave indelible lessons.”

In public engagement, he has provided evidence to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador that changed multiple health-care delivery policies.  His expertise and advice has influenced policy decisions for the allocation of long-term care beds, acute hospital sector restructuring, drug utilization and other interventions to improve healthcare delivery.

Dr. Parfrey holds a University Research Professorship from Memorial University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. He has received the Canadian Society Nephrology Award for Outstanding Service, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was named Officer to the Order of Canada in 2004.

“Although this award validates the work that I have undertaken since coming to Memorial in 1984 it was all predicated on the contributions of multiple altruistic collaborators across multiple disciplines who wanted to answer research questions of relevance to patients,” said Dr. Parfrey.

The John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship was formally awarded to Dr. Parfrey at the president’s awards ceremony on Dec. 12, 2013.

At that time, Dr. Kachanoski recognixed all of Memorial University’s outstanding educators, researchers and staff members for 2013.

The president’s awards recognize excellence in teaching, research, service and community service. The awards are announced annually and will be formally presented at a ceremony in December.

Dr. Christopher Parrish, Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, and Dr. Graham Bodwell, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, have been named University Research Professors.

University Research Professor is a designation above the rank of professor. The title is the most prestigious award the university gives for research, and goes to a faculty member who has demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is of a truly international stature. 

The President’s Award for Outstanding Research will be presented to Dr. John Sandlos, Department of History, Faculty of Arts, and Dr. Faisal Khan, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The President's Award for Outstanding Research recognizes young researchers who have made significant contributions to their scholarly disciplines. 

The President’s Award for Exceptional Community Service will be presented to Patricia Bryant, Health Sciences Centre Library. This award is presented in recognition of employees (faculty or staff) who have demonstrated outstanding community service.

Dr. Lisa Rankin, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, will be honoured with the President's Award for Outstanding Graduate and Postgraduate Supervision which recognizes exemplary efforts to foster success in the research and scholarship of their graduate or postgraduate students and to advance students' success in their profession.

The President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, recognizing teaching excellence in the university community, will be presented to Dr. Eric Gill, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Other teaching awards – for outstanding teaching -- recognize remarkable efforts in the classroom by a faculty members with five to 10 years of service to the university, and lecturers and instructional staff with a minimum of five course sections taught.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (Faculty) will be awarded to Dr. Tom Cooper, Faculty of Business Administration.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (Lecturers and Instructional Staff) will be presented to Sébastien Després, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Arts.

The President’s Awards for Exemplary Service will be awarded to five noteworthy Memorial community members. They are Gwen Hanson, senior staff accountant,

Financial and Administrative Services; Paul Kavanagh, custodian, Facilities Management; Bernadette Power, senior administrative officer, Faculty of Education; Wayne Rose, director, Finance and Operations, Student Affairs and Services; and Heather Wareham, archivist, Maritime History Archive.

The President's Award for Exemplary Service is presented to employees who have demonstrated outstanding service and/or who have made significant contributions to the university community beyond that normally expected for their positions.  

The president’s award ceremony took place on Dec. 12 in Innovation Hall, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, St. John’s campus.