Henry G Friesen, CC MD FRSC FCAHS

Henry Friesen
(Photo: Friends of CIHR)

Henry Friesen is an internationally renowned endocrinologist best known for the discovery of human prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates lactation in mammary glands and plays an important role in infertility and reproductive disorders.

He was president of the former Medical Research Council of Canada from 1991 until 2000 when it became the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

He won the Canada Gairdner International Award in 1977 “in recognition of his contributions to the understanding of the biochemistry, physiology and pathophysiology of lactogenic hormones and, in particular, for the identification of human prolactin,” and the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award in 2001 for ” his leadership to Canadian medical research and especially for leading to the establishment of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.”

He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987 and was promoted to Companion in 2001. He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2001.

Dr Friesen received grants from the Banting Research Foundation in 1966 and 1972 while at McGill University and in 1973 at the University of Manitoba. He says, “I will always be grateful for the support for my research provided by the Banting Research Foundation at the early stage of my career.”