Nelly Auersperg

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Nelly Auersperg, PhD’68

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Nelly Auersperg is a pioneer of gynecological cancer research who has focused her career on advancing the medical community’s ability to detect ovarian cancer at its early stages. In 1974, when she received the first of many research grants from the Canadian Cancer Society, few others were studying the disease. This dearth of research meant that Dr. Auersperg needed to develop many of the tools used to study the cancer in vitro herself, leading to discoveries that have increased our understanding of the disease and led to promising new possibilities for treatment and survival.

Throughout her career, Nelly has been a prolific researcher and author, with more than 190 refereed journal articles and more than 11 book chapters to her name. She has also been a remarkable teacher, mentoring more than 60 graduate and post-graduate students over the years. Many of those who benefited from her tutelage have forged successful research careers of their own.

Nelly’s incredible achievements have not gone unrecognized by her peers or society at large. In 2008, Simon Fraser University awarded her with an honorary degree and in 2007 she received the UBC Faculty of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1985 she was named a Terry Fox Research Scientist and in 2003 the BC Women’s Hospital established the Nelly Auersperg Award in Women’s Health Research.

Nelly’s work continued long after her official retirement from UBC in 1994. In fact, she held research grants and carried out experiments for another 15 years, and published her most recent article in early 2011. She remains an honorary professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UBC, a trailblazing figure in ovarian cancer research, and a trusted mentor to a new generation of researchers.


Do you know someone who has made a difference? This is your chance to give them the recognition they deserve.

Nominations for the 2012 Alumni Achievement Awards are now open. Find out more about the nomination process and nominate an outstanding individual today.

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