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GGIA Laureates Dr. Kobinger and Dr. Qiu discover a treatment for Ebola

Woman standing at podium receiving award

Photo credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall. © OSGG, 2018

by Governor General's Innovation Awards
Jul 20, 2018
Winnipeg, MB

Governor General’s Innovation Awards Laureates 2018

Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and Dr. Gary Kobinger discovered a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus and were awarded the 2018 Governor General’s Innovation Award for their accomplishments.

At the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Dr. Qiu and Dr. Gary Kobinger, studied antibodies that had already been tested and found ineffective in other studies. Despite facing criticism, Dr. Qiu and Dr. Kobinger were finally able to prove their theory and cure patients during the West Africa Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and Dr. Gary Kobinger combined three antibodies to fight the Ebola virus and the treatment was developed into a drug called ZMapp. In 2014, the treatment was given to 28 patients with the infection and 25 of them made a complete recovery. In addition to Ebola, ZMapp is now formulating similar research against other infectious diseases like HIV.

“So many labs are developing antibody therapies for other diseases,” Dr. Qiu says. “I’m very happy. It’s not just that we found a cure for Ebola, but our work is having an impact on the whole scientific community. It has become a blueprint for treating those other infectious diseases.”

Read more about Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and Dr. Gary Kobinger’s innovation in our Partner booklet with Public Policy Forum and view a video description of their ZMapp innovation.

Governor General of Canada presenting award to winner
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette presents Dr. Xiangguo Qiu creator of the Zmapp with her 2018 Governor General’s Innovation Award. Photo credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall. © OSGG, 2018