Michael R. Hayden

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Michael R Hayden
Alma materHarvard University
University of Cape Town
AwardsHumanitarian Award (2020)
Inductee, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (2017)
Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award (2011)
Order of Canada (2010)
Order of British Columbia (2009)
Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year - Biomedical and Clinical Research, Canadian Institutes for Health Research CIHR (2008)
Scientific career
FieldsMedical genetics, human genetics, personalized medicine
InstitutionsCentre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Child & Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia
British Columbia's Children's Hospital
British Columbia's Children's Hospital
Provincial Health Services Authority

Michael R. Hayden, CM OBC FRSC[1] is a Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, the highest honour UBC can confer on any faculty member. Only 4 such awards have ever been conferred in the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Hayden is also Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine. Hayden is best known for his research in Huntington disease (HD).

He is a Senior Scientist and former director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; a genetic research centre within UBC's Faculty of Medicine and affiliated with the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute and the BC Children's Hospital Foundation, which he founded. He was also the Program Director of the Translational Laboratory in Genetic Medicine in Singapore from 2011-2020, and was appointed as the President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries from 2012–2017.[2][3] During this time, approximately 35 new products were approved in major markets with many for diseases of the CNS and led the approval of Austedo for chorea in HD, the second drug ever to be approved for HD. In 2015, Teva R&D was recognized as one of the 10 most exciting innovators in Pharma by IDEA Pharma and in 2017, Teva R&D ranked top of the industry for CNS development and clinical trial success by Pharma Intelligence.

Hayden is the most cited author in the world for Huntington disease and ABCA1, and has authored over 900 publications and invited submissions (Google Scholar citations 92,642, h-index 153, i10-index 739;[4] Web of Science citations 61,616, h-index 120).

In 2007, he received the Prix Galien which recognizes the outstanding contribution of a researcher to Canadian pharmaceutical research; in 2008, recognition from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as Canada's Health Researcher of the Year: CIHR Michael Smith Prizes in Health Research.[5] In 2010, he was awarded Member of the Order of Canada,[6] following his receipt of the Order of British Columbia in 2009. Hayden received the Canada Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award[7] in 2011, recognizing him as a physician-scientist who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in medicine and medical science. He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2017.[8] Most recently in 2020, Hayden was awarded the David Dubinsky Humanitarian Award from the American Friends of Soroka Medical Center (AFSMC). In addition to his academic work, Hayden is the co-founder of five biotechnology companies including: Prilenia, NeuroVir Therapeutics Inc., Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corp and 89Bio and the CEO of Prilenia Therapeutics. He currently sits on different public and private boards of biotechnologies companies.


Hayden was born in Cape Town, South Africa, one of Ann Platt's and Roger Hayden's two sons. His paternal grandfather, Max Raphael Hahn (German), was an entrepreneur, art collector and chairman of the Jewish community in Göttingen, Germany. His father, originally named Rudolf (Rudi) Hahn, fled to London in 1939, enlisted in the British army and fought during World War II, and eventually settled in South Africa in 1947.[9][10] After the divorce of his parents, when he was eight, Hayden was raised by his single mother.[1] He originally planned on becoming a lawyer but instead opted for medical school, as he soon realized that as a lawyer he would not be able to bring about much change. In 1975, he graduated from the University of Cape Town as the top graduate in medicine, where he also received his PhD in Genetics (1979). He completed a post-doctoral fellowship and further training in Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Michael is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Clinical Genetics. He moved to Canada and joined the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1983 from the Children's Hospital in Boston, a teaching arm of Harvard Medical School.[citation needed]

He is married and has four children.


Hayden's research focus is primarily on genetic diseases, including genetics of lipoprotein disorders, Huntington disease, predictive medicine, personalized medicine and drug development. Along with his research team, Hayden has identified 10 disease-causing genes, which includes the identification of the major gene underlying high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in humans. This gene, known as ABCA1, has major implications for atherosclerosis and diabetes. Hayden also identified the first mutations underlying Lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPL) and developed gene therapy approaches to treat this condition, the first approved gene therapy in the western world. He is also co-leader of the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety project, a BC-led Genome Canada-funded, national strategy to prevent adverse drug reactions.[citation needed]


OBC ribbon

Since 2010

  • 2020- David Dubinsky Humanitarian Award, American Friends of Soroka Medical Center (AFSMC)[11]
  • 2017- Inductee, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame[12]
  • 2015- One of 100 most inspirational and influential persons in Pharma by PharmaVoice[13]
  • 2014- Honorary Doctor of Medicine, University of Göttingen[14]
  • 2014- Luminary of the Year, Personalized Medicine World Conference[15]
  • 2013- Named one of 50 Canadians born in the 20th century who have changed the world in a book by Ken McGoogan (including Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Leonard Cohen, Oscar Peterson and John Kenneth Galbraith)[16]
  • 2012- The Diamond Jubilee Medal, on behalf of HRH Queen Elizabeth II given in recognition of significant contributions and achievements.[17]
  • 2011- Champion of Genetics, The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation (CGCF)
  • 2011- Killam Prize, Canada Council of the Arts, given in recognition of outstanding career achievements.[18]
  • 2011- Aubrey J. Tingle Prize, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research[19]
  • 2011- Margolese National Prize, University of British Columbia[20]
  • 2011- Canada Gairdner Wightman, Gairdner Foundation[21]
  • 2011- Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence, LifeSciences British Columbia[22]
  • 2010- Order of Canada[23]
  • 2010- Jacob Biely Faculty Research Prize, University of British Columbia

Art and Science[edit]

In 2002, Hayden was part of the cast of the documentary Chasing the Cure which discussed treatments for widespread killer-heart disease, cancer, and bacterial poisoning and how research findings will change the face of medicine in the next 20 years.[24]

Hayden appears in the 2012 documentary movie Do You Really Want to Know? directed by John Zaritsky. In the film, Hayden describes his professional relationship and friendship with Huntington's disease family member and researcher Jeff Carroll and the process of guiding Carroll and his five siblings through genetic testing for the mutation that causes Huntington's.[25]

Hayden is also a subject in the 2013 documentary, "Alive & Well", directed by Josh Taft. In the film, he discusses his mission to find a cure for Huntington's disease.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Claudia Cornwall (Apr 1, 2008). "Michael Hayden: In The Genes". BCBusiness..
  2. ^ Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. (2012). "Dr. Michael Hayden". Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. Archived from the original on 2012-08-23. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  3. ^ George, John (21 July 2014). "Teva completes deal for second migraine-treatment developer". Phila. Bus. J. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Michael Hayden - Google Scholar Citations". scholar.google.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  5. ^ CIHR (2012). "Michael Hayden". Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Archived from the original on 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  6. ^ Marie-Eve Letourneau (December 30, 2010). "Appointments to the Order of Canada". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  7. ^ Gairdner Foundation (2011). "Michael Hayden". Canada Gairdner Foundation. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  8. ^ "Induction Ceremony | Canadian Medical Hall of Fame". cdnmedhall.org. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  9. ^ Anna Silman (June 22, 2015). "How One of the World's Leading Geneticists Recovered His Family's Stolen Legacy". Tablet.
  10. ^ "German Jewish family recovers their history and family treasures". Cape Jewish Chronicle. March 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "Michael Hayden receives Soroka Humanitarian Award | UBC Faculty of Medicine". www.med.ubc.ca/news. Retrieved 2021-11-04. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  12. ^ "ANNOUNCING THE 2017 INDUCTEES | Canadian Medical Hall of Fame". cdnmedhall.org. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  13. ^ "ANNOUNCING THE 2017 INDUCTEES | Canadian Medical Hall of Fame". cdnmedhall.org. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  14. ^ "BC Children's Hospital Research Institute". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  15. ^ "Personalized Medicine World Conference Luminary Award Granted to Dr. Michael Hayden". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  16. ^ Archipelago, World. "50 Canadians Who Changed The World - Ken McGoogan - eBook". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  17. ^ http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14019&lan=eng
  18. ^ http://canadacouncil.ca/council/news-room/news/2011/killam-prizes-(2011)
  19. ^ "Dr. Michael Hayden awarded Aubrey J. Tingle Prize | Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research". www.msfhr.org. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  20. ^ 21, Media Release | April; 2011 (2011-04-21). "UBC recognizes two Canadian medical researchers with $50,000 prizes". UBC News. Retrieved 2017-03-31.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Gairdner Foundation | Index of Winners". gairdner.org. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  22. ^ 5, March; 2013 (2013-03-05). "UBC members recognized in Life Sciences BC awards". UBC News. Retrieved 2017-03-31.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ General, The Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "The Governor General of Canada". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  24. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483839/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt
  25. ^ "Do You Really Want To Know? Official homepage". Retrieved 2 February 2013.

External links[edit]