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Two members of the McGill community were given the province's highest honour this month. Graduate and benefactor Lorne Trottier and Professor Frederick Andermann were both named Prix du Québec winners at a ceremony in Quebec City on November 18.
Andermann, the director of the Epilepsy Clinic Office at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), won the Prix Wilder-Penfield for biomedical research.
Andermann is an internationally recognized expert on epilepsy, with more than 400 publications to his credit. He was pleased to receive the award, named after the founder of the MNI.
"I think the Penfield award is doubly meaningful to me, because he was still active when I appeared on the scene here, and we had a very good personal relationship," said Andermann.
In 1970 Andermann, along with his wife, Eva, described what is now known as Andermann's syndrome, a neurological disorder found primarily in the Lac-St-Jean and Charlevoix regions of Quebec.
The disorder is a neurodegenerative disease that impairs mobility early in life, and leads to a shortened lifespan. It can be detected by the time children are one or two years old, and their physical and mental abilities deteriorate over time. By adolescence, most patients are confined to a wheelchair, and they generally don't live past their 30s or 40s.
Despite the recognition, Andermann remains modest about his accomplishments.
"[The award] is more than myself, it reflects on the whole institution and the whole crew of people who are working in this field here," he said.
Lorne Trottier won the Prix Lionel-Boulet for leadership in scientific advancement.
The McGill Engineering graduate (BEng'70, MEng'73) is co-founder of Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd., and the president of Matrox Graphics Inc., a privately held Montreal-based graphic chip designer and imaging hardware and software manufacturer. Three years ago he pledged up to $10 million to construct the new building that bears his name on University Street.