Alumni Achievement Award 2017 – Dr. Patrick Brill-Edwards

Leading a new conversation in health and well-being

Dr. Patrick Brill-Edwards

A 1979 graduate of the Kinesiology program, and a trained medical doctor, Patrick Brill-Edwards joined Merck, the company behind Gardasil – the vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) – in 2001, when the vaccine had not yet been granted licensure. Brill-Edwards joined the team that was instrumental in bringing Gardasil to market as an almost 100 percent effective agent in preventing disease caused by HPV, including the second most common cancer among women worldwide – cervical cancer, over the ensuing five years. The vaccine is reducing the burden of illness and, in turn, saving lives.

Prior to his time at Merck, Dr. Brill-Edwards served and advanced in a number of positions at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, including as Deputy Chairman in McMaster University’s Department of Medicine; Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program; and a clinical investigator as an Associate Professor at McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Besides being a recognized health sciences leader, he is also well-published with a particular interest in thrombosis and thrombotic complications of pregnancy.

Most of all, Dr. Brill-Edwards is a true pioneer. Given that women’s health, and women’s sexual health in particular, has not received requisite attention in parts of the world for far too long, Dr. Brill-Edwards and his colleagues challenged previously-held beliefs, broke boundaries and reduced stigmas toward improved health. In doing so, he is leading a new conversation, including in sexual health and disease prevention, which will inspire the next generation of health leaders to make other transformative impacts towards a healthier world for all. This commitment aligns with the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences’ focus since its founding fifty years ago:  innovative, multi-disciplinary approaches to health and well-being.