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Associated Alumni

Alumni Award of Distinction

Recognizing the significant contributions made by alumni to their local communities and beyond for which they have been recognized regionally, nationally or internationally.

Dr. Blake Gilks (BSc ’81)

Dr. Blake Gilks

Dr. Blake Gilks is a world-leading researcher in gynecological cancers and is a highly respected mentor. A Fredericton native, Dr. Gilks received a Bachelor of Science from UNB in 1981, before completing medical school at Dalhousie University and specialist training in anatomical pathology at the University of British Columbia.  His ties to UNB run deep, sharing alumni status with his two brothers and his wife, who he met while studying at UNB.

In addition to being a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the UBC, he is also a pathologist at Vancouver General Hospital, Interim Medical Director of Laboratories for the Vancouver Coastal Health region and President-Elect of the International Society of Gynecological Pathology.

Gilk’s discoveries have shaped the understanding and treatment of a variety of cancers globally. In particular, his demonstration that ovarian cancer is actually five different diseases, with different causes, genetic risk factors, patterns of spread, response to treatment and patient outcomes, is reflected in the World Health Organization and has led to improved treatments in women with the disease.

Not only is Gilks the co-founder of three different organizations devoted to facilitating the research of others and to improving cancer diagnosis and treatment, but he also established the Canadian Immunohistochemistry Quality Control Program (CIQC) along with several colleagues. This program has grown to serve more than 100 Canadian laboratories and has made astounding improvements on the quality of hospital cancer diagnosis.

Throughout his life and career, Gilks remarkable accomplishments have been an inspiration to his family, students and trainees.