Wallace, Dr. John L.

2001 Winner: Outstanding Leadership In Alberta Science

Dr. John Wallace of the University of Calgary has gained international acclaim for his numerous achievements in medical research. He has a passionate interest in the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs that help prevent the formation of ulcers in the digestive system and is considered a world leader in his field.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example “aspirin”, are used for the treatment of arthritis, various types of pain and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. These drugs, although extremely effective and successful over the years, have also been known to cause ulcers in the stomach and intestine. Dr. Wallace set out to develop a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs. In collaboration with two Italian colleagues, he designed a new type of NSAID that would slowly release nitric oxide. This breakthrough would become known worldwide as “NO-NSAIDs”.

Since then, it has been proven that NO-NSAIDs do not cause damage in the gastrointestinal tract, and have more potent pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties then the original NSAIDs from which they were derived. This discovery has led to the production of other nitric-oxide releasing drugs that are now being used for the treatment of a number of other diseases. Dr. Wallace’s contributions are recognized around the globe. He has published over 250 articles in several biomedical journals, lectured at numerous world congresses and sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen international journals.