Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“He is brilliant, confident and persistent with an unbounded curiosity.”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
2001 Inductee

Henry Friesen, MD

July 31, 1934, Morden, Manitoba
MD - The University of Manitoba
After acquiring post-graduate medical training as an endocrinologist in Boston, Dr. Henry Friesen entered the Department of Medicine at McGill University, where he carried out research on human growth hormone which made successful replacement therapy in hormone-deficient children possible. Further endocrine research led to his isolation and purification of the hormone prolactin. In addition to this ground breaking work, Friesen developed the drug Bromocriptine in collaboration with researchers in the pharmaceutical industry, which proved to be effective in the treatment of infertility in women.

As an administrator, Dr. Friesen served on the Medical Research Council of Canada as President from 1991-2000, piloted the Council through challenging times with competence and diplomacy and envisioned and championed its transformation into the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987, a Companion of the Order of Canada in May 2001, and has received honorary doctorates from eight universities.