The University recognizes unusual scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge through the designation of University Professor. The number of such appointments does not generally exceed two per cent of the tenured faculty. Its very exclusivity stands to underline the highly prestigious nature of the University Professor designation.
From the Centre for Applied Genomics:
Stephen Wayne ‘Steve’ Scherer, PhD, DSc, FRSC, is a Canadian scientist whose research has transformed the understanding of human genetic variation and its role in disorders such as autism. He obtained his PhD at the University of Toronto under Professor Lap-chee Tsui, discoverer of the cystic fibrosis gene. Together they founded Canada’s first human genome centre, the Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG) at The Hospital for Sick Children. He continues to serve as Director of the multi-million dollar TCAG, and is also Director of the McLaughlin Centre, a $100M initiative in genomic medicine at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine.
His group has made several discoveries, documented in over 375 publications and patents cited more than 40,000 times, positioning him as one of the most prolific scientists of his generation. He founded the Database of Genomic Variants, which facilitates hundreds of thousands of clinical diagnoses each year. His philosophy in science and life is “a goal equals an assist”; that is, advancing discovery or well being individually or through collaboration should be equally encouraged and valued. He was quite possibly the first Canadian to have his genome sequenced, but has stated he hasn’t had much time to look at the data yet.