Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and Pfizer Canada Announce 2023 Women in IBD Award Recipients

Women in IBD Awards 2023

For the fourth year, these awards recognize outstanding contributions of female leaders and emerging talent in the field of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research

TORONTO, Ontario and KIRKLAND, Quebec, November 6, 2023 ‒ Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and Pfizer Canada are pleased to announce the two recipients of the 2023 Women in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Awards. The winners were selected based on the nominee’s impact on the Canadian IBD community, contributions to the mission of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, and demonstration of innovation and leadership in the field of IBD.

Congratulations to Dr. Yasmin Nasser in the category of Outstanding Researcher and to Dr. Heather Armstrong in the category of Emerging Researcher

Dr. Nasser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and a clinician-scientist in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She is an expert in managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and upper/lower GI motility disorders. Dr. Nasser’s laboratory focuses on the microbiome's role in chronic visceral and somatic pain, with the overall goal to develop innovative approaches to treating chronic pain, thus improving patient quality of life.

Dr. Armstrong is an accomplished assistant professor of internal medicine with the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She is dedicated to mentoring and supporting young scientists interested in learning more about complex co-culture techniques for use in translational research approaches to personalized medicine. Dr. Armstrong is also involved in several national and international teams where she uses her research to better understand the pathology of inflammatory diseases and how they are linked to cancer.

The Women in IBD Awards recognize women who are making outstanding contributions to the field of IBD research across two categories: (1) Outstanding Researcher recognizing the exceptional contributions by an inspirational leading female researcher, and (2) Emerging Researcher recognizing the contributions by a female researcher in the early stages of her career. Nominations are reviewed and selected based on the nominee’s impact on the Canadian IBD community, contributions to the mission of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, and demonstration of innovation and leadership in the field of IBD. Each prestigious award provides the recipient with funding towards further IBD research. 

“We are thrilled to recognize the creativity, initiative and commitment of this year’s exceptional award winners,” says Kate Lee, Vice-President of Research and Patient Programs, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “Their work and accomplishments are helping improve the lives of those living with IBD, and inspiring a new generation of scientists, creating opportunities for women in the field.” 
“At Pfizer, we focus on innovating and developing solutions to significantly improve the lives of patients. We celebrate those who are committed to this process, working collaboratively to make improved quality of care a reality,” says Frédéric Lavoie, Inflammation and Immunology Business Lead, Pfizer Canada. “We applaud the accomplishments of this year’s award recipients and look forward to their future contributions.”

About inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

IBD describes a group of conditions, the two main forms of which are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases inflame the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and disrupt a person’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrition, and eliminate waste in a healthy manner.

Since the mid 20th century, diagnoses of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease increased dramatically in Canada. In 2023, 322,600 Canadians are estimated to be living with IBD (0.8% of the population). By 2035, that number is expected to rise to 470,000 (1.1% of the population)ii. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are lifelong diseases with no known cure.i Several treatments are available to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis but more innovation is required to help patients cope with the burden of IBD until cures are found.

About Crohn's and Colitis Canada

We are on a relentless journey to transform the lives of people affected by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by delivering impact at all stages of life, in every corner of the country, by 

  • finding the cures for these lifelong diseases, and  
  • improving the quality of life of everyone affected by these diseases.  

Our 2023-2026 Impact Strategy creates a roadmap for our journey with a focus on 

  • accelerating the impact of research – address key gaps and success factors; shorten the timeline from discovery to patient impact 
  • reaching further – help more people with Crohn’s and colitis and their caregivers with our wide range of programs 
  • boosting awareness and understanding – engage and motivate Canadians 
  • driving system change – advocate and partner to influence change  

Follow us at, @getgutsycanada on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and YouTube or at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada on LinkedIn

About Pfizer Canada

Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can Pfizer on LinkedIn, Facebook, X or YouTube.

For more information

Corporate Affairs Canada
Pfizer Canada Media Line: 1-866-9Pfizer (1 866 973-4937)

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

i  About Crohn’s and Colitis. What are Crohn’s and Colitis?
ii  About Crohn’s and Colitis. Are you at Risk? 

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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