Distinguished Service Award

The CABPS Distinguished Service Award is given in honour of a bariatrician dedicated to the care of those living with obesity in Canada. The award recognizes a bariatrician’s outstanding contributions to the practice of Bariatric medicine in patient care, research, and education. Watch your inbox for details on this year’s recipient!

2024 Recipient

bio picMichael Piccinini Vallis, Ph.D., R. Psych.

Associate Professor, Family Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Dalhousie University
Affiliate Scientist (Research), Nova Scotia Health

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Dr. Vallis is a health psychologist based in Halifax, Canada. He is a Health Behaviour Change Consultant and Associate Professor in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.A from the University of Western Ontario, London, and his B. Sc. From Dalhousie University. His main area of expertise is adult health psychology, with an emphasis on obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology. He spends most of his time training healthcare providers in behaviour change for chronic disease management. He regularly supervises clinical and academic students and is active in research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease. He consults nationally as well as internationally and is heavily involved in academic publications, journal editing, and clinical practice guidelines. He was on the executive of the Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Obesity (2020) and lead author of the Psychological and Behavioural Chapter for these new guidelines as well as the 2006 guidelines. As well, he is an author of the Psychology and Mental Health chapter of Diabetes Canada’s Clinical Practice Guidelines (2018, 2013, 2004). He received the 2021 Charles H Best award from Diabetes Canada and was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Diabetes Canada.

2023 Recipient

bio picDr. Picard Marceau, MD, PhD., FRCSC, FACS

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Originally from Quebec City, Dr. Picard Marceau obtained his medical degree from Laval University in 1958. After a year of residency in surgery in Quebec City, he continued his training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota (U.S.) from 1959 to 1965. Hecompleted his residency, and after two years of research, he obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He was a Fellow of the Canadian Council for Medical Research from 1964 to 1966.

Picard Marceau began his career at Laval University as a general surgeon at Laval Hospital in 1965 and retired forty years later. An assistant professor in 1966, he was appointed an associate in 1970 and a full professor in 1988. For many years, he worked diligently and energetically on a set of tasks for the Faculty of Surgery with the aim of always giving more to students in the scientific and educational fields.He held responsibilities in the Day School Program and Day School Internships of the Department of Surgery from 1970 to 1985. He is also the head of the Department of Surgery's medical ethics courses from 1995 to 2004 and a member of the pedagogical committee of the Department of Surgery of the Faculty of Medicine.

In addition to his numerous contributions to university education, Picard Marceau has maintained an intense scientific production, as evidenced by his impressive list of more than one hundred and six publications and nine book chapters. In addition, he has made numerous presentations at various conferences and conventions, bothat home and abroad. As a researcher, Professor Marceau was a pioneer in the study and treatment of morbid obesity, a disease that, at the time, was unknown, ifnot denied by the majority of the population, but also and especially by fellow doctors.

This field of expertise quickly became apparent to Picard Marceau in all its complexity. To know and understand this pathology, he confined himself to a scientific collection of data as wide as possible and to a reading of all the existing literature related to it. He was a member of the D.B. Brown Chair in Obesity Research from 1997 to 2005. He was also a leader in building up a team of surgeons who developed expertise in bariatic surgery, which is now internationally recognized. In recent years, he has been a visiting professor at universities in Quebec and Europe, and he has collaborated on memoirs on bariatic surgery presented by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

During his career, Picard Marceau was able to surround himself with collaborators who always continue his work. Although he has retired for three years, he continuesto do a lot of research and represents the research group and Laval University internationally.

Université Laval is pleased to honor this professor who enjoys the respect and admiration of his peers.

2022 Recipient

bio picDr. Arya M. Sharma, MD, DSc (hon), FRCPC

University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada

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Dr. Sharma is Professor Emeritus of Medicine & Past-Chair in Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He is also the Past-Clinical Co-Chair of the Alberta Health Services Obesity Program.  Dr. Sharma is a founding member and a Past-President of the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons.  He is also founder and the former Scientific Director of the Obesity Canada.  Dr,  Sharma is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
His past appointments include positions as Professor of Medicine and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) at McMaster University (2002-2007), Professor of Medicine at the Franz-Volhard Klinik – Charité, Humboldt University Berlin (2000-2002) and the Free University of Berlin (1994-2000). His research focuses on the evidence-based prevention and management of obesity and its complications.  He has authored and co-authored more than 450 scientific articles and has lectured widely on the etiology and management of obesity and related cardiovascular disorders. Dr. Sharma is regularly featured as a medical expert in national and international TV and print media and maintains a widely read obesity blog.

2021 Recipient

bio picNicolas Christou, MD, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Surgery 
McGill University

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Dr. Nicolas Christou obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in 1971, his Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery in 1975, and his Doctorate in Philosophy (Surgical Infections) in 1978. He completed his surgical training at McGill in 1980 and was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery at McGill University, and Attending Staff Surgeon Royal Victoria Hospital in 1981. He rose through the academic ranks at McGill and is became Professor of Surgery (with tenure, 1991- 2013).  He served the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) as director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (1988-1995), Director of the Division of General Surgery from 1995-2005 and Director of The Center of Excellence of Bariatric Surgery of the McGill University Health center 1995-2013. He gave up his academic position at age 65 to a younger surgeon at McGill and has taken partial retirement (Emeritus Professor 2013 - ).  He continues his academic and research responsibilities at McGill and the MUHC. He is a member of many prestigious surgical societies including the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons of which he is a founding father and past president. Dr. Christou's research efforts in Clinical Outcomes after open and Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery have contributed to the Evidence Base used worldwide to implement this life saving surgery in many countries.