Prof Mario Monteiro holding a scientific model

Prof. Mario Monteiro

Prof. Mario Monteiro  received one of  RBC’s Top 25 Immigrant Awards on June 19.

The awards are a people’s choice awards program that recognizes inspirational immigrants who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada.

Monteiro was featured in a recent Canadian Immigrant article that called him one of the world’s most influential vaccine researchers.

He immigrated to Canada from Portugal in 1981 and entered Grade 9 without knowing much about opportunities for post-secondary education and careers.

Now Monteiro is a professor in the Department of Chemistry. He said he likes to share stories about his journey with his students at U of G.

“You have to believe in yourself. You can’t let the system dictate what you can and cannot do.”

As part of his research, Monteiro has identified key molecules that prevent bacterial infections responsible for deadly diarrhea in humans. He has developed a vaccine that targets surface molecules on C. difficile to control infection and colonization levels. The first vaccine he developed targets Campylobacter infections and was the first to show 100-per-cent efficacy.