Celebrating research excellence and innovation

May. 22, 2015

Second annual Lawson Impact Awards showcases the impact of hospital-based research in London, across Canada, and around the world

Every day, hospital-based research in London changes the lives of people around the world. Through close proximity to patients, scientists in the hospitals can identify challenges and develop solutions effectively, and then deliver them to care faster than anywhere else. Last night, Lawson Health Research Institute celebrated these unique accomplishments.

The Lawson Impact Awards honour research making a difference. Lawson scientists, staff, trainees, and partners are recognized excellence in academics, leadership, training, operations, industry and innovation. New in 2015, a “Community Partner of the Year Award” was introduced to acknowledge the generosity of donors, either as an individual or organization, who support and value health research.

“We’ve had a great deal of success in delivering high quality research that has tangibly altered the standards of health care available to our patients here in London and around the world,” said Dr. David Hill, Scientific Director, Lawson Health Research Institute. “The Lawson Impact Awards is an occasion to celebrate our people and our partnerships, and highlight innovative health research.”

Seven 2015 Lawson Impact Awards were announced on May 21:

Scientist Career Award – Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, Distinguished University Professor Dr. Hachinksi has achieved one of the most productive and impactful research careers of any clinician scientist in Canada. He has authored, co-authored or co-edited 17 books and over 600 scientific or scholarly publications whose impact is reflected in over 28,000 citations. He has was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Stroke, the leading publication in the field from 2000-2010, introducing nine international editions and a mentorship program for authors in developing countries. Dr. Hachinski’s discoveries have revolutionized our understanding of the mechanisms of dementia and offered new avenues for therapy and prevention, including the most widely used clinical tool for diagnosing vascular dementia.

Innovation Award - Dr. Richard Kim, Director, Centre for Clinical Investigations & Therapeutics A leader in the field of personalized medicine, Dr. Kim established Canada’s first dedicated personalized medicine clinic based on his research findings. Since the implementation of the Personalized Warfarin Clinic and subsequent expansion to other therapeutic areas including cancer and cardiology, Dr. Kim and his team have helped thousands of patients receive better care. At the point of prescribing, patients receive customized drug treatment based on their specific genetic make-up, thereby avoiding potentially catastrophic adverse drug reactions.

Dr. Joseph Gilbert Research Contribution of the Year Award - Dr. Amit Garg, Kidney Specialist Dr. Garg is senior author of the award-winning publication “Gestational Hypertension and Preeclampsia in

Living Kidney Donors” published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. This innovative study discovered that gestational hypertension or preeclampsia was more likely to occur in kidney donors. The results have garnered much attention with policy implications worldwide, as Dr. Garg and his colleagues believe this new knowledge will become part of the informed consent process.

Staff Award of Excellence – Bonita Stevenson, Administration & Financial Coordinator, Aging, Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care

Bonita’s professionalism and drive to provide excellence is apparent in all aspects of her work. Bonita deftly manages the office while expertly supporting staff at all levels in their career. When team members are facing a challenge, she employs her vast experience in advising and guiding them towards successful task completion. An extremely hard worker, Bonita continually goes above and beyond with respect to the various demands and activities of her role, and holds herself to a high level of personal accountability.

Leadership Award – Matthew Meyer, PhD candidate, Aging, Rehabilitation & Geriatric Care

Matthew is the recipient of many awards and recognitions, including the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Award and the Sandra Letton Quality Award as part of the Stroke CORRE Research Rehabilitation Knowledge to Action Project. Since 2009, Matthew has been an author on 28 peer-reviewed articles, of which he is the first author on nine. He has written articles on different stroke rehabilitation models in Ontario and has been a key member of expert panel groups helping to determine the quality of stroke rehabilitation care. Matthew has been a strong role model for research students.

Industry Partner of the Year Award – Novare Pharmaceuticals Novare was founded based on the pioneering work of Dr. Eva Turley, Lawson scientist at the London Regional Cancer Program. Lawson and Novare have entered into a Master Research Collaboration Agreement to partner in the development of Receptor for Hyaluronan-Mediated Motility (RHAMM) based therapeutics. Discovered by Dr. Turley, RHAMM is a protein which has the potential to be an effective therapeutic for a wide variety of inflammation conditions, from arthritis to fibrotic diseases, as well as promote scarless healing for burns and post-surgical wounds.

NEW: Community Partner of the Year Award - Kirk Baines As Chair of the Gerald. C. Baines Foundation, Kirk has been instrumental in the creation, outfitting and ongoing support of the Gerald C. Baines Centre for Translational Cancer Research. The Centre is now home to some of the brightest minds and best technology dedicated to translational cancer research. Kirk and the Baines Foundation’s longstanding support of translational research spans over 20 years and has reached just under $2 million. As a member of London Health Sciences Foundation’s Board of Directors, he was instrumental in forming relationships with organizations that support research. This dedication to research continues, with Kirk serving as the current Co-Chair of LHSF’s Cancer Care Campaign.

“For more than thirty years Lawson Health Research Institute, in partnership with Western University, has been delivering innovation and helping transform health care. This past year Lawson grew to be the eighth largest hospital-based institute in Canada, ranking us among the largest and most successful research hospitals,” said Dr. Hill. “This achievement is due to the entrepreneurial skills of our researchers, trainees and staff at both our partner hospitals as they continue to navigate and succeed in a challenging research environment.”

The research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

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Lawson Health Research Institute. As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London, and working in partnership with Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world. www.lawsonresearch.com

For more information, please contact:

Laura Goncalves
Communications & External Relations
Lawson Health Research Institute
519-685-8500 ext. 64059

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