brain scans

RRI senior scientist awarded Donald O. Hebb Distinguished Contribution Award

Dr. Gordon Winocur

Dr. Gordon Winocur, senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI)

Dr. Gordon Winocur, senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), was recently named the 2017 Donald O. Hebb Distinguished Contribution Award winner for his significant contribution to the study of brain, behaviour, and cognitive science.

The Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science honoured Dr. Winocur, who is also a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Toronto, for his research into the role of specific brain regions with different types of memory and related cognitive functions.  His work demonstrated how cognitive decline and dementia is caused by brain deterioration due to age, disease, or trauma combined with lifestyle factors.

His discoveries inspired the development of successful treatment programs that rehabilitate cognitive problems and promote well-being in older adults with memory loss.

Dr. Winocur is also studying chemobrain (memory and thinking problems experienced by cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy). His work has shown that the condition could be improved through a combination of behavioural and drug interventions. 

“There’s a strong tradition of worthy recipients of the Hebb Award, named for Canada’s most distinguished behavioural neuroscientist, and it is a great honour to be recognized by one’s colleagues,” says Dr. Winocur.

Past RRI recipients include RRI Founder, Dr. Donald Stuss, RRI associate scientist, Dr. Ellen Bialystok and RRI senior scientists Dr. Morris Moscovitch and Dr. Fergus Craik.

“Gordon’s work pioneered an innovative approach that has pushed the boundaries of how neuroscientists study the brain,” says Dr. Randy McIntosh, Baycrest’s Vice-President of Research and Director of the RRI. “His work helps speed up the testing and evaluation of potential brain treatments and interventions, and lets us study brain diseases in ways that weren’t previously possible.”

Dr. Winocur has been recognized by a number of organizations for his work as a fellow with the Canadian Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, International Neuropsychological Society and the American Psychological Society. He received the John Dewan Award for Research Excellence by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation in 1984.

Dr. Winocur will deliver a keynote address about his work at the society’s annual meeting in June 2017 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science is a non-profit organization whose primary function is to advance Canadian research in experimental psychology and behavioural neuroscience.

About Baycrest Health Sciences
Baycrest Health Sciences is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti – a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory.  Founded in 1918 as the Jewish Home for Aged, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information please visit:

About Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute
The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences is a premier international centre for the study of human brain function. Through generous support from private donors and funding agencies, the institute is helping to illuminate the causes of cognitive decline in seniors, identify promising approaches to treatment, and lifestyle practices that will protect brain health longer in the lifespan.

For media inquiries:
Jonathan MacIndoe
Baycrest Health Sciences
416-785-2500 ext. 6579