December 31, 2020
Dr. Morris Moscovitch, a founding senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), has been named a Member of the Order of Canada for his critical contributions to the fields of clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience, and especially for his groundbreaking research on memory.
The Order of Canada is one of the nation’s highest civilian honours, with recipients from all sectors of Canadian society recognized for their outstanding achievements, dedication to the community and service to the country. With this appointment, Dr. Moscovitch joins an elite group, with just 47 individuals being bestowed the C.M. designation in this New Year’s announcement.
Dr. Moscovitch, who is also the Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology and Aging and a Professor at the University of Toronto, specializes in memory, cognition and the brain. As one of the RRI’s founding members in 1989, he set the institute on the path for research. His astute observations and revolutionary research have transformed decades-old ideas of how memories change with time and experience, from childhood to old age, both in cognitively healthy people and in people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. His research also examines how memory interacts with other functions, such as attention, perception, spatial location, problem-solving and empathy.
His scientific distinction has been recognized through numerous awards and honours, including being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Society of Experimental Psychologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). As well, he has received the D. O. Hebb Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science; Distinguished Career Awards from the International Neuropsychological Society and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society; and the William James Fellow Award from the Association of Psychological Science.
Dr. Moscovitch’s stellar accomplishments as a scientist are matched by his exceptional achievements as a mentor, as evidenced by the long list of now-prominent academics and clinicians who have trained with him over the years, extending his impact nationally and internationally. His mentorship excellence has been recognized by the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award and the Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award from the Psychonomic Society, to name a few.
“Those who bear the Order’s iconic snowflake insignia have changed our nation’s measure of success and, through the sum of their accomplishments, have helped us build a better Canada,” says Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada.
“I am honoured and very grateful to have been appointed to the Order of Canada and to have my research recognized in this way,” says Dr. Moscovitch. “As we better understand memory, cognition and the brain, we can develop effective treatments for disorders such as dementia, and help improve the quality of life of older adults everywhere.”
Dr. Allison Sekuler, Vice-President of Research and the Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at Baycrest, adds: “Dr. Moscovitch’s appointment to the Order of Canada is well-deserved, recognizing the vast contributions his research has made in shaping the way scientists around the world now think about memory, cognition and the brain. He has been a driving force in advancing the RRI, and in mentoring and inspiring the next generation of cognitive neuroscientists. On behalf of all his colleagues here at Baycrest, we congratulate Dr. Moscovitch, and thank the Governor General for conferring this honour on him and recognizing the importance of science to Canada.”
Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Baycrest is home to a robust research and innovation network, including one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute; the scientific headquarters of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, Canada’s largest national dementia research initiative; and the Baycrest-powered Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector. 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. Through these initiatives, Baycrest has remained at the forefront of the fight to defeat dementia as our organization works to create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, 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: www.baycrest.org
About Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute
The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest 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.