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January 09, 2017

TORONTO, Canada – The Founding Director of Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), Dr. Donald Stuss, has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.), one of Canada’s highest civilian honours.

The Governor General’s Office is recognizing Dr. Stuss, former Vice-President of Research at Baycrest and current adjunct senior scientist at the RRI, for his “contributions as an internationally respected neuropsychologist who has expanded scientific understanding of brain function, injury and rehabilitation.” Dr. Stuss will receive his insignia at a ceremony to be held later this year.

A prominent neuropsychologist, Dr. Stuss helped advance brain research through his appointment as the RRI’s first director when it was launched by the late Joseph Rotman in 1989. During his 20-year tenure, Dr. Stuss led the RRI’s growth into a world-class brain research centre that explores the brain’s everyday functions, such as memory and decision-making, and the effect of aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Stuss is also a trailblazer in the field of cognitive neuroscience via his pioneering research into the brain’s frontal lobes (an area of the brain that plays a crucial role in our day-to-day functioning), which has led to the development of treatment and rehabilitation programs for patients with traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Stuss works with patients to understand how damage to this brain region influences behavioural changes. His evolved theory of frontal lobe function and interventions to optimize brain functionality in older adults has been adopted internationally by researchers and clinicians within various healthcare institutions to treat and enhance the well-being of patients with brain injuries.

“It’s a wonderful honour to receive this award,” says Dr. Stuss. “The Rotman Research Institute was launched as an institute focused on learning more about the brain, the driving force behind our ability to remember the past and plan for the future, and to care for ourselves and others. As we better understand the brain, we can develop effective treatments for brain disorders, such as dementia.”

“This recognition supports the important brain research done by our scientists,” adds Baycrest President and CEO Dr. William Reichman. “Brain diseases like Alzheimer’s pose a great threat to aging societies across the globe and most certainly, to Canadians, and the work done by Dr. Stuss will help us revolutionize the way we care for our seniors.”

“The Rotman Research Institute boasts a stellar reputation thanks to the foundation laid by Dr. Stuss,” says Dr. Randy McIntosh, Baycrest’s Vice-President of Research and Director of the RRI. “I was attracted to the RRI by Don’s vision to create a world-class brain research centre. Over the years, our scientists have improved our understanding of the human brain which will help us develop targeted treatments to maintain brain health during aging.”

Dr. Stuss is also the Founding Director and past President of the Ontario Brain Institute, a not‐for‐profit research centre funded by the Ontario government, where he continues to help shape the future of brain research, translation and innovation.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his work through numerous awards, such as the Order of Ontario; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; the Gold Key Award, the highest honour presented by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine; and the International Neuropsychological Society Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded the title of University Professor of the University of Toronto, the University’s highest status award given to only two per cent of tenured faculty. 

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Appointments are made by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

About Baycrest Health Sciences
Headquartered on a 23-acre campus and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest Health Sciences combines a unique holistic healthcare approach for aging adults with one of the world’s top brain research institutes (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 the developer of a free online memory assessment, Cogniciti, for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory.  As a hospital with exemplary standing, practitioners and researchers at Baycrest work towards revolutionizing the aging experience. Baycrest is a recognized leader in offering unique hands-on opportunities to help train the next generation of healthcare professionals.

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

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