TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2011 /CNW/ - A researcher from the University of
Alberta, Dr. Simon Gosgnach, has earned the 2011 Barbara Turnbull Award
for Spinal Cord Research. The prize is presented annually to the spinal
cord researcher who scores the highest ranking in the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Operating Grants competition, for
research in the field of spinal cord injuries. This year's
announcement, which took place during the Charles H. Tator - Barbara
Turnbull Lectureship Series in Spinal Cord Injury in Toronto, marks the
10th anniversary of the Barbara Turnbull Award. The award is administered
through a successful partnership among the Barbara Turnbull Foundation,
the NeuroScience Canada Foundation, and the CIHR Institute of
Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction.
"I'm delighted and honoured to accept this prestigious award," said Dr.
Gosgnach, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology at the
University of Alberta. "As a society, it's imperative to invest in
research if we hope to improve our understanding of mobility to develop
new treatments for spinal cord injury."
Dr. Gosgnach, a 2007 CIHR's new investigator awardee in this field
analyses the structure and function of neural networks to learn how the
nervous system produces essential behaviors such as breathing,
swallowing, chewing, and walking. His laboratory focuses on signaling
neurons in the spine to determine how the neural networks involved in
movement are activated. These studies will help us to understand how
these circuits may help to devise therapies aimed at enhancing
functional recovery of movement after spinal cord injury.
"It means a great deal to me to support basic research, which is still
necessary before scientists find that magic combination which will
impact chronic spinal injuries," said Barbara Turnbull, Chair and
President of the Barbara Turnbull Foundation. "I have deep respect for
the dedication researchers like Dr. Gosgnach exhibit year after year."
Barbara Turnbull is a well known Toronto journalist and research
activist who was shot and paralyzed from the neck down during a
convenience store robbery when she was 18.
The Barbara Turnbull Award for Spinal Cord Research was established in
2001 to raise awareness of the more than four million Canadians who are
afflicted with neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. This award
is for $50,000.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create
new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved
health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened
Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides
leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and
trainees across Canada.
* Visit the CIHR YouTube channel to view a video on Spinal Cord Injury.
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SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research
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