FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 6, 2001
THE OTTAWA HOSPITAL ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTOR FOR RESEARCH INSTITUTE
OTTAWA - Howard Alper, Chair of the Transition Board of The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and David Levine, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital, today announced the appointment of Dr. Ronald G. Worton as Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of Research for The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Vice-President, Research at The Ottawa Hospital. Dr. Worton assumes his new responsibilities on April 1, 2001 when the new institute will be created through the merger of The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Loeb Health Research Institute.
Dr. Worton has been Director of Research for The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (formerly the Ottawa General Hospital Research Institute) since 1996.
"We undertook an exhaustive international search for the Director of Research for the Hospital's new research institute and we are pleased that, at the end of the day, Ron was the outstanding candidate for this new position," said David Levine. "His expertise, his knowledge and his experience will allow him to lead one of Canada's largest medical research facilities as we continue to move forward into the 21st century."
Following degrees in Physics at the University of Manitoba, and a PhD in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, Dr. Worton spent two years as a research fellow at Yale University. In 1971, he moved to the Department of Genetics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where he spent 25 years as a researcher, diagnostic laboratory director and administrator - the last 11 years as Geneticist-in-Chief at the Hospital and Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto.
In 1996 Dr. Worton moved to Ottawa as Director of Research at the Ottawa General Hospital with a mandate to build a new research institute. He is also Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology.
"I am thrilled to have this opportunity to build a new health research institute from two such extraordinary facilities," said Dr. Worton. "The scientists, researchers and staff at both institutes are some of the best in North America. I look forward to working with them as we continue to make advancements in health research."
Dr. Worton's research has been on the genetics of human disease, including the identification of the dystrophin gene responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Since that discovery his work has involved the mechanism of mutation in-patients, the regulation of the dystrophin gene, and gene transfer into myogenic cells as a forerunner to gene therapy.
Dr. Worton is the recipient of several national and international awards including the Gairdner Foundation International award, the Award of Distinction from the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, the Centenary Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics and The Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation Distinguished Scientist Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of the Order of Canada.
Judy Brown, Director Public Affairs 613-761-4158
Denis Saint-Jean, Vice-President Communications 613-798-5555 ext. 6217