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The OHRI's Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Neuroscience Program both recognized by Ottawa Life Sciences Council for outstanding contributions

For immediate release

November 30th -- Dr. Antoine Hakim, Director of the OHRI's Neuroscience Program, has been awarded the Ottawa Life Sciences Council Career Achievement Award. Mr. Robert Hanlon was the recipient of the Ottawa Life Sciences Council Entrepreneur award. Both awards were announced at a gala dinner held Nov. 30th at the Ottawa Congress Centre.

An internationally renowned research leader, Dr. Hakim is also a practising neurologist at the Ottawa Hospital; Professor and University Chair, Neurology at the University of Ottawa; CEO and Scientific Director of the Canadian Stroke Network; and Senior Director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Hakim's research has helped shape a new frontier in neuroscience, influencing current and future treatment strategies. For example, Dr. Hakim has been a pioneer in the field of ischemic preconditioning, an area which holds promise for the development of novel strategies for stroke treatment. He has been a leader in the application of imaging technology to study stroke patients -- and his work has helped to develop the current concept that some brain tissue is still salvageable after stroke. In addition, his research confirmed the role of calcium entry in causing neuronal death, which provided critical information that led to the trials of calcium channel blockers as neuroprotective agents for acute stroke therapy.

The OHRI's COO, Robert Hanlon, has been a driving force at the Institute, dating all the way back to its early and partial beginnings in 1988. Mr. Hanlon remained a key player in 2001, when the Loeb and General Hospital Research Institutes merged to become what is now the OHRI. Since that time, the OHRI has grown dramatically, currently housing more that 300 scientists and clinical investigators and a grand total of slightly more than 1,100 staff. Last year, it received more than $54 million in peer reviewed funding. Mr. Hanlon has furthermore been a key contributor to two recent start-up companies stemming from research initiatives at the OHRI - Stem Path and Coley Pharmaceutical Group.

For his remarkable contributions, Mr. Hanlon was awarded the Ottawa Life Science's Entrepreneur Award.

"Both these awards are well deserved," noted OHRI CEO and Scientific Director, Dr. Ronald Worton. "We at the OHRI are very pleased that others have recognized the outstanding contributions of two men who have been so important to this Institute."

"It has been a pleasure to play a key role in helping develop one of Canada's premier Health Research Institute's that now attracts and retains some of the best researchers and health care providers here in Ottawa, ensuring that everyone has access to the latest health discoveries and treatments," said Robert Hanlon.

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