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Dr. Ronald Worton, Founding CEO of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, to be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

September 24, 2013

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame has announced that Dr. Ronald Worton, renowned medical researcher and founding CEO of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, will be among its 2014 inductees.

A trailblazer in disease gene discovery, Dr. Worton and his team discovered the causal gene for Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. This seminal breakthrough in medical genetics at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto resulted in greater understanding of the disease and revolutionized diagnosis and patient care.

A native of Winnipeg, educated at the University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, and Yale, Dr. Worton returned to Toronto in 1971 where he spent 25 years as an exemplary scientist, holding several positions at SickKids including Geneticist-in-Chief.

A well respected national and international leader, Dr. Worton was also the first CEO and Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), which grew to become one of Canada’s premier health research institutes during his tenure. OHRI is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, with more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, trainees and staff, and total revenues of more than $100 million.

Dr. Worton also founded the Stem Cell Network in 2001.

Described as a visionary, always willing to contribute more than his share, Dr. Worton retired in 2008 after an exemplary career as a medical research scientist and scientific leader.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame also announced the following new inductees today: Dr. Max Cynader, Dr. Adolfo de Bold, the late Dr. Walter Mackenzie, Dr. T. J. (Jock) Murray, and Dr. Salim Yusuf. They will join the ranks of 101 laureates who have gone before them in receiving this prestigious national honour.

“These remarkable Canadian’s have earned their place of honour among our most distinguished medical heroes. Each has truly made a difference in the lives of people in Canada and around the world. Their passion and commitment to the advancement of knowledge provides inspiration to all who follow in their footsteps,” said Dr. Stewart Hamilton, Board Chair of the Hall of Fame. “As fellow Canadian’s we can be extremely proud.”

The 2014 Induction Ceremony, presented by BMO Harris Private Banking, will be held in Kingston, Ontario on April 24. 500 academic, health care and business leaders from across Canada will gather for this evening of celebration which will also mark the 20th anniversary of The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, joining Honorary Co-Chairs Dr. Daniel Woolf, Principal & Vice Chancellor of Queen’s University, Senator Hugh Segal, Senate of Canada, and Co-Chairs Dr. Richard Reznick, Dean of Health Sciences and Dr. Tom Harris, Vice-Principal Advancement at Queen’s University.

Please see the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame news release for details. Please also see “The inside story behind the world’s first genome project and how it turned Ottawa into a leading city for muscle and stem cell research”, from OHRI’s Research Triumphs magazine, 2007.

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Research at OHRI is supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. www.ohri.ca

About The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Established in 1994, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) is a national charitable organization that fosters future generations of health professionals through the celebration of our country’s rich medical history, scholarship program, and the delivery of both local and nationwide education programs for youth. Each year, up to six individuals are recognized for their extraordinary contribution to improving the health of Canadians and people world-wide. The stories of the laureates are showcased on our website (www.cdnmedhall.org) and in our portrait gallery, exhibit hall and media theatre which are located in downtown London, ON.

Media Contacts
Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
613-798-5555 ext. 73325
jganton@ohri.ca

Heather Sercombe
Interim Executive Director
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Cell: 519-282-2697 / Office: 519-488-2003 / hsercombe@cdnmedhall.org