Researchers honoured for outstanding work in Parkinson’s, critical care and surgery

April 11, 2019

A number of outstanding researchers and research teams were recognized at The Ottawa Hospital’s Excellence Awards Ceremony on April 11. They include the Parkinson Research Consortium, the Operating Room Black Box® Research Program and ICU research manager Irene Watpool.

“Research allows us to offer new therapies to our patients and improve health and patient care at The Ottawa Hospital and around the world,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, Executive Vice-President of Research at The Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa. “I congratulate all the winners on their outstanding work, as well as all the excellent nominees.”

Winner Profiles

Parkinson Research Consortium – Research Excellence Team Award
Since 2004, the Parkinson Research Consortium has cultivated a world-class research program by promoting and encouraging synergistic interactions between scientists, clinicians, patients, families and the community. They have supported 35 trainees, including graduate students, fellows and research associates. They have also helped recruit leading scientists working on Parkinson’s disease including, Dr. Adam Sachs from Stanford University, Dr. Tiago Mestre from the University of Toronto, and most recently Dr. Maxime Rousseaux from the University of Baylor in Texas. This collaborative effort has also dramatically improved patient care by establishing the Deep Brain Stimulation program at The Ottawa Hospital, launching the Integrated Parkinson Care Network and expanding clinical trial options for patients. The Parkinson Research Consortium has also worked very closely with The Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute to organize annual educational and awareness events. Most importantly, they truly work together as a highly motivated, collaborative and dedicated team. Advisory Board of Directors: David Cork, Tom Belton, Rob Gibson, David Grimes, Shelby Hayter, David Hogg, Nick Kaethler, Debra Lynkowski, Tiago Mestre, Michael Schlossmacher, Ian Toth, Natasha Hollywood. Scientific Community: David Grimes, Michael Schlossmacher, Tiago Mestre, Paul Albert, Steffany Bennett, Tuan Bui, Dennis Bulman, Antonio Colavita, Patrick Davidson, Marc Ekker, Derrick Gibbings, Shawn Hayley, Matthew Holahan, Diane Lagace, Lori Malva Della, Julie Nantel, Johnny Ngsee, Robin Parks, Maxime Rousseaux, Adam Sachs, Ruth Slack, Hongyu Sun, Mario Tiberi, François Tremblay, Vance Trudeau, Lisa Walker, John Woulfe.

Irene Watpool – Inspire Award for Outstanding Clinical Research Staff Member
As Critical Care Research Program Manager at The Ottawa Hospital, Irene Watpool is responsible for the day to day coordination of research endeavors within the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) including serving as a resource / facilitator to scientists, research coordinators and support staff. She has helped to implement over 100 clinical trials, including many that have changed practice and improved care around the world. Irene is passionate about research and has improved access to research for all patients in the ICU. She cares deeply about her staff and loves collaborating and learning. She is active as a volunteer and mentor in The Ottawa Hospital and throughout Canada. Watch this video of Irene from 2015, talking about the motivation for her research and progress in critical care research.

Operating Room Black Box® Research Program – Innovation and Creativity Award
Dr. Sylvain Boet and his research team uses the OR Black Box® technology to improve clinician practice and obtain the best possible patient outcomes. Like black boxes used in aviation, the OR Black Box® is an innovative tool that records detailed information from the surgical environment. The Ottawa Hospital is among the first institutions in the world to adopt this technology. Through analyzing clinician patterns and trends in the Operating Room, the OR Black Box® will identify custom ways to optimize everyday practice, tailored to the local needs of our hospital. This innovative technology enables OR healthcare professionals to learn from experience, to improve practice, and ultimately, patient safety. Team members: Sylvain Boet, Meghan Britton, Joe Burns, Nicole Etherington, Julie Kenna, Sandy Lam, Maxime Le, Karine Lortie, Glenn Posner, Laurie Proulx, Sony Singh.


Many excellent nominations were received for The Ottawa Hospital’s Excellence Team Awards. The nominees for the Research Excellence Team Award include:

Aging Innovation in Perioperative Medicine and Surgery (AIMS) Research Group: Daniel McIsaac, Emily Hladkowicz, Erin Beasley, Kristin Dorrance, Alex Leguerrier, Allen Huang, Husein Moloo, Luke Lavalee, Keely Barnes

CISS: Cellular Immunotherapy for Septic Shock: Lauralyn McIntyre, Shirley Mei, Josee Champagne, Duncan Stewart, David Courtman, Dean Fergusson

REaCT (Rethinking Clinical Trials) Program: Mark Clemons, John Hilton, Lisa Vandermeer, Angel Arnaout, Dean Fergusson, Carol Stober, Marta Sienkiewicz, Ahwon Jeong, Deanna Saunders, Brian Hutton

Hematology Research Team: Penny Phillips, Nahya Awada, Alice Black, Holly Carr, Elizabeth Chatelain, Hina Chaudry, Anne Marie Clement, Lynne Cullen, Joe Cyr, Andrew Dougherty, Amarilis Figueiredo, Yan He, Megan Inskip, Nicole Langlois, Caleb MacGillivray, Jessica Milloy, Scott Mullen, Lori O’Connor, Priscila Ogawa Vedder, Amanda Pecarskie, Chantal Rockwell, Veronica Whitham, Debbie Witham, Lesley Yeung

CAR-T Cell (CLIC-1901) for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed/Refractory CD19 Positive Hematological Malignancies: Liana Medynski, Ricardo Marius, Dominique Vaillant, Kang Hu, Xiajuan Gao, Piriya Yoganathan, John Bell, Alice Black, Sheryl McDiarmid, Kelly Hand, Natasha Kekre, Harold Atkins, Manoj Lalu, Dean Ferguson, Joshua Montroy, Patient Advisors

Nominees for the Inspire Clinical Research Staff Award include:
Sara Abdallah
Johanna Dobransky
Keri Ducharme
Alysha Harvey
Mélanie Lalonde
Katherine Reilly
Robert Wouda