The Ottawa Hospital Gala recognizes superstar researchers

November 5, 2011

More than 550 of Ottawa’s elite filled the Westin Ottawa this evening to celebrate the outstanding achievements of three Ottawa Hospital researchers as well as the community’s investment in the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute over the past year.

These world-class researchers were honoured at the 2011 Ottawa Hospital Gala presented by Nordion for their innovative ideas, which have led to new discoveries in their respective fields of cancer, vaccines, lung disease and neuromuscular disease.
  • Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo was awarded the Dr. Ronald G. Worton Researcher in Training Award for his promising work on viruses for use in vaccines and cancer therapy.
  • Dr. Shawn Aaron was awarded the Dr. Michel Chrétien Researcher of the Year Award for his groundbreaking research on lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis.
  • Dr. Rashmi Kothary was awarded the Dr. J. David Grimes Research Career Achievement Award for his pioneering work in neuromuscular disease, as well as his leadership and mentorship.

“The researchers we are honouring today are truly pushing the bounds of medical science and making an impact around the world,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Vice-President, Research, at The Ottawa Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. “Having researchers of this caliber in Ottawa benefits our patients, our students, our businesses and the whole community.”

Longtime Ottawa Hospital supporter Nordion was pleased to showcase the incredible accomplishments of the researchers as title sponsor.

“Nordion is a proud supporter of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute,” said Tamra Benjamin, Vice-President, Public and Government Relations at Nordion. “As a global specialty health science company, we strive to make a distinctive contribution to the health and well-being of people. By supporting the Research Institute and The Ottawa Hospital, we are delighted to be playing a part in advancing health care not only in Ottawa but around the world.”

The Chair of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, Greg Kane, announced that through successful events such as Ride the Rideau as well as the remarkable generosity of individuals and corporations in our community, the Foundation has raised some $6.5 million for research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute this year.

The Ottawa Hospital is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.2 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, both in English and French. It provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada and boasts specialty centres in cancer, heart, kidney and vision care, as well as rehabilitation services. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital website at

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s mission is to inspire and enable people to support the highest quality health care at The Ottawa Hospital and life-saving research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation website at

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. The OHRI includes more than 1,500 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Paterson
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Tel.: 613-798-5555 ext. 73325

Tracey Tong
Media Relations and Marketing Officer
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Tel.: 613-798-5555, ext. 19816
Cell: 613-324-4466