The Ottawa Hospital fêtes three star researchers at annual Gala

November 9, 2013

On any given day, you might find a certain three gentlemen draped in white coats, working diligently in labs and clinics at The Ottawa Hospital.

But this evening, three star researchers donned tuxedos to join their mentors, peers and Ottawa’s business and community leaders in a celebration of research at The Ottawa Hospital Gala.

Held at The Westin Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital Gala, presented by Nordion, was an opportunity to honour the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s best and brightest researchers, and to celebrate the generosity of The Ottawa Hospital’s donor community.

The Ottawa Hospital honoured three researchers for their innovative ideas and their discoveries in their respective fields.

  • Dr. Hang Yin received the Dr. Ronald G. Worton Researcher in Training Award for his promising stem cell research, under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Rudnicki. Dr. Yin recently discovered a trigger that turns muscle stem cells into brown fat, a form of good fat that could play a critical role in the fight against obesity and diabetes.

  • Dr. Mark Clemons received the Dr. Michel Chrétien Researcher of the Year Award for leading a seminal study that has changed how metastatic breast cancer is treated around the world. Dr. Clemons’ study showed that the molecular characteristics of an individual’s breast cancer can change as the cancer spreads to other organs, and re-checking these characteristics will often open up new treatment options or suggest strategies that are more likely to work for a given patient.

  • Dr. Michael Rudnicki received the Dr. J. David Grimes Research Career Achievement Award for his exceptional research and leadership in regenerative medicine. Dr. Rudnicki’s team was the first to identify stem cells in adult muscle tissue, and they have continued to make many groundbreaking discoveries about how stem cells work and how they may be harnessed to treat diseases such as muscular dystrophy, muscle-wasting associated with cancer, obesity and diabetes.

“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.”

Steve West, Chair of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors, announced that in the past year, individuals and corporations in our community had raised an impressive $7.04 million in support of the groundbreaking research taking place at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Mr. West is also the Chief Executive Officer of Nordion which is a long-time title sponsor of the event.

“As a global health science company, Nordion is committed to making a distinctive contribution to the health and well-being of people in our community and around the world. We support innovation and research and know firsthand the importance it can bring. We also want to be a part of transforming patient care in Ottawa by working with others towards making what’s possible tomorrow available today,” said West.

The Ottawa Hospital is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.3 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 Research Institute 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 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is a team of professional staff and community leaders who are passionately committed to inspiring, enabling and celebrating community support for The Ottawa Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation website at

Media contact
Tracey Tong
Media Relations and Marketing Officer
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
613-798-5555 x 19816
613-324-4466 (cell)

Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
613-798-5555 x 73325
613-614-5253 (cell)