Top brain researcher awarded neuroscience chair

Top brain researcher awarded neuroscience chair

January 14, 2013


Pioneering research into understanding brain function and measuring the effects of brain injury has garnered two major awards for a Queen’s University neuroscientist.

Stephen Scott has been named the university’s first GlaxoSmithKline-Canadian Institutes of Health Research (GSK-CIHR) Chair in Neurosciences, and he has been awarded the Barbara Turnbull Award.

The chair enables him to continue his world-leading research into understanding brain function while at the same time translating his findings into real-world clinical tools. The $50,000 Barbara Turnbull Award supports his contribution to the search for a spinal cord cure.

“I’m honoured to receive this incredible support for my work,” says Dr. Scott. “It will allow me to focus more of my time translating my research on how we control movements of our body to develop new ways to assess brain function and dysfunction.”

Dr. Scott’s research has produced the KINARM, the world’s first robotic system for measuring, with sensitivity and precision, the effects of brain injury on an individual’s ability to perform ordinary movements and tasks. The system is being used to examine a wide range of brain injuries, from stroke and concussion to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. 

“The work of Dr. Scott and his team at Queen’s is unparalleled in Canada and indeed around the world,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s. “They are expanding the frontiers of knowledge while at the same time successfully translating their basic research findings into novel and innovative tools that benefit Canadians. We are extremely proud of them and the achievements in their field.” 

The KINARM is now in use at 35 research institutions worldwide, including Johns Hopkins University, Tokyo University and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. KINARM robotic systems have been used for clinical research at St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital for several years. The recent installation of two KINARMs at Kingston General Hospital, meanwhile, makes this Eastern Ontario health network the only one in the world to offer the breakthrough technology at all of its research hospitals.

The Barbara Turnbull Award is presented annually to the top-ranked spinal cord-related research grant in Canada, as identified by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Scott is the second Queen’s researcher to win the award since it was founded in 2001.

For more information on the Barbara Turnbull Foundation.