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Renowned Sunnybrook researchers appointed to the Order of Canada

July 1, 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Sandra Black and Dr. Martin Yaffe who have both been appointed to the Order of Canada!

Dr. Black has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.), which recognizes national service or achievement. Dr. Yaffe has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.), which recognizes contributions at the local or regional level or in a special field of activity.

Dr. Sandra Black, Director of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute is an internationally renowned cognitive and stroke neurologist.

She holds the inaugural Brill Chair in Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook, and is the Sunnybrook Site Director of the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. As a leading clinical trialist in dementia, she is the current Executive Director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a multi institutional collaborative network of memory programs at the University of Toronto.

In 2011 she was named to the Order of Ontario, “for being an assiduous physician leader and influential architect of the Ontario Stroke System, a specialized continuum from prevention to reintegration.”

She has authored/ co-authored over 430 papers in a 25-year research career that has bridged dementia and stroke using neuroimaging to study brain behavior relationships, with a recent focus on interactions of Small Vessel Disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

She has earned numerous mentorship and research awards, including election to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012, one of the highest honours accorded to Canadian scholars, cited for “combining enormous dedication to patients with cutting-edge science”.

Dr. Martin Yaffe, Senior Scientist in the Odette Cancer Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute, and also a world-renowned researcher, has made significant contributions to medical imaging research in Canada and globally, to improve techniques for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, with a strong focus on breast cancer.

A Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto, Dr. Yaffe helped pioneer Digital Mammography technology. In collaboration with other Sunnybrook Research Institute and partner institute researchers, and clinicians, he also helped in the establishment of Digital Mammography as the new diagnostic standard in North America, over film mammography, for earlier and more accurate detection of breast cancer.

He is also leading research in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis or 3-D breast imaging, a newer technique for breast cancer screening and to improve diagnosis. In collaboration with breast-dedicated radiologists and oncologists at the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre, the technique is being evaluated in clinical studies, which shows promise for greater accuracy to detect disease at an earlier stage and to reduce false positives especially for patients with dense breasts.

He is the Director of the Smarter Imaging Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the Associate Director of the Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization of Research.

The Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honours, was established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in 1967, during Canada's centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Since its creation, more than 6,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada.

Sandra Black and Martin Yaffe