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About Sickkids
About SickKids

January 24, 2014

SickKids neurosurgeon Dr. James Rutka named to Ontario’s Highest Honour

Dr. James Rutka, Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), has been appointed to the Order of Ontario for his outstanding accomplishments in brain cancer research.

By: Justin Faiola

Dr. James Rutka, Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), has been appointed to the Order of Ontario for his outstanding accomplishments in brain cancer research. 

The announcement was made at Queen’s Park on Jan. 24 by the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

“SickKids is proud to have an outstanding individual like James Rutka as part of our organization,” said Dr. Michael Apkon, SickKids President and CEO. “He embodies the type of leadership SickKids strives for as a world-class centre committed to advancing children’s health. Dr. Rutka’s appointment to the Order of Ontario is truly a reflection of his remarkable achievements and enduring dedication to improving the lives of children.”

Dr. Rutka is internationally renowned for his major contributions to the development of improved treatments for children with malignant brain tumours. His lab interests focus on the molecular biology of brain tumours and the development of better treatment strategies.

“James Rutka is one of the preeminent paediatric neurosurgeons in the world. Through his innumerable contributions to the research of brain cancer, clinical care and leadership, he has improved the lives of children. SickKids is immensely proud of his accomplishments and this wonderful acknowledgement of his achievements,” said Dr. James Wright, Vice-President, Medical and Surgeon-in-Chief at SickKids.

Dr. Rutka has been part of the Division of Paediatric Neurosurgery at SickKids since 1990. He has served the neurosurgery community through various influential roles, including President at both the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the American Academy of Neurological Surgery. In 2013, he was appointed as the seventh Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurosurgery. He is the first Canadian neurosurgeon to hold this prestigious position.

Dr. Rutka has also been a part of the University of Toronto’s Division of Neurosurgery in the Department of Surgery since 1990 and led the world’s largest neurosurgical training program as the Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery at U of T from 1999 to 2010.

The Order of Ontario is the province’s highest official honour. It recognizes any current or former long-time resident of Ontario who has demonstrated a high level of individual excellence in any field of work.

Learn more about the Order of Ontario and see a full list of nominees