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About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 1, 2015

Drs. Janet Rossant and James Rutka appointed to Order of Canada

On July 1, 2015, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced 100 new appointments to the Order of Canada, two of which are from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research Emeritus has been appointed Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest level of the Order which recognizes national pre-eminence or international service or achievement. Rossant is being recognized for advancing the global understanding of embryo development and stem cell biology, and for her national and international leadership in health science.

Dr. James Rutka, Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, recognizing national service or achievement for his contributions to advancing treatment for paediatric brain tumours and for his international leadership in neurosurgery.

“On behalf of SickKids, I am thrilled to congratulate Drs. Rossant and Rutka on this incredible honour. These leaders are making a national and international impact in health sciences as they continue to strive for improved outcomes in children’s health. This award truly highlights the caliber of leaders we have at SickKids. It is an extraordinary award for two extraordinary people,” says Dr. Michael Apkon, SickKids President and CEO.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Rossant will receive the 2015 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, the first female to do so.  She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.  

Rossant, who is also Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto, has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including:

  • 10th ISTT Prize, from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies
  • the Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award) from the International Society of Developmental Biologists
  • the Killam Prize for Health Sciences
  • the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology
  • the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology
  • the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research, Canada’s most prestigious health research award.

Over the last 10 years, her leadership has brought SickKids to new heights with the 2013 opening of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, which brought her vision for a collaborative inter-disciplinary research culture to life. All with the goal of increasing knowledge to better ensure healthy outcomes for children and youth in Canada and around the world.

In addition to this recent national honour, in 2014 Rutka was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the provinces’ highest official honour. And in 2013, he was appointed as the seventh Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurosurgery – the first Canadian neurosurgeon to hold this prestigious position.
He joined the Division of Paediatric Neurosurgery at SickKids and has also been a part of the University of Toronto’s Division of Neurosurgery in the Department of Surgery since 1990. Rutka has led the world’s largest neurosurgical training program as the Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery at U of T from 1999 to 2010.

For more information about the Order of Canada, please visit the Governor General’s website at www.gg.ca