Brenda Gallie and Shaf Keshavjee named to the Order of Canada
By Samantha Sexton
Drs. Brenda Gallie and Shaf Keshavjee have been named Member and Officer, respectively, of the Order of Canada. The announcement was made Dec. 26, 2014. They will receive their insignia at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa at a later date.
Dr. Gallie, Head of the Retinoblastoma Program in The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, is being recognized for her significant contributions to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the childhood eye cancer, retinoblastoma. Her research has resulted in a highly efficient and sensitive test for retinoblastoma gene mutations and recognition of a new genetic form of retinoblastoma.
Along with her colleague at SickKids, Dr. Helen Chan, Dr. Gallie developed a chemotherapy modification avoiding multidrug resistance that is being tested in an international clinical trial. She is currently collaborating with Dr. Helen Dimaras, a researcher for University Health Network (UHN), on One Retinoblastoma World, a global health constellation model of highly motivated people around the world, devoted to optimizing retinoblastoma care everywhere. The SickKids contribution features genetics, national strategies and guidelines, and point-of-care data collection in preparation for a learning health record that will inform patient care.
Dr. Shaf Keshavjee
Dr. Keshavjee is the Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program which encompasses SickKids and UHN. He is also Surgeon-in-Chief at UHN. He is cited for his innovative contributions to thoracic surgery, notably in the development of the Toronto Ex Vivo System – a process that has improved lung transplantation worldwide.
The process effectively preserves donor organs and extends the window of time that an organ can be removed from a deceased donor and transplanted into a recipient without tissue deterioration. Specifically, the technology enables lungs to be preserved and repaired outside of the body, improving on existing limits which require transplantation to occur within four to six hours. The technology overcomes geographical barriers and enables physicians to better locate and match organ donors with suitable recipients.
The Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation by people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. More than 6,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada since it was established in 1967.