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Feature the Researcher: COS Member Dr. Brenda L. Gallie Receives the Order of Canada

Dr. Brenda L. GallieOTTAWA – The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is pleased to announce that one of its members has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Dr. Brenda Gallie, Director of the Retinoblastoma Program at SickKids Hospital, Professor of Medical Biophysics, Molecular Genetics and Ophthalmology and Vision Science at the University of Toronto, staff in Ocular Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and a member of the affiliated faculty of Techna has received this honour “for her contributions to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of retinoblastoma, a childhood eye cancer.” The prestigious appointment was announced on December 26, 2014 by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

“We wish to congratulate Dr. Gallie on this significant accomplishment”, says Dr. Allan Slomovic, President of the COS. “This is another exciting example of the innovative and meaningful medical research being done by ophthalmologists in Canada and world-wide.”

For 40 years, Dr. Gallie and her research teams have focused on optimizing care for retinoblastoma, learning fundamental principles of cancer, genetics and translational medicine from this rare disease. Retinoblastoma research led to the recognition that cancer is a genetic disease; showed how to find tumour suppressor genes; illustrated the role of progressive genomic instability from normal to cancer; and developed top-quality molecular diagnostics in a business model with the patient foremost. To ensure optimal care and outcomes, they developed the first ever National Guidelines for Care, for Canada, now adopted in Kenya. With worldwide stakeholders, including retinoblastoma survivors, One Retinoblastoma World (1RBW) has emerged with a constellation model of collaborative governance that supports multi-organization partnerships and inspires innovative thinking and problem-solving. Dr. Gallie’s new lab is the world. Participants at the 2014 1RBW meeting in Toronto represented 44% of the world retinoblastoma ongoing studies map (1rbw.org) and set the stage for a global learning health system, iteratively advancing care based on evidence from the bedside, everywhere.

The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

Previous to receiving this appointment, Dr. Gallie was named Distinguished Scientist of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and received the Order of Ontario for contributing genetic knowledge to the care of children with retinoblastoma across Canada. She was also the 2013 recipient of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) Lifetime Achievement Award.

More about the Order of Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Rosalind O’Connell
Manager, Communications & Public Affairs
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society
613.900.6416 communications@cos-sco.ca