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REF NO.: 39

SUBJECT: Memorial University becomes first national partner of Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery

DATE: Oct. 11,2011

Memorial University of Newfoundland has joined the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery (CSR), becoming its first partner outside Ontario. This marks the beginning of the CSR’s expansion across Canada, as it evolves into a truly national organization.
The CSR is a unique, multi-site research institute dedicated solely to innovative research into ways to promote faster, more complete stroke recovery. Its ultimate goal is to dramatically improve the lives of stroke survivors and their families by learning more about how people recover from stroke at the molecular, cellular, functional and cognitive levels.
“Memorial was selected as the first expansion site because of their track record in stroke recovery research arising from their strategic focus on this area, both at the institutional level and within the Faculty of Medicine,” said Dr. Dale Corbett, CEO and scientific director of the CSR. “The partnership will benefit all parties. Memorial faculty members who belong to the CSR will have access to the knowledge, technology and professional network of our world-class research centre. By the same token, the other CSR partners will benefit from the very considerable knowledge, research facilities and accumulated expertise of Memorial researchers.”
Memorial University is already well known for its research into stroke recovery. “This new partnership will enhance research productivity and enable Memorial researchers to stay at the leading edge of stroke recovery research, in collaboration with leaders in the field across Canada,” said Dr. Chris Loomis, Memorial’s vice-president (research). “This networking will also help enhance the quality of training for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and health professionals involved in research by providing them with unique opportunities for education and collaboration.”
Newfoundland stroke survivors and their families will also benefit. “The goal of the CSR is to find ways to help people recover more quickly and more completely from stroke,” said Dr. James Rourke, dean of medicine at Memorial. “This has particular significance for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, because the province currently has the highest rates of stroke in the country. The partnership between Memorial and the CSR will facilitate access to clinical trials of leading-edge interventions for stroke survivors and their families, so that they can profit at an early stage from ongoing research into stroke recovery.”
“Research into stroke recovery is more important than ever because we now know that recovery continues indefinitely rather than stopping a few weeks after the event,” said George Tilley, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. “This finding has major implications for rehabilitation and for research into recovery following stroke. It opens the door to new modes of rehabilitation and treatment. For survivors, it means it is never too late to regain functions – and that’s very good news.”

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Dr. Dale Corbett will be in St. John’s and available for interviews the afternoon of Oct. 12. To arrange an interview, please contact: Sharon Gray, communications co-ordinator (medicine) at 709-777-8397 or Sharon.gray@mun.ca; or Virginia Middleton, communications co-ordinator (medicine) at 709-777-8285 or Virginia.middleton@med.mun.ca.
 
Dale Corbett, PhD
Dr. Corbett is the scientific director and CEO of the CSR. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Corbett was professor of neurosciences in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University and holder of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Stroke and Neuroplasticity.
Dr. Corbett’s research is directed at promoting recovery of function following stroke. The approaches used involve novel combinations of intensive rehabilitation, drug therapy and more recently pluripotent cells to enhance brain repair processes.
Dr. Corbett earned a BA from Dalhousie, a M.Sc. from Memorial and PhD from Concordia followed by post-doctoral studies at McGill. Before coming to Memorial in 1985, Dr. Corbett was a faculty member at Harvard University. His laboratory is part of the National Centre of Excellence Program, Canadian Stroke Network.
 
The Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery overview
The Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery (CSR) was formed in 2002 to dramatically improve the lives of stroke survivors and their families through advances in science.
By learning more about how people recover from stroke at the molecular, cellular, functional and cognitive levels, we are finding better ways to help stroke survivors and their families recover from stroke more quickly and completely.
Through the CSR, researchers working at our different locations share knowledge, gain access to each other’s technology and collaborate on research initiatives. They benefit from the knowledge, expertise and equipment of their colleagues across the centre.
The result is a one-of-a-kind virtual organization devoted entirely on research into recovery from stroke. One of the few centres in the world with this research focus, the CSR is a leader in the increasingly important field of stroke recovery.
Core partners in the CSR include some of Canada’s foremost health-care organizations:
• Baycrest
• Heart and Stroke Foundation
• Memorial University of Newfoundland
• Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
• The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
• University of Ottawa
CSR scientists are associated with one of the research partners or with other leading research organizations across North America. Scientists are encouraged to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams to gain new insights into how people recover from stroke, and how to enhance the process. In addition to affiliation with our research partners, many of our scientists also have cross appointments with other research centers.
For more information regarding the CSR, please contact Natasha Hollywood, communications manager at csr@rogers.com or 613-562-5800, ext. 8299.

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