Volume 91, Issue 50

Wednesday, November 26, 1997



Londoner gets $2 million for stroke research

By Brendan Howe
Gazette Staff

In its biggest funding initiative ever, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is putting $6 million toward endowment funds, a third of which will benefit one London researcher.

Brian Rutt, a scientist at Western's John P. Robarts Research Institute, learned this week he will be the beneficiary of a $2 million endowment fund. The fund is part of a campaign by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to stop the "brain drain" of leading Canadian scientists moving to the United States, said Rick Gallop, executive director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

He said the fund granted to Rutt is made up of a $1 million donation from the foundation as well as a matching $1 million donation from the Richard Ivey Foundation.

"We're making sure we are locking in the best and the brightest in the field," Gallop said. He added Rutt is one of the strongest scientists in the country.

The interest gained on the endowment fund will go completely to Rutt, paying his salary as well as contributing to the cost of his research. Gallop said total interest will probably amount to $100,000 per year or five per cent of the fund.

Rutt said the endowment will add security to his position for the next five years, the length he will serve as chair. "This makes me able to focus on my research." He added the gift has the ability to fund long-term scientific research.

He explained his research includes understanding why strokes occur, when they occur, as well as preventative measures. Imaging research allows him and his team of scientists the ability to look inside arteries and examine them more closely.

Other recipients included Marlene Rabinovitch at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Falan Yasuf at McMaster University. "All these people are potential Nobel prize winners," Gallop said.

Marvi Ricker, executive director of the Richard Ivey Foundation, said their donation of $1 million to the Robarts Institute was to encourage others to donate to the charity and to honour retired scientist Henry Barnett.

"I hope this will cause other people to realize this is an important activity," Ricker said, adding money attracts money.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997