By John Intini
In recognition of his great achievements in neurosurgery, a fellowship has been set up in the name of the late Charles Drake, to aid in further research on the human brain.
Drake, who died Sept. 15 after a long battle with lung cancer, was the first chair of Western's department of clinical neurological sciences and a founding member of the Robarts Research Institute.
Henry Barnett, a long time friend and co-founder of the institute, said the fellowship, which currently stands at $120,000, has a number of roles.
Named the Charles George Drake Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Neurosciences, the fellowship will allow experts to come to Western and take part in research as well as teach graduate and postgraduate classes for week-long stays, Barnett said.
"At first it was simply going to be used as a way of allowing experts to take part in four or five days on campus to deliver a Drake memorial lecture and do research," Barnett said. "The overwhelming support has made many new options available."
According to Barnett, who is also a professor of neurology and scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, three more initiatives have been organized. Money will be set aside to allow top students and interns the chance to take part in meetings in the United States and around the world they otherwise would not be able to afford.
As well, the fellowship will be able to attract promising young students and interns to Western for study, Barnett said.
Drake's widow Ruth said her late husband, known for his love of his patients and his work, would be very pleased with the fellowship and the impact it is going to have on his field of study.
"Charles was always in support of helping his students achieve their goals," she said. "He would be very pleased with the use of the money to encourage further research and education."
Mark Poznansky, president and scientific director of the Robarts Research Institute, said a considerable amount of money was donated to the professorship from societies, patients and neurologists from around the world all who were endeared to Drake.
"Charlie Drake was arguably the world's greatest neurosurgeon," he said.