Supporting innovative and impactful research will change how spinal cord and brain injury is studied while accelerating discoveries for treatments and recovery.

Together with the Barbara Turnbull Foundation, Brain Canada is pleased to announce the 2021 Turnbull-Tator Award in Spinal Cord Injury and Concussion Research. In honour of the late Barbara Turnbull, this award aims to recognize an outstanding publication in the field of spinal cord and/or brain injury research (including concussion) in the last two years with a $50,000 prize.

Since 2001, Brain Canada and the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research have been partnering to support the need for exceptional research in the area of spinal cord and/or brain injury to improve the lives of those affected.

“Barbara devoted her life to raising public awareness about the need to support and encourage excellence in Canadian research related to spinal cord injury rehabilitation and concussion assessment and treatment,” says Gary Goldberg, a director of the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research.

It is currently estimated that there are 86,000 people with spinal cord injuries in Canada, with more than 4,000 new cases estimated each year.

“As the number of cases of people living with spinal cord injuries in Canada continues to rise, it is important that we invest in high-quality and transformative research that will lead to new findings and improve the lives of people affected by life-altering injuries,” says Dr. Viviane Poupon, Brain Canada President and CEO.    

Interested applicants are invited to apply by December 8, 2021 at 16:00 EST .

“This funding from Brain Canada and the Barbara Turnbull Foundation is really essential for us to remain competitive internationally and develop innovative ways to understand something as complex as spinal cord repair,” says the 2020 Award recipient, Dr. Steve Lacroix, who was awarded a $50,000 grant for his paper entitled “Microglia are an essential component of the neuroprotective scar that forms after spinal cord injury,” published in Nature Communications in 2019.

Evidence clearly shows that increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in research environments enhances excellence, innovation and creativity. Brain Canada is committed to excellence through equity, and we encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply to our funding opportunities.

Please refer to the Request for Applications for additional details.