McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

New endowed chair strengthens research in neuromuscular diseases and rehabilitation

Published: September 25, 2003

McMaster University and the Hamilton Hospitals Assessment Centre announced today the creation of an endowed professorship in neuromuscular diseases.

The Hamilton Hospitals Assessment Centre Professorship in Neuromuscular Disease at McMaster University will be funded in perpetuity, ensuring continued excellence in both the teaching of neuromuscular and neurometabolic disorders, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and research into neuromuscular and metabolic disorders.

Mark Tarnopolsky, a clinician-scientist and associate professor in the departments of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University has been named to the new professorship.

Dr. Tarnopolsky has established a clinic to investigate and follow children and adults with suspected neuromuscular and neurometabolic disorders. The clinic offers a range of services from molecular and metabolic testing through to the physical medicine and rehabilitation aspects of long-term care for such patients.

He also conducts research in the areas of muscle metabolism, experimental therapeutics for neuromuscular and metabolic diseases. Another strong emphasis is on the evaluation of nutrition, exercise and pharmacological strategies to enhance muscle function in health (sports) and disease (neuromuscular and neurometabolic).

He completed his bachelor of physical education (chancellor's gold medal) and medical degree (MD) at McMaster University. Following this, he completed a PhD in nutrition and muscle metabolism under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie Atkinson (professor of Pediatrics at McMaster University), and then completed clinical sub-specialty medical training in internal medicine, neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation at McMaster University and the University of Rochester (NY).

He has received the Golseth Young Investigator Award from the American Academy of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and the Premier's Research Excellence Award. His laboratory has published over 100 peer reviewed papers in the past 10 years and the Professorship will allow him to focus more attention on the research.

"Dr. Tarnopolsky is a prime example of the top-notch faculty we are able to retain through such generous gifts," said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president health sciences. "Mark is a top researcher in his field and is truly a role model for students."

"The Hamilton Hospitals Assessment Centre is pleased to support this Professorship," said Murray T. Martin, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences. "We appreciate the importance of advancing our understanding of neuromuscular metabolism and disease and we believe Dr. Tarnopolsky is an ideal person to play a leadership role in this field."

The Hamilton Hospitals Assessment Centre has been providing multidisciplinary clinical assessments since 1988. The Assessment Centre receives referrals from a wide range of sources; the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, insurance companies, lawyers and employers. Depending on the needs of the clients, a variety of health care professionals, are involved in the assessments - physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors and psychologists, to name just a few. The assessors on the roster are private providers from Hamilton and surrounding areas, as well as those affiliated with Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Hospital.

The Assessment Centre is currently located in the Osler Building at the Chedoke site of Hamilton Health Sciences. It operates on fee-for-service basis and is highly competitive with other private assessment centres. The Assessment Centre has designated some of its profits earned to date to support this professorship.

McMaster University, one of Canada's top student-centred, research-intensive universities, has a world-renowned faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities. McMaster's culture of innovation fosters a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University has a student population of 20,000 and over 108,000 alumni in more than 125 countries around the world.

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