Professors L’Abbé and Slutsky Appointed to Order of Canada
University of Toronto Professors Mary L’Abbé and Art Slutsky have been appointed members of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honours for lifetime achievement, for their contributions to nutritional sciences and critical care medicine, respectively.
L’Abbé is a professor and former chair of nutritional sciences at U of T, who came to the university from Health Canada and has helped raise awareness and change policy nationwide on issues such as sugar, salt and fat, menu labelling and advertising to children.
Slutsky is a professor of medicine and surgery at U of T and a previous director of the interdepartmental division of critical care medicine. His research helped identify the mechanisms underlying ventilator-induced injury, and helped lead to the development of new therapies for patients with respiratory failure.
“Art’s contributions to the fields of respirology and critical care as a scientist, collaborator, educator and mentor are rightfully renowned, and as a research leader his impact has been transformative,” said Professor Trevor Young, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at U of T. “Mary has made important contributions to the national conversation on many key issues, including child nutrition, and has been an outstanding leader and mentor here at the Faculty of Medicine.”
The Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. It recognizes all sectors of Canadian society, honouring those who have enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.
“This is a fabulous and really special honour,” said L’Abbé, who is also a researcher in the Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition and whose work has helped provide evidence for the Child Health Protection Act, currently before the Senate of Canada. “It’s also a huge credit to all the people who have worked with me over the years, especially the trainees at U of T, who do so much of the research and to a very high quality.”
Slutsky also praised the academic health science milieu in Toronto. “I have been lucky to work with talented teams at St. Michael’s and the University of Toronto. Together, we’ve changed patient care around the world,” said Slutsky, who is the previous vice-president of research at St. Michael’s Hospital and a scientist in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science.
The discovery of a new type of lung injury — which Slutsky’s team named biotrauma — produced a new field of scientific investigation for researchers globally. “A career in health research allows you to impact not only the patients you care for as a physician, but potentially millions of others. This has been an incredible honour for me.”
Almost 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada, which was created in 1967 and is presented by the governor general.
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