Ontario Brain Institute
Year In Review.fr

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially funded, not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to pivot away from their 'normal' operations, OBI leveraged their ‘team science’ approach between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders and beyond.

Letters from the Executive Team.fr

"It was remarkable to witness how OBI was able to transition to this “new normal”, which I believe is a testament to the internal culture we have created, the partnerships we have nurtured and the trust we have established."

Todd Vienneau, Board Chair

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"We focused more than ever on taking the knowledge we have gathered over the years and translating it to the public – specifically prioritizing actionable tactics that people could employ in their own lives as they navigated their way through this new world."

Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, President & Scientific Director

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Impact at a Glance

Despite the challenges of the past year, OBI continued to yield positive results through its strategic partnerships and collaborations, working together to improve the lives of those living with brain disorders.

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Culture at OBI

Socializing plays an important role; it isn’t just fun, it’s good for your brain too! Some studies suggest individuals with robust social lives have better memory retention and cognitive abilities later in life.

Being socially active may help reduce the risk of developing anxiety and support cognition into older age, increase feelings of engagement and connectedness.

Keeping social has always been something important at the OBI office. There is an open, fun, and friendly culture within its walls, that is undoubtedly brought on by the OBI Staff.

Even though we have been working from home, just like many of you, it certainly didn’t stop us from having engaged and fun social experiences. From the office kitchen to our laptop screens, here is how OBI spent the last year together, apart...

  1. Social Hours, where we gathered virtually to play activities and games online like Pictionary, Connect, and Quiplash.
  2. OBI Chat Club, which is a kind of online book club. We individually watched films, documentaries, and read short stories. Then we came together to share our thoughts and discuss.
  3. Bi-weekly Coffee Chats mimicked impromptu conversations that would spark discussion in the kitchen. Held on mid-morning Mondays, staff could log on with a cup of coffee (or tea!) and chat!
  4. OBI Step Challenge 2020. During the month of November, 21 OBI Staff laced up their walking shoes and hit the pavement for a walking challenge. Divided into groups of 3 - 4, members were tasked with getting in as many steps possible each week (by the honour system, of course!). The winning team was granted bragging rights. Together, we walked 2,263,961 steps which are just over 1100kms! From the OBI office that would take us to Nashville Tennessee, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, or Thunder Bay Ontario.
  5. Virtual Holiday Celebration 2020. Something a little different than what we were used to, but no less fun! We celebrated together online with creative Zoom backgrounds, festive holiday names, a home scavenger hunt, a game of Family Feud, and to top it all off ~ OBI Staff Awards, called the OBIEs like best real zoom background, biggest excel fan, and biggest smile.


Board of Directors

Todd Vienneau

Board Chair

Senior Director – Global Medical Affairs

Insulet Corporation

Marcia Moffat

Vice Chair

Managing Director

Head of Canada for Blackrock

Tom Mikkelsen

President and Scientific Director

Ontario Brain Institute

Joyce Barretto

Senior Adviser

Corporate Projects

Home and Community Care Support Services

Heather Chalmers

President and Chief Executive Officer

GE Canada

Susan M. Fitzpatrick


The James S. McDonnell Foundation

Michael Horgan

Senior Advisor

Bennett Jones LLP

Dominique Hussey

Vice Chair & Toronto Managing Partner

Bennett Jones

Diane Kazarian

Managing Partner, GTA & National Banking Leader

PwC Management Services LLP

Mike Kessel

President & CEO

Cleveland Clinic Canada

Michelle Khalili

Managing Director and Head - Global Equity Capital Markets


Kyle MacDonald

Portfolio Manager, Gallant MacDonald – CIBC

Co-Founder Capitalize for Kids

J.W. (James) McGuire

Former SVP, Global Operations & Procurement


Steve Orsini

President and CEO

Council of Ontario Universities

David Sharma

Board of Directors

Swarmio Media

Hugh MacKinnon Q.C.

Retired Board Member

Chair and CEO - Bennett Jones LLP

Jeff Lozon

Retired Board Member

Chair and CEO, Lozon Associates

Councils & Committees.fr

Dr. Martin Buxton

Brunel University

Dr. Anas El Turabi

McKinsey & Company

Dr. Kathryn Graham

Alberta Innovates

Brenda Flaherty

Healthcare Consultant

Dr. Cara Altimus

Milken Institute