​Ontario Brain Institute and Rick Hansen Institute Launch Joint Fundraising Campaign to Accelerate Research in Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

The two organizations have set a goal of $4,000,000 to fund initiatives that will have a direct impact on people with brain disorders or spinal cord injury

Toronto, May 6, 2019: The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) and the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) have joined forces to accelerate investments in research, commercialization and care for brain disorders and spinal cord injury (SCI).

The two organizations have established a joint fundraising campaign that will support OBI and RHI in delivering on three pillars:

  • Advancing technologies relevant to brain disorders and SCIs;
  • Collaboration and information exchange using their independent research platforms and data strategies; and
  • Partnering on joint philanthropic activities to accelerate research through commercialization initiatives and data collection strategies that benefit the community at large.

“Brain and spinal cord injuries share many similarities in terms of how they can affect mobility, quality of life and the healthcare and rehabilitation that people require,” said Bill Barrable, CEO of the Rick Hansen Institute. “We are thrilled to partner with OBI to develop joint initiatives that can benefit the people we serve and help reduce the burden of hallway healthcare, while at the same time allowing us the opportunity to learn from each other.”

“This dynamic partnership will serve to make a significant impact on the brain disorder and spinal cord injury landscape,” said Tom Mikkelsen, President and Scientific Director at the Ontario Brain Institute. “Establishing a working relationship with the Rick Hansen Institute stands by OBI’s core principles to seek out deliberate partnerships and collaborations that will directly accelerate discovery and innovation in order to improve the lives of people with brain disorders and those who care for them.”

Brain disorders include a vast and diverse number of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, depression, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. One in three Canadians are impacted by brain disorders. In Ontario, brain disorders cost the province over $4 billion annually in direct costs, while the personal and emotional costs are incalculable.

Spinal cord injury is one of the most debilitating, yet survivable catastrophic injuries. For the 86,000 Canadians who have spinal cord injuries, life is changed forever. SCI costs the Canadian economy more than $2.7 billion annually, in health care costs and lost productivity.

RHI and OBI are recognized leaders in their respective fields and both organizations welcome the opportunity to collaborate in order to identify and accelerate the most promising discoveries that will benefit Ontarians with spinal cord injury and brain disorders.

About the Partners

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially funded, not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy. Our collaborative ‘team science’ approach promotes brain research, commercialization and care by connecting researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. Welcome to Brain Central. Visit www.braininstitute.ca for more information. Follow us on Twitter (@OntarioBrain)

The Rick Hansen Institute is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization that drives spinal cord injury research and innovation around the world. RHI facilitates a network of international researchers, healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs, investors and people with spinal cord injuries to find practical solutions to what is one of the most debilitating, costly and life-altering chronic health conditions. We are committed to accelerating the translation of discoveries and best practices into improved treatments for people with spinal cord injuries. www.rickhanseninstitute.org