Capital Health announces new endowed chair in transplant research

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 12:02pm

Atlantic Canadians will soon benefit from advancements in organ transplantation as a result of a new research chair. Dr. Ian Alwayn was announced today as the inaugural QEII Foundation Endowed Chair in Transplantation Research.

Dr. Alwayn is currently the surgical lead for the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at the QEII and an associate professor with Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine. His research focuses on optimizing the health of donors and recipients, while improving the quality of organs prior to transplantation.

“I work with a team who is very dedicated to making transplants possible. Our focus is always on improving the health of our patients,” said Dr. Alwayn. “As the Chair, my goal is to bring researchers together, collaborate with different programs and enhance the transplant experience for patients.”

An endowed chair provides stable long-term funding for the research chair holder, allowing further medical advancements to be made in a dedicated area. This research will enhance care for future Atlantic Canadian patients receiving organ transplants at the QEII; patients like Ellie O’Brien, who received her new kidney from a family friend after 14 months on the transplant list.

“I am a perfect example of the progress transplantation research has made to date,” said O’Brien as she shared her story with the crowd. “It’s been more than four years since my surgery and I am completely healthy and happy. In fact, my experience with the QEII inspired me to study nursing at St. Francis Xavier University.”

The Multi-Organ Transplant Program at the QEII has performed approximately 3,500 organ transplants for Atlantic Canadians since 1969. The QEII is the only health centre in Atlantic Canada able to perform transplants for patients.

“Today’s announcement will boost a service we’re already extremely proud of,” said Chris Power, President and CEO, Capital Health. “The Multi-Organ Transplant Program is a prime example of the specialized service and high-calibre care available at the QEII Health Sciences Centre that helps Atlantic Canadians when they need it most.”

The announcement was made in the Weather Watch at the VG site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre and recognized main funding partners Roche Canada, RBC and other generous donors.