Lab Canada

Calgary celebrates Canada’s first chair in pediatric neurosciences

Calgary, AB – The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Kinsmen Club of Stampede City, the Kinsmen Care Foundation, the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, and the Calgary Health Region have announced that Dr Samuel Wiebe is the first appointee to the Kinsmen Chair in Pediatric Neurosciences.

"We are thrilled to have recruited such an outstanding clinical scientist to join our neurosciences group," says Dr Brent Scott, head of pediatrics at the Calgary Health Region and the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine. "His leadership of the research team will enable children and families in our community to be the first to benefit from new discoveries and treatments."

The first of its kind in Canada, this new research chair was created as part of the All For One. All For Kids. Campaign for the new Alberta Children’s Hospital and supports the hospital’s commitment to world-class research, education and care.

Dr Samuel Wiebe is known internationally for clinical findings he published in the New England Journal of Medicine. He was the first scientist to prove that surgery is more effective than drug therapy in treating some patients with epilepsy. This groundbreaking research has meant that neurosurgeons are operating on children with epilepsy to help cure them of their seizures at an increasingly young age.

"The brain is the seed of emotions, personality, vocations and creativity. Brain disorders not only produce physical disability but also hinder human potential. Our goal is to restore the brain to its maximum potential at as early an age as possible," says Dr Wiebe. "It is better to operate on the brain before it is hard-wired in adulthood. A child’s brain has an amazing capacity to repair itself after surgery and continue growing."

This new research chair brings together a collaborative team including molecular biologists, pediatric and adult neurologists, neurosurgeons, imaging scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists and radiologists. The team meets weekly to review videos, EEGs, MR scans, nuclear medicine scans and brain function results of children suffering from brain and spinal conditions with a focus on developing new leading-edge treatments.