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$500,000 gift kick-starts fundraising for new $5M stroke research chair

London, ON – A leadership gift of $500,000 towards a new research chair at the Robarts Research Institute — the Kathleen & Dr Henry Barnett Chair in Stroke Research — has been made by Richard Ivey, a longtime supporter of the institute.


The institute says it is committed to securing a minimum of $5 million in private funding to launch the chair, and the gift has given a great start to the fundraising efforts. Of the total, $3 million will fund the chair itself, and $2 million in core funding will provide necessary support for far-reaching stroke research.


The new chair will honour Dr Henry Barnett, co-founder and first scientific director of the institute, and his late wife Kay Barnett. Dr Barnett is a skilled neurologist, whose extraordinary contributions to stroke research have recently earned him the prestigious Karolinska Stroke Award for Excellence in Stroke Research. The Karolinska Institute also awards the Nobel Prize in Medicine each year.


Kay Barnett was a registered nurse and a steadfast supporter of not only Dr Barnett’s work, but that of the countless medical students and researchers she hosted and encouraged throughout her lifetime.


The chair will ultimately be awarded to an outstanding clinician-scientist of international stature to the department of clinical neurological sciences at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Robarts. The institute says it is not yet ready to start the search for a candidate, as its efforts are currently focussed on the fundraising goals.


Mr Ivey, and his late wife, Beryl Ivey, played a key role in the founding of the institute in 1986 as a financial sponsor, and the couple’s generosity allowed Robarts to establish the Beryl and Richard Ivey Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging in 2003.