Reprinted from...
Breakthrough - Health Sciences Centre Research Foundation Newsletter Volume 2 Number 1, Winter/1989

Dr. Larry M. Jordan, Neuroscience researcher and Co-Director of the Health Sciences Centre/University of Manitoba Spinal Cord Research Centre.   Spinal Cord Research team (left to right), Drs. Larry Jordan, Co-Director, Brian Schmidt (seated), David McCrea, and Susan Shefchyk.


The Health Sciences Centre Research Foundation has succeeded in preventing one of North America's leading Neuroscience researchers from leaving Manitoba.

Dr. Larry Jordan, Co-Director of the Health Sciences Centre/University of Manitoba Spinal Cord Research Centre, and his entire team of neuroscience investigators have agreed to stay in Winnipeg despite an attractive offer from the University of Toronto and the Toronto General Hospital.

At a press conference, Foundation spokesman Martin Eva commented that, "All too often, people start their life's work in Manitoba and then are recruited somewhere else." Unfortunately, this phenomenon occurs more frequently than the Manitoba medical community would like to see happen.

Dr. Jordan is considered a leader in neuroscience research - the world's fastest growing medical research field. Together with his fellow neuroscientists, Drs. Susan Shefchyk, David McCrea and Brian Schmidt, Jordan conducts spinal cord research which is internationally renowned particularly in the areas of the control of locomotion through chemical and electrical stimulation of the spinal cord (helping those with spinal cord injuries to walk); spasticity; bladder control and management.

Dr. Jordan was tempted to accept the post of director of the Toronto General's Playfair Neuroscience Institute because the long-term goals of his research team could not be supported by the short-term funding available here in Manitoba.

In an attempt to prevent the departure of Dr. Jordan and his research associates, the Research Foundation spearheaded a rescue effort which involved 6 months of intense negotiations between Dr. Jordan, the Health Sciences Centre and the University of Manitoba.

An agreement was reached which enables the researchers to continue their work in Manitoba for five years and is renewable for an additional five years. In addition, the agreement allows for future expansion and growth of the Neuroscience Research Program through the recruitment of four additional neuroscience researchers from other centres in the world.

  The total budget covered in the agreement is $4.9 million over 5 years for; the construction of new facilities, the purchase of equipment and salary support for 8 researchers, a technician and support staff.

Seventy-seven percent of this amount ($3.8 million) will come from the Health Sciences Centre Research Foundation. The balance will be funded by the University of Manitoba, the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Paraplegic Association, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, the Manitoba Health Research Council, N.S.E.R.C. and the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Legacy Fund.

This long-term commitment to the Spinal Cord Research team has exciting implications for both the Research Foundation and Manitoba.

For the Research Foundation it will mean an increased level of fundraising. In response to these heightened fundraising needs, planning has already begun to establish an endowment fund, the interest from which will fund the Spinal Cord Research group and enable the Foundation to take on other research projects as well.

For Manitoba, the 5 year commitment means that this province will remain a leader in Spinal Cord research. And with 4 of the top-notch spinal cord researchers in North America already conducting their studies here, the opportunity to recruit to Manitoba more experts in the field of neuroscience is promising.

The Health Sciences Centre Research Foundation is pleased to have been instrumental in preventing a "raid" of these Manitoba researchers. In the words of Research Foundation Chairman, Mr. Terry Wright, "So often Manitoba is unable to keep or attract truly `world class' medical researchers who, because of their success, are recruited by larger and richer centres. In this instance, it has been shown that, particularly in the area of neuroscience research, Manitoba is able to compete with the best. The agreement with Dr. Jordan is a major `coup' for Manitoba medical research."

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Copyright © 1989, Health Sciences Centre Research Foundation
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EDITOR ... Patricia A. McCallum, Executive Director
WRITER ... Barbro M. Dick, Public Relations Officer

This newsletter is published quarterly by the Health Sciences Centre Research Foundation, 800 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 1M4.