Drs Illes, Werker and Martin-Matthews appointed to the Order of Canada

Dr. Judy Illes

On Friday, December 29, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, announced 125 new appointments to the Order of Canada. Three Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health members were included in this year’s appointments.

Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews and Dr. Janet Werker were appointed Officers of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Martin-Matthews was honoured for her extensive research contributions to the field of gerontology, notably in implementing the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). Launched in 2010, the CLSA is a national study that follows more than 50,000 Canadians, aged 45 to 85 at recruitment, for the next 20 years. It’s the most comprehensive study of aging that’s ever been undertaken in Canada. The CLSA will identify ways to improve the health of Canadians by better understanding the processes that trigger and influence different trajectories of aging.

In April, Dr. Martin-Matthews was appointed Acting Vice-President, Research, Knowledge Translation, and Ethics of CIHR.

Dr. Werker was recognized for her internationally renowned contributions to our understanding of speech perception and language acquisition in infants.

“I have been fascinated by language throughout my career, and have always wanted to understand how infants so rapidly acquire this incredibly complex system,” said Dr. Werker in 2016. Dr. Werker has challenged our understanding of how babies learn languages, and has particularly been interested in how, especially in multicultural Canada, language acquisition unfolds in a bilingual home.

Dr. Judy Illes (pictured above) was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to the field of neurology, including innovative research that has highlighted the ethical, social and legal implications of advances in neuroscience. In addition, Dr. Illes has been a champion of diverse voices in academia, and has led the push to see more women researchers and faculty in leadership positions. In 2015, she publicly resigned from the selection committee of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame in protest of a nomination process that failed over several years to recognize a female candidate and the diversity of Canada’s leadership.

"Diversity is the engine of invention," Dr. Illes said at the time. "It’s important to talk about diversity now, so that we can move into our brighter future with the better opportunities diversity will provide."

Dr. Judy Illes was recently appointed Vice-Chair of the Internal Advisory Board of the Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction.

About the Order of Canada

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada. 

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