Milos Popovic receives March of Dimes Canada lifetime achievement award

Milos Popovic

IBBME professor Milos Popovic is the 2018 recipient of the March of Dimes Canada’s Jonas Salk Award. It recognizes his sustained scientific contributions to improving the lives of people with physical disabilities. (Photo: Jonathan Sabeniano).

May 31, 2018 | By Luke Ng

Professor Milos Popovic has been announced as the recipient of the 2018 Jonas Salk Award for his sustained scientific contributions to improving the lives of people with disabilities.

Established in 1994, the award is presented annually by March of Dimes Canada to a Canadian scientist, physician or researcher who has made significant advancements in scientific knowledge, prevention, treatment or cure of a physically disabling condition.

Popovic is a professor in the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), a senior scientist and the institute director of research at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He is a renowned researcher in the field of rehabilitation engineering, specifically in the development of technologies that help restore voluntary limb function in persons with certain disabilities and other devices for rehabilitation.

Popovic’s pioneering research has led to the creation of MyndTec, a company produces a non-invasive therapy device called MyndMove that helps patients regain lost movement as a result of stroke or spinal cord injury. MyndMove has been licenced for use in Canada, is currently available at 17 designated clinics across the country and has undergone a pilot launch in the U.S.

Most recently, Popovic co-led the successful launch of the CentRe for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA), a $16.3-million initiative supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund. Under the joint leadership of Popovic and University Health Network (UHN) neurosurgeon Dr. Taufik Valiante, the state-of-the-art facility will enable researchers from UHN and U of T to advance neuromodulation therapies to treat patients with diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and spinal cord injury.

“Congratulations to Milos on this well-deserved award,” said Professor Warren Chan, director of IBBME. “I am delighted that many of our researchers in this field are being recognized for the impactful and compassionate work they do.”

This is the fourth time a U of T IBBME professor has been recognized by March of Dimes Canada with the Jonas Salk Award. In 1995, Professor Emeritus Morris (Mickey) Milner received this recognition, followed by Professor Geoff Fernie in 2002 and Professor Tom Chau in 2016.