A renowned neuroscientist is helping Surrey Memorial Hospital develop advanced ways of treating patients with traumatic brain injuries, through a $5.2 million research endowment.
Dr. Ryan D'Arcy, of Simon Fraser University, will lead the charge.
"I'm going to continue doing what I love for as long as they let me do it," he told the Now.
He's tasked with "developing the medical research capacity that sits in Surrey," he said.
Hailing from the Institute for Biodiagnostics in Halifax, D'Arcy is pretty much a rock star in the field of neuroscience. His work is expected to put Surrey on the map in terms of being a city on the cutting edge of diagnosis and treatment of people suffering from brain injuries.
He will oversee the development of a medical technology sector, beginning with advanced diagnosis and treatment at SMH.
A native of B.C., D'Arcy's fascination with brains and how they work ranges back to his studies at a private high school on Vancouver Island, where he got to dissect the brain of a dogfish.
After that, he was hooked. "I always liked biology and physics in high school," he said.
D'Arcy has been working behind the scenes in Surrey for a couple of months already.
The project was revealed Tuesday, with funding from the provincial government, SFU and the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. It's called the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation B.C. Leadership Chair in Multimodal Technology for Healthcare Innovation.
"Dr. D'Arcy brings great passion, drive and applied research talent to Fraser Health," said Nigel Murray, president and CEO of Fraser Health. "We are fortunate to have him leading health sciences and innovation at Surrey Memorial Hospital and thank the province of B.C., Simon Fraser University and the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation for making this incredible appointment possible."
Dr. Nimal Rajapakse, the dean of SFU's faculty of applied sciences, played an important role in recruiting D'Arcy. The interest generated from the $5.2 million will help pay for the project, which will be reviewed every five years by an advisory board. All told, D'Arcy will have up to 20 graduate students and technicians conducting research under his guidance at labs on SFU's campus and at the hospital.
"This is very much a collaborative effort," Rajapakse said.