New Researcher Awards

The Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award recognizes an outstanding investigator in the early stages of his/her career. This award acknowledges the basic or clinical research accomplishments of a junior/newly emerging investigator in the field of inflammatory bowel disease, within 5 years of their first faculty appointment. Nominated by their fellow scientists, recipients of the Rising Star Award are innovative and productive leaders who have made an outstanding contribution to supporting Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s mission.

2015 recipient: Dr. Eric Benchimol, Nepean, ON

This young researcher-clinician is focused on health services research and knowledge translation, and his work has been of infinite value to the Crohn’s and colitis community. As a doctoral student, he helped developed a survey that clearly showed the increasing incidence of Crohn’s and colitis in Canadian children. This study put these diseases on the radar screens of health policy makers in a new way. He also was the first to document the high incidence of Crohn’s and colitis in children born in Canada to parents who came here from other countries, particularly South Asia – a fact that helped lead researchers into new discovery pathways.

Only five years into his first faculty position – at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario – he already leads the Canadian Gastrointestinal Epidemiology Consortium and is a co-principal investigator in the Canadian Children IBD Network. What little spare time he has, he gives to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada very generously – sitting on our Scientific and Medical Advisory Council, speaking at our education events and recently presenting his findings to the Economic Club of Canada during the 2014 Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Month. If you follow him on Twitter, you’ll see he’s also a media-savvy advocate for research generally, but specifically for sick kids.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 150 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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