KHSC neurosurgeon named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40

News / General

Dr. Teresa Purzner, a neurosurgeon at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has received a prestigious honour, being named to the 2021 Canada Top 40 Under 40 list. The list, which was founded in 1995 by Caldwell, an executive search firm, is an award that identifies outstanding achievers in Canadian business, visionaries and innovators.

Dr. Purzner, aside from her clinical practice providing care to patients at KHSC, was nominated for her work in founding a baby food company that supports brain development in young children. Cerebelly, is now a nationally recognized brand in the U.S. with distribution in over 7,000 grocery stores. 

“We are thrilled to express our sincere congratulations to Dr. Purzner for being recognized for her innovative and important work to support early brain development,” says Dr. David Pichora, KHSC’s president and CEO. “The KHSC community, including our patients and their families, is also very fortunate to benefit from Dr. Purzner’s expertise and dedication to research and advancing care for individuals with cancer.”

Specifically, Dr. Purzner’s scientific cancer research led to the repurposing of an experimental adult chemotherapy drug, for the treatment of childhood medulloblastoma—which is the most common pediatric brain tumor. This treatment is now moving through clinical trials.  

“I just really like complicated problems that take a while to solve, but affect the health and happiness of those around me,” says Dr. Purzner, who is also an associate professor with Queen’s University and a clinician scientist with the Kingston General Health Research Institute. She said her approach to research is to have “an end goal for people” by creating an accessible product that can make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Dr. Purzner was chosen out of a list of over 1,200 nominees for the award and will be honoured at a series of events to take place in the coming months.

“Dr. Purzner’s diverse set of accomplishments – from neuro-oncology research to clinical neurosurgery to entrepreneurship – demonstrate why she is one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40,” says Dr. Jane Philpott, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. “Her interdisciplinary approach to research, and efforts to build a new translational research program here at Queen’s, embody our strategic direction for the future of academic health sciences: one grounded in dynamic research collaboration across specialties.”

Dr. Purzner is the second member of KHSC’s neurosurgery team to be named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. Dr. DJ Cook also received the prestigious honour in 2018.