Kingston physician named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40

News / Surgical Care
By John Pereira

Neurosurgeon Dr. DJ Cook recognized for innovative surgical and stroke research

Each year Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 serves as a showcase for emerging leaders across the country, and this year a Kingston surgeon has been named to the prestigious list. KHSC Neurosurgeon, and Associate Professor at Queen’s University, Dr. DJ Cook was selected for the award which was announced in the National Post and on BNN News last week.

Dr. Cook was recognized for his work in developing minimally invasive surgical procedures for complex brain disorders, as well for his innovative research focusing on therapy and treatments to enhance recovery for patients who have suffered a stroke.

“This is a real honour. I know that a few neurosurgeons have been recognized in in the past, but this is a list focused on leaders in the private sector. So, it’s a big honour to be considered for this award as a surgeon-scientist,” says Dr. Cook. “I think it speaks to the impact of the work we are doing at KHSC and Queen’s with the Translational Stroke Research Program.”

The list includes some recognizable names this year, such as New York Times bestselling author Neil Pasricha and Manjit Minhas from CBC’s Dragons Den. Founded in 1995 by the Caldwell Partners, Top 40 has recognized more than 680 outstanding Canadians since its inception.

Dr. Cook credits his nomination for this prestigious award to the strong, innovative environment provided through the clinician-scientist program offered by the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Association in partnership with Queen’s and KHSC. “I must also thank my highly supportive partners in the Neurosurgery Program who help facilitate my sometimes overwhelming research schedule,” says Dr. Cook.

This year’s 40 winners were selected from over 800 nominees by an independent Advisory Board, comprising more than 20 business leaders from across Canada. Honourees were chosen on four key criteria: Vision & Innovation; Leadership; Impact & Influence; and, Social Responsibility.

“It was a rigorous process that included a series of interviews with business leaders from across the country. I think the panel was interested in the impact our work is having in academia and the promise it holds for healthcare and our society,” says Dr. Cook. “It’s recognition that our research in stroke and neurosurgery is of interest to a broader audience who understand the potential benefit for patients worldwide.”

Dr. Cook along with the other winners will be recognized at a gala event in Toronto in November. In the meantime, he’ll continue to investigate ways to improve care for our patients and families.

“This is external validation that although Kingston’s Neurosurgery Department is smaller than others in cities like Toronto and Montreal, that we’re doing work that is shaping the way people think about how best to treat patients who have suffered a stroke.”