Submitted for Stephanie Egan, Ottawa Hospital

Everybody needs a little TLR:  Tender Loving Research.  The Ottawa Hospital Foundation recently launched its 3-year, $50 million dollar campaign – its largest research-based campaign to date.  Researchers and the people whose lives have been changed are at the heart of this campaign which supports improved patient care, cancer research, and ground-breaking research in regenerative medicine.

As WBN wraps up its nominations for its Business Women of the Year this week – November 7th to be exact, I thought it would be timely and inspiring to introduce you to an incredible woman – who has built her career in Ottawa and whose work and ultimately her patients will benefit from some Tender Loving Research.

Meet Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden, a 23-year veteran at The Ottawa Hospital.  She has spent 14 years as the Corrine Boyer Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research, is a senior scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and is a professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Ottawa.  She is also internationally recognized for her expertise as an ovarian biologist.

Dr. Vanderhyden traded in her lab coat on Saturday night and donned an evening gown for The Ottawa Hospital Gala, held at The Westin Ottawa, where she received the Grimes Research Career Achievement Award.   The honour recognizes her dedication to ovarian cancer research and unwavering commitment to creating new treatments for the disease.

In speaking with Caroline Phillips for The Ottawa Citizen’s Around Town feature, Dr. Vanderhyden said she was ‘honoured, thrilled and excited’ to receive this award but was far from taking all the credit.  “We obviously work very hard, and every once in a while it’s nice to get the recognition that we’re doing something right,” she told Phillips. “It’s not a solo effort. I get to stand in front of everybody and say ‘Thank you’ but it really is a team effort,” said Vanderhyden.

Earlier this year, Dr. Vanderhyden also received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in April for her combined volunteer leadership role with Ovarian Cancer Canada, helping women who are struggling with their diagnosis of ovarian cancer – and her work as a researcher.

Dr. Vanderhyden is also known as a passionate researcher who believes in helping to develop a new generation of scientists. Since 1993, she has acted as a mentor and worked with outreach programs to motivate young people to explore the scientific world.  She continues to nurture and offer these opportunities.

On research she says:  “What we do is not separate from the patients, what we do is for the patients,” noting that testing new treatments is paramount in battling ovarian cancer.

“If even one woman is cured of her cancer because of a new treatment that we discover, then it’s all worth it.”

Thank you, Dr. Vanderhyden.

Feel inspired?  We thought you would.  Get your online dictionary ready and read more about Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden and her work here. To read more about the Tender Loving Research campaign visit: tenderlovingresearch.ca.