Improving the lives of brain injury patients

He has worked extensively with Canadian soldier Capt. Trevor Greene, who suffered a serious brain injury after an axe attack in Afghanistan in 2006.

And now Dr. Ryan D'Arcy is bringing his expertise to Surrey.

D'Arcy, a Simon Fraser University (SFU) neuroscientist, was appointed to the newly created position of Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation B.C. Leadership Chair in Multimodal Technology for Healthcare Innovation on Tuesday (Jan. 29).

He will combine health research and technology by linking the Faculty of Applied Sciences at SFU with the medical expertise at Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and elsewhere in the Fraser Health region. D'Arcy's focus will remain on neurotechnology to further understand the brain and help improve the lives of patients with brain injuries and illnesses.

The leadership chair was funded through a $5.25-million partnership between the provincial government’s Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF), SFU and Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. Fraser Health will develop lab space and provide access to clinical facilities and resources.

D'Arcy was born and raised in B.C., but has most recently been the head of the Institute for Biodiagnostics in Halifax – a world-renowned institute he founded in 2002.

During his time there, D’Arcy raised more than $50 million in investment and established a critical mass of scientists, engineers, and clinicians focused on health technology products to help neurological patients.

Some devices he's been instrumental in developing include a portable scanner to evaluate brain status following a trauma; brain imaging technology to help Capt. Trevor Greene rewire his ability to walk; and the world's first virtual reality rehearsal for brain tumour removal.

“Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation is proud to partner with the provincial government, SFU and Fraser Health to bring the best of research and innovation to Surrey,"said Jane Adams, president and CEO of Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. "Dr. D’Arcy’s work has the potential to bring important new medical devices to market very quickly, benefiting our economy as well as helping doctors better diagnose and treat brain injuries in patients of all ages.”

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