University of Calgary

Top 40 under 40

May 7, 2009

Two U of C clinician scientists named Canada’s Top 40 Under 40

As Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

Indeed, Dr. Fiona Costello and Dr. Andrew Demchuk seem to have found their perfect balance by constantly moving. Both were recently named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 list, compiled by Caldwell Partners International and given to individuals who show a variety of traits from innovation and achievement, to community involvement and leadership.

For Demchuk, co-leader of the Attacking Stroke program at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in the Faculty of Medicine, it’s all about the ‘Big 5’: education, administration, research, clinical care, and family.

“I try to do all things because I like all five.  I’m a quality time kind of guy, so I get to do the fun stuff with my family at night and on weekends.” 

Demchuk is also the director of the Calgary Stroke Program and an associate professor with the departments of clinical neurosciences and radiology at U of C. 

In addition to his teaching and clinical practice, he is also a world-renowned researcher whose primary research interests lie in the area of cerebral vascular imaging and its application in developing new treatments for those who have suffered from stroke. Demchuk believes it’s an honour for both him and his team.

For Costello, it’s her children who help her keep things in perspective.

“I have four kids aged eight, five, three and six-months. It’s often a gong show,” Costello laughs. “It’s tough to balance, but my husband and I work well together.”

Costello is a clinician scientist and co-director of the NeuroProtection and Repair Evaluation Unit (NPREU) with the Arresting Multiple Sclerosis program at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. She’s also an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences with research and clinical expertise in the areas of neuro-ophthalmology and multiple sclerosis.  Together with her collaborators, Costello has been awarded a $2.5-million research grant to implement a novel experimental model of MS she has developed in ongoing studies.

“I use the visual system as a means of finding new ways to look at old problems. 
The eye can give us many insights into mechanisms of brain injury and help us better understand diseases like multiple sclerosis.”

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