Faculty member awarded Martha Cook Piper Research Prize

Raquel Maurier - 10 October 2013

Ken Butcher has been awarded the Martha Cook Piper Research Prize for his original and outstanding research that is advancing clinical stroke care. The University of Alberta award is given each year to two faculty members in the early stages of their careers. Keavy Martin from the Faculty of Arts was the other faculty member to receive the award.

Butcher is a clinical researcher in the Department of Medicine's Division of Neurology and conducts early-phase clinical trials focusing on improving care for stroke patients. He is currently working on a trial to see if rapid lowering of blood pressure improves outcomes for patients with a type of stroke called intracerebral hemorrhage. In another study he is looking at how to prevent early recurrence of stroke in people who have suffered mini-strokes or TIAs.

"I think it's a validation of what you're doing to win an award like this - to be recognized by your peers and more senior colleagues at a university," says Butcher. "It demonstrates that your work is being recognized as important.

"I think my research is contributing to a body of literature that will result in a change of attitudes towards treatment for a specific type of stroke [intracerebral hemorrhage]. The work will advance clinical care of stroke patients."

Butcher has received many awards for his outstanding research. In 2011, he was selected as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair. The Capital Regional Medical Staff Association named him Researcher of the Year in 2010, and in 2009 he received a New Investigator award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He also received a Clinical Investigator award from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (now Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions) in 2008, and in 2007 the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada named him a Research Scholar and gave him the Henry J.M. Barnett Research Award as the highest-ranked new investigator in the area of stroke research.

He is a member of various peer-review committees and editorial boards, and is regularly asked to present his work at national and international research meetings. In total, he has published 118 peer-reviewed research papers - 46 of which he led as the senior author.

Butcher received his PhD and MD at the University of Western Ontario, completed his neurology residency at the U of A, and worked on his post-doctoral clinical research fellowship in the area of stroke imaging in Australia.

The Martha Cook Piper Research Prize commemorates Martha Cook Piper's significant contributions to the research community while vice-president (research) and vice-president (research and external affairs) at the U of A.