A heart surgeon in Saint John was honoured as New Brunswick's health researcher of the year on Tuesday.

Dr. Ansar Hassan was selected for his team's analysis of cardiovascular surgery outcomes at the New Brunswick Heart Centre in Saint John.

Hassan's team was one of 12 finalists from a variety of fields.

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Dr. Colleen O'Connell, a researcher at the Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre, was a finalist for health researcher of the year for her team's work at improving mobility for patients with spinal injuries or multiple sclerosis. (CBC)

"It's really nice to see the breadth of research that's available and happening in New Brunswick," said Dr. Colleen O'Connell.

O'Connell and her team from the Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre in Fredericton were finalists for their work at improving mobility for patients with spinal injuries or multiple sclerosis.

"We've looked at different strategies including therapies and medications for improving their symptoms, like spasticity, which is stiffness in muscles, their pain as as well for improving their mobility," said O'Connell.

Other nominees focused on conditions and issues highly prevalent in New Brunswick, such as obesity and cancer.

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Dr. Keith Brunt of the Dalhousie Medical School in Saint John attended the research showcase event. (CBC)

"We have an aging population and some people see that as a liability, but we can actually see it as a huge asset," said Dr. Keith Brunt, of the Dalhousie Medical School in Saint John and an attendee of the event.

Brunt said bilingualism in New Brunswick also means local innovations can be rolled out across the country, but the provinces need to show more leadership.

"As we develop these technologies here in the country, we have to be the first people to start using them," he said.

"Unfortunately, we don't have a great history of that."

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated Dr. Brunt was a nominee. Dr. Brunt was an attendee.
    Nov 04, 2015 12:12 PM AT