Dr. Manuel Montero-Odasso, Clinician Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and Director of the Gait and Brain Lab, has been named as one of the 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians for 2019. Presented by TD Bank, those on the list were honoured at an awards ceremony in Toronto, Ontario in November.
A geriatrician at St. Joseph’s Health Care London, Dr. Montero-Odasso is recognized as a world expert in dementia and gait disorders. The main focus of his research is on the interaction of mobility and cognitive decline in aging. He is the team leader for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), a collaborative research program advancing dementia research, and leads the Mobility, Exercise and Cognition (MEC) Team in London, comprised of top researchers in the area of mobility, exercise and brain health.
Dr. Montero-Odasso says that one aspect of his career that he is most proud of is being able to collaborate with other researchers in his field and “contribute to new approaches to combat mobility and cognitive decline in aging.” This is evident through the clinical trials he pioneered by implementing an approach of “improving cognition to improve mobility.”
TD Bank’s “10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians” is awarded to individuals from the Hispanic community across Canada to recognize their outstanding achievements. Dr. Montero-Odasso’s influence is displayed on a global scale as he has received over 100 invitations to give international lectures and has published over 200 manuscripts and book chapters. He has a close relationship with the Spanish-speaking community and has hosted visiting scientists from Argentina and Spain.
“I feel honoured and privileged, particularly this kind of award where you are nominated by your peers. I am also glad my work is reflecting the role that my Hispanic background plays,” says Dr. Montero-Odasso, who is also a professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at Western University. “Additionally when you look at the other nominees, and those who have received the award in the past, it really gives you a sense of the amazing things Hispanics who live and work in this country are contributing to Canadian society.”
Dr. Montero-Odasso emphasizes the value of diversity and learning from different backgrounds when seeking solutions. As he continues working in this important field as a physician and researcher, Dr. Montero-Odasso’s goal is to, “find effective ways to treat and delay aging disability in order to add, as they say, life to the years, and not only years to the life.”