Karpati honoured posthumously by MDC

By McGill Reporter Staff

Muscular Dystrophy Canada has created the Dr. George Karpati Award. This annual award will be presented at MDC’s Annual General Meeting to an exemplary neuromuscular clinician or researcher who has made a significant contribution to neuromuscular research, the advancement of care of people with neuromuscular disorders, or to Muscular Dystrophy Canada in the past year in the areas of public awareness, services and/or fundraising.

This award is dedicated in honour of Dr. George Karpati, the I.W. Killam Chair and Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery who passed away suddenly in February 2009.

A distinguished physician and scientist, Karpati spent his long career at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), where his sensitive and insightful clinical acumen was appreciated by his patients, students and colleagues.

Dr. Karpati was a leading expert in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with neuromuscular disorders. He also led a world-class research team at the MNI that sought to establish gene transfer techniques for the treatment of muscular dystrophy. Among his many achievements, Dr. Karpati was the first to demonstrate that dystrophin localizes beneath the muscle cell membrane, and that it is absent in muscle fibres of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

A devoted friend of Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Dr. Karpati was a long-standing volunteer and member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee.

Dr. Karpati’s accomplishments have been recognized in many ways: He was an Officer of the Order of Canada , a Chevalier de l’Ordre nationale du Québec and a recipient of the Prix Wilder Penfield. He was a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.