The Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R) is pleased to announce the annual Irma M. Parhad Award for Excellence for outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of patients suffering from cognitive disorders.

Irma M. Parhad M.D
1948 – 1994
The award is named in honour of Irma M. Parhad M.D who had a highly productive, though short career as a neurologist and neuropathologist.In 1985 she was awarded an Alberta Heritage Foundation Medical Research Scholarship and initiated a program of research in neurodegenerative disease at the University of Calgary in Alberta . She founded and directed the Dementia Research Clinic at the University of Calgary/Foothills Hospital. Her work in the molecular basis of aging and degeneration of the nervous system flourished. She was an active member of the American Association of Neuropathologists and the Society for Neuroscience, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. In 1989 she became a Medical Research Council of Canada Scientist and in 1992, Professor of Pathology and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary.

By nature, Irma seemed incapable and intolerant of complacency. Her presence enlivened professional and social interaction. She influenced a succession of graduate students and set the teeth of not a few people on edge. Her energy and initiative led her to regularly adopt new methods in her research, and to break fresh ground both in professional and in extracurricular realms. She was a concerned and attentive physician to the patients in her clinic. She was assiduous in the details of running the clinic and an innovative and energetic scientist in her research laboratory.

Her publications included molecular studies of neuronal aging and neurodegenerative disease as well as clinical and epidemiologic studies of aging and dementia in the Canadian population.

On June 26, 1994 Dr. Parhad died of cancer at age 46. She met her terminal illness with the same tenacity, wit, and initiative that she brought to her professional work. Throughout her life, her sense of purpose, her enthusiasm, and her inquisitive spirit were part of what made her unique.



The award is open to all C5R members past and present. Nominations will be requested annually from all C5R members. Nominees must have exhibited excellence in one or more of three spheres:

  1. Academic achievement
  2. Community care and organization
  3. Public policy and administration

Award selection will be adjudicated by the C5R Board of Directors. C5R reserves the right not to grant the award in the case there is no suitable recipient. The award winner will be awarded a certificate and their name will appear on a plaque to be displayed at annual meetings.