Dr. Abdelhakim Khellaf will focus on traumatic brain injury
OTTAWA, ON, 27 JANUARY 2021 – Dr. Abdelhakim Khellaf of the University of Toronto received the $30,000 Royal Canadian Legion Scholarship in Veteran Health Research, at an online event of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Research (CIMVHR). The award is presented to a masters student pursuing a project directly related to Veteran well-being.
“It is a tremendous honour,” says Dr. Khellaf who thanks the Legion and CIMVHR for their support and the research opportunity. “I am passionate about traumatic brain injury research in part because traumatic brain injury remains a leading cause of death especially in young people and military personnel,” he says.
Dr. Khellaf has an extensive history of studying traumatic brain injury (TBI) including in Veterans. He realized they are at an increased risk due to their work – and in addition, from penetrating and blast injuries. He recognized the treatment of this population requires a unique approach, and noticed the current TBI classification system needs updating.
“Because of his smart observations, Dr. Khellaf will break new ground as he develops a new classification system, and looks at the risk of TBI complications and the best treatment options,” says Thomas D. Irvine, CD, Dominion President. “We are excited to know this could ultimately lead to better health outcomes for our Veterans.”
Dr. Khellaf says TBI has been considered “the most complex disease in the most complex organ,” and research in the field has concrete benefits in terms of common understanding and effective therapies. “I hope that my research will drive forward the emerging area of precision medicine as a tool to help patients with traumatic brain injury in both military and civilian populations,” he says.
Since 2013, when the Legion established its annual scholarship, incredible recipients have studied topics like improving the odds of a soldier surviving gunshot wounds, or the possibility of erasing “fear memory.”
Research work that leads to improved health outcomes for our Veterans also benefits their families and communities. In addition, the evidence-based knowledge that comes from research, helps the Legion pursue a range of advocacy work in areas such as operational stress injury and homelessness.
Each year, a scholarship recipient is chosen with the help of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. CIMVHR is at the forefront of innovation by supporting new research and facilitating collaboration, and the Legion is an ongoing and supportive partner.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. With close to 260,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.
Public Relations / Media Inquiries: PublicRelations@Legion.ca/ 343-540-7604