Every year the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital celebrates and honours the achievements of the Neuro community by holding the NeurExcellence awards.  These awards acknowledge outstanding individual contributions to The Neuro and recognize the individuals that make this institution the world-leading destination for brain research and advanced patient care it is today.

Lifetime Achievement Award (Faculty, Staff)

This award honours an individual for his or her longstanding and distinguished contributions to the Neuro and their particular field. Nominees should be noted for their overall outstanding championship of the Neuro.

Barbara E. Jones, PhD, RSC


Dr. Barbara Jones is a Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University in the Neural Circuits Unit at the Montreal Neurological Institute.  Dr. Jones was elected as a member of Royal Society of Canada in 2010.

Dr. Jones received her B.A. (1966), M.A. (1969) and Ph.D. (1971) in Psychology from the University of Delaware.  She performed her thesis research in the physiological mechanisms of sleep-wake states under the supervision of Michel Jouvet at the Faculté de Médecine, Lyon, France.  She conducted her postdoctoral research in biochemical bases of state regulation under the supervision of Jacques Glowinski at the Collège de France, Paris, France from 1970 - 1972 with support from the Foundation's Funds for Research in Psychiatry. Dr. Jones was a Research Associate at the University of Chicago prior to joining the faculty at the MNI in 1977.

Dr. Jones has published more than 95 journal articles.  She is world-renowned for her research on how the brain generates states of waking and sleep.  She studies the specific neurons, their chemical neurotransmitters, anatomical projections and physiology that stimulate and maintain a waking state and those that arrest waking and promote sleep.  She uses a variety of methods to identify specific nerve cells involved in the three distinct states of waking, slow wave sleep and paradoxical sleep (or rapid eye movement sleep, when dreaming occurs).  Disruption of systems involved in sleep can result in sleep disorders, such as insomnia and narcolepsy.


Janette Green


Mrs. Green is Associate Director of the Centre for Neurological Disease Models (CNDM) at the Montreal Neurological Institute. She joined the Neuro in 1974 as Animal Care Technician. In her role as Associate Director of the CNDM, she is responsible for ensuring excellence in Laboratory Animal Care and Use. A member of the MNI Animal Ethics and the McGill University Animal Care Committees, she provides oversight for all research protocols using animals and ensures their compliance with Canadian and international regulations.

Mrs. Green has more than thirty years of experience in the field of Laboratory Animal Care. She is a registered laboratory Animal Technician with certification recognized by both the Canadian and American Associations for Laboratory Science (CALAS / AALAS).  She is continuously striving to keep herself and her team at the forefront of their field. In addition to completing a two year program in Laboratory Animal Management offered by AALAS, she has participated in numerous professional workshops in Canada and the United States, including many special topic sessions on the design, construction and operation of Biosafety Level II Animal Facilities.

Three words are inescapably used by those who know Mrs. Green: passionate, energetic and caring. It is with these contagious attributes that Mrs. Green manages her team, she employs her energy tirelessly towards improving the welfare of laboratory animals, at the Neuro but also at the Canadian and international levels. She has presented scientific papers at national and international laboratory animal science meetings and is an active member of Montreal Regional Chapter of CALAS where she served as co/president and co/chair and was responsible for organizing scientific symposiums & national conferences.

She has won several prestigious awards; the LAB Products Speakers Award (1981) the Purina Technician of the Year Award (1988) the Robert Young Award of Appreciation from the Montreal Regional Chapter of CALAS (2001) and in 2011 she received the prestigious Charles River Award for outstanding contributions to the field of Laboratory Animal Science.

In addition to the level of excellence she brings to her role as Associate Director of the CNDM , Mrs. Green is also recognized by all to be an exceptional team leader. Her kindness, passion for the Neuro’s mission and her constant efforts towards the growth and improvement of her department, on the logistical, technical, academic but also personal levels, make her one of a kind.

She is currently working on the design of the new MNI animal care facility. This state of the art facility will provide imaging capabilities as well as care and housing for a multitude of animals including transgenic rodent and aquatic species.


Fred Pennell


Mr. Pennell is Building Director at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.  Prior to coming to the MNI in 1993 as Project Supervisor, Mr. Pennell operated a general contracting business. Mr. Pennell is a key figure in maintenance, renovation and construction projects at the MNI.  He supervises and liaises with McGill Facilities, Project Management and Professional teams for major construction projects. He is responsible for planning, design, coordination and execution of maintenance and renovation projects in collaboration with MNI scientists, department representatives and MNI Administration. Mr. Pennell is the liaison with Building Services, Housekeeping, and Security for daily operations of The Neuro complex

Throughout his career Mr. Pennell has contributed to the development and growth of The Neuro, supervising major projects including the installation of MRI facilities, the Clinical Research Unit expansion, the construction of the Reed Lab, and the construction of two new pavilions: the Brain Tumour Research Centre and most recently the North Wing.

 Over the course of the last two decades Mr. Pennell has been instrumental in providing essential tools and services to researchers, clinicians and patients alike. His commitment, resourcefulness and passion for The Neuro’s mission are a reflection of The Neuro community as a whole.  The range and versatility of his skills have made him the person that everyone in The Neuro family turns to in order to make things happen. He is recognized by all for the level of professionalism and the personal qualities he brings to his role as Building Director. 

Through his many years of service Mr. Pennell has made an outstanding contribution to our institution, he is a valued member of a community that makes The Neuro a world-leading destination for brain research and advanced patient care.


Lifetime Achievement Award (Philanthropist or Volunteer)

This award honours an individual or family with a proven record of exceptional generosity or service who, through their outstanding support of the Neuro, demonstrates exceptional civic and charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles in our community.

Joan Chippindale


Joan Allison Chippindale (Radcliffe-Branch) is a volunteer who is ceaselessly dedicated to The Neuro. A consummate fundraiser and a faithful champion, the sum results of her involvement with The Neuro are best explained by Jacques Bougie, Chairman of the Neuro’s Advisory Board:
“Joan Chippindale is the kind of volunteer that you dream about. Charming, vivacious, generous and with a devotion to The Neuro that seems endless. Joan’s relationship with The Neuro began more than 25 years ago, with her late husband Warren, who co-chaired three of The Neuro’s Capital Campaigns.  Together, they were The Neuro’s ‘first couple’ – ambassadors extraordinaire.  The Neuro created the “Chippindale Circle”, a way to recognize planned gifts, in honour of Joan and Warren Chippindale to thank them for their leadership, involvement and personal commitment to The Neuro. At every opportunity, Joan invites others to support The Neuro – whether it be via a Planned Gift, our Capital Campaign, or The Neuro Annual Fund – and she relates how she proudly supports each of these programs. She has even organized sessions for Neuro faculty to present the benefits of making donations. Joan has personally made hundreds of thank you calls to donors and is talented at sharing vital information with donors in a way that inspires total confidence and trust. Her ‘people centered’ face-to-face approach has succeeded in confirming planned gifts totaling more than $6 million.  We could not be more thankful for Joan, or imagine another volunteer who is as ceaselessly dedicated and as proud to be a Neuro ambassador.”
In addition to these incredible contributions, in memory of her husband and their collective love for The Neuro this year the Joan and Warren Chippindale Outstanding Student Award was created to recognize outstanding students in the field of neuroscience. As an endowed award, this is a legacy to Joan and Warren’s dedication, generosity, and immense contributions to The Neuro that will live on in perpetuity.
A native of Schreiber, Ontario, Joan spent the first 20 or so years of her life travelling from coast to coast with her parents, an adventurous result of her father’s career with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Although she is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, Joan was granted a lifetime honourary membership to McGill’s Alumni Association in 2012 when she was given the association’s E.P. Taylor Award for her outstanding voluntary service to McGill University and The Neuro. More recently, Joan served on the MUHC’s Legacy Committee and was a vital part of the team charged with planning the opening celebrations of the Glen Site in May 2015.


Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year

This award honours an individual or family that demonstrates outstanding skills in coordinating and motivating groups of donors and volunteers for fundraising projects for the benefit of The Neuro.

Marie Claude Lacroix and Ivan Boulva


Marie-Claude Lacroix has been a sales, marketing and business development professional for more than 30 years. A Communications graduate from Concordia University, her career started in the family shoe business. From 1997 to 2005, she was at the helm of Devencore Ltd’s marketing and business development services, a leading national real estate brokerage and consulting firm. In 2005 she joined the law firm Gowlings where she contributed her expertise in business development and marketing to promoting their Montreal bureau.

Ivan Boulva graduated in engineering from Polytechnique in 1976. He started his career as a commercial buildings and bridges engineer. In 1985, he obtained his MBA from McGill University and joined the business world, first working for Steinberg and then Ivanohe where he became a real estate expert under the mentorship of world class professionals. After occupying the role of real estate group Manager for the Bank of Montreal from 1995 to 2000, Ivan joined the Cadillac Fairview Corporation. As Vice-President of development, he now manages the company’s eastern Canada portfolio’s commercial assets.

Married for 35 years, Marie-Claude and Ivan are both active members of their community, each putting their expertise and time to the service of their parish and local private schools, where both their sons received their education. Marie-Claude has also supported several humanitarian missions to the African continent.

After the sudden death of their eldest son Francis, taken by a brain tumor at the age of 27, Marie-Claude and Ivan decided to focus their energy on a new cause: Brain cancer research. For the last five years Ivan and Marie-Claude have been supporting and promoting, through The Francis Boulva Memorial Fund , TARGiT, an innovative research program led by Dr. Kevin Petrecca, a well-known neurosurgeon at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro. This program aims at identifying novel molecules that can be targeted to prevent brain cancer invasion.


Award for Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year

This award honours an individual or family with a proven record of exceptional generosity who, through direct financial support, demonstrates outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles.

Irving Ludmer


Through the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation, Mr Ludmer and his family have been amongst McGill and The MNI’s most loyal benefactor.

Mr. Ludmer is a graduate of McGill (1957) (Engineering, Theoretical and Mathematical Physics) and is the founding donor of the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health and Chair of the Ludmer Centre Executive Committee.

A former Steinberg Inc. executive, he left the company in 1971 to become one of Quebec’s leading real estate developers. In 1983, he rejoined Steinberg’s as president and chief executive officer and took the helm of its real-estate subsidiary, Ivanhoe Inc. He is widely credited with playing a pivotal role in company’s successful turnaround.

Mr. Ludmer’s commitment to innovation and research has been invaluable to the McGill scientific community as a whole. Through the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation he supported renovations to what is now the Irving Ludmer Psychiatry Research and Training Building, providing the necessary tools and environment to researchers to carry their important work.

In 2013 the foundation supported the creation of the Ludmer Centre for Informatics & Mental Health, creating a partnership between the Douglas Mental Health University Institute,  the Jewish General Hospital, McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute . Its aim is to drive discoveries that will help scientists understand how different genetic and environmental factors influence the basic structures of the brain, ultimately transforming how we understand and treat a host of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and autism.

It is thanks to the generosity and vision of philanthropists such as Mr. Irving Ludmer and The Irving Ludmer Family Foundation that The Neuro can pursue its mission to unravel the mysteries of the brain and to apply that knowledge to understanding and treating neurological diseases.