U of T news

Andres Lozano promoted to University Professor

First neurosurgeon to receive U of T's highest honour for academic excellence

The University of Toronto has named Andres Lozano a University Professor, the institution’s highest honour for academic excellence. The promotion recognizes Lozano’s contributions to neurosurgery research and treatments for brain disorders, as well as his commitment to education.

Only about two per cent of tenured U of T faculty members become University Professors, and Lozano is the first neurosurgeon to receive the distinction.

“It’s really quite an honour, especially when you look at the achievements of the other University Professors,” says Lozano, a Professor in Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Surgery who holds the Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery at U of T. “We publish and collaborate with researchers around the world, but to be recognized by your home university is a particularly meaningful distinction.”

Lozano has done groundbreaking work to identify and map new brain areas and circuits that play a role in neurological diseases. He has also pioneered deep brain stimulation, a technique that delivers electrical impulses to the brain, for Parkinson’s disease, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Lozano has been recognized for his tremendous contributions to brain science,” says Catharine Whiteside, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions. “Patients with neurological diseases who have not responded to conventional treatments have been given new hope thanks to the discoveries and innovations of Dr. Lozano and his lab.”

Lozano’s experimental trials of patients with Parkinson’s disease and depression have resulted in dramatic improvements for some patients, although deep brain stimulation is not yet a widely available therapy. “We often take patients who have run out of options, and I always admire their courage to embark on a new treatment without knowing what the outcome will be,” says Lozano, the R.R. Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery at University Health Network.

Lozano credits his collaborators around the world for his success, but especially those in Toronto. “Many people at U of T can work anywhere in the world, but we choose Toronto because it offers access to spectacular colleagues and students, and because the Canadian health care system is set up to treat patients in a way that enables research,” says Lozano. “For me, the planets have aligned on those three counts in Toronto.”