The Krembil Family Foundation – outstanding leadership

In 1997, Robert and Linda Krembil founded the Krembil Foundation with a mandate to help people through medical research, education and social services. In just over a decade, the Foundation has become a philanthropic leader in Toronto, supporting causes that span health care, education and the arts at the local, provincial and national levels. The Foundation's impact is perhaps most apparent at UHN, particularly, the Toronto Western Hospital.

In 1998, the Krembil Foundation, whose leadership includes son Mark and daughter-in-law Stacey, established the Krembil Family Chair in Neurology at TWH. Since that initial gift, the Foundation has committed in excess of $50 million in support of various research, patient care and capital projects at the hospital, including spinal cord research by Dr. Michael Fehlings, Parkinson's disease research by Dr. Jonathan Brotchie and autoimmune disorder research by Dr. Dafna Gladman.

Today, the Krembil Neuroscience Centre is Canada's leading clinical, research and teaching facility for spinal cord injury, stroke and neurovascular disorders, eye disease, neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, neuro-oncology and epilepsy.

Robert and Linda lead by example and in 2008, they pledged $30 million for the construction of a new research tower at the Toronto Western site. The Krembils committed the $30 million – 50 per cent of the total private funding required – on the condition that the remaining $30 million would be raised from other donors.

By 2010, over $31 million from private donors was raised due in large part to the attachment of the Krembil name to the campaign. Scheduled for completion in 2013, the Krembil Discovery Tower will advance research in all areas of neuroscience, with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases.

"The brain is really the last frontier in medicine," says Bob Krembil. "That is what drew us to supporting neuroscience research at Toronto Western Hospital, and the breakthroughs we have seen have been fantastic."