CPBC Excellence Award for Innovation – 2017. Professor Dr. Naweed Syed

CPBC Celebrates its 34th Anniversary Gala and honours Excellence Awards to prominent individuals who have contributed in their respective fields of specialization. Maintaining its traditions CPBC event was attended by a cross section of people representing dignitaries, prominent business, and community leaders. Of course, as always large contingent from the business community, Pakistani diaspora, and distinguished guest. This year CPBC partnered and welcomed a high-powered ICT Delegation, in collaboration with the Trade Branch of the Ministry of International Trade, thus creating an opportunity to connect Canada and Pakistan to bring together each other’s excellence and diverse strengths to enhance collaborations in this sector. To support this Dr. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation, and Science, Government of Ontario was the Guest of Honor and the keynote speaker.Dr Naweed Syed - CPBC Excellence Award for Innovation 2017_001

During the annual gala, Professor Dr. Naweed Syed bagged the ‘CPBC Excellence Award for Innovation 2017’. Dr. Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian scientist and is presently working as Scientific Director at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. He was also the Postdoctoral Program Director – Office of the Vice President (Research) from 2012 – 2016. Dr. Syed acquired his Master’s degree from the University of Karachi, Pakistan in 1982, PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Leeds, UK (1988), and postdoc from the University of Calgary (1988-1991). He has served as a department head for Cell Biology and Anatomy for 10 years.


Dr. Syed is a developmental neuroscientist and has served for 23 years at the University of Calgary in multiple senior roles. His research is focused towards cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying brain development and plasticity. He studies how networks of brain cells assemble during development and are modified throughout life to form the basis for learning and memory. He also investigates how these networks control rhythmic behaviours such as respiration and locomotion in adult animals. Dr. Syed was the first to develop a bionic hybrid in collaboration with his German colleagues in 2005, which enabled direct dialogue between brain cells and electronics.


He studies how networks of brain cells assemble during development and modified throughout life to form the basis for learning and memory. Dr. Syed’s team was the first to connect brain cells to a semiconductor chip and this allowed tremendous insights into brain function and dysfunction. This technology offers an opportunity to develop brain-control prosthetic devices in the near future.

Dr. Syed has 125 publications to his credit in peer-reviewed scientific journals including Nature, Science, Neuron and the Journal of Neuroscience. His research has been highlighted in Time Magazine, the Discovery Channel, Globe and Mail etc. and he has been listed among the top 4 Scientists from Pakistan. Most recently, Dr. Syed was identified in “150-Great Ideas and the Innovative Canadians who created them” in lieu of Canada’s 150 Birthday. He holds multiple research grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada. Dr. Syed is the recipient of many international and national awards from the US, Canada, the UK, and Pakistan. These include the Parker B. Francis Fellowship (USA); Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (USA); Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scholarship, Senior Scholarship and Medical Scientist Award; the CIHR Investigator Award (Canada), as well as Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, UK. University of Leeds Scholarship (UK), and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz – one of the highest Civil Award given by the Government of Pakistan.

13 (1)The event was attended by a number of dignitaries, prominent among them were Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Reza Moridi – MPP Minister for Research, Innovation and Science, MP Salma Zahid and MP Rob Oliphant – Co-chairs Canada Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group, MP Iqra Khalid – MP Mississauga, MP Lorne Coe – MPP Whitby-Oshawa, Dr. Shafiq Qaadri,Dr. Donald Bobaish, Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada, Chief Eric Joliffe – Chief of Police York Region, Mayor Linda Jeffery – Mayor of Brampton, Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Consul General of Sri Lanka, Mr. U L M Jauhar, Mr. Andrew Turner – Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr. David Agnew, President SENECA, Hon. Bryon Wilfert, Chairman CPBC, Samir Dossal – President CPBC and many more.