Remembering Dr. Danica Stanimirovic

January 30, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario

A woman wearing glasses, a white jacket and patterned scarf.

It is with great sadness that we remember a friend, a dear colleague and a prominent figure in Canadian science, whose impact and influence has been felt around the world.

Dr. Danica Stanimirovic, Director of Research and Development, Translational Bioscience with the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre passed away suddenly on January 17, 2024.

A medical doctor and neuroscientist, Danica worked at the National Research Council Canada (NRC) for more than 30 years.

She revolutionized the scientific community's understanding of brain function and diseases, focusing her research on developing technologies to overcome the blood-brain barrier to help deliver therapeutics to the brain and ultimately treat neurological diseases such as brain cancer, Alzheimer's and dementia.

A woman wearing a lab coat stands in front of a biological safety cabinet.

The author of over 190 manuscripts and book chapters, she was a prolific innovator and inventor, with more than 20 patents related to brain vascular physiology and drug delivery across the blood‑brain barrier.

Danica was the first in the world to discover a panel of miniature antibodies known as single-domain antibodies that cross the blood-brain barrier and can be used to deliver therapeutics into the brain. This and her many other discoveries and inventions helped develop the therapeutic pipeline for difficult-to-treat brain diseases affecting children, adults and aging populations.

In 2022, Danica received a Public Service Award of Excellence, which recognized her innovation, skill, collaboration and ethics, as well as her role as a mentor who inspired others through her professionalism.

She also became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2022, as her peers nationally and internationally recognized her contributions to the promotion of health science and her embodiment of leadership, creativity, competence and commitment to advancing academic health science.

Danica leaves an inspiring legacy of science excellence. She will be greatly missed by her NRC colleagues. We share our grief with her worldwide network of research and medical associates, as well as her family, friends and all the communities of which she was a part.

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