University of Calgary

University of Calgary

December 01, 2011 10:32 ET

University of Calgary: Dr. Fiona Costello named one of Canada's most powerful women for 2011

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2011) - Today Dr. Fiona Costello, University of Calgary associate professor in the departments of clinical neurosciences and surgery (ophthalmology), and a clinician scientist with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary, was named a recipient of the prestigious 2011 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ Award in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category.

Costello joins a community of 584 women who have received the Top 100 Award recognizing the highest achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in Canada. Winners are selected based on their strategic vision and leadership, their organization's financial performance, and their commitment to their communities.

"On behalf of the entire University of Calgary community, I would like to congratulate Dr. Costello for being recognized as one of the country's leading scientists and community leaders," said University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. "It is this kind of achievement and dedication to excellence that will propel us to realize the university's strategic direction, "Eyes High" - to become one of Canada's top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary, by our 50th anniversary in 2016."

"I am honoured to be named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category," said Costello. "I am also humbled to be included in the company of the other amazing women who have been recognized for their achievements."

Costello's work at the University of Calgary involves creating an eye model that allows her to study how the brain responds and recovers from injury. She and her collaborators are using the lessons learned from the eye to develop new ways to manage and treat patients with multiple sclerosis, brain tumours, and Parkinson's disease. Costello is a well published, recognized opinion leader in the fields of neuro-ophthalmology and multiple sclerosis, and regularly presents nationally and internationally.

"I see people struck down in the prime of their lives by blindness and life-altering neurological diseases. My hope is that on some level the work I do improves their lives and their hope for the future," Costello said.

Pamela Jeffery, Founder, Women's Executive Network said they are thrilled to recognize this year's extraordinary group of Top 100 Winners, honouring leadership talent from coast to coast.

"Our Top 100 Winners form an amazing community of high-achieving women who are inspirations to Canada's next generation of leaders."

The Canada's Most Powerful Woman: Top 100 Awards is Canada's most recognizable Award for the country's highest achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Winners are selected based on their strategic vision and leadership, their organization's financial performance, and their commitment to their communities. The complete list of 2011 Winners can be found at

Costello will be celebrated December 1, 2011, at the Top 100 Awards Gala Dinner at the Allstream Centre in Toronto. The gala is the finale of a full-day celebration that offers Top 100 Winners an exclusive morning of networking and professional development. The morning session will be followed by a Summit which allows participants an opportunity to meet Award recipients and enjoy an afternoon of professional development. The theme of this year's Summit is the Power of Connected Leadership. Details are available at

About the Women's Executive Network

Since 1997, WXN has created and delivered innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inspire and applaud our community of 17,000 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence. WXN is Canada's leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN enables our partners and corporate members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women.

WXN is a Founding Member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada's corporate boards. In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating an international community of female leaders. Further information can be found at

About the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine

University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in health research with an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health care research, education and delivery. The university trains the next generation of health practitioners and moves new treatments and diagnostic techniques from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside, improving patient care. For more information, visit or follow us on @UofCMedicine.

*Editors' note: Dr. Fiona Costello will be available for media interviews today from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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Contact Information

  • University of Calgary - Faculty of Medicine
    Jordanna Heller
    Director of Communications and Media Relations