In Memoriam – Dr. Oleh Hornykiewicz (1926 – 2020)

Dr. Oleh Hornykiewicz was born in 1926 in Sykhiw (a district of Lviv), then in Poland (now Ukraine).  

Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, Dr. Hornykiewicz’ international reputation was cemented early in his career when he determined that Parkinson’s disease results from too little of one kind of neurotransmitter known as dopamine. His subsequent development of L-dopa for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease revolutionized treatment and remains the cornerstone of therapy today.

Dr. Hornykiewicz received his MD degree from the University of Vienna in 1951. He has held full professorships concurrently at the University of Toronto in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and in the Department of Biochemical Pharmacology at the University of Vienna. Dr. Hornykiewicz is a member of 15 professional societies around the world, has served on numerous scientific advisory boards, and has received many honours.

Dr. Hornykiewicz worked out of the Brain Research Institute at the University of Vienna and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on neurotransmitter function in diseased and normal brain.

This lectureship was established in 2002 to honour Dr. Donald Calne for his outstanding service to the Parkinson’s community as Professor of Neuroscience, University of British Columbia and past chair and long-time member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Parkinson Canada.

A distinguished neuroscientist of international reputation, whose work is primarily in the area of Parkinson’s Disease, will be awarded the Lectureship each year. The recipient will deliver a “state of the illness” lecture on Parkinson’s Disease to the Parkinson community at the Annual General Meeting of Parkinson Canada, held each year in November. Dr. Hornykiewicz lecture was given at Parkinson Canada’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto on Sunday, November 7, 2004.

To read more about Parkinson’s disease and dopamine, visit