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What does this Saultite have in common with Donald Sutherland and William Shatner?

Dr. Robert Korneluk became a Member of the Order of Canada Thursday as Sutherland and Shatner were named a Companion and Officer respectively

Dr. Robert Korneluk, a Sault Ste. Marie native, was awarded the distinction of becoming a Member of the Order of Canada by Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, at a ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Thursday.

A Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) researcher, Korneluk received the honour for his research in cancer treatment and diagnostic clinical service laboratories.  

Korneluk, also a professor at the University of Ottawa's faculty of medicine, began his work at the CHEO Research Institute in 1985. He led a team that found the genetic cause of a muscular disease known as type 1 myotonic dystrophy in 1992.

His team also discovered a group of genes that control how cells die under stress in 1995, leading to more research regarding how those genes regulate cancer cells and how to use them to treat cancer patients.

Korneluk has been praised by his peers for his dedication to his work and mentoring of medical students and researchers.

Previously, Korneluk received the Medal of Merit from the City of Sault Ste. Marie in 1992.

As reported earlier Korneluk said, "When I look at the great accomplishments by many of the Order of Canada, I'm both very honoured and humbled by this recognition."

Korneluk was among 39 individuals invested into the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall Thursday.

Governor General Julie Payette named three Companions, five Officers and 31 Members to the Order of Canada at the ceremony.

While medicine is Korneluk's profession, he joins two legendary Canadian actors as an Order of Canada recipient.    

Actor Donald Sutherland was named a Companion of the Order of Canada Thursday, while fellow actor William Shatner was honoured as an Officer of the Order of Canada, Companion and Officer being promotions within the Order.