Ken Shinozaki is a humble, remarkable businessman and philanthropist.

Ken landed in Vancouver in 1978 after growing up in Tokyo. With a keen mind for business, Ken established an export company which he dedicated his entire career to, successfully running it for more than 40 years before retiring in 2020.

Along the way, Ken gave back to his community, helping support several programs and centres near and dear to his heart. It was after retirement when he looked at health care and, in a remarkable act of generosity, donated $1 million to support the Brain Breakthroughs campaign at VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

Supporting a better tomorrow

“I’m a senior, I’m going to be frail in the future,” says Ken, laughing. “I need VGH, which is one of the largest hospitals in BC, to be in good shape for me and my children.”

Over the years, Ken has attended VGH for preventative care. It was here he met with Dr. Charles Haw, neurosurgeon at VGH. After many discussions with Dr. Haw and learning of the Brain Breakthroughs campaign, Ken knew this was the right place for him to put his support.

And so he directed his gift to where the need was greatest, so that it could support a broad range of research, fellowships and brain care needs to the benefit of all British Columbians.

“Ken’s support will allow us to better understand the causes of Parkinson’s disease and to develop and test novel treatments, especially in the realms of the microbiome, inflammation, and the role of lifestyle interventions, such as nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction,” says Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell, clinician-researcher at VGH. “It is our intention to make this gift count for everyone living with Parkinson’s disease and their families.”

“Thanks to Mr. Shinozaki and his very generous donation to the Academic Research Fund in Neuroradiology, I am hoping to push and expand our research endeavors that have allowed us to present both regionally, nationally, as well as on the international front. And to be able to showcase some of the amazing work and people that are here,” says Dr. Manraj Heran, Fellowship Director, Diagnostic Neuroradiology Fellowship

From all of us at VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, thank you for your incredible support.