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Dr Alan Bernstein named as new CIFAR president


Toronto, ON – Dr Alan Bernstein has been appointed as president and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, commencing May 1, 2012.

“Alan is a visionary leader who has a wealth of experience guiding pioneering enterprises that conduct leading-edge research and promote interdisciplinary collaboration, just like CIFAR,” said David Dodge, chair of the organization’s board. “It’s great to have him back in Canada.”

Last year, current CEO Chaviva Hošek informed the board that she would be retiring and an international search for her successor began.

Most recently, Dr Bernstein was executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine. From 2000 to 2007, he served as the inaugural president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research, where he led the transformation of health research in Canada.

“I have long admired CIFAR’s focus on identifying and supporting research that drives change and has the potential to improve human health, the environment, societies, technology and our understanding of the universe,” he said. “For the past 30 years, CIFAR has been one of Canada’s leading global research assets. I am honoured to be selected to succeed Chaviva Hošek as its next president and CEO.”

After receiving his PhD from the University of Toronto, and following postdoctoral work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, Dr Bernstein joined the Ontario Cancer Institute. In 1985, he joined the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, was named its associate director in 1988 and served as its director of research from 1994 to 2000 when the federal government appointed him CIHR’s first president.

He has authored over 225 scientific publications and has made internationally recognized contributions to the study of stem cells, the formation of blood cells (hematopoiesis) and cancer.

CIFAR is a non-profit research institute with nearly 400 researchers in 16 countries participating in its long-term, multidisciplinary and collaborative advanced research teams.