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Scientific director appointed to musculoskeletal research institute


Ottawa, ON – Dr. Hani El-Gabalawy has been appointed scientific director of Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (CIHR-IMHA). The appointment will be effective on April 15.

“I’m pleased to welcome Dr. El-Gabalawy to the CIHR leadership team,” said Dr. Alain Beaudet, CIHR president. “His outstanding work in joint inflammation and arthritis, coupled with his proven experience and leadership working with health charities, research institutions and professional health organizations will be instrumental in taking the Institute and CIHR’s Inflammation in Chronic Disease Signature Initiative forward. His experience working with Aboriginal communities on health issues will also be invaluable.”

Dr. El-Gabalawy, an internationally recognized rheumatologist, is professor of Medicine and Immunology, and senior clinician scientist at the University of Manitoba. He also holds the Endowed Rheumatology Research Chair at that institution. He holds a medical degree from the University of Calgary and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both internal medicine and rheumatology at McGill University.

His research interests have focused on the mechanisms initiating and sustaining joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Between 1997-2000, as a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, he and his colleagues studied a large cohort of patients with early inflammatory arthritis in order to determine the pathological features seen in the inflamed joints, and to better understand prognosis. A number of seminal observations were made from these studies that have helped clinicians and researchers focus investigative and therapeutic strategies on the early stages of joint inflammation, before permanent progressive damage occurs. Dr. El-Gabalawy has published landmark studies on synovial biology, the pathogenesis of early arthritis, and has recently established a unique First Nations cohort to study gene-environment interactions in the pre-clinical phase of arthritis.