Internationally-respected Canadian researcher and founding CIHR president to fill prestigious advanced research leadership post

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - On behalf of the Board of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, David Dodge announced today the appointment of Dr. Alan Bernstein as the Institute's new President and CEO 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 Chair David Dodge. "It's great to have him back in Canada."

Last year, CEO Chaviva Hošek informed the Board that she would be retiring and a rigorous 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, Dr. Bernstein 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," said Alan Bernstein. "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."

David Dodge also recognized the extraordinary tenure of Chaviva Hošek who continues as CEO until April 30, 2012. "Under Chaviva's leadership over the last eleven years, the Institute has developed as Canada's premier centre for advanced research, linking top Canadian researchers to each other and to the world's best," said David Dodge.

"Working with CIFAR's board, researchers and supporters has been one of the most creative and rewarding experiences of my career," said Chaviva Hošek. "I am very proud of CIFAR's leadership in many promising areas including the effects of early experience on the brain and biological development and the role of institutions and groups in social resilience and economic growth."

The Institute will be celebrating Dr. Hošek's leadership and CIFAR's 30th anniversary at a special event on June 12, 2012.

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 government of Canada appointed him CIHR's first president. Dr. Bernstein 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. He chairs or is a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Italy and Australia. Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards and honourary degrees for his contributions to science, including the 2008 Gairdner Wightman Award. He is a Senior Research Fellow of Massey College and, in 2002, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

CIFAR is a Canadian non-profit research institute that has been changing the world of research and building Canada's research leadership for 30 years. Today, our researchers are working on big questions with the potential to improve human health and the environment, transform technology, build strong societies, understand human culture and chart the universe. Nearly 400 researchers in 16 countries participate in our long-term, multidisciplinary and collaborative advanced research teams. CIFAR is supported by exceptional individuals, foundations, corporations, the Government of Canada and the provincial governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

SOURCE Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Image with caption: "CIFAR announces Dr. Alan Bernstein, O.C. as new President and CEO (CNW Group/Canadian Institute for Advanced Research)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120111_C3195_PHOTO_EN_8817.jpg