HealthcarePapers 2(3) February 2002 : 54-58.doi:10.12927/hcpap..17205

AHSCs: More Important than Ever in the Century of Health Research

Alan Bernstein


We are in the midst of a profound revolution in health research, a revolution being driven by our emerging understanding of the molecular basis of life and human disease. This revolution is creating a century of health research, characterized by the convergence of virtually all disciplines, from mathematics to the social sciences and humanities. This convergence of disciplines is introducing radical changes and opportunities in the discovery and R&D process of health research.

Academic health sciences centres (AHSCs) are strategically placed to contribute to, and benefit from, this revolution. To that end, AHSCs require exceptional visionary leadership, a commitment to clinical and research excellence, a full appreciation of the complete tripartite mission of AHSCs, and the development of an outward-looking stance that includes the development of public policy. The federal government's clear and sustained commitment to health research, as demonstrated recently by the 15% increase to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research budget, provides an important opportunity for AHSCs to demonstrate their crucial role in both the development of an innovative and cost-effective healthcare system and to Canada's broader social and economic agenda.



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