Message from the Executive Director

Dr. Rhian Touyz, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, RI-MUHC
Dr. Rhian Touyz, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, RI-MUHC

Clinically relevant discovery science is at my very core as a clinician scientist, and as Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the RI-MUHC, I am particularly excited by the opportunity to drive and advance the translational portfolio of an academic research institute embedded within a hospital. I believe that the most impactful clinical research is executed when scientists are in close proximity to patients and clinicians. What better place could there be for this than the RI-MUHC?

Indeed, the RI-MUHC has the intellectual capacity, scientific resources, and outstanding talent and infrastructure to be a world-leading research institute. Further, with the appointments in 2022 of Drs. Indra Gupta and Louise Pilote as deputy directors and Mr. Gilbert Tordjman as chief operating and development officer, we now have a complete executive leadership team.

Over the last year, we have engaged with researchers, trainees and fellows across the RI‑MUHC, while strengthening our ties to the MUHC and McGill University, which remain essential pillars in aligning our shared priorities. We are also fortunate to compound expertise on a global scale, thanks to the visionary international researchers who are part of our new External Scientific Advisory Board. This is the solid ground on which we are developing a new strategic plan to be rolled out in 2023.

Our administration has evolved to better support and accelerate biomedical research and will continue to progress in that direction. Here are a few of the initiatives recently implemented:

  • New Pre-Awards Office: the office will assist our outstanding researchers in their applications for bold and ambitious research projects.
  • New task force groups: these groups will enhance our clinical research capabilities and review processes within the Research Ethics Board.
  • New postdoctoral needs survey and action plan, developed to support our exceptional research trainees.
  • New funding secured to support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows through competitive awards.

With the support of our Board of Directors, we have also recently renewed our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) with the creation of the HR/EDI Committee and a new full-time EDI specialist position.

Moreover, aligning with McGill University, we have committed to providing research space and resources for researchers and trainees from Ukraine.

As a community, we can be proud of who we are, what we have accomplished and where we are heading – as you will see when exploring the activities outlined in our 2022 RI-MUHC Annual Report.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we can begin to feel hope for a healthier and more compassionate world, thanks to the far-reaching impact of new scientific discoveries. It is a privilege to be part of an organization contributing on so many levels to achieve this goal.

Rhian M. Touyz, MBBCh, M.Sc. (Med), PhD, FRCP, FRSE, FMedSci, FCAHS
Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, RI-MUHC

November 2022

ABOUT THE BANNER: Cellular imaging from the laboratories of RI-MUHC researchers Carolyn Jack, MD, PhD (immune cell distribution and IL-13 cytokine production in eczema patient skin), Hugh Clarke, PhD (granulosa-oocyte complex) and Lorenzo Ferri, MD, PhD (tumour marker identification in cancer fibroblast). Images realized at the Molecular Imaging Platform, RI‑MUHC.