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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

It is with immense pleasure and tremendous pride that I take up the role of Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

The RI-MUHC is a world-renowned research-intensive institution and I am thrilled to lead this great organization. I thank Mr. Peter Kruyt and Dr. Pierre Gfeller as well as the MUHC and RI-MUHC Boards and Selection Committee for entrusting me with this important position. I am also very humbled to be named the Dr. Phil Gold Chair in Medicine and truly appreciate this honour supported by Dean David Eidelman, McGill University.

Montreal has always been a very special place for me because it was here that I started my academic and research career. I am hugely indebted to the Quebec research community for the opportunities that were afforded to me as a young researcher and am delighted now to be able to pay forward. I return to Montreal after 16 years, enriched and eager to use the skills I have learned in Ottawa and Glasgow to further build on the already strong foundations of the RI-MUHC.

As a clinician-scientist, where clinically relevant discovery science is at my very core, I am extremely excited about opportunities to drive and advance the translational portfolio in an academic research institute embedded in a hospital. I truly believe that the best clinically relevant research is executed when scientists are in close proximity to patients, and what better place than the RI-MUHC.

Despite a transatlantic move during the COVID pandemic, the transition to my new role has been seamless and this would not have been possible without the tremendous help and personal kindness of Dr Miguel Burnier, my predecessor. I know how committed and dedicated Dr Burnier is to the RI-MUHC and how tirelessly he has worked over the past 16 months to ensure strong leadership and direction during the interim period. I would like to extend my most sincere personal thanks to him for his advice, support and guidance during this time and for the days ahead, when we will continue to work closely together.

Over the next weeks and months, I am eager to meet you and to understand and address the opportunities and challenges facing our organization. I am also very keen to familiarize myself with your research and academic activities. I look forward to working together in reframing the vision and mission of the RI-MUHC and am excited about leading our institute to greater heights.

Rhian Touyz, MBBCh, PhD, FRCP, FRSE, FMedSci
Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, RI-MUHC

September 2, 2021