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

One of the most enjoyable parts of my day at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is talking with members of our community about their research. Their enthusiasm for science is infectious and energizing, and the inspiration we gain from each other is a driving force in health research. Working together with collaborators from across the globe or across the hallway, team science can leverage the strengths and expertise of multiple researchers and practitioners, allowing us to best apply our diverse skills and knowledge to today’s most complex health care challenges.

In the past year, discoveries led by researchers at the RI‑MUHC advanced our knowledge of cancer, respiratory diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular diseases, aging, immunology, recovery from surgery, precision medicine and much more. Working from our base within the MUHC family and McGill University, our teams benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise and perspectives of researchers, patients, practitioners and care providers. Building wider networks has also been a huge part of this success, as evidenced by our collaborations in over 70 countries.

Our 2023 RI-MUHC Annual Report highlights some of the extraordinary progress being made at the RI-MUHC. Several contributors to the central feature of this report are RI-MUHC researchers who lead or co-lead new large-scale projects that will improve the development and conduct of clinical trials and expand access to experimental treatments for underrepresented communities in Canada. Among these initiatives, awarded a total of $55 million from the CIHR Clinical Trials Fund this year, is the CANadian Consortium of Clinical Trial TRAINing (CANTRAIN) project, which takes an equitable, diversified and inclusive approach to training professionals who conduct clinical trials. RI-MUHC researchers also co-lead a new pan-Canadian consortium called Accelerating Clinical Trials (ACT) Canada. This project tests innovative treatments and solutions for the benefit of a larger and more diversified population.

We are now leveraging our rich internal and external resources as the RI-MUHC moves toward a new strategic plan. Consultations with members of our community will continue over the next year, following the input of international experts on our External Scientific Advisory Board who visited the RI-MUHC in June 2023. At the same time, we are progressing in many additional initiatives, including our new community-based Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the recently launched EArly and mid-CAreer REsearchers network (EACARE).

I warmly thank every member of our community, as well as the dedicated hospital foundations, donors and funding partners, patient partners and health service providers, whose collaboration allows us to strive for a better future through health care research.

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

November 2023

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.