New appointee to Order of Canada heads JGH Research


When Dr. Roderick McInnes takes up his duties this month, the Jewish General Hospital will be welcoming not only a new Director of Research, but a newly appointed Member of the Order of Canada and a recent appointee to a prestigious chair at McGill University.

Dr. Hartley Stern, Executive Director of the JGH, regards Dr. McInnes' arrival at the hospital and at McGill as "a great catalyst for science in Quebec. The JGH prides itself on the innovative medical treatments that it provides to patients of all backgrounds, from Montreal and throughout Quebec. To a significant degree, those services are a product of the cutting‑edge research that the hospital conducts in collaboration with leading institutions such as McGill. With Dr. McInnes at the helm, research at the JGH is poised for even greater success."

As a Member of the Order of Canada, Dr. McInnes has been recognized for his contributions as a human geneticist and his leadership in research related to eye development and inherited eye disease. Last month, he was also named to the Alva Chair in Human Genetics at McGill's Faculty of Medicine. He is also a professor in McGill's Medical Faculty in the departments of Human Genetics and Biochemistry. The far‑reaching impact of Dr. McInnes's innovative research in developmental and stem cell biology has garnered international acclaim for its potential impact on the treatment of blindness. This has earned him many honours, including a 2008 appointment to the Order of Ontario. Dr. McInnes is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences; President-Elect of the American Society of Human Genetics; and Scientific Director of the Institute of Genetics at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

"I'm tremendously excited to be coming to the Jewish General Hospital," says Dr. McInnes. "I keep hearing from every source that it's the best possible place to be a patient, and the LDI [Lady Davis Institute] has excellent investigators. Every time I turn around, somebody is publishing another paper or getting another award. I see this as a great opportunity to lead a first-class institute with so many fine scientists."

Commenting on his appointment to the Order of Canada, Dr. McInnes adds, "It is extremely satisfying-one of the most rewarding things that has ever happened to me professionally. I am proud of the people I've trained and the research I've headed, and of my collaborative work with incredible leaders. I look forward to the opportunity to pursue that legacy in the upcoming years at two leading research institutions."

Dr. McInnes comes to the JGH from Toronto, where he held the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Molecular Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children. In addition, he was Professor of Pediatrics and of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. In 2000, he was appointed the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Genetics of the CIHR, a position in which he has served-and continues to serve-with distinction. Dr. McInnes received his Ph.D. from McGill, where he studied with eminent biochemical geneticist and past Alva Chair, Charles Scriver.

Dr. McInnes says he is looking forward to returning to Montreal and to working closely with McGill. Dr. Rémi Quirion, Vice-Dean of Life Sciences and Strategic Initiatives at McGill's Faculty of Medicine, and Scientific Director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, declares: "I am very pleased to welcome back into the McGill family my dear friend and former colleague at CIHR. It was great fun to work together at the federal level and it should be even more fun here. Warm welcome, dear Rod."

Dr. McInnes succeeds Dr. Mark Wainberg, who has distinguished himself as the Director of JGH Research since 2000. Dr. Wainberg remains a valued member of the LDI staff and will pursue his world renowned research into HIV/AIDS.

About JGH Research

The Jewish General Hospital, a McGill University teaching hospital, carries out more than 22 per cent of the training for McGill's Faculty of Medicine. It is also home to several of the university's programs, including the McGill AIDS Centre, the McGill Centre for Translational Research in Cancer, the McGill Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology Program, and the McGill Menopause Clinic.

The hospital's Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI) is a hospital-based research institute focused on translational research involving basic science, clinical and population based studies of health and disease. The LDI is considered one of Canada's major biomedical research institutions. It is acknowledged as a world leader in many fields of investigation, including cancer, aging, epidemiology, nursing, AIDS, cardiovascular disease, genetics, emergency medicine, nephrology, and the psychosocial aspects of illness. The LDI, as an integral part of McGill University, is dedicated to research collaboration with other McGill departments and institutes, and to the teaching and training of undergraduate and graduate students. The transfer of technology generated by LDI discoveries to industry and Government agencies is a major priority area. In achieving these objectives, the emphasis is on excellence in research, teaching, and the rapid transfer of knowledge to clinical medicine and surgery.

About the Jewish General Hospital

Now in its landmark 75th year of providing Care for All, the Jewish General Hospital has been a mainstay of superior medical treatment for many generations of patients from all backgrounds in Montreal, throughout Quebec and beyond. Drawing on its expertise and experience as one of the province's largest and busiest acute-care hospitals, the JGH is committed to improving the level of care for all Quebecers through close collaboration with the government and its healthcare network. In this anniversary year, the Jewish General Hospital has also redoubled its commitment to ensuring that patients receive care of the highest quality in a clean, safe environment. The JGH has been able to deliver these pioneering and innovative services by strengthening its role as a McGill University teaching hospital, expanding and upgrading its facilities, and pursuing cutting-edge studies at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research. For more, please visit

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