Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), along with CIHR's Governing Council, announced the appointment of Dr. Paul Lasko as Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Genetics. This appointment will be effective as of May 1, 2010.
"Dr. Lasko is a welcome addition to the CIHR leadership team," said Dr. Beaudet. "His accomplishments in developmental genetics, RNA protein interactions and functional genomics as well as his proven leadership make him the ideal candidate to take CIHR Institute of Genetics forward."
Dr. Lasko is currently the Chair of the Department of Biology at McGill University, he holds the James McGill professorship and was Molson Chair of Genetics from 2001 to 2007. He has been highly active in research grant adjudication and has served on CIHR or Canadian Cancer Society grant panels continuously since 1995. He is a member of the Institute of Genetics Priority and Planning Committee for Developmental Genetics and Birth Defects.
In addition to this academic work, Dr. Lasko is the President of the Genetics Society of Canada and has also worked extensively with the Human Frontiers of Science Program Organization (HFSP) over the past ten years, serving on its program grant panel from 2001-2005, and since then as one of two Canadian representatives on the Council of Scientists. He has chaired the HFSP Council of Scientists since 2007.
"I am honored and excited to be taking on the challenge of directing the Institute of Genetics at a time when a "genetic revolution" is bringing the field to an entirely new level that promises to impact profoundly on diagnostic procedures, preventative medicine, and clinical interventions," said Dr. Lasko.
Dr. Lasko has published over 90 scientific articles in international journals and presented well over 100 research seminars at conferences and institutions in many countries. He received the Award of Excellence from the Canadian Society of Genetics in 2004. Dr. Lasko is married to Carol Walker and has two sons, Daniel and Michael.
"I would also like to thank Dr. Roderick McInnes who served with vision and creativity as founding Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Genetics," added Dr. Beaudet. "He forged common ground among fundamental researchers and clinicians, and he was a tireless and especially effective advocate for the interests of young researchers. Building on the strong foundations that Rod built, the Institute will continue to support internationally competitive research that is dedicated to producing better health outcomes for Canadians."
The Institute of Genetics supports research on the human and model genomes and on all aspects of genetics, basic biochemistry and cell biology related to health and disease, including the translation of knowledge into health policy and practice, and the societal implications of genetic discoveries.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada - www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
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