Health research is about helping people to be healthier. It may be through the development of new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. It may be through providing the evidence that supports the delivery of the health services Canadians need, when and where they need them. And it may be through the commercialization of discoveries to make a new product or service available.
Dr. Alain Beaudet
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Dr. Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD, is the President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). As President, Dr. Beaudet acts both as Chair of the Governing Council and Chief Executive Officer of CIHR. Before joining CIHR in July 2008, Dr. Beaudet was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), a position held since 2004.
Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Beaudet built a distinguished career at the world-renowned Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). He headed the MNI's functional neuroanatomy laboratory, pursuing basic research into the action mechanisms and role of neuropeptides in the central nervous system, the control of intracellular receptor trafficking and its involvement in neuron signalling and new pain therapies. From 1985 to 1992, Dr. Beaudet was associate director (research) at the MNI. He has also taught in McGill University's Neurology-Neurosurgery and Anatomy-Cell Biology departments. Dr. Beaudet has written more than 175 original articles and some 40 monographs and book chapters.
Dr. Beaudet has received numerous grants and distinctions, including the Killam postdoctoral fellowship, grants from the Medical Research Council (MRC), CIHR and FRSQ, and the Murray L. Barr Junior Scientist Award. In September 2004, he was awarded the Prix Adrien-Pouliot by the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas). He served as president of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience from 1995 to 1997 and has sat on many peer review committees, both in Canada (FRSQ, MRC) and elsewhere (National Institutes of Health, Human Frontier Science Program). In 2007, France bestowed the Order of Academic Palms distinguished Officer's award to him and he was made Doctor honoris causa of Université Pierre et Marie Curie. In 2011, he became a Knight of the National Order of Quebec, the highest honour awarded by the government of Quebec. In 2012, he was awarded the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Medal and toured seven Australian cities as a keynote speaker to highlight the importance of patient-oriented research and illustrate how R&D can be used to face the health needs of aging populations and indigenous people.
Dr. Beaudet earned a medical degree and a PhD in neuroscience from the Université de Montréal. He did postdoctoral training at the Centre d'études nucléaires in Saclay, France and the University of Zurich's Brain Research Institute in Switzerland.