OTTAWA, May 5 /CNW/ - Dr. Philippe Couillard, Chair of the Board of
Directors of Rx&D's Health Research Foundation (HRF) is pleased to
announce that two leaders of Canada's life sciences community have been
elected to serve on the HRF Board. Dawn Graham, former President of
Merck Canada and Dr. Clarissa Desjardins, CEO of the Center of
Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPMED) will join the Board
"Since its inception, the HRF has continually adapted to developments in
science and Canada's evolving health needs. These two dynamic women
will help lead us into the future," said Dr. Couillard. "With their
collective 50 years of leadership experience in the pharmaceutical and
biotechnology sectors, Dawn Graham and Clarissa Desjardins have a broad
understanding of Canada's health challenges, a visionary approach to
collaborative research models as well as a proven record of bringing
discoveries from the lab to patients."
Dawn Graham brings 30 years of global pharmaceutical industry
experience, including senior executive positions for one of the world's
largest pharmaceutical companies. Ms Graham has served as President of
both Merck Canada and Merck Europe where she was able to drive and
manage change and nurture partnerships with a broad array of
organizations. She has also served as the Chair of the Board of Rx&D as
well as a Board Member of the Conference Board of Canada. In 2009 she
was elected "One of the Most Powerful Women in Canada" by the Women's Executive Network.
"For many years, I have admired the contributions the HRF has made to
support Canadian health researchers in developing collaborative
research models," said Ms. Graham, "I am excited about the opportunity
to contribute to the legacy of the HRF in furthering scientific
discovery and innovation."
Since 2009, Clarissa Desjardins has led Montreal based, CEPMED. This
federal government and industry-sponsored not-for-profit organization
oversees an investment of $30 million in public-private partnerships
for applied research, commercialization of initiatives at the Montreal
Heart Institute and other technology platforms. CEPMED also provides
education and promotion of personalized medicine in Canada. A
researcher and lecturer who holds numerous patents, Dr. Desjardins was
educated at McGill and earned a Ph.D. in Neurology and Neurosurgery
from the Montreal Neurological Institute. In 2006, the Globe and Mail named her to the Top 100 young Canadians likely to influence the
"The HRF has been working with private and public sectors to find new
ways to treat emerging health threats ranging from childhood obesity to
pandemic influenza and mental health," added Dr. Desjardins, "I am
pleased to join the HRF which has provided support to more than 1400
researchers in their efforts to find new treatments that improve our
quality of life."
Dr. Couillard concluded, "I am excited to work with Dawn and Clarissa
and the members of the HRF board as we embark on a bold and exciting
direction in support of young Canadian researchers."
About the Rx&D Health Research Foundation (HRF)
Founded in 1964 by Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies
(Rx&D), the HRF applies the highest standards of scientific excellence
to address health challenges of great importance to Canadian society.
The Foundation accomplishes its mission through longstanding
partnerships with the academic community and government.
The HRF, which is one of the leading private health research foundations
in the country, contributes significantly to the prevention and
treatment of disease and to a better healthcare system.
The Foundation works in partnership with the health research community
in Canada to create tomorrow's scientific leaders, through the HRF
Awards Program, which has provided over $23 million in funding to more
than 1,400 researchers across Canada since its inception in 1987. It
addresses some of the most pressing health research needs of Canadians
through its Research Grant Program, which was launched in 2006.
Rx&D is an association of leading research-based pharmaceutical
companies dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians through
the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our
community represents 15,000 men and women who work for more than 50
member companies and invest over $1 billion in research and development
each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code
of Ethical Practices, our members are committed to working in
partnership with governments, healthcare professionals, and
stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.
SOURCE CANADA'S RESEARCH-BASED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (RX
For further information:
Mike Murphy, Communications