Dr. Stephen Robbins appointed Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Cancer Research

OTTAWA, June 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), along with CIHR's Governing Council, announced today the appointment of Dr. Stephen Robbins as incoming Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Cancer Research. This appointment will be effective July 1, 2013.

"I'm pleased to welcome Dr. Robbins to the CIHR leadership team," said Dr. Beaudet. "His excellent reputation in the field of oncology, recognized leadership in translational research and commitment to teaching excellence will be invaluable in advancing the work of the Institute and of the CIHR Personalized Medicine Signature Initiative in this next phase of their evolution."

Dr. Robbins is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Oncology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary, as well as the Director of the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, one of seven Institutes within the Faculty of Medicine at the University. He is currently a Scientist of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (now called Alberta Innovates Health Solutions) and the Associate Director Research for Alberta Health Services Cancer Care, as well as former Canada Research Chair. He joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary in 1996 after training at the University of California, San Francisco in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Dr. J. Michael Bishop.

His research activities include deciphering how extracellular signals are recognized by cells to control cellular proliferation and differentiation. During his research career, he favoured a more translational approach, which led to defining new therapies for malaria, the discovery of a novel class of anti-inflammatory agents and new therapeutic targets for brain tumours. He has also developed and fostered the use of the Microarray Technology to define molecular blueprints of various childhood cancers.

"I am very honoured to be the new Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research and look forward to fostering and promoting innovative research across all aspects of the cancer care continuum from prevention to treatment to survivorship," said Dr. Robbins. "I look forward to building on the previous outstanding programs established by Drs. Phil Branton and Morag Park by working with the entire cancer stakeholder community in Canada to develop innovative research programs and platforms that have positive impact in the lives of cancer patients and their families."

In addition to maintaining a productive research program, Dr. Robbins is also committed to teaching. He has won several awards and distinctions for outstanding teaching, including the 1999 and 2002 Watanabe Award for Overall Excellence, as well as the 2003 McLeod Award for Excellence in Teaching with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Robbins' expertise is recognized nationally. He has served on and chaired several national grant panels including the National Cancer Institute of Canada, Cancer Research Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee on Research for the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute.

CIHR is comprised of 13 Institutes, each led by a Scientific Director, responsible for championing health research at the highest levels of international excellence, establishing and nurturing partnerships, as well as fostering effective communication and knowledge dissemination. CIHR's Institute of Cancer Research supports research that reduces the burden of cancer on individuals and families through prevention strategies, screening, diagnosis, effective treatment, psycho-social support systems, and palliation. CIHR is one of the leading cancer research funder in Canada.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

SOURCE: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

David Coulombe
CIHR Media Relations
Phone: 613-941-4563, Cell: 613-808-7526
E-mail: mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca


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