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Alan Bernstein

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
President & CEO

Dr. Alan Bernstein became CIFAR’s President and Chief Executive Officer in May 2012. From 2000 to 2007, he served as the inaugural president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research. In that capacity, he led the transformation of health research in Canada. Between, he was Executive Director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine.

After receiving his PhD from the University of Toronto and following postdoctoral work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, Dr. Bernstein joined the Ontario Cancer Institute. In 1985, he joined the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, was named its Associate Director in 1988 and served as Director of Research from 1994 to 2000. Dr. Bernstein has made extensive contributions to the study of stem cells, blood cell formation (hematopoiesis) and cancer. He chairs or is a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the U.S., U.K., Italy and Australia. Dr. Bernstein also serves as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Stand Up 2 Cancer Canada with Dr. Phillip A. Sharp.

Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards and honourary degrees for his contributions to science, including the 2008 Gairdner Wightman Award. In 2015, he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and is the 2017 recipient of the Henry Friesen International Prize in Health Research. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, a recipient of the Order of Ontario and in 2002, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.