Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences

The CIHR-ICRH and the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) partner on an annual Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences in recognition of an individual's outstanding contribution to the advancement of respiratory sciences both in Canada and internationally. The award is presented to the selected candidate each year at the Canadian Respiratory Conference (CRC), where the recipient gives a keynote lecture as part of the scientific program. The CRC is the national educational and scientific meeting of the CTS.


Dr. Jean Bourbeau – Recipient of the 2024 CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences

Dr Bourbeau is a clinician scientist, professor, and researcher at McGill University and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute McGill University Health Centre. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (FCAHS) and has received numerous prestigious awards, including the "Distinguished Scientist Award" from McGill University (2020-2025) and the "Distinguished CHEST Educator" from the American College of Chest Physicians (2017-2022).

Internationally recognized for his expertise in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), he actively participates in various scientific committees and has served as the President and remains on the board of the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS). His research includes notable contributions like the "Living Well with COPD" self-management program and the Canadian Cohort Obstructive Lung Disease (CanCOLD) prospective study, over 15M$ grant support since 2009, CIHR grants, >100 sub-studies and >80 publications. Over the last decades, he has secured substantial research funding, published over 400 papers, reviews, and chapters, and his work has significantly influenced clinical practice worldwide.

He is the principal investigator for various investigator initiated clinical trials, addressing both non-pharmacological interventions and drug or device interventions for COPD patients. His dedication extends to advancing clinical trial training platforms as he leads the CIHR Clinical Training Trial Platform, CANTRAIN, with 11.3 million dollars in funding (2022-2025).

Dr. Bourbeau has made significant contributions to national and international guidelines, including the GOLD Reports, CTS COPD pharmacotherapy Guidelines, American College of Chest Physicians/CTS Guidelines on prevention of COPD exacerbations, and American Thoracic/European Respiratory Society Guidelines on Pulmonary Rehabilitation.


Dr. Francine Ducharme – Recipient of the 2023 CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences

Dr. Francine M. Ducharme is a Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Social and Preventive Medicine at the Université de Montréal. As a paediatrician and clinical epidemiologist at the CHU Sainte-Justine, she leads a productive career as physician caring for asthmatic children, teacher, research mentor and scientist. Her research program, which has received uninterrupted research funding, focuses on improving paediatric morbidity through the development of instruments specific to children, educational and drug interventions, systematic reviews and dissemination of evidence-based guidelines. Her research program has led to over 200 publications, 200 invited talks, numerous research awards, and co-authorship on several Canadian Asthma Consensus and international statements.


Dr. Shawn Aaron – Recipient of the 2022 CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences

Dr. Shawn Aaron is a Professor in The Department of Medicine, The University of Ottawa and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is a respirologist at The Ottawa Hospital. Dr. Aaron conducts clinical and health services research focused in 3 respiratory diseases: COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis. Dr. Aaron leads the Canadian Respiratory Research Network, a Canadian airway disease research network.


Dr. Don Sin – Recipient of the 2020 CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences

Don Sin is the Director of the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI), and a Professor of Medicine at University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in COPD and the De Lazzari Family Chair at HLI. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and has an H-index of 90. He has served on the Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) scientific committee since 2009 and is the section editor for the European Respiratory Journal and an editorial board member of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. He obtained his medical degree at University of Alberta and completed his post-doctoral research fellowship at University of Toronto. His research focus is using “omics” data to discover novel biomarkers of disease activity and new therapeutic targets to reduce hospitalization and mortality in patients with COPD.


Dr. Dick Menzies – Recipient of the 2019 CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences

Dr. Dick Menzies received his medical training at McGill University, Montreal and specialty training in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. He then worked for 2 ½ years in Lesotho, Africa, where he was first exposed (literally) to tuberculosis – in all its forms, and with all its devastation. He then received sub-specialty training in Respiratory Medicine and a Masters degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McGill University. Dr. Menzies served as Medical Director at the Montreal Chest Institute for a total of 10 years ending in 2002, and then as Director of the Respiratory Division for 9 years. He is now Director of the Respiratory Epidemiology Unit at McGill University and McGill’s WHO Collaborating Centre in TB Research.

Dr. Menzies has a long history of involvement in tuberculosis care and research, beginning with his years in Lesotho, where tuberculosis is highly endemic. Since his return to Montreal he has developed a tuberculosis research programme of clinical and epidemiologic studies linked with a large multi-disciplinary clinical service at the Montreal Chest Institute, and the Public Health Unit of Montreal. He developed and lead international collaborative groups in nosocomial transmission of TB, MDR-TB treatment, INH Resistant TB treatment, and large scale randomized trials in 9 countries. Dr. Menzies has also been involved as a consultant to National TB Programs in the Dominican Republic, Guyana and Ecuador, and was on sabbatical at WHO in 2014-15 where he helped develop the Global Action Framework for TB Research. He has worked with WHO and other agencies to develop guidelines for treatment of active and latent Tuberculosis. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and more than 30 book chapters based on the results of his research.


Dr. Denis E. O’Donnell – Recipient of the 2018 CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences

Dr. Denis O’Donnell is a Professor of Medicine at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. He is a Senior Clinician Scientist and Director of the Respiratory Investigation Unit, Kingston General Hospital. He trained at the University of Galway, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, and Trinity College, Dublin, and later at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of N.R. Anthonisen and M. Younes.

Dr. O’Donnell is the former Chair of the Canadian Thoracic Society COPD Guidelines Committee (2003-2008) and Past President of the Ontario and Canadian Thoracic Societies. He has served on several national and international scientific committees as well as on editorial panels of leading respiratory journals.

His research is focused on clinical integrative physiology in chronic lung diseases including the physiological mechanisms of dyspnea and exercise limitation. At Queen’s he assembled a highly productive clinical research team which has been very successful in attracting peer-reviewed and pharmaceutical company grant support over 25 years. He has lectured and published extensively, contributing over 300 peer-reviewed publications to date. The Respiratory Investigation Unit established at Queen’s enjoys international recognition for scientific excellence and training in clinical physiology.

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