Message from the President of CIHR

May 31, 2023

Dear colleagues,

One of the distinct pleasures of being President of CIHR has been the opportunity to travel from coast to coast to coast to meet with a broad range of individuals whose daily activities touch on our health research ecosystem in one way or another. Over the last five years, sometimes in person and sometimes virtually, I have been consistently humbled by the deep dedication of our community to scientific excellence, to answering the most pressing questions of our time, and to your resiliency in the midst of a global crisis of historical proportions. But perhaps more than anything else, regardless of where I have visited and with whom I have spoken, there has always been an almost palpable sense of excitement when we spoke about your research programs.

And so it should be no surprise that upon completing this five year term as CIHR President at the end of September, I will return to my first passion - my research program. Over the last five years, I have returned to my lab almost weekly for a day with my research team. Although we have made progress, it is time to return fully and commit myself to writing, to guiding my research team, and perhaps most importantly, to re-engage in the deep discipline of rigorous scientific debate and inquiry. Most critically, it is time to return to the work of understanding the pathobiology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a topic to which I have dedicated my academic and scientific career.

Over the next few months, there will be ample time to thank the many, many people who have made this role at CIHR so rewarding. But at the outset, I want to thank the incredible cadre of public servants that are the foundation of CIHR, those individuals who worked tirelessly and sometimes around the clock, to ensure that CIHR delivered a full suite of research programs during the pandemic. Because of them, Canada mounted a research response to the pandemic that was at the forefront of the global response, while also keeping the core programs of CIHR afloat. In doing so, many gave endlessly of their time. For this, we are all grateful.

The selection process for a new President is in full swing. I wish the selection committee success in finding our next leader, one who will share your values and come to understand the great gift of being selected for this role. It has indeed been a highlight of my career.

Yours sincerely,

Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FCAHS
President, CIHR

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