Dr. Michael J. Strong, current Dean of Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, has been named President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for a five-year term effective Oct. 1, Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced today.
“While I am leaving my role as dean sooner than I expected, I am doing so knowing that this has been one of the most enriching and rewarding periods of my life,” Strong said. “I cannot be prouder of the school, nor more appreciative of all the contributions of faculty, staff and students. I’m leaving only because of the chance to do more, in an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Strong will step down from his role as dean effective Sept. 30. He will remain a Distinguished University Professor and continue his work as a scientist researching Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at Robarts Research Institute.
An acting dean will be named while a search is undertaken to appoint Strong’s successor, university officials explained.
CIHR is composed of 13 institutes and provides leadership and support to health researchers and trainees across Canada. As President, Strong will oversee the direction and management of the property, business and affairs of CIHR.
“Dr. Strong’s distinguished track record as a biomedical researcher, professor, and administrator, whose contributions to science include expanding our understanding of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, will serve him well in his new role,” Taylor said.
Strong began as Schulich Dean on July 1, 2010. In his role, he has worked closely with the school’s Senior Leadership Council, Executive Committee of the Schulich Council, and student leaders to move the school through nearly a decade of massive growth and change.
During his time, Strong oversaw the implementation of the Master of Public Health Program; the establishment of the SouthWestern Academic Health Network; the recruitment of more than 50 basic science and clinical researchers; the establishment of the nationally recognized See the Line initiative in support of concussion research; and the renewal of Schulich Dentistry, among other accomplishments.