Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute Welcomes First Scientific and Executive Recruits
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute’s Board
of Directors and partners introduced the institute’s
first three scientists and first Chief Research Officer
in a press conference today.
The three scientists will work under Thunder Bay Regional
Research Institute’s flagship program, the Molecular
Medicine Research Centre (MMRC). The MMRC will focus
on developing new molecular imaging technology and advanced
diagnostics for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer.
The event was attended by several distinguished guests
including Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister
of Health and Long Term Care, George Smitherman; Minister
of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle;
and Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
“Research and Innovation is the future of cancer
care in Thunder Bay and in Ontario,” said Minister
Smitherman. “The research that will be done
in Thunder Bay will help develop new technologies
so we can detect cancer earlier and treat it less
invasively. It will attract new physicians and scientists
to the region with its leading-edge collaborative
“I am delighted that this continues to be
a very good news story for Northern Ontario,”
said Minister Gravelle. “World-class scientists
attract other world-class scientists, all of whom
attract research and development dollars to our
region and help stimulate our economy in the North.”
The MMRC is a unique, cross-Ontario collaboration involving
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Thunder Bay Regional Health
Sciences Centre, Lakehead University, Philips Healthcare and
Cancer Care Ontario.
“Cancer Care Ontario
is extremely proud to be a supporting partner of the
MMRC,” said Dr. Michael Sherar, VP Regional
Programs, Cancer Care Ontario. “One of the key
priorities in the recently released Ontario Cancer
Plan involves ensuring that research is rapidly applied
to improve cancer prevention and clinical practice.
The translational research that will be done in Thunder
Bay will see scientists and clinicians working closely
together to find cancer early and apply the best possible
The new recruits include Dr. Alla Reznik, who is investigating
the development of a new generation of Positron Emission Tomography
(PET) imagers to detect cancer earlier. Joining her are Dr.
Laura Curiel and Dr. Samuel Pichardo, who specialize in the
development of High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) technology
that destroys cancers with heat, allowing for less invasive
treatments. All three have been working with Sunnybrook Health
Sciences Centre and will continue collaborating closely with
their colleagues in Toronto.
efforts of Mr. Michael Power, Acting CEO, Thunder
Bay Regional Research Institute, and Dr. John Rowlands,
Founding Scientific Director, MMRC, have been tremendously
successful. These are world-class scientists, and
we are fortunate to have them among the first members
of our team,” said Mr. Keith Jobbitt, Chair
of the Board, Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.
The board also welcomed two new members: Mr. Ron Saddington,
President and CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
and Dr. Michael Julius, Vice President Research, Sunnybrook
Health Sciences Centre.
Dr. Mark Poznansky announced as first Chief Research
In addition to the three scientists, Dr. Mark Poznansky,
former President and Scientific Director of Robarts Research
Institute, was announced as Thunder Bay Regional Research
Institute’s Chief Research Officer.
“What is growing
here under the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute
will have significant impact on the future of healthcare.
This is evident in the caliber of the molecular imaging
experts who have been recruited for the MMRC program.
The research institute is off to an impressive start,
and I’m pleased to be involved in its development,”
Dr. Poznansky said. “With the pursuit of scientific
excellence, we are committed to the notion of job
and wealth creation for the people of Thunder Bay.”
“Dr. Poznansky brings a wealth of experience
in growing a world-class research institute through
his work with Robarts. He will be a tremendous asset
to our team,” said Mr. Michael Power, Acting
CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.