III Scientific Director: Dr. Marc Ouellette

I am very honoured to be the new Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity (III). My term started only a few weeks ago, on January 1, 2010, but thanks to the Ottawa based staff, the Institute transition is running smoothly. The new team, currently being recruited for the Institute office in Quebec City, will interact closely with the Ottawa-based staff and the III community.

I would like to acknowledge the inspirational leadership of the III inaugural Scientific Director, Dr. Bhagirath Singh. Bhagi and his staff (both in London and in Ottawa) have, through their tireless efforts, made III a strong and vibrant Institute with very solid foundations to build upon. Bhagi has set very high standards and I will strive to maintain this level of organizational excellence and service to the community for the years to come.

Since its inception in 2000, III has met and reacted in a timely fashion to numerous health challenges. With the rapidly changing nature of infectious diseases and their effects on our immune system, it is likely that we will need to continue to respond quickly to new health challenges. We will maintain the established III practice of regularly engaging the III community and our stakeholders to help us fine-tune the Institute strategic research efforts. These efforts, through excellence in research, will have a major impact towards improving the health of Canadians.

The current 2007-12 strategic plan has the necessary breadth for tackling some of the most pressing health research questions under the III umbrella. Indeed, our current strategic priorities are: i) emerging infections and resistance; ii) HIV/AIDS; iii) immunotherapy; iv) pandemic influenza preparedness; and v) vaccines. However, due to the highly dynamic nature of research issues related to III, our Institute Advisory Board, our partners, and the III community will have to work diligently to think about the next strategic plan, and how to align it with the CIHR Roadmap.

The III team and I are looking forward to many fruitful interactions with the III community. Please do not hesitate to contact me at marc.ouellette@crchul.ulaval.ca to share your thoughts and your best ideas for making III stronger.

Finally, I want to express my admiration for the research work that the III community is performing in all four research pillars of CIHR. This excellence in research and the documented outcomes will be of paramount importance and bode well for the upcoming 2011 international review of CIHR and its Institutes. You can count on my diligent dedication and I am looking forward to working with you.

Marc Ouellette, PhD
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity