Alan Bernstein, OC, OOnt, PhD, FRSC is President and CEO of CIFAR, a Canadian-based, global research organization. He is one of Canada’s foremost scientists with several decades of work in research leadership
A graduate from the University of Toronto, he received the James Loudon Gold
Medal in Physics, and completed his PhD research with James Till. After roles at the Ontario Cancer Institute and Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, he was asked to become the founding President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), where he led the transformation of health research in Canada, creating Canada’s first health research institutes. He was an early champion of women in science and young scientists. In 2010, Bernstein became Executive Director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, where he led an international alliance of organizations funding HIV vaccine research.
Author of over 225 scientific publications, Alan has made landmark contributions to the study of stem cells, blood cell formation (hematopoiesis) and cancer. He chairs or is a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the U.S., U.K., Italy and Australia. He serves as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Stand Up 2 Cancer Canada, is a member of the Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science and Policy Group, and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In May 2020 he was appointed to Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force.
Alan’s contributions to science and science policy have been recognized with numerous awards and honorary degrees, including Officer of the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, the Award of Excellence from the Genetics Society of Canada, the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award, induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and the 2017 Henry Friesen International Prize in Health Research.