The Doctor of Laws, honoris causa degree is the University’s highest honour and will be formally awarded in June.
Dr. Alan Bernstein, President and CEO of CIFAR, has been offered an honorary degree in recognition of his research excellence and his contributions to medicine, medical research, and education at the local, national and international levels.
In the award letter, Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto, writes that Dr. Bernstein’s “leadership of major Canadian and international research institutions, together with [his] efforts to promote innovative and collaborative research, have enriched the field of medicine.”
Dr. Bernstein, who received both his BSc and PhD from the University of Toronto, expressed his appreciation for the award. “I am truly honoured to be recognized in this way by the university where my career started. There has never been a time when young people, and research that crosses boundaries of discipline and country, have been more important than right now. As Canada’s most research-intensive university, U of T has a central role to play in addressing the global challenges of the 21st century.”
Dr. Bernstein became CIFAR’s President and CEO in May 2012. He was previously executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine.
From 2000 to 2007, he served as the inaugural president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research. In that capacity, he led the transformation of health research in Canada.
After being confirmed today by the University’s Governing Council, Dr. Bernstein will be presented with the honorary degree at a convocation ceremony in June.