Important informations

Rod McInnes promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada

Rod McInnes promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada 1Roderick McInnes, senior investigator and past director of the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI) of the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada for his continued contributions to the field of neurogenetics and for his strong leadership within Canada’s research community.

The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours and it recognizes those who make extraordinary contributions to the nation as exemplified in its motto Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam – “They desire a better country.” Since its creation in 1967, about 7,500 people have received the honour. The appointment to Officer of the Order of Canada recognizes achievement and merit of a high degree, especially service to Canada or to humanity at large.

Roderick McInnes, OC, OOnt, MD, PhD, is the Alva Chair in Human Genetics (since 2010), and a Professor of Human Genetics and Biochemistry at McGill University. Until 2017, he also held the Canada Research Chair in Neurogenetics. He is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of eye development and inherited eye disease. His discoveries have included the identification of major regulatory genes of eye development, the association of these genes with inherited blindness, and the co-discovery of retinal stem cells.

Dr. McInnes has made many notable contributions to our understanding of the molecular basis of retinal and eye development, the identification of genes and processes associated with retinal degeneration, and knowledge of synaptic proteins that modulate ion channels in the nervous system. This work has earned him many honours, including appointments to the Order of Ontario (2008), and to the Order of Canada, initially as a Member (2009).

Over the years, many national and international scientific organizations have benefited from his leadership. After serving for a decade as the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Genetics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), he moved from the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) to become the first Director in the LDI’s history recruited from outside of McGill. From 2009 to 2021, under his leadership, the national and international stature of the LDI, and of the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) as a leading clinical and fundamental research facility, grew markedly.

In 2017-2018 Dr. McInnes served as the Acting President of CIHR, overseeing the national health research funding agency in a particularly challenging period. For this and his other contributions to health research, he received the 2018 Award of Honour of Friends of CIHR, the 2019 Research Canada Leadership in Advocacy Award, and the 2019 Paul Armstrong Lecture Award of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS).

Dr. McInnes is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and Past President of the American Society of Human Genetics (2010).

“On behalf of the entire LDI community, we congratulate Dr. McInnes on receiving Canada’s highest honour for his outstanding achievements and leadership in health research throughout his remarkable career,” said Stephen Robbins, Director of the LDI.