UAlberta new home of the CIHR's Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health

Dr. Brian Rowe appointed as scientific director.


Over the past 25 years, Brian Rowe has spent his career on the front lines of medicine as an emergency physician, health educator and health researcher. Now he has yet another important role to add to his duties—scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH).

“It’s a huge job, and it takes a skilled team and a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders and partners working collaboratively to be successful,” says Rowe, a professor of emergency medicine at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and an adjunct member of the School of Public Health. “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues and partners in other institutes and across Canada to continue the excellent work of my predecessors to advance research that improves the health care offered to all Canadians.”

The ICRH supports research into a wide range of conditions associated with the heart, lung, brain, blood and blood vessels, critical care and sleep. In his new role as scientific director, Rowe will work with members of the national and international circulatory and respiratory health research community, along with stakeholders, to identify research priorities, develop research funding opportunities, build partnerships and translate research evidence into practice to improve the health of Canadians.

"I'm pleased to welcome Dr. Rowe to the CIHR leadership team,” says Alain Beaudet, president of CIHR. “His exceptional reputation in cardiac and respiratory emergency medicine research, coupled with a demonstrated commitment to implementing evidence-based practice, will be invaluable in continuing to advance the work of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health and of the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research.”

The four-year appointment, effective Jan. 1 of this year, allows Rowe the chance to help shape the future of Canadian research in circulatory and respiratory health. It’s a position that CIHR notes he is uniquely qualified for, after having committed himself throughout his career to making health care more accessible and accountable to patients living with respiratory illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia. It also notes that Rowe has not only made patient engagement a priority in his life’s work, but also consistently upheld the highest standards of quality, integrity and ethics, both as a teacher and a researcher.

With the new appointment, Rowe says he will now spend about half of his academic time on CIHR activities while still continuing his work as a professor and researcher at the University of Alberta and an emergency physician with Alberta Health Services. The appointment also means changes at the U of A. Several new staff members will be employed to help run the institute, which will be located in the university’s College Plaza building.

“It is an immense honour for me to serve CIHR, the circulatory and respiratory community, and patients as the scientific director of this important institute,” says Rowe. “Canadian researchers have been world leaders in these areas of research, and my colleagues and I will work diligently to expand the production, synthesis and dissemination of high-quality evidence to improve circulatory and respiratory health nationally and internationally.”