Photo of Dr Alan Bernstein

Dr Alan Bernstein

President and CEO of CIFAR

Alan is President & CEO of CIFAR a Canadian-based, global research organization that builds global communities of the world’s top researchers, addressing science and humanity’s most important questions. Dr. Bernstein graduated from the University of Toronto, with a PhD from James Till lab, the champion of stem cell research. In 1974, he joined the Ontario Cancer Institute, and became Director of Research in 1994. His laboratory made significant discoveries on the molecular and cellular basis of cancer and discovered genes controlling stem cells of the blood-forming system.

As founding President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), he led the transformation of health research in Canada, creating Canada’s first health research institutes. In 2010, Dr. 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.

He chairs and serves on numerous advisory and review boards around the world, including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science & Policy Group,  working to overcome the risks posed by vaccine hesitancy.

He is the author of over 260 peer-reviewed publications and over 65 pieces in the lay press. He has received numerous awards and 8 honorary degrees, including the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, the Award of Excellence from the Genetics Society of Canada, the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award, the Henry Friesen International Prize in Health Research, and the appointment to the Orders of Ontario and Canada.