20111209 Dr Diane Finegood appointed MSFHR President and CEO

On behalf of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Board Chair Sue Paish is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Diane Finegood as President and CEO, effective March 1, 2012.

Dr. Finegood currently holds an appointment as Professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University and is Executive Director, the CAPTURE project (Canadian Platform to Increase Usage of Real World Evidence), an initiative of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

“Dr. Finegood brings a track record of leadership in health research to the Foundation, along with a passion for translating and applying health research to real life situations,” says Ms. Paish. “Her combination of academic and leadership experience and her practical orientation to research will ensure that the Michael Smith Foundation continues to be recognized as a world leader in health research and as a catalyst for the development of meaningful progress in health and health related issues, in British Columbia and beyond.”

In her current role at CAPTURE, Dr. Finegood is developing a web-based platform that supports the use of “real world” evidence to improve primary prevention of chronic disease. From 2000-2008, Dr. Finegood was inaugural Scientific Director, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In that role, she guided the national health research agenda across that Institute’s mandate and within its own strategic priority of obesity and healthy body weight. Dr. Finegood’s efforts helped stimulate obesity research and knowledge translation through support of innovative research platforms and partnerships.

“I am thrilled at this opportunity to lead MSFHR into its second decade,” says Dr. Finegood. “It is a privilege to step into the role of President and CEO of an organization that takes its name from BC’s Nobel Laureate, Dr. Michael Smith. His creativity and passion will inspire me as I take on the many challenges of my role and seek out new opportunities.”

Dr. Finegood has received numerous awards, including the 2006 Canada’s Top 100 Women Award in recognition of her trailblazing and trendsetting work and the 2008 Frederick G. Banting Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association for her leadership and significant contributions in the Canadian diabetes community. She obtained her doctoral degree in physiology and biophysics from the University of Southern California and held appointments at the University of Alberta before coming to BC.

Dr. Finegood was offered the position of President and CEO following an extensive international search. Dr. Bruce Clayman will continue as interim president and CEO until Dr. Finegood starts and will support her in the transition to her new role.

“Dr. Finegood is a very strong researcher, with proven leadership skills,” says Dr. Clayman, a charter member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “I look forward to working with her as she leads the Foundation on to new and greater successes.”

About the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research:
The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), funded by the government of British Columbia, is the province’s health research support agency. MSFHR’s mandate is to strengthen BC’s health research enterprise — which in turn improves the health of British Columbians, their health system and their economy. MSFHR is dedicated to the memory of Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Michael Smith, a pre-eminent BC scientist with a long-standing commitment to supporting researchers throughout their careers.