March 19, 2024

Dr. François Bernier appointed director of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Effective March 1, 2024
Dr. Francois Bernier

The Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) are pleased to announce the joint appointment of Dr. François Bernier, MD, as director of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI). The appointment took effect March 1.

Dr. Bernier takes over the role previously held by Dr. Susa Benseler, MD, PhD, for five years. We thank Dr. Benseler for her service and leadership as ACHRI director and for her vision as a leader of the One Child Every Child (OCEC) national initiative launched in 2023. OCEC is a groundbreaking UCalgary-led child health and wellness research program involving more than 130 organizations across 25 countries, for which Dr. Bernier is co-principal investigator and the current project lead. Dr. Bernier is also a co-lead of One Child Every Child’s Precision Health and Wellness theme and the Comprehensive Data Accelerator.

Dr. Bernier holds the position as chair of the new Canadian Rare Disease Network (CRDN), Canada’s first rare disease cross-disciplinary network uniting the country’s leading clinical, scientific and patient expertise to address the challenges faced by children and adults affected by rare diseases in Canada. He is a clinical geneticist with AHS, a professor in the departments of Medical Genetics and Pediatrics at the CSM and the former deputy director of ACHRI. He is the scientific director, Precision Health, at ACHRI, the scientific director of the Centre for Health Genomics and Informatics, and was department head, Medical Genetics, from 2012 until 2023.

Dr. Bernier has a strong history of national and global impact in medical research, as a member of the Genome Canada’s National Advisory Committee, National Initiative for Clinical Implementation of Precision Health: Rare Disease Pilot from 2018 to 2021 and chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Medical Genetics Examination Committee from 2010 to 2018. He was co-lead, Precision Health Alberta Strategy development, from 2017 to 2019.

Dr. Bernier completed a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and residency training in Medical Genetics at the University of Calgary. He has received multiple awards for outstanding teaching and researched extensively in areas such as precision health, child health, childhood genetic diseases and genomics for rare diseases.

Dr. Bernier believes ACHRI’s opportunity to drive meaningful change is unprecedented. His goal is to enable the child health and wellness research community to address both biomedical and social determinants of health, to co-create solutions with patients and families and to leverage the strengths of ACHRI’s many partners. The impact will be improving the health and wellness of children and families, locally, nationally and globally.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Bernier on his new appointment.

Todd Anderson, MD                                                                    Mark Anselmo, MD                                           
Dean, Cumming School of Medicine                                         Calgary Zone Medical Director                
University of Calgary                                                                   Alberta Health Services