Nine New Members Join the Research Canada Alliance

OTTAWA, May 4, 2023 – Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery is pleased to welcome nine new Members into its Alliance dedicated to advancing health research and innovation in Canada: The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), the Canadian Brain Research Strategy, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Child Development Institute (CDI), Mental Health Research Canada, Roche Canada, the Terry Fox Research Institute, the University of Windsor and Variational AI.

“We are always honoured when an organization, company or institution comes on as a Research Canada Member, and these nine new Members are no exception. We are so pleased to add each of their unique perspectives to our Alliance,” says Dr. Rosie Goldstein, Chair of Research Canada and Professor of Medicine at McGill University. “Having such a diverse membership that shares in common the dedication to advance Canadian health research and innovation is heartening, and we are delighted these health leaders have chosen to join our collective voice,” adds Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada.

Research Canada engages all sectors – including government – to build support for health research and innovation. The addition of these new Members to the Alliance strengthens the organization’s ability to represent the interests of the health research and innovation ecosystem as a whole.

“These organizations, companies and institutions represent and support countless Canadians. It is inspiring to look at their commitment and contributions to health research and health innovation,” expresses Lori Spadorcia, Co-Chair of Research Canada’s Membership Development and Programs Committee (MDPC) and Senior Vice-President of Public Affairs and Partnerships, Chief Strategy Officer at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

“It is exciting to announce our newest Members and recognize all they do to improve the health and lives of Canadians. Their leadership in health research and innovation is motivating, and they will undoubtedly add a breadth of experience and knowledge to our Alliance,” adds Sue Mack-Klinger, MDPC Co-Chair and Program Head of the Pharmacy Technician Program, School of Health Sciences, Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

About Research Canada
Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit

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For inquiries:
Kevin Conquest
Senior Development Manager

Research Canada advocates for the prioritization of health research and health innovation in the government to improve the health of Canadians. These new Members provide a breadth of knowledge and expertise across many stages of the research continuum.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) is the national voice of optometry in Canada, representing 85% of optometrists. The CAO is dedicated to collaboratively advancing the highest standard of primary eye care through the promotion of optimal vision and eye health, in partnership with all Canadians.

The Canadian Brain Research Strategy (CBRS) is a community-led initiative uniting over 30 neuroscience and mental health institutes and programs across the country, together with early career researchers, Indigenous Knowledges Holders, and patient representatives to advance Canada as a world leader in collaborative, transdisciplinary, open, and ethical brain research.

Founded in 1918, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. They deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Their work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors, and partners from coast to coast to coast.

The Child Development Institute (CDI), an accredited children’s mental health agency in Toronto, is a groundbreaker in developing innovative programming. They offer evidence-based programs for children ages 0-12 and youth ages 13-18, and their families across four streams: Early Intervention Services, Family Violence Services, Learning Disabilities & Mental Health Services (formerly Integra), and Healthy Child Development.

Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) is an innovative national charitable organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by advancing mental health knowledge in a unique but important way: we ensure the fulsome engagement of people with lived experience throughout the entire research process.  We pride ourselves on being nimble, collaborative, forward-looking, and committed to excellence in all that we do.

At Roche Canada, patients and science are at the heart of everything we do. Our passion for science and our commitment to relentlessly pursuing the impossible for patients have made us one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical, in-vitro diagnostics, and diabetes care management companies. Having the courage to reinvent ourselves and question the status quo is what patients and the healthcare system expect from Roche – and our commitment is as strong today as it was on the first day of our Canadian journey in 1931.

The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI), established in 2007, invests in world-class, collaborative cancer research teams and partnerships. Together with its research and funding partners, TFRI is working to inspire the transformation of cancer research in Canada by bringing together leading cancer research and treatment organizations from coast to coast and empowering them under the framework of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network.

The University of Windsor is home to a growing body of scholars recognized nationally and internationally for the significance of their contributions to the humanities; social, physical, environmental, and biological sciences; business; law and human dignity; nursing; engineering; education; and the creative arts.  Every day, across their campus, our nation, and globally, the University of Windsor researchers are making a difference. Through these activities, they are advancing our understanding of the world around us, maximizing benefits to society, and enhancing our quality of life today and tomorrow.

Founded in September 2019, Variational AI is a team of experienced AI/machine learning and business specialists applying state-of-the-art generative AI to drug discovery in close collaboration with biopharmaceutical partners to bring new therapeutics to market across disease areas and positively impact lives.