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Marcel Behr appointed Director, McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity 

The RI-MUHC senior scientist will lead 200 McGill researchers preparing for future challenges in infection and immunity

Dr. Marcel Behr is an associate leader of the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
Dr. Marcel Behr is an associate leader of the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

SOURCE: Health E-News.

Marcel Behr, MD, has been appointed director, McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University. Dr. Behr, who has been interim director since December 2021, will continue to work alongside Marie Hudson, MD, who is co-director of MI4 and benefit from the guidance of the Scientific Advisory Committee, chaired by Irah King, PhD.

MI4 was launched in 2018 to connect and build interdisciplinary research teams that span the greater McGill community, with the goal of developing new solutions for infectious and immune diseases for patients and populations. Together with the founding director Don Sheppard, MD, who is now executive scientific director for the Antimicrobial Resistance Task Force at the Public Health Agency of Canada, Drs. Behr and Hudson have promoted and supported infection and immunity research, within and beyond the University. With more than $33 million in funding support, MI4 fosters innovation by bringing together researchers from different areas of expertise and geographic sites, as well as supporting emerging scientists. The initiative currently supports over 200 researchers engaged in nearly 130 projects, representing 23 centres, groups and partners.

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, MI4 helped lead the rapid and strategic response of McGill investigators and clinicians in pivoting the University’s research capacity to address this global threat. Some of these initiatives include the development of the MI4 Clinical Research Platform that supports clinical trials of new COVID-19 therapies and the MI4 Hot Zone Level 3 Laboratories, where investigators safely conduct studies with live SARS-CoV-2 virus in pre-clinical models. As the McGill community begins to look beyond COVID-19, MI4 is also preparing for the future, with the help of a newly assembled External Advisory Board, composed of national and international leaders in Infection and Immunity research.

Dr. Behr is an accomplished clinician-scientist and full professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill and associate member in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, as well as Microbiology and Immunology. He was the founding director of the McGill International TB Centre and has served since 2015 as the associate program leader of the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. He is the director of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Department of Medicine. His research using genomic methodologies to study tuberculosis is supported by a CIHR Foundation Grant and a Tier I Canada Research Chair. His scholarly work has been recognized by election to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

As director of MI4, Dr. Behr will build upon the successes of the past four years and continue to promote excellence in Infection and Immunity research at McGill. He will be tasked with defining MI4’s strategic priorities going forward, which includes increasing the international reach of McGill research and attracting new scientific talent. He will continue to develop the many collaborations that have been created within McGill’s affiliated research institutes, hospitals, the Faculty and University. Dr. Behr will ensure MI4’s continued success in addressing the many challenges in Infection and Immunity that affect and will continue to affect people across the globe.

Please join us in wishing Dr. Behr success in leading MI4 going forward.