The Board of Directors of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Miguel N. Burnier, Jr. to the position of Interim Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the RI-MUHC, effective June 15, 2020. He succeeds Dr. Bruce Mazer, to whom the Board extends its deepest gratitude for having not only served in this capacity since fall 2016 but also graciously agreed to extend his term.
With this appointment, Dr. Burnier will work closely with RI-MUHC, MUHC and McGill leaders, as well as each of our associated foundations, to ensure continuity in the Institute’s research activities as a search for an Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer is conducted. That process will be announced shortly.
Dr. Burnier completed his MD and residencies in Pathology and Ophthalmology in São Paolo, Brazil, and subsequently a MSc and PhD in Ocular Pathology at Federal University, also in São Paolo, Brazil. He then completed a Fellowship with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington, D.C. and returned to Brazil as Full Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Federal University. In 1989, Dr Burnier travelled back to Washington, assuming the role of Senior Scientist at the AFIP and the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD. In 1993, he was recruited to McGill, where he served as Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology until 2008, and as the Thomas O. Hecht Family Chair in Ophthalmology (1996-2012).
Currently, Dr. Burnier is Director of Training and Development and a Senior Scientist in the Cancer Research Program at the RI-MUHC, a Full Professor of Ophthalmology, Pathology, Medicine and Oncology at McGill University, and the founder and Director of the MUHC-McGill Ocular Pathology Translational Research Laboratory—the largest research and training centre in North America, as well as a major consultancy and training centre for pathologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists, medical students, residents and fellows from around the world.
An active ophthalmologist and researcher interested in uveal melanoma, Dr. Burnier has authored and co-authored over 700 publications, including peer-reviewed papers and abstracts, articles in various scientific journals, books and book chapters. He has served as Guest Speaker and Visiting Professor at many conferences and symposia around the globe. He is an active member of over 20 societies and Editor Emeritus of The Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology. In addition, he holds a number of international appointments, notably Professor of Post Graduate Studies and Thesis Supervisor for the Department of Ophthalmology, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil; Professor of Ophthalmology and Pathology, University of Valladolid, Spain; and Professor and Consultant Pathologist for the AFIP’s American Registry of Pathology in Washington.
Dr. Burnier’s contributions to clinical care, research and education in health sciences have been recognized with many honours, including induction as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the European Ophthalmology Award of Excellence, American Academy of Ophthalmology Award of Excellence, Pan American Association of Ophthalmology Life Achievement Award, World Health Organization Award for Melanoma Research, Brazilian Academy of Science Award & Membership in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Gradle Teaching Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology/Pan American Association of Ophthalmology, amongst others. Dr. Burnier is the recipient of the Rio Branco Medal, the equivalent of the Order of Brazil. He is also the 45th Chair of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and most recently was inaugurated into the “Giants of Medicine” program in Monterrey, Mexico.
The Board of Directors of the RI-MUHC thanks Dr. Burnier for accepting this important role and invites you to welcome him warmly.