CHEO Research Institute CEO Message


Dr. Martin Osmond
CEO and Scientific Director, CHEO Research Institute

Working as one team

I really like the ‘numbers’ theme of this CHEO Foundation 2015 annual report. Upon receiving an invitation to submit a CHEO research update, I began reflecting on the past year’s success and statistics. Then it dawned on me, my favorite number at present, especially as it relates to research, is the number one! Let me explain…

CHEO attracts and retains exceptional scientists and clinician investigators, who in turn mentor countless trainees from the University of Ottawa and other academic institutions. Our collective team unites to realize our Research Institute vision: making discoveries today for healthier kids tomorrow. At the core of the 350+-research projects underway each year at CHEO is a question – one question – that when answered, has the potential to greatly influence the delivery of pediatric care and treatment at our hospital and beyond.

From the biggest research endeavors to the smallest, every research project at CHEO happens in accordance with the highest scientific and ethical standards and has a very clear goal: to help children be their healthiest. Our research starts by someone asking a question and then setting out to answer it. The answer may change medical practice or may in turn fuel future research. From the medical challenges that confront us in the clinics and wards, we form important research questions; so that our results are meaningful to the patients and families we serve.

For instance in 2015, Dr. Carolina Jimenez from our gastroenterology research team, conducted a first of its kind nation-wide study on pediatric Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH), a progressive inflammatory liver disease, because her team wanted to know which kids were more likely to require a liver transplant. Dr. Waleed Alqurashi from our Emergency Medicine research team wanted to know which children were more likely to have a repeat, delayed anaphylactic reaction (from the same allergic cause) so that doctors can intervene faster. Dr. Mark Tremblay and the Healthy Active Living and Obesity (HALO) research team set out to understand why some parents avoid letting their children partake in outdoor or risky play as a means to increase their child’s physical activity. Please visit our newsroom at www.cheori.org/en/newsreleases to see how these teams answered their respective questions and learn about many other discoveries at the same time.

Another reason I quite like the number one, is that it symbolizes the approach to research undertaken at CHEO. At a high level, we work as one team – the hospital, CHEO Foundation and CHEO Research Institute – to support innovation and conduct research at CHEO. We take ideas from our clinics, test them in our research labs, and then implement the findings back into the clinics; generating a one-team spirit of innovation across our research programs and practice areas at CHEO.

Patients who participate in research projects and donors who generously support our efforts are also included in our one-team approach. Research at CHEO cannot make the tremendous impact it does, without the community’s financial involvement and patient engagement.

On behalf of the CHEO Research Institute, thank you for being part of our team – one team.

Dr. Martin Osmond
CEO and Scientific Director, CHEO Research Institute