Vice-president (research) receives major award

By Meaghan Whelan | Oct. 2, 2012
Dr. Christopher Loomis, Memorial's vice-president (research), received one of the highest scholarly honours in Canada when he was inducted as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) in Ottawa, Ont., on Sept. 20. 
This distinction is awarded to those with a history of outstanding performance in academic health sciences. Fellows are selected through a competitive peer-review process based on a demonstrated record of leadership, excellence and commitment to advancing the field.
Dr. Loomis was recognized for his accomplishments as a dedicated researcher, academic leader and teacher. 
“It is a distinct honour for me to be inducted as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and to be recognized for my contributions to academic health sciences in this country. I’m very grateful to Dr. Sean Brosnan who supported my nomination, and to all those who assisted in its success.” 
Dr. Loomis received his PhD from Queen’s University in 1984, where he served as a faculty member in the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Anesthesia and Laboratory Medicine until 1987. While at Queen’s, Dr. Loomis launched what was to become a long and successful program of research on the spinal pharmacology of pain, opioid and non-opioid mechanisms of spinal analgesia and central mechanisms of neuropathic pain early after nerve injury. For more than 20 years, his work was funded primarily by the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC), now the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). 
Dr. Loomis began his career at Memorial in 1988 as an associate professor of pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy, with a joint appointment to the neuroscience group in the Faculty of Medicine. While continuing his research, he also took on academic administrative positions serving as associate director (research) and later director of the School of Pharmacy.
In 2002, Dr. Loomis became vice-president (research) of Memorial. Under his leadership, Memorial has achieved significant growth in research activity and reputation. It led the country in research growth among universities offering medical/doctoral degrees from 2002-07 – more than double the category average.  
Throughout his academic career, Dr. Loomis has served the health sciences community in many capacities.  Currently, he is a member of the governing council of CIHR – an appointment recently renewed by the Government of Canada.  He is also a member of the Science Advisory Board of Health Canada, and its Scientific Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology (Therapeutic Products Division). 
Dr. Loomis is a past member of the Scientific Advisory Council of Canada’s Rx&D Health Research Foundation and served for many years on the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC).  He has been a member and officer of numerous national peer review committees, a member of several provincial government committees examining health issues and served internationally on the Prostaniod Scientific Advisory Board of Sanofi-Aventis (USA).  
Dr. Sean Brosnan, professor in the Faculty of Science and fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, wrote a letter in support of Dr. Loomis’ nomination for this award.    
“Dr. Loomis has made it his mission to ensure that research at Memorial is outward looking and directed at issues and problems facing Newfoundland and Labrador and the world,” said Dr. Brosnan. “He is an outstanding scholar and administrator whose record of accomplishments, both locally and nationally, makes him worthy of fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.” 
The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences provides assessments of and advice on key issues relevant to the health of Canadians. This organization, along with the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering, make up the Council of Canadian Academies. 
Memorial faculty members Sean Brosnan, Patrick Parfrey and James Rourke are also fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. 


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