Dr. Bernstein is currently the President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), one of Canada’s major global research assets. From 2008-2011, Dr. Bernstein was the executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine. Previously, he served as the founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2000-07), Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research. In that capacity, he led the transformation of health research in Canada.
After receiving his PhD from the University of Toronto, and following postdoctoral work in London, Dr. Bernstein joined the Ontario Cancer Institute (1974-1985). In 1985 he joined the new Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto, was named Associate Director (1988) and then Director of Research (1994-2000). The author of over 225 scientific publications, Dr. Bernstein has made extensive contributions to the study of stem cells, hematopoiesis and cancer. He is a member and/or chair of advisory and review boards in Canada, the US, UK, Italy and Australia. Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards and honorary degrees for his contributions to science, including the 2008 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award. He is a Senior Research Fellow of Massey College and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2002.