Vancouver, B.C. [October 12, 2012]: Dr. Evan Wood, a University of British Columbia (UBC) professor and co-director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), has been appointed the Canadian Research Chair in Inner City Medicine at UBC.
The Government of Canada announced Dr. Wood’s prestigious appointment at the University of Toronto as part of a national announcement of chairs across Canada. The announcement included a regional event at the Vancouver office of James Moore, PC, MP, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
“I’m incredibly honoured by this appointment and excited by the opportunity it presents to transform addiction treatment in B.C.,” said Dr. Wood, an internal medicine physician specializing in inner city medicine and an internationally recognized expert in drug addiction and related policies. “The success and global impact of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS provides a model for the local addiction medicine system to emulate. As it stands now, there are effective addiction treatments that are not even available in BC and this must change.”
Under the leadership of Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC-CfE and head of the Division of AIDS in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, Dr. Wood has made a number of groundbreaking contributions including publishing the first study to show that reducing community HIV “viral load” at a population level reduced rates of HIV infection among intravenous drug users. This HIV Treatment as Prevention strategy, pioneered at the BC-CfE to combat the spread of HIV, involves widespread HIV testing and provision of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to medically eligible HIV-positive people.
Dr. Wood is well positioned to help advance to system of care for alcohol and drug addicted patients having recently been funded through a US National Institutes on Drug Abuse Distinguished International Scientist Award to travel to leading US addiction medicine centres.
“I congratulate Dr. Wood on being named a Canadian Research Chair,” said Dr. Montaner. “Given the serious medical and societal harms associated with untreated alcohol and drug addiction, I am pleased that the future of inner city and addiction medicine will be guided by his research and dedicated leadership.”
Dr. Wood is a full professor at UBC and an attending internal medicine physician on the Clinical Teaching Unit at St. Paul’s hospital. In addition to his position as Canadian Research Chair in Inner City Medicine at UBC, Dr. Wood will also be leading the recently announced Goldcorp Fellowship in Addiction Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital and UBC. As Canada’s only interdisciplinary addiction medicine training program, the Goldcorp Fellowship in Addiction Medicine will address a critical lack of skilled addiction medicine specialists in the province by providing training in addictions medicine to 20 fellows over five years.
Dr. Wood’s Canadian Research Chair appointment is Tier One. Tier One Chairs are tenable for seven years, renewable, and awarded to outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields.
For more information on the Canada Research Chair program and a full listing of new chairs, visit www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca.
About the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is internationally recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. BC-CfE is based at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE works in close collaboration with key provincial stakeholders, including health authorities, health care providers, academics from other institutions, and the community to decrease the health burden of HIV and AIDS and to improve the health of British Columbians living with HIV through developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses.
For additional information, please contact:
604-682-2344 ext 66536