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The Research Institute is celebrating its 5th birthday as an independent research institution on April 1, 2019.


St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has included discovery as part of its mission since the Sisters of St. Joseph’s first established their hospital in 1890. With the formation of the medical school at McMaster University in the 1960s the academic research endeavours at St. Joe’s expanded significantly. As the Hospital’s capacity for research grew, the need to establish a research administration team was met through the creation of the Father Sean O’Sullivan Research Centre in 1993.

More recently, the Research Institute was conceived as a separate entity that would allow further growth of research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. One of the prime motivations came because of increasing competition for research funding – the goal was to boost third-party research investments by being a more attractive place to spend research dollars.

The Income Tax Act allows industry sponsors to claim Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits from eligible research investments. Universities are automatically considered eligible research institutions, and approximately $6 million over a five year period was directed to McMaster University instead of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, which at the time was custodian to the Hospital’s external research funding.

With the aim of achieving SR&ED status as an eligible research institution, St. Joe’s Research Administration developed a business plan in November 2012. By autumn of 2013, an application to the Canada Revenue Agency was received and accepted, allowing the newly-branded entity, The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton, to become more competitive in the research market. The change would become effective at the start of the next fiscal year. Thus, on April 1, 2014, the Research Institute became the official, autonomous administrative body for research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, under the leadership of then-executive director Dori Kazimer.

As a SR&ED eligible entity for third-party research investors, the newly minted Research Institute was able to pursue previously missed opportunities to directly fund research. Combined with an effective marketing campaign launched in mid-2014, the Research Institute gained prominence and steadily grew the body of research and discovery within St. Joe’s. The Father Sean O’Sullivan Research Centre became one of four original pillars of the Research Institute.

Today, under the direction of the Scientific Director, Dr. Jack Gauldie, and Executive Director, Dr. Gail Martin, the Research Institute operates across five research pillars with an annual budget exceeding $25 million. In 2018, the Kidney & Urinary pillar was divided into the Kidney pillar and Genitourinary pillar, after a considerable research investment was made that will allow further growth and specialization. Learn more about our research pillars here.

With nearly 200 principal investigators, and over 500 research staff and students, our ever-growing research enterprise achieved an impressive publication output of 1132 papers in 2018. Quantity and quality are fundamental to our research, with several landmark publications appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and other high-impact journals.

While staying true to its original mandate by providing administrative support to researchers within St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, the Research Institute has grown to become a fully operational Institute with specialized IT for research, marketing, training, and compliance services. It has helped to build research programs within other hospital systems, including Niagara Health, and works with our McMaster University partners to protect and commercialize intellectual property. Through seminars and events, the Research Institute has also contributed to recognizing the achievements of our researchers, and integrating St. Joe’s within Hamilton’s innovative network of health science organizations.

From everyone at the Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton, thank you for your support over these past 5 years. As we celebrate our 5th birthday, we’re looking forward to the future of research at St. Joe’s and beyond, as we continue to grow St. Joe’s Mission of Discovery.

Join us at this year’s Celebrate Research event in October for a special event to commemorate 5 years of service.


Learn more about the Research Institute of St. Joe’s in our 2018 Annual Report and engage with us on Twitter and Instagram (@ResearchStJoes).


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