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Robert Bortolussi, MD FRCPC

Dr Bob Bortolussi

Editor in Chief, Clinical and Investigative Medicine

Robert Bortolussi, MD FRCPC

Dr Robert (Bob) Bortolussi joined Dalhousie University in 1978 after training in Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, and McGill and a 3-year research fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Disease at the University of Minnesota. He is now Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University where he is an active researcher, teacher and mentor.  Bob became the Editor in Chief of Clinical and Investigative Medicine (CIM), the official journal of the CSCI in 2015 and continues to oversee the journal with a team of Associate and Assistant editors.

During his 35-year clinical and research career at Dalhousie, Bob became an international leader in neonatal host defence and vaccine research, receiving uninterrupted research grant support from MRC and CIHR, and others from NIH, PHAC and HSC Foundation.  He has authored over 120 papers on infection, vaccines and newborn host defence, and 40 chapters in Infectious Disease textbooks. In 2005 he was awarded the Canadian Paediatric Society’s (CPS) highest research award, for his outstanding research on neonatal host defense.

As Vice President Research at the IWK (1992-2007), Bob led the maternal and child research program to national prominence. This included overseeing the planning of the $20 million, Richard B Goldbloom Centre for Research and Clinical Care Pavilion with major funding from Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grants, which Bob spearheaded.

Bob is also an outstanding mentor for the next generation of clinician-scientists. In 2004 he developed the national web-based curriculum for the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP), a CIHR training initiative, which has trained 160 clinician-scientists in Canada. In 2008, he adapted the curriculum into “The Handbook for Clinician Scientists” for use as a reference for clinician-scientists.  The Handbook has sold over 1,000 copies, is in its 2nd edition and is used in 13 Canadian and 10 International Universities. Bob also directed the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) at Dalhousie from 2008-2014, which has trained 15 specialists for research careers. In 2010 Bob was awarded the Award of Merit from the CCHCSP. In the same year the IWK Health Centre presented him with a Mentorship Award for outstanding service and named the annual Award in his honor.

In 2008, Bob’s passion for global health led him, and two of his colleagues, to found “MicroResearch” (www.microresearch.ca). The program, which he co-directs, has trained over 350 health care professionals (HCP) in Africa to do community-based research in multidisciplinary teams. MicroResearch also provides competitive seed grants, and matches trainees to volunteer coaches in Canada and USA.  Since 2008, MicroResearch has held over 40 two-week workshops in Africa. Of 100 MicroResearch team projects launched, over 40  PubMed papers are published. In 2014, Bob was awarded the John Savage Memorial Ward by the Dalhousie Global Health Program in recognition of his leadership in Global Health through the MicroResearch Program. The MicroResearch teams have significantly improved health programs in Africa; e.g. a newborn cord antisepsis study will eventually save 1000’s of babies!