James Martin croppedIt is our pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. James G. Martin to the positions of Chair, Department of Medicine of McGill University, and Physician-in-Chief of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), both effective January 1, 2014. Dr. Martin has been serving as Chair of the Department of Medicine in an interim capacity since January 2012.  As Physician-in-Chief of the MUHC, he succeeds Dr. Joyce Pickering, and Dr. James Brophy, who held the role on an interim basis.

The Faculty is pleased to announce that, effective with the appointment of Dr. Martin, the administrative position of Chair of Medicine will henceforth be associated with the Harry Webster Thorp Chair in Medicine, an endowed professorship that has been rededicated to this purpose with the support of the donors.  Dr. Martin is thus the first Harry Webster Thorp Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Martin brings a wealth of experience that spans close to 35 years at McGill. A Professor of the Department of Medicine and Associate Member of the Department of Physiology, he has served as the Department of Medicine’s Executive Vice-Chair, Faculty Affairs; Senior Physician at the Royal Victoria Hospital of the MUHC; Research Director of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories; and Leader of the Respiratory Health Axis, Research Institute of the MUHC (RI-MUHC). In the past, he has served in other directorship positions at the Montreal Chest Institute, at the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and at the RI-MUHC. He has also volunteered his time on many University and Faculty-related committees over the years, including the University Senate. Dr. Martin is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

After completing undergraduate training at University College, Cork in his native Ireland, Dr. Martin moved to Baltimore, where he served as an “Osler marine” on the house staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He then came to McGill for his training in respiratory medicine and a subsequent research fellowship at the Meakins-Christie Laboratories under the late Dr. Ludwig Engel.  He has remained at the Meakins ever since, building a distinguished research career and serving as an outstanding mentor and leader. The author of more than 250 publications, Dr. Martin is internationally known for his work on small animal models of asthma and on numerous aspects of asthma pathophysiology including the role of airway smooth muscle proliferation, mechanical interdependence, T-cell driven inflammation and oxidative stress.  In 2005, he was awarded a Doctor of Science from the National University of Ireland, Cork.

As Chair of the Department of Medicine, Dr. Martin is responsible for overseeing the largest clinical department of the McGill Faculty of Medicine, one that includes the MUHC, the Jewish General Hospital and the St. Mary’s Hospital Center of the McGill academic health network. His responsibilities include enhancing undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education and residency training; active participation in academic appointments, promotions and tenure of faculty members; further developing clinical activities with McGill’s hospital partners; and enhancing and coordinating research pursuits. Additionally, he serves as advisor to the Dean on department-related matters and strategic planning initiatives and supports fellow faculty members in their teaching programs and research endeavours, the outcomes of which will drive clinical programs and enable the Department to continue excelling in its academic mission.

As Physician-in-Chief at the MUHC, Dr. Martin is responsible for the Department of Medicine at the MUHC, which includes the general medical and medical specialty services of the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, Lachine Hospital and the Montreal Chest Institute. The Department of Medicine is the largest department at the MUHC, organized into 15 clinical divisions, with 307 full time faculty members, responsible for approximately 300,000 outpatient visits per year. The Department also has several research divisions and centres including the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, the Centre for the Study of Host Resistance (in partnership with the McGill Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Biochemistry), the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and the Molecular Oncology Group (in partnership with the McGill Cancer Centre). We would like to thank both Dr. Pickering and Dr. Brophy for their outstanding work and leadership over the past year, in what has been a challenging period of transformation; we wish them both success in their new assignments.

Please join us in formally and warmly welcoming Dr. James Martin to his new positions and in wishing him continued success. We are certain that his extensive experience and administrative acumen will enable us to build on the Faculty’s and the MUHC’s stellar reputation, both nationally and internationally.


David Eidelman, MDCM
Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

McGill University


Normand Rinfret, CRIA
Director General and CEO

McGill University Health Centre

Mara Ludwig, MD
Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs

McGill University

Ewa Sidorowicz, MDCM
Associate Director General of Medical Affairs and
Professional Services of the MUHC

January 14, 2014