We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Donald Sheppard to the position of Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. Beginning his term July 1, 2019, Dr. Sheppard replaces Dr. Greg Matlashewski, who we thank for ably stewarding the Department as Chair in an interim fashion since 2017. Dr. Samantha Gruenheid will join Dr. Sheppard as Associate Chair (Education), Department of Microbiology and Immunology on July 1.
Dr. Sheppard obtained his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1993. He completed his residency in internal medicine at McGill University in 1997, followed by an infectious disease fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Sheppard returned to McGill University to pursue a medical microbiology fellowship. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, California in 2004 before establishing his research laboratory at McGill University that same year. At that time he was appointed Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology. He became an Associate Professor in 2010 and Full Professor in 2015.
An internationally renowned expert in invasive fungal infections, Dr. Sheppard is the Director of the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity. He is also section head of the medical mycology laboratory and practices clinical infectious diseases at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). His primary clinical area of interest is human fungal disease, particularly invasive aspergillosis in the immunocompromised host.
Dr. Sheppard’s research interests focus on elucidating the mechanisms by which the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus causes human disease as a means to develop new therapeutics for these infections. His group has discovered the molecular mechanism by which Aspergillus forms biofilms, and is pursuing antifungal therapies that interfere with this process. His laboratory is funded by research operating grants from the US National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Defense, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Canada. He has published over 100 research papers and book chapters and has delivered over 150 invited lectures worldwide.
Dr. Sheppard has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Clinician-Scientist award from the CIHR, a Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and a Research Chair from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRSQ). He is an elected fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Academy of Microbiology.
As Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dr. Sheppard will build on the department’s successes in emerging areas such as pathogen virulence mechanisms, microbiome, and innate immune responses and help generate new knowledge in understanding pathogenesis resulting from infection and immunological processes, with the aim of ultimately translating these into novel treatments, diagnostic tools and vaccines to improve human health locally and globally. To this end, Dr. Sheppard will establish productive links with a diverse group of researchers across the McGill campus, the MUHC and allied healthcare institutions and foster cross-disciplinary initiatives within the Faculty. Working with Dr. Gruenheid, he will also develop strategies to enhance excellence in undergraduate and graduate education in Microbiology and Immunology while actively promoting the Faculty’s teaching and research mission.
We congratulate Dr. Sheppard on his appointment and wish him the greatest success.
Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
Vice-Dean, Academic Affairs
June 20 2019