McGill alumnus tagged to boost capacity and discovery in growing field

Photo: Danny Abriel, Communications and Marketing, Life Sciences Centre
Dr. Robert Platt (Photo: Danny Abriel, Communications and Marketing, Life Sciences Centre)

Montreal, May 26, 2016 –  Dr. Robert Platt, Professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine was officially announced as the inaugural Albert Boehringer (1st) Chair in Pharmacoepidemiology, during an event held earlier today at McGill.

Bridging the disciplines of pharmacology and epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology examines the use and effect of drugs to assess their overall benefits, as well as possible adverse effects, for defined populations.

The installation of Platt, who holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from McGill, two Master’s degrees and a PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Washington, as Chair, was made possible thanks to a generous $3 million gift from Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. The Chair, named in honour of Albert Boehringer, who founded Boehringer Ingelheim in 1885, provides McGill the opportunity to expand its capacity in the emerging field of pharmacoepidemiology, and enhance its ability to attract world-class talent in terms of both faculty and students.

“The installation of Dr. Platt in this Chair allows him to become a hub for pharmacoepidemiology across our campus,” said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. “We have a long history of pharmacoepidemiological research at McGill and, thanks to this very generous gift from Boehringer Ingelheim, we will be able to ensure that high quality research in the field continues to emerge from McGill for many years to come.”

“Boehringer Ingelheim extends its congratulations to Dr. Platt as the inaugural Albert Boehringer (1st) Chair in Pharmacoepidemiology,” said Richard Mole, President and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. “We are honoured to partner with McGill University to further the development of the field of pharmacoepidemiology and to provide an opportunity for scientists to pursue advanced education in this increasingly important field of study. This partnership furthers Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment of supporting scientific excellence in research with the goal of creating leading medication to address areas of unmet need.”

Dr. Platt himself is excited by the opportunities this position presents for the University and for prospective students. “The Chair will allow me to expand and extend my own research program and to bring together groups across campus and McGill’s affiliated hospital network,” noted Platt. “But, it’s also allowing us to create a graduate option in pharmacoepidemiology. For students interested in health sciences and data analytics, this is going to be a very attractive place to be for future career opportunities.”

May 26, 2016