We are pleased to announce the appointment of Samantha Gruenheid, PhD, to the position of Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University.

Prof. Gruenheid obtained her BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She subsequently completed a PhD in Biochemistry at McGill, after which she returned to UBC for a postdoctoral fellowship studying bacterial pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. Since 2005, Prof. Gruenheid has been a member of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill. In 2019, she was appointed as the first Associate Chair (Education) in the Department. Prof. Gruenheid, who had been serving as Interim Chair since November 2021, becomes the Department’s first female Chair in its 91-year history.

Prof. Gruenheid has been recognized with awards and honours for both her research and teaching including the Québec Science Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2019, and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Visiting Research Professor for 2019/2020. She was also named to the Faculty Honour List for Educational Excellence in 2018. In 2022, she was made a Fellow of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. Prof. Gruenheid is the author of 74 peer-reviewed publications, and has given over 55 invited lectures, talks and presentations locally, nationally and internationally.

One of the key areas Prof. Gruenheid’s lab is studying involves the pathogenesis and host response to infection with enterohemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EHEC/EPEC), a group of bacteria responsible for acute cases of diarrheal disease with potentially fatal complications. Prof. Gruenheid is currently a principal or co-principal investigator on several research studies funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Aligning Science Against Parkinson’s (ASAP)/Michael J. Fox Foundation.

As Chair, Prof. Gruenheid will report to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and work in collaboration with the Associate Dean, School of Biomedical Sciences. In partnership with the Associate Dean, Prof. Gruenheid will be responsible for the Department’s strategic planning, development and co-ordination of research activities, educational programming, and faculty recruitment in support of the School of Biomedical Sciences. Prof. Gruenheid will also oversee the Department’s undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education, support faculty career development, and provide recommendations to the Dean on academic appointments, promotion and tenure.

Please join us in congratulating Prof. Gruenheid for her appointment and in wishing her every success in this role.

David Eidelman, MDCM
Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

Lesley Fellows, MD, PhD
Vice-Dean, Academic Affairs

Alba Guarné, PhD
Associate Dean and Director, Biomedical Sciences