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Research Excellence Clusters

Queen’s Health Sciences creates Research Excellence Clusters

Queen’s Health Sciences (QHS) has established Research Excellence Clusters (RECs) – small groups of researchers with similar focus and objectives – to help increase funding and mentorship opportunities, and foster collaboration, integration, and research leadership.

“This is a model where groups of researchers are lifted up by one another and the faculty as a whole,” says Dr. Stephen Scott, Vice-Dean Research, QHS. “Research Excellence Clusters will help QHS define and support our research strengths and foster a national reputation in key areas – from cancer immunology to community-based rehabilitation. This is about individual researchers coming together to aim higher together and maximize their impact.” 

The RECs were self-identified and approved by an adjudication committee and QHS leadership. Each team consists of four or more researchers, including at least one lead scientist, and a mix of established and junior faculty. Each group identified short and long-term goals; a track record with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other large granting councils; strong, independent research programs; training opportunities for graduate and postdoctoral students; and a strategy for early-career mentorship and EDIIA (Equity, Diversity, Indigeneity, Inclusion, Accessibility). 

Where possible, RECs will receive QHS support for research grants and chairs, fundraising, and promotion, and be allotted common research space. By combining talent and efficiently harnessing resources, RECs will be in a better position to apply for larger pools of funding and grants which will help contribute to the faculty’s strategic goal of $200 million in annual research funding. The vision for RECs includes indirect support of the expansion and maintenance of QHS’s core research facilities for all researchers (e.g., new equipment).  

Eighteen RECs have been identified under three groups: Established, Emerging, and Developing.  


  • Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy (Lead: Dr. Andrew Craig, Queen's Cancer Research Institute)
  • Neurotechnologies: Neural and Machine Systems (Lead: Dr. Gunnar Blohm, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences)
  • Community-based Rehabilitation (Lead: Dr. Heather Aldersey, Rehabilitation Therapy)


  • Aging in Communities (Leads: Drs. Catherine Donnelly and Vincent DePaul, Rehabilitation Therapy)
  • Global Cancer Control (Leads: Drs. Timothy Hanna, Christopher Booth, and Fabio Ynoe de Moraes, Global Oncology)
  • Pain and Neuroimmunology (Leads: Drs. Alan Lomax, Medicine/ Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, and Stephen Vanner, Medicine)
  • Strengthening Primary Care (Lead: Dr. Michael Green, Family Medicine)
  • Blood Research and Innovation Dynamic (Leads: Drs. Jeannie Callum and David Lillicrap, Pathology and Molecular Medicine) 
  • Tissue Inflammation and Regeneration (Leads: Drs. Nader Ghasemlou and Mark Ormiston, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences)


  • Critical Care Outcomes (Lead: Dr. John Muscedere, Critical Care Medicine)
  • Explore Human Diseases Using Functional Genomics (Lead: Dr. Xiaolong Yang, Pathology and Molecular Medicine)
  • Non-Human Primate Models of Health and Disease (Leads: Drs. Douglas Munoz and Susan Boehnke, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences)
  • Mitochondrial Deep Phenotyping in Health and Disease (Lead: Dr. Stephen Archer, Medicine)
  • Molecular Pathology (Lead: Dr. Harriet Feilotter, Pathology and Molecular Medicine)
  • Student Mental Health Translational Research (Lead: Dr. Anne Duffy, Psychiatry)
  • Vascular Health (Lead: Dr. Amer Johri, Medicine)
  • Surgical and Metabolomic Advancement (Leads: Drs. Christopher Nicol, Pathology and Molecular Medicine, and John Rudan, Surgery)
  • Women’s and Children’s Advancement (Leads: Drs. Maria Ospina, Public Health Sciences and Maria Velez, Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

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