The Douglas Institute is proud to announce the appointment of Brigitte L. Kieffer, PhD, as Scientific Director of its Research Centre. Starting in January 2014, Dr. Kieffer will also hold the Monique H. Bourgeois Chair in Pervasive Developmental Disorders in the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University.

Brigitte Kieffer is an internationally renowned researcher specializing in fundamental research in genetics and molecular psychiatry. Her work, mainly focused on opiate receptors in the brain, has already had a major impact on current treatment of addictions and mood disorders.

“With the appointment of Dr. Kieffer, the Douglas Institute has taken a new step in reinforcing the strong leadership of its Research Centre on the world scene,” stated Claudette Allard, President of the Board of Directors of the Douglas Institute. François Morin, President of the Board of Directors of the Douglas Institute Research Centre, added that “Dr. Kieffer's expertise in genetics and molecular and cellular biology, particularly in the fields of addiction, depression and other mental illnesses such as autism, are essential assets that will ensure the quality of Canadian research in mental health both nationally and internationally.”

During her tenure as Scientific Director, Dr. Kieffer aims to continue to foster the partnerships forged in Europe and around the world during her career. “It is an honour to be chosen to direct the world-renowned Douglas Institute Research Centre. This is a unique opportunity, as this centre has the potential to become a major partner in international research networks in neuroscience and mental health.”

Lynne McVey, Chief Executive Officer of the Douglas Institute, stressed the importance of collaborative research to advance care: “In the end, patients are the ones who benefit from the synergy between world experts who work together to advance knowledge in mental health.”

Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of Medicine at McGill University, acknowledged the motivation and expertise that Dr. Kieffer brings to mental health research and stated that “The future of scientific research is in international multi-centre projects, and Dr. Kieffer is the ideal person to carry out this mission. The Douglas Institute and McGill University play a major role in understanding mental illnesses and their treatment. We congratulate Dr. Kieffer on her appointment and welcome her warmly to McGill’s academic health network.”

Dr. Kieffer will succeed Rémi Quirion, PhD, who directed the Research Centre from 1996 to 2011. Institute researcher Alain Gratton, PhD, is currently serving as Interim Scientific Director.