B.C. scientist lands prestigious arthritis research chair

November 3, 2011

The Arthritis Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Diane Lacaille to the distinguished Mary Pack – Arthritis Society Chair in Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“Dr. Lacaille is a worthy recipient of such a vital position,” says Steven McNair, President and CEO of The Arthritis Society. “Arthritis Society Chairs are held by senior researchers, linked with an academic institution, who strive for excellence in arthritis research. This announcement underlies our continuing commitment to funding our country’s best researchers in their search for more treatments and an ultimate cure for a disease that impacts nearly 4.5 million Canadians.”

Dr. Lacaille is currently a practicing rheumatologist at the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre, an Associate Professor in the Division of Rheumatology at UBC and a Senior Scientist at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada in Vancouver. Her research has focused on studying the impact of arthritis on employment, preventing work disability and evaluating the quality and outcome of care for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

“I am thrilled to accept the Mary Pack – Arthritis Society Chair in Rheumatology. It is an honour to be holding a Chair in the name of Mary Pack, who truly was an amazing woman,” says Dr. Lacaille. “Her dedication, strong will and tireless efforts to improve the daily lives of people with arthritis are an inspiration to those who share her vision. I look forward to moving that vision forward through my research program and would like to thank The Arthritis Society for its current and past support.”

“We expect Dr. Lacaille will use this opportunity to continue her own groundbreaking work, as well as broaden expertise in arthritis at UBC,” Mr. McNair adds. “Like our other Research Chairs, she will bring a higher profile to arthritis research across the country. This will assist our own efforts in attracting the next generation of arthritis leaders, which will ensure that current and future demands for quality arthritis care are met.”

Founded in 1948, The Arthritis Society has served as the largest non-government funder of basic and applied arthritis research in Canada by investing more than $175 million. The Society recently unveiled a new strategic plan to determine research priorities for the next five years. This plan maximizes the impact of donor dollars, improves opportunities for collaboration among researchers across Canada and provides a framework through which The Society can continue to offer funding.

Dr. Lacaille has received numerous awards for her contribution to rheumatology research, including the Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Rheumatology Association, the Jeff Shirokey Award from the Laurentian Association of Rheumatology for her contribution to inflammatory arthritis research and the Quality of Life Research Award from the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA). She is also a recipient of the Martin M. Hoffman Award for Excellence in Research at the University of British Columbia.