Arthritis Research Canada creator and scientific director passes the baton to successor


July 7, 2020 (Vancouver, BC) – After 21 years as Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada’s scientific director, world-renowned scientist and rheumatologist, Dr. John Esdaile is handing the leadership reins over to Dr. Diane Lacaille MDCM, MHSc, FRCPC. Lacaille, a long-time senior scientist who has been with the organization since its founding in 1999 and most recently held the position of associate scientific director, officially assumed the role of scientific director on July 1st.

Dr. Esdaile is being praised for his visionary leadership in establishing Arthritis Research Canada, which has grown from one scientist, one student trainee, and an administrative staff in 2000 to the globally recognized and largest clinical arthritis research institution in North America that exists today. Headquartered in British Columbia, Arthritis Research Canada’s scientists are affiliated with five Canadian universities including: the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Calgary, Laval University, and McGill University. The team has grown to more than 100 top research scientists and staff who represent a diverse set of disciplines and whose expertise uniquely positions Arthritis Research Canada to conduct research across the breadth of the 100 types of arthritis.

Throughout his tenure, Dr. Esdaile has created a distinct culture of hard work, research innovation, scientific rigor and excellence, while investing in the next generation of researchers through training graduate students and mentoring new scientists. He created an organization where the patient voice is represented in all facets of the organization, in keeping with its mission of improving the lives of people living with arthritis. This is enabled by the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board, whose members are engaged in all phases of research.

As Dr. Lacaille steps into her new role, she shares, “I am deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to take on the scientific leadership of Arthritis Research Canada. Dr. Esdaile was a visionary leader and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and the incredible foundation that he has put in place. I am looking forward to taking this organization through its next decade of success, motivated by the amazing team of world-class scientists who are dedicated to conducting vital research to reduce the burden of arthritis for more than 6 million Canadians.”

“It has been a privilege to serve Arthritis Research Canada for the past 21 years and I remain very excited about the future of the organization. Under the inspiring leadership of its new scientific director, Dr. Diane Lacaille, it will continue to alter the lives of people with arthritis through research, in Canada and around the world,” says Dr. Esdaile.

“Personally, I plan to continue to be available to help in any way possible to mentor the largest group of people in North America training to become our next generation of arthritis scientists and initiating their careers. Watching younger scientists succeed has always brought me joy,” says Esdaile.

It is this passion for helping people that speaks to the incredible legacy of Dr. Esdaile and will continue to inspire leading-edge arthritis research for years to come.




Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical arthritis research institution in North America. Our mission is to transform the lives of people living with arthritis through research and engagement. Arthritis Research Canada’s scientific director, Dr. Diane Lacaille is leading a team of over 100 researchers, trainees and staff whose world recognized research is creating a future where people living with arthritis are empowered to triumph over pain and disability. Arthritis Research Canada is located in three provinces across Canada: British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, with scientists from five universities (University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, Laval University, and McGill University) working together to develop leading research aimed at arthritis prevention, early diagnosis, new and better treatment, and improved quality of life.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:  

Marketing & Communications
Arthritis Research Canada
604-207-4010 or mc@arthritisresearch.ca

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