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About Research at the IWK - Introduction

A message from Dr. Patrick McGrath, Vice President, Research:

Friends and Colleagues,

The IWK Health Centre is the leading children’s and women’s health centre in Maritime Canada. Our affiliation with Dalhousie University as an academic health sciences centre greatly enhances our ability to nurture a truly interdisciplinary environment that results in research excellence.  Our investment in research has led to many changes in health care for women and children - not only through new discoveries, but also by enabling us to recruit outstanding new leaders. We’ve been richly rewarded for our investment in three major ways:

  • Healthier women and children. Did you know that researchers at the IWK are helping to ease the suffering of women with urinary dysfunction (better surgical procedures), and of children with arthritis (new drugs, and better understanding of inflammation), pain (new ways of measuring and treating pain in infants and children), and autism (significantly earlier detection and effective interventions)? Through hard work at our Centre, IWK researchers have contributed to each of these advances.
  • Cost effective health care. Did you know that researchers at the IWK are world leaders in vaccine research, improving vaccines and developing new ones?  In future, vaccines will not only prevent infections but even cancers! Such measures are inexpensive but save millions of taxpayers’ dollars and incalculable human suffering.  Our researchers have also developed cost-effective ways to deliver quality health care to our under serviced rural population.
  • Highly talented health care professionals.  Did you know that Canada’s health care system is in the midst of a human resource crisis?  With declining numbers of health professionals, the IWK stands out for its ability to attract outstanding leaders including nurses, psychologists, pediatricians, psychiatrists, surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists. All have one thing in common - they want to be at the “cutting edge” of their profession and part of a vibrant research community.


The next 5 to 10 years will offer even more exciting opportunities for a new generation of leaders. Women and children in the Maritimes can look forward to improved health, through innovative solutions to many pressing health care issues. Why? Because research fosters a healthier population and a more efficient health care system.  

The IWK Health Centre is respected for its world-class research into disorders and diseases affecting women, children, youth and families and is home to many leading research centres. 

Learn more about our research centres by visiting one of the links below.