Dr. Hani El-Gabalawy

2015 Distinguished Investigator Award

Hani El-Gabalawy is Professor of Medicine and Immunology, and senior clinician scientist at the University of Manitoba, holding the Endowed Rheumatology Research Chair at that institution. He received his medical degree from the University of Calgary and completed postdoctoral fellowship training in internal medicine and rheumatology at McGill University.

Over the course of his career, his research interests have focused on the mechanisms initiating and sustaining joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. He has been a dedicated student of the synovium, analyzing this tissue using multiple scientific approaches and platforms, and publishing key studies on synovial biology and pathology. Between 1997-2000, as a visiting scientist at the NIH, he and his colleagues studied a large cohort of patients with early inflammatory arthritis in order to determine the pathological features seen in the inflamed joints, and to better understand prognosis. A number of seminal observations were made that have helped clinicians and researchers focus investigative and therapeutic strategies on the early stages of joint inflammation. Over the past ten years he has established a unique First Nations cohort to study gene-environment interactions in the pre-clinical phase of rheumatoid arthritis.

At the University of Manitoba where he has spent most of his career, he has served as Division Head of Rheumatology, Director of the Rheumatology Research Laboratory, Residency Program Director, and Chair of the Grants Committee for the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre Foundation. He has also served as a member and Chair of CIHR peer review committees, and has held leadership positions in The Arthritis Society, the Canadian Arthritis Network, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2013, he was appointed the Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis.

Dr. El-Gabalawy’s awards and recognitions include an NIH Bench to Bedside Award, fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for service to the arthritis community.