John M. Esdaile

2024 Distinguished Rheumatologist

John M. Esdaile, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FCAHS, MACR
Professor of Medicine Emeritus, University of British Columbia
Scientific Director Emeritus, Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada

Dr. John Esdaile MD {McGill), MPH (Yale) was for a year a country GP in Magog, QC.  He went on to train in immunology (McGill) and rheumatology (UofT and Kennedy Institute, London, UK).  He has served as Head of Rheumatology at McGill and the UBC.

Dedicated to expanding Canada’s role in patient-focussed arthritis research, John was involved in establishing Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada. He was named founding Scientific Director. John prioritized investing in people and created a culture dedicated to supervising trainees and mentoring young scientists in a wide variety of disciplines. Over twenty-three years, the organization has grown to more than 100 scientists and staff, located at six universities across Canada: UBC, Simon Fraser, Calgary, McGill, Laval, and Dalhousie.

In 2012, Arthritis Research Canada received the inaugural Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Knowledge Translation prize. In part, this award reflected John’s strong support for patient involvement in arthritis research starting with the funding of the Canadian Arthritis Network and its creation of the Consumer Advisory Council.

John has authored more than 280 publications in refereed journals. His major areas of research interest include systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. He has focussed on early diagnosis and early intervention as key elements to reduce disability and to save lives.

In 2006, he was named a Kirkland Scholar by the Kirkland Foundation in New York, NY. In 2007, John was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and in 2012 he received the American College of Rheumatology Masters award. Other awards include the: 2005 CRA Distinguished Investigator Award, 2009 UBC Killam Research Prize for Science, 2009 Canadian Arthritis Network Consumer Champion Award, 2010 Conférence Laurentienne prix Roger Demers, 2013 Jonas Salk Award and 2022 Halsted R. Holman Award for Excellence in Clinical Lupus Research.