The monthly member spotlight is an opportunity to learn more about a leader at one of our member companies and showcase the work they are doing. This month, we spotlight Dr. David Hill from Lawson Health Research Institute. Learn more about Lawson in our member directory.
Name: Dr. David Hill
Title: Scientific Director
Company: Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson)
The Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) is located in London, Ontario, Canada and is the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s). As one of the largest hospital-based research institutes in Canada, Lawson is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world.
Within the Institute, a ‘bench to bedside’ approach to medical research is encouraged. This means, our researchers focus their efforts on the development of new knowledge that can be applied directly to patient care within the hospitals. Through collaboration and the sharing of their discoveries, Lawson researchers make a difference in patients’ lives every day.
1. What is your role and what is your favorite part of your job?
I am the Scientific Director of Lawson Health Research Institute and the Integrated Vice President, Research for London Health Sciences Centre and St Joseph’s Health Care London. The most rewarding part of my job is connecting individual and groups of researchers together. This could be groups working in different programmatic areas within Lawson, between Lawson and Western University, between researchers and health care professionals within our hospitals, or between institute researchers and industry scientists. When individuals with a different perspective on a common problem get together creative sparks fly and synergies are formed.
2. If you could have coffee with any business leader or industry expert, who would you choose, and why?
I always enjoy talking most with individuals who think tangentially and can see opportunities where no one else can connect the dots. True original thinkers give me that buzz. There is no single leader I would pick. I have a small number of original thinking friends I connect with. For organizations, an example of progressive thinking would be the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, a research network that brings together researchers and industry to tackle relevant health and technological goals.
3. What is the #1 business book/blog/website you would recommend?
I find it challenging to look to any single comprehensive source. By the time such consolidated information is available it is already old thinking. I look to original sources of biosciences information and browse PubMed every week to see what is newly published. Journals such as Science also do a good job of putting new innovations into context.
4. What excites you most about the local tech community?
I have always been impressed with the openness with which the London bioscience community shares information and technology, and coalesces to make the most of investment and funding opportunities. This is a competitive advantage for London that allows us to punch above our weight. We should exploit this more often.
I’m also excited about celebrating the best and brightest minds in our community at the Lawson Impact Awards on May 1. The innovation and research excellence demonstrated by our scientists remarkable and we are very excited to honour them as a community.
5. What causes or community activities is your company involved in?
Lawson is fortunate to receive great philanthropic support from the community and industry through our three hospital foundations; London Health Sciences Foundation, St Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, and the Children’s Health Foundation. As a priority Lawson researchers support foundation events to connect with, and hopefully inspire, donors. The annual United Way campaign is enthusiastically embraced by Lawson staff and scientists, as are the disease-specific health charities such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Diabetes Association and the various charities working to find solutions to cancer. We never forget who provides our resources.