Media Release: Renowned scientist signs on to lead Homewood Research Institute, prominent national research organization for mental health, addiction, and trauma

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GUELPH, ON, September 23, 2021 – Dr. Ronald Schlegel, Chair of the Board of Directors of Homewood Research Institute (HRI), is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Sidney (Sid) Kennedy, MD, FRCPC, FRC Psych, as Executive Director of Homewood Research Institute (HRI).

Sidney Kennedy
Dr. Sidney Kennedy

HRI is an independent charitable organization that enables leading researchers to do studies that improve mental health and addiction treatment services and outcomes in Canada and beyond. Homewood Health supports this research by opening its facilities to enable practice-based studies designed to improve services everywhere.

Dr. Kennedy assumes leadership of HRI after a long and varied career in some of Canada’s most renowned mental health and health sciences organizations and programs, including Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Clarke Institute for Psychiatry, and Homewood Health Centre. Between 2002 and 2013, he served as Psychiatrist-in-Chief at University Health Network, Toronto – Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre. He currently holds the University of Toronto Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Chair in Depression and Suicide Studies and is Director of the Centre for Depression and Suicide Studies at St. Michael’s Hospital (Unity Health) Toronto.

As an internationally respected scientist and leader, Dr. Kennedy has worked extensively in the area of mood disorders and their psychological and biological underpinnings. He is the founding lead for the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND), an initiative that includes mood disorder experts across the country. As the largest depression research group in Canada, CAN-BIND uses emerging bioinformatics techniques to understand links between symptoms, brain circuits, and molecular measures in subtypes of depression.

Dr. Kennedy is also the founding chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT), which has provided internationally adopted evidence-based guidelines for the management of depression and bipolar disorder for the last 25 years.

He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed publications and has been invited to deliver hundreds of presentations around the world. He has authored or co-authored 13 books and nearly 60 book chapters and is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

“The board and the entire HRI team are thrilled that a scientist of Dr. Kennedy’s reputation and calibre will be joining us,” says Dr. Schlegel.

“HRI is well-poised for its next phase, and Sid is the right leader at the right time.”

Dr. Kennedy will lead the HRI team and scientific program. He will also be involved in leading-edge, applied research and Institute development.

On leading HRI, Dr. Kennedy notes, “I look forward to building on the Institute’s exceptional work over the last decade and expanding areas of research and networks of investigators to improve outcomes of existing treatments and to implement new therapeutic strategies for people dealing with serious mental illness and addictions. I am very excited by this opportunity.”

Homewood Research Institute is an arm’s-length primary research partner of Homewood Health, Canada’s only national provider of a full continuum of mental health, addiction, and trauma services and treatment.

“We rely substantially on the independent scientists at HRI who do research in our facilities to help inform our development of treatment, assessment, and recovery approaches,” says Jagoda Pike, President and CEO of Homewood Health.

“Dr. Kennedy will bring a terrific new perspective to that collaboration, whose aim is to improve services across organizations worldwide.”

Dr. Kennedy is uniquely equipped to lead HRI as the charity expands its networks and priority programs in applied research to enhance mental health and addiction services and outcomes.