McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Paul O'Byrne is dean and VP of the Faculty of Health Sciences

Published: July 5, 2016
Paul O'Byrne
Dr. Paul O'Byrne

Dr. Paul O’Byrne has taken office as the dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and as dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

A practicing respirologist and internationally renowned researcher, O’Byrne had been chair of the Faculty’s largest department, the Department of Medicine, for the past 14 years. He was selected for the five-year post as dean and vice-president in December after an international search.

“This is a terrific time to take over the reins of this magnificent Faculty, as we are blessed with world-class researchers, innovative teachers, outstanding staff and exceptional students,” he said. “We have an excellent set of education programs that are second to none, and a research program that is impacting the lives of people around the world every day.

“It is a great privilege to be working with members of a team that has helped McMaster University be placed, by several ranking agencies, as one of the top 50 universities in the world for health and medicine.”

He thanked Dr. John Kelton for his truly outstanding leadership as the Faculty’s dean and vice-president for the past 15 years, noting he led expediential growth of education programs and enrolment; rising research revenues and support for new research institutes, as well as construction of several major buildings including the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery on campus; the David Braley Health Sciences Centre in downtown Hamilton, the new Waterloo Regional Campus in Kitchener and Niagara Regional Campus in St. Catharines.

“John Kelton strongly reaffirmed the Faculty’s culture for collaboration and collegiality, and its role at the forefront of health sciences education, research and patient care here in Hamilton, in Ontario, in Canada and beyond.”

At the time of the appointment announcement, McMaster President Patrick Deane pointed to O’Byrne’s many accomplishments advancing both the University’s learning and discovery missions.

“Paul has a unique ability to lead and inspire others to reach their full potential, and he has earned his place as one of the University's most senior and accomplished researchers,” he said.

O’Byrne received his medical training at University College, Dublin, in his native Ireland. He came to McMaster as a resident in internal medicine and respirology in 1977, and joined the faculty in 1984. His research focus is the mechanisms and treatment of asthma, particularly the role of environmental allergens. He has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals, and he is a frequent lecturer at international meetings.

O’Byrne served as the executive director of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health based at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, and led the AllerGen NCE Clinical Investigator Collaborative.  He is a named Fellow at several international Colleges of Physicians, was selected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2010 and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2015. He also received McMaster’s top academic award, being named a Distinguished University Professor, last year.

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