John Ciriello Announces His Retirement

UWOFA would like to announce the retirement of President, Professor John Ciriello, effective June 30th. John's UWOFA service includes Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Pension and Benefits Committee, Salary Committee, Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee and Western Excellence Awards Committee, and as a member of the OCUFA Board of Directors. 

John completed his PhD degree in 1979 and after spending time at McGill University as an instructor and postdoctoral fellow, returned to Western as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1981 and where he transitioned to full Professor within eight years.

As recently noted in an award nominating letter, “John is an innovative researcher with a remarkable capacity to unravel the complexity of cardiovascular disease. His research incorporates state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary approaches to solve scientific questions with far-reaching impact on cardiovascular health”, translating his research and expertise to impact health research and discovery worldwide through over 100 invitations to speak internationally; 188 refereed journal articles, over 360 conference abstracts, an invited editor of journal volumes, author of books and book chapters, resulting in over 7,000 citations of his work, and an h-factor of 52 and i10 index of 127, and numerous published illustrations selected as prestigious journal covers. Although retiring from Western, John will continue his research as he has several research projects that will occupy his time.

Throughout his academic career, John has been recognized with numerous provincial and national prestigious awards for his research, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (then Medical Research Council of Canada) Scientist Award, Canadian Heart Foundation Investigator Award, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario Career Investigator Award. He is the only faculty member at Western to date to hold all three of these prestigious research career recognition awards. John’s research achievements and contributions have been recognized by numerous additional honours and awards from the Canadian Physiological Society, the Canadian Hypertension Society, the Alberta Heritage Foundation Medical Research, the International union of Physiological Sciences and the Japanese Society for the Advancement of Science. Most recently and notably he was an elected Fellow of the American Physiological Society (2019), one of four Canadians to date to receive this highly prestigious honour, and awarded the 2020 Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Alumni of Distinction Award for Excellence in Basic Science Research (https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/communications/alumni_enewsletter/2020/june/2020_alumni_of_distinction_award_recipients.html ).

John has participated extensively on many national and international committees including research grant review committees and panels for multiple funding agencies and as an external reviewer for almost four decades (Canadian Heart Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Health, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, National Science Foundation (US), National Institutes of Health (US), Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Welcome Trust (UK), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Israel Science Foundation, Ontario Mental Health, British Columbia Health), and as a sought after reviewer and associate editor for over 20 national and international journals.

At Western, he has mentored the next generation of scientists, teaching almost 45,000 undergraduate students over his career, and training 33 graduate students and 20 Post-doctoral fellows/visiting scientists from around the globe; many of his trainees having gone on to successful careers in academic institutions, medicine, and industry in Canada and abroad.

Finally, John is an avid gardener and tends to his collection of over 90 different varieties of hostas, including several new varieties that he has introduced.

The normal governance practice of the UWOFA President upon completion of a one year term is to then fill the role of Past-President for one more year to ensure a smooth transition. Regrettably, John will not be able to hold the role of Past-President. UWOFA’s Board of Directors will be filling this role shortly and an announcement should be expected in the near future.

We wish John all the best and thank him for his service to UWOFA.