Director's Message

The University of Alberta played a major role in the discovery of insulin nearly one hundred years ago and has since made significant contributions to understanding and treating all forms of the disease. The Alberta Diabetes Institute (ADI) was built in 2007 to support the numerous scientists on campus working in both discovery and applied research in their pursuit of ever-improving treatments for diabetes patients and improving their quality of life.

Thank you to our funders, donors and sponsors for allowing researchers to continue their work and to help us develop the next generation of young investigators. Diabetes is one of the world's most significant health issues and I believe ADI scientists are at the forefront of exciting discoveries that will bring new hope to patients.

Dr. Peter Light

Director, Alberta Diabetes Institute
Dr. Charles A. Allard Chair in Diabetes Research

Dr. Charles A. Allard Chair in Diabetes Research

Established in 2006 by a generous gift from Peter A. Allard, the Dr. Charles A. Allard Chair in Diabetes Research supports the research of the Director of the Alberta Diabetes Institute at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Peter Light is the Director of the Alberta Diabetes Institute and under his leadership the Institute has strengthened its reputation as a major national and global hub of research excellence. As the largest stand-alone diabetes research institute in Canada, Institute researchers obtain a significant amount of peer-reviewed research grant funding from government, foundations and industry at the provincial, national and international levels. As the Dr. Charles A. Allard Chair in Diabetes Research and Alberta Diabetes Institute Director, Dr. Light's multiple areas of focus include: research, knowledge transfer, and oversight of multiple-year research initiatives; training and recruitment; funding; and furthering interdisciplinary collaborations on campus, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Charles Allard (1919-1991)

Dr. Charles A. Allard was one of Alberta's best examples of a physician who was successful inside and outside medicine. He demonstrated how hard work, good judgment, and ability were the core competencies of success. Independent minded, he was a clear thinker who had a remarkable insight into Alberta's future.

Dr. Allard's career began as one of the first fellowship-trained surgeons in Canada. After a brief postgraduate stint at the University of Toronto, he transferred to McGill's new surgical training program in 1944 and graduated with the first class of surgical Fellows. He returned to Edmonton in 1948 to set up practice at the Edmonton General Hospital (EGH). Dr. Allard was a surgeon at the Edmonton General for almost 20 years and, in 1956, he was appointed Chief of Staff. He continued as the Chief until 1968 when he stepped down and took a leave of absence to commit more time to pursue his many business interests including real estate, the gas and petrochemical industry and his true love in broadcasting. In 1974, he launched CITV in Edmonton, the first independent television station in Western Canada.

Dr. Allard believed in giving back to the community in which he lived and his final legacy was the establishment of the Allard Foundation, which has had a significant impact within Alberta since its inception and will continue its influence in the future. The Allard Foundation has provided financial assistance to many organizations in Alberta and Canada, primarily focusing on the health sector and medical research, with education also an important priority.

Through the years, Dr. Allard received many distinguished awards including Broadcaster of the Year. In 2005, he was named one of the Edmontonians of the Century and Physicians of the Century. He was inducted into the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Business Hall of Fame. Dr. Allard passed away in 1991 leaving behind six children - Cam, Judy, twins Chuck and Peter, Tony and Cathy - and 12 grandchildren.

July 2007 Gift Announcement: "You don't make any strides without research money"