Each hospital’s research mission has a rich history. At both hospital organizations, leaders recognized opportunities to leverage in-house experts to conduct research and improve care. However, they also recognized the challenge in supporting these activities without dedicated space and resources.

Through great foresight, our hospitals founded the official research institutes that serve as Lawson's foundation:

  • 1983: Supported by Sister Mary Doyle, former Executive Director of St. Joseph's, the Sisters of St. Joseph's establish the hospital's official research institute. LHSC and Upjohn jointly open the Victoria Upjohn Clinical Research Unit at South Street Hospital (formerly Victoria Hospital), focusing on Phase I-III clinical trials.
  • 1987: The St. Joseph's research institute is named the Lawson Research Institute (LRI) in honour of London businessman and philanthropist Colonel Tom Lawson and his wife, Miggsie Lawson - close friends of Sister Mary Doyle and major supporters of the research mission.
  • 1990: Victoria Hospital takes over the operation of the clinical research unit at South Street, renaming it the Victoria Clinical Trials Centre.
  • 1997: The Victoria Clinical Trials Centre is renamed London Health Sciences Centre Research Inc. and becomes a fully incorporated research institute overseeing all hospital-based research within London Health Sciences Centre sites: Victoria Hospital, University Hospital and South Street Hospital.
  • 2000: LRI and LHSCRI merge to form a joint venture: Lawson Health Research Institute.

Today, this alliance allows researchers to move seamlessly between hospital locations and Western University. By pooling knowledge and resources, Lawson retains and develops the expertise, equipment and infrastructure that is crucial for innovation.


Since forming in 2000, Lawson has pioneered breakthroughs across various disciplines of health research and reached several institutional milestones.