London ranks in the top 10 for hospital-based research


LONDON, ON – Lawson Health Research Institute is ranked eighth in the country according to the 2019 edition of “Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals List” by Re$earch Infosource. This strong national position has been maintained by Lawson for the past six years and also keeps the institute within the top five in Ontario.  

The research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s), Lawson has also maintained the top ranking for research intensity among the large tier institutions with $612,800 of research spending per researcher. 

“As a hospital-based research institute, our innovation happens where care is delivered,” says Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director. “Every day, teams of researchers are working directly with clinicians and patients to improve treatments or create entirely new ones. They also find innovative methods of delivering services that drive efficiency and reduce costs.” 

The top 40 list analyzes hospital-based research institutes from across the country on several metrics, including total research income from the previous fiscal year. The ranking looks at funds received from all sources, including both internal and external, to support research at the organization. According to the report, Lawson received $123,790 million in research income in 2018, which represents 0.4 per cent in growth from the previous fiscal year.

“We are known across the country and around the world for our high level of research activity and success, despite our size. London punches well above our weight when it comes to health research,” adds Dr. Hill. “Our position as a leading research institute is the foundation for brilliant research and worldwide partnerships tackling the most pressing challenges in health care.” 

This year, Re$earch Infosource is showcasing “Building Bridges: Pathways to Building Research Capacity and Discovery through Collaboration.” Health researchers in London have collaborations across many sectors that result in big impacts for the people in this region and beyond. 

As just one example, a group of scientists from Lawson, Brescia University College and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University provide academic support to London’s Fermented Foods Project that brings together industry partners, the agricultural sector, academic and health institutions, the City of London and the London Economic Development Corporation. The goals of this group, funded by the Weston Family Microbiome Initiative, are to support new product development and batch production, enhance customer confidence, quantify health benefits and establish a competitive advantage. 

“We tend to discuss diseases of humans in isolation, when in fact there are multiple contributors. Humans and all of the products that we consume are made from this planet and so we are connected to it in intricate ways,” says Dr. Gregor Reid, Lawson Scientist. “Our research is considering the role of food, water, the environment, and the chemicals and waste we produce when investigating cause and cure of a disease. It makes a lot of sense for health scientists to be collaborating with the agri-food partners.” 

In an early feasibility study, they are evaluating the use of fermented foods to improve the quality of life for residents in the Veterans Care Program at Parkwood Institute, a part of St. Joseph’s. 

The residents will be eating fermented foods daily, supplied by local companies including Nuts for Cheese and Booch, and reporting any changes to their bowel habits and overall feeling of well-being. The team also hopes the residents enjoy trying some new foods and beverages. 

“Fermented foods likely have several beneficial health properties aside from nutrients alone, and it is suggested that having fermented products on a regular basis can improve health and prevent disease,” explains Dr. Gregor Reid, also a Professor at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and Endowed Chair in Human Microbiome and Probiotics at Lawson. “There are many health claims made about fermented food but we need the types of studies to show practical results and solutions.” 

The findings of this study will add to the body of knowledge about potential health benefits of fermented foods and also test the acceptability of people consuming fermented foods and beverages on a daily basis as part of their care. The grant comes from the Isabel Hodgkinson Fund at London Community Foundation. 


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About Lawson Health Research Institute

Lawson Health Research Institute is one of Canada’s top hospital-based research institutes, tackling the most pressing challenges in health care. As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, our innovation happens where care is delivered. Lawson research teams are at the leading-edge of science with the goal of improving health and the delivery of care for patients. Working in partnership with Western University, our researchers are encouraged to pursue their curiosity, collaborate often and share their discoveries widely. Research conducted through Lawson makes a difference in the lives of patients, families and communities around the world. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts
Celine Zadorsky

Communications Consultant & External Relations
Lawson Health Research Institute
T: 519-685-8500 ext. 75664
C. 519-619-3872