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Distinguished Professors recognized for extraordinary achievements and contributions

March 25, 2014 — 

The University of Manitoba has elevated three faculty members to the status of “Distinguished Professor”, a prestigious title whose rules dictate that only a maximum of 20 academic staff members may hold it at any one time.  It is the highest honour the University can bestow upon a professor.

The designation recognizes extraordinary, internationally-recognized, scholarly or creative achievement and an exemplary teaching record.

The newest Distinguished Professors are Dr. Charles Bernstein [MD/85] in internal medicine and Bingham Chair in Gastroenterology Research, Dr. Diana Brydon in English, film and theater and Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies, and Dr. Pat Martens [PhD/99] in community health sciences.

More about the recipients

Dr. Charles Bernstein

Dr. Charles Bernstein

Dr. Charles Bernstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1985 and did his postgraduate training in internal medicine at the University of Manitoba. In 1989 he received his Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Board Certification and successfully completed the American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination. In 1991 he received his Gastroenterology Board Certification, Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada and successfully completed the American Board of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology Certifying Examination.

He has held numerous appointments since 1991 at the University of California, Los Angeles and at the University of Manitoba. He is currently the Bingham Chair in Gastroenterology Research, the Section Head of Gastroenterology at the University of Manitoba, and Director of the University of Manitoba Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical and Research Centre, which he had led since 1994.

His expertise in gastrointestinal and inflammatory bowel disease is highly recognized by his students, colleagues and collaborators. He has published extensively in well-known specialty journals and has been an invited lecturer locally, nationally and internationally.

He has won numerous awards throughout his career, including Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Health Sciences (2000), Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada Research Scientist Award (2001-2005), which he again won the following year, and in 2007 he was voted by his peers into Best Doctors Canada.


Dr. Diana Brydon

Dr. Diana Brydon

Dr. Diana Brydon, FRSC and Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies since 2008, is a literary critic known internationally for her multifaceted and groundbreaking contributions to postcolonial literary and cultural studies.

Through her research at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Globalization and Cultural Studies, which she directs, Dr. Brydon assess and develops ways in which research into globalization and the analysis of cultural practices can contribute to furthering trans-cultural understanding and interdisciplinary collaboration to address some of the challenges posed by globalization. She has a strong record of bringing people together in collective projects that are shifting the terrain of knowledge production within interdisciplinary and transnational projects.

Three team projects exemplify this work: she served as deputy director of the seven-year SSHRC grant, “Globalization and Autonomy,” she serves as the North American convener on the “Building Global Democracy” project and as principal investigator on the SSHRC partnership development grant, “Brazil/Canada Knowledge Exchange.”

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008, she has published nine books, three special journal issues, 46 refereed articles, 38 book chapters, six chapters in refereed conference proceedings, and 53 book reviews. Her work has been translated into Chinese, Polish, and Portuguese.


Dr. Patricia Martens

Dr. Patricia Martens

Dr. Patricia Martens is a Professor in University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine and Senior Scientist as well as former Director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy – an internationally-acclaimed centre using administrative data to study health and social services, population and public health.

She received the 2005 CIHR KT Award for Regional Impact for The Need To Know Team, a collaboration of RHAs, Manitoba Health and academics. She has spoken at over 400 conferences, and published over 300 articles, reports, book chapters and abstracts. Her research interests include studies on health status/healthcare use (including Metis and First Nation), inequities, mental health, child health, and breastfeeding.

Dr. Martens is co-PI in the pan-Canadian CIHR CNODES (Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies) and nominated PI of “PATHS Equity for Children” program of research. She was awarded the 2010 Manitoba YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction for Health & Wellness, a CIHR/PHAC Applied Public Health Chair (2008-2013), and is a Fellow (FILCA) of the International Lactation Consultants’ Association.

In 2013 she received the R.D. Defries Award (highest award of the Canadian Public Health Association for outstanding contributions in public health) and became a member of the Royal Society of Canada.  She is a Member of the Order of Canada (CM), and in 2014 received the Justice Emmett Hall Laureat award for a lifetime of ground-breaking work to promote the ideals articulated by Justice Emmett Hall:equity, fairness, justice and efficiency in Canada’s health system.


Distinguished Professors are appointed by the Board of Governors on the recommendation of the Distinguished Professors Selection Committee, which is composed of the President, four distinguished scholars from across Canada, and one Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Manitoba.


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