Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation

About the DMRF

The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation funds the many areas of research excellence undertaken in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University and its affiliated teaching hospitals. Please read more about our Mission, Vision, Values.

Welcome to new Executive Director


Mr. Frank Sobey, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF), is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Jyl MacKinnon as Executive Director of DMRF effective July 1, 2014.

Ms. MacKinnon joined the Foundation in 2002 as the first coordinator of annual giving and within two years was appointed director of annual giving.  In 2008, she was promoted to director of development and has, for the last six years, overseen the overall fundraising efforts of the Foundation which now has an endowment fund approaching $70 million and provides over $3 million per year in research funding.

In 2013, Jyl successfully completed her Canadian Fundraising Executive designation.  CFRE is the global provider of certification  for professional fundraising and the only practice-based credential for career fundraisers.  Among the many thousands of fundraisers worldwide, less than 1% have achieved the CFRE.

Mr. Sobey stated "We all welcome Jyl into her new position as the fourth executive director of Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation. 

The Philanthropist

We sincerely apologize for two errors on Page 4 of the 2014 Fall Philanthropist - Financials at a Glance.

  • The final sentence of the narrative piece on the left  should read "General operating and fundraising expenses came in at $975,000, an increase of less than twenty percent over the prior year."
  • The title of the first pie chart should read "Total Contributions 13/14 - $3,002,597.
These errors occur in the printed version of the Philanthropist. The web version is correct.

DMRF's Holiday Tree

The Foundation's Holiday Tree was erected in the foyer of the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building on Monday, December 1st, 2014.

For every Holiday Tree donation of $25, we will place an ornament on the tree.  The ornament will be marked by a tag with the name of the honouree and of the donor (unless they wish to remain anonymous).

Our goal is to fill every inch of branch space on our tree! All proceeds will go directly to support this year's Molly Appeal campaign for Neuroscience Research at Dalhousie Medical School

Click here to place an ornament on the tree.


Appointment of Joanne Bath as Director of Development


Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Joanne Bath as Director of Development. Joanne joined DMRF in November 2012 as Director of Major Gifts. In her new role she will lead the foundation's major gifts campaign and provide oversight support to the annual giving programs.

Joanne brings a wealth of experience in philanthropy to DMRF’s team. After graduating with a degree in Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland, she joined the Boys and Girls Club of St. John's, followed by seven years raising funds to help women and children at the IWK Health Centre Foundation in annual and major gifts.

Joanne is passionate about creating better health outcomes. Through her work with DMRF, she lives her passion every day by supporting the foundation's commitment to advancing medical discoveries at Dalhousie Medical School.

We welcome Joanne to her new role!



June 30, 2014:  Farewell to Alison Edwards

ACE and Frank June 2012

After six years as Executive Director of Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF), Alison Edwards is retiring.  Alison played a major role in leading the foundation through significant transformation including the establishment of the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute and several endowed research chairs.

A natural relationship-builder, Alison forged close collaborations with Dalhousie's fundraising office and with other health foundations.  "DMRF continues to develop as critical to the success of our researchers, and Alison's leadership style and willingness to work collaboratively has been essential to the medical school's ability to meet its research mission," says Dr. Gerry Johnston, Dalhousie Medical School's Associate Dean of Research.

Alison joined DMRF in April 2008 as its third executive Director.  She brought vast experience in academia, health and research, having served as Executive Director of the Brain Repair Centre, Director of Finance for Dalhousie Medical School and Administrator for the Dalhousie Department of Family Medicine.

Alison loved her work with both donors and researchers and delighted in connecting them with each other.  She particularly enjoyed taking donors on lab tours where they could see first hand how scientific research improves health.  One of her most touching contributions to donors was the checklist she created for estate preparation after the loss of her father.  Characteristically, Alison wanted others to learn from her experience so that their journey would be easier.

"Alison is a terrific executive and person," says Frank Sobey, Chairman of DMRF's Board of Directors.  "She spent 25 years working for Dalhousie University before joining our foundation, but we believe she saved the best for last.  As Executive Director of DMRF, Alison's success was achieved not by focusing on herself but instead, by being a selfless leader who helped those on her team reach their goals.  In doing so, she made DMRF much more relevant to our donors, researchers, and all those who have benefited from the work we do."

We thank Alison for her enormous contributions and wish her the very best!

January 2, 2014:  DMRF's Holiday Tree

Holiday Tree 2012DMRF Staff in front of the 2013 Holiday Tree!!

The Foundation's Holiday Tree was erected in the foyer of the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Bldg. on Monday, December 2, 2013.

Thank you to all who contributed to this program ~ it was a great success again this year!!  Proceeds will support the 13/14 Molly Appeal for Cancer Research.