Dr Harold Cook

Class of 1966

The 2007 Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to Dr. Harold William Cook, Class of 1966.

Dr. Harold Cook is a prominent Canadian scientist with a 28-year career in pediatrics and biochemistry research and is currently the 11th Dean of Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine.

Since his appointment, July 1, 2004, Dr. Cook has been leading the Faculty through an extensive renewal process involving significant executive recruitment and strategic planning designed to meet the changing medical needs of Canada’s three Maritime provinces well into the twenty-first century.

Under Dr. Cook’s leadership and at the invitation of the government of New Brunswick, the Faculty is exploring the feasibility of establishing a four-year undergraduate medical training program for anglophones in New Brunswick.

As Dean, Dr. Cook serves on a variety of boards including those of the Capital District Health Authority, administering the Maritimes’ most extensive array of tertiary health care institutions and the IWK Health Centre, operating the region’s chief pediatric care facility.

His priorities include strengthening the distributed medical education program; obtaining more sustainable funding, filling vacancies in leadership positions with top-flight recruits; renovating and expanding research and teaching infrastructure and improving the quality, capacity and delivery of medical education.

Born in Yarmouth, N.S., Dr. Cook is a graduate of NSAC, Macdonald College at McGill University and of Dalhousie University. His post-doctoral fellowship was completed at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Cook is one of the world’s leading authorities on fatty acids and lipids with 130 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters to his credit. His reputation in the research community has brought him frequent invitations to speak at international symposia and many appointments to national and international committees and boards. At Dalhousie he has held a string of key university administrative positions, ranging from Chairman of the Faculty of Medicine’s Radiation-Chemical Hazards Committee, between 1978 and 1980, to Interim Dean in 2003-2004.

Prior to accepting the top job in the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Cook was the Faculty's Associate Dean of Research and Planning. Under his guidance, research funding grew to more than $45 million; research plans were strategically aligned with five key areas of investigative emphasis and infrastructure was significantly expanded. He also led a planning exercise that pinpointed required new and renovated educational space to meet anticipated future needs.

Dr. Cook has also served as Director of the Atlantic Research Centre at Dalhousie University, as leader of the Clinical Genetics Program and as an affiliated scientist at the IWK Health Centre. He was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University and at the University of British Columbia. At Dalhousie he continues to be a Professor of Pediatrics and an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Dr. Cook has truly distinguished himself in his area of expertise, bringing honour to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. He is a positive role model for current and future students and has made significant contributions in the field of medicine. He is most deserving of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2007.

Presented by NSAC past principal Dr. Les Haley
October 20th, 2007