About Us


PCIRN was launched through a three-year grant of $4.6 million per year from the Public Health Agency of Canada and CIHR in 2009. The network was originally designed to carry out a three year plan to develop and test procedures for evaluating a pandemic vaccine using seasonal influenza vaccine as a model. Following the declaration of the pandemic that same year, the investigators of the new network immediately revised research plans in order to evaluate the H1N1/09 vaccine.

In February 2012, PHAC and CIHR invited network investigators to participate in a directed grant application for an additional three years of funding of $1.5 million per year, to 2015. In its six years of operations, the PCIRN Network and its investigators have contributed an immense amount of valuable vaccine research through various studies, publications, and knowledge translation.

As PCIRN comes to an end and the new CIRN network begins, our hope is to continue this important research pertaining to immunization.


In late 2013, CIHR presented a grant opportunity to researchers in Canada interested in vaccine study. PCIRN investigators proposed to take on this application and a call to all interested researchers in Canada was made; shortly after, the proposed Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) was formed by a national network of investigators.

On December 16, 2013, the CIRN Research Committee formally submitted their Letter of Intent to CIHR, which received approval to move forward from CIHR on February 17, 2014. The following May, a full proposal was submitted and subsequently approved in July, 2014. Official funding for the CIRN network began in June of 2014.

CIRN is being funded through a three-year grant of $2.2 million per year from the Public Health Agency of Canada and CIHR from June 2014-17. It is hoped that the new CIRN Network will enable the continuation of important influenza research as PCIRN comes to an end, along with the broadened scope of the network’s mandate.

CIRN is divided into eight research sub-networks (or infrastructures), and is managed through a collaborative process by the Principal Investigators of each network. Together with the Nominated Principal Investigator and 5 ‘at large’ members, these Network Leads make up the CIRN Management Committee. The current Members are:

  • Scott Halperin, Dalhousie University, Nominated Principal Investigator, CIRN
  • Julie Bettinger, UBC, PI – Canadian National Vaccine Safety Network
  • Marc Brisson, Université Laval, PI – Modeling and Economics Research Network
  • Natasha Crowcroft, Public Health Ontario, PI and Dr. Jeff Kwong, ICES/Public Health Ontario – Provincial Collaborative Network
  • Shelley Deeks, Public Health Ontario, PI – Program Evaluation
  • Gaston De Serres, Université Laval, PI and Dr. Karina Top, Dalhousie University, Co-PI – Special Immunization Clinics Network
  • Philippe De Wals, Université Laval, PI – Program Support
  • Eve Dubé, Université Laval, PI – Social Sciences and Humanities Network
  • Joanne Langley, Dalhousie University, PI – Clinical Trials Network
  • Mark Loeb, McMaster University, PI – Vaccine Evaluation
  • Shelly McNeil, Dalhousie University, PI – Serious Outcomes Surveillance Network
  • David Scheifele, Child and Family Research Institute, PI – CAIRE
  • Brian Ward, Université McGill, PI – Reference Laboratory Network