Dr Bernstein has developed among the largest validated population based databases of IBD. He has received continuous funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and its forerunners (the MRC and NHRDP) since 1995. His main research interests are primarily related to IBD; in terms of optimizing management approaches; exploring predictors of clinical outcomes; and disease etiology. More recently he has been actively involved in exploring the biological and clinical intersection between different chronic immune mediated inflammatory diseases. He has also helped develop ground breaking work in the epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infection among Canada’s Aboriginal populations, colorectal cancer screening and outcomes of gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy.
He has published over 350 peer reviewed articles, 26 book chapters, was the editor of The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Yearbook (1st-7th editions), and is a co-editor of one of the seminal gastrointestinal clinical-pathology textbooks (Lewin, Weinstein and Riddell's Gastrointestinal Pathology and its Clinical Implications.).
Dr. Bernstein was awarded an Rh Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Health Sciences. He was awarded the initial Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada Research Scientist Award in 2001 and held this for 10 years, has held a CIHR Investigator Award (2001-6), and was the Scientific Secretary of the International Organization for the study of IBD from 2007-2011. In 2005, he was chosen by his peers to be listed in Best Doctors in Canada. In 2008 he was elected into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2009 he was named the inaugural Bingham Chair in Gastroenterology at the University of Manitoba. In 2012, he was awarded the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Research Excellence Award. Further, in 2012 he was elected into the Royal Society of Canada -Life Sciences Division of the Academy of Science. In 2014, he was named as Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. Only twenty faculty members can hold this designation at any one time. It is the highest honor the University can bestow upon a professor.