Board of Directors
Brent Scott, MD, CM, FRCDC (Chair)
Director, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Professor, Department of Paediatrics/Medicine, University of Calgary
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Dr. Scott completed his medical training at McGill University, Montreal, QC in 1976. He then undertook training in general paediatrics at the University of Alberta. In 1980, he was awarded a Medical Research Council of Canada fellowship that allowed him to continue with subspecialty training in paediatric gastroenterology and a concurrent Master of Science degree at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto and the University of Toronto.
Dr. Scott joined the Faculty of Medicine at U of C in 1982 and has brought his expertise to the classroom as a Professor of Paediatrics in the Division of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (DPGN) at Alberta Children's Hospital and the University of Calgary, and offered his skills as an active clinician and researcher. In 1998, he was appointed Professor and Head, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary; Head, Regional Clinical Department, Paediatrics, Calgary Health Region; and Chair in Paediatric Research, Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. From 2007 to 2009, he was appointed as Vice Dean, Faculty of Medicine. In April of 2009, Dr. Brent Scott accepted the role of Director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health (ACHRI). Executive Director since 2012, Dr. Scott works collaboratively with Alberta Health Services; the University of Calgary and the Institute’s sponsoring Foundation, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation to achieve a shared vision of “A healthier and more prosperous future for our children through research”. The Institute’s mission is to foster healthy biological and psychosocial trajectories for babies, children and youth through excellence in research, innovation, knowledge translation and education.
Dr. Scott has always been a strong proponent of developing excellence in education and research to improve the provision of clinical care. He has received a number of awards and distinctions including the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Clinical Investigator award in 1985, followed in 1991 by an AHFMR Scholar award and in 1996 a Senior Scholar award. He was recognized by the Promotions Committee, Faculty of Medicine, with the Distinguished Service Award for excellence in research and education in 1997. In 2003, the ACH Medical Staff Association Award of Excellence officially recognized his exceptional work and leadership on behalf of the children of Southern Alberta; and in 2010, he was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. In 2016, he was recognized as Canada's top pediatrician when he received the Dr. Alan Ross Award. He holds the Husky Energy Chair in Child and Maternal Health, as well as the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation Chair in Paediatric Research.
Jason Berman, MD FRCPC FAAP
CEO/Scientific Director and Vice President of Research of the CHEO Research Institute
Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa
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Previously, Dr. Berman served as Associate Chair, Research, Department of Pediatrics, and Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology at Dalhousie University and interim Vice President Research, Innovation and Knowledge Translation for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has overseen the pediatric leukemia program for the Maritimes since 2005 and chairs an international clinical trial for children with Down syndrome and myeloid leukemia. He is internationally recognized for pioneering research using zebrafish to study childhood cancers and rare inherited diseases. His laboratory has served as the Atlantic node of the Centre for Drug Research and Development and a national hub for zebrafish modeling of orphan diseases. He has been co-chair of the C17 Childhood Cancer Network Developmental Therapeutics Committee and Director of the Clinician Investigator Program and Medical Research Graduate Program at Dalhousie. He is president of the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, vice president of the Canadian Hematology Society and a founding member of the Canadian Rare Disease Models and Mechanisms Network.
Sandra T. Davidge, PhD (Vice Chair)
Director of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI)
Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology at the University of Alberta
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Dr. Sandy Davidge is a professor in the departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology at the University of Alberta. In 2012, Dr. Davidge was appointed Executive Director of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI). WCHRI was founded in 2006 as a partnership with the University of Alberta, Alberta Health Services, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation with a shared vision “To harness the power of research innovation for a healthy future for children and women”. WCHRI’s membership is made up of over 400 leading researchers, clinician-scientists, academics, health-care professionals and service providers from academic and community settings who are focused on improving health outcomes from women and children.
As a leader in perinatal research, Dr. Davidge holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Maternal and Perinatal Cardiovascular Health and is a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Science. She is the current President (2017/2018) for the international Society for Reproductive Investigation. Dr. Davidge serves on many national and international grant panels and is on the editorial board for the American Journal of Physiology. Dr. Davidge is a founding Council Member for Canadian Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) Society, an Advisory Board Member for the Preeclampsia Foundation of Canada and Board Director for PolicyWise for Children and Families. Dr. Davidge’s research program encompasses studying cardiovascular function as it relates to 1) complications in pregnancy (preeclampsia and maternal aging) and 2) developmental origins of adult cardiovascular diseases. The Davidge laboratory combines their expertise in pregnancy research and aging to understand long-term consequences of an adverse pregnancy on cardiovascular health of the offspring as they age. Dr. Davidge has published over 210 original peer-reviewed manuscripts and 26 review articles in these areas and is currently funded by a Foundation Grant from Canadian Institutes for Health Research.
Terry Klassen, MD, MSc, FRCPC
CEO and Scientific Director, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)
Head, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba
Medical Director, Child Health Program, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
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Dr. Terry Klassen has been the Director of Research for the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, in charge of the George and Fay Yee Center for Healthcare Innovation since September, 2010. From 1999 to 2009, Terry served as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta, Director of the Alberta Research Centre for Health Evidence and Director of the Evidence-based Practice Center at the University of Alberta.
He is a clinician scientist whose clinical base is Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and has been active in Pediatric Emergency Research Canada collaborating on a national research program involving randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews and knowledge translation. He has a consistent record of national and international peer reviewed funding, along with a publication record that has included many articles in the highest impact medical journals. In 2009, Terry co-founded StaR Child Health, an international group aimed at improving the design, conduct and publication of randomized controlled trials in children. In recognition for his lifetime contributions, he was elected into the Institute of Medicine in 2010 in the foreign associate category. He is also a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Terry’s research has had a large impact on the practice of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, which was recognized when he received a 2011 Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Canadian Medical Association Journal Top Achievements in Health Research Award. In 2012 Dr. Klassen was appointed to the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Ekat Kritikou, PhD
Associate Director, Scientific Development CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center
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Dr. Ekat Kritikou currently holds the Associate Director, scientific development position at the Research Center of the CHU Sainte-Justine. The CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center has more than 200 leading researchers, clinician-scientists and more than 450 trainees who are working on improving health outcomes from women and children. After completing her doctoral studies in developmental and cancer biology at the University of Cambridge, UK, Ekat pursued her postdoctoral studies in the field of developmental genomics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Ekat then joined the Nature Publishing Group as an editor where he worked for Nature Reviews Genetics and Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. Ekat moved to Montreal in 2009 and she was recruited at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center as a scientific advisor to develop the research strategy for the Center of Excellence in Oncology. She then moved to the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) Research Center where she was responsible for strategic development and partnerships. She became the Director of the MHI biobank in 2012. Ekat returned to CHU Sainte-Justine in 2013 as the Associate Director of Scientific affairs and she was responsible for the success of major funding initiatives and the development of strategic partnerships with other Montreal and Canadian Institutions as well as the industry. In 2016, she was appointed Interim Scientific Director of the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center (July 2016 - May 2017).
Charlotte Moore Hepburn, MD, FRCPC, FAAP
Director, Medical Affairs, Canadian Paediatric Society and the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, School of Medicine
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Dr. Charlotte Moore Hepburn is a faculty paediatrician in the Division of Paediatric Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children and an assistant professor of Paediatrics in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto School of Medicine.After graduating summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1997, she pursued medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and continued with specialty training at the Harvard-BMC Combined Program in Paediatric Medicine. While in the United States, she was engaged in legislative advocacy at the federal-level, in the United States Senate, the Department of Health and Human Services (OS-ASPE), and the American Academy of Paediatrics, and at the state level, for the Children’s Caucus of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After returning to Canada, she served a five-year tenure as the Provincial Lead for Maternal, Child and Youth Health Strategy in the Office of the Assistant Deputy Minister – Health System Strategy Division at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Rulan Parekh, MD, PhD
Associate Chief, Clinical Research and Senior Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children Senior Scientist, University Health Network
Division Director of Nephrology and Professor of Paediatrics and Medicine, Departments of Paediatrics, Medicine, Epidemiology, University of Toronto
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Dr. Rulan Parekh is a clinician scientist, nephrologist and an international leader in clinical epidemiology and translational research in kidney disease. Her body of work has revealed novel genetic risk factors leading to kidney disease, and increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality for children and adults with kidney disease. At the University of Michigan, Dr. Parekh was uniquely trained in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine with subspecialty training in both Pediatric and Adult Nephrology as well as research training, completing her Master’s in Biostatistics and Study Design. She subsequently went on to post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University and joined the faculty in 2000. She successfully competed for a NIH Career Development Research Award, and the American Society of Nephrology Carl W. Gottschalk Award for young investigators, establishing successful research programs in the genetics and cardiovascular complications of kidney disease. In 2008, she returned back to her native Canada and accepted a faculty position at the University of Toronto (UofT) and a Scientist position within the SickKids Research Institute. Since 2000, Dr. Parekh has maintained a record of sustained NIH and CIHR funding. She has significant productivity with more than 160 published manuscripts over 4000 citations and a stellar track record of training and mentoring 80 students and post-doctoral trainees. She has received several awards including the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland Award, Advising, Mentoring and Teaching Research Award and was elected into academic honor societies such as the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Pediatric Academic Society and the American Pediatric Society. Dr. Parekh has recently been named Canada Research Chair in Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Suzanne Tough, MSc, PhD
Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
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Suzanne Tough is a professor with the Departments of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and a Health Scholar supported by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions. She was the inaugural scientific director of the Maternal, Newborn, Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research. Dr Tough is a lead scientist on the development of a child data repository, which will enable the re-use of research data to enhance the development of new knowledge and increase research productivity. Dr Tough is a member of national and international advisory boards, including the Public Health Association of Canada and the World Health Organization Preterm Birth International Consortium. In these roles Dr. Tough has contributed to the development of research strategies and processes that inform policy and practice, and address contemporary issues in knowledge translation and applied research.
Dr Tough has been recognized for her skills in research team development and scientific innovation through a Health Region Peoples’ Choice Award, a University of Alberta Alumni Award of Excellence, and a Global YWCA Women of Vision award. She has led research teams within health care organizations and in academia, and is passionate about collaboration and team science. In these roles Dr. Tough has facilitated the development of team handbooks, governance and accountability structures. The underlying aim of her research program is to optimize birth and childhood outcomes by creating evidence that informs the development of community and clinical programs and influences policy. She leads the Alberta Births Common Data project to harmonize data collection across birth cohorts, and she is the principal investigator of the All Our Babies/Families (AOB/F) Study, a cohort with 3,200 mother-child pairs that has followed mothers from pregnancy through to when their children at eight years of age. The overall vision of the AOB/F research team is to investigate the relative impacts of the social and genetic environments on child health.
Wyeth Wasserman, PhD
Executive Director and Investigator, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute
Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Senior Scientist, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics
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The Wasserman laboratory focuses on the creation, evaluation and application of computational methods for the analysis of genome sequences, with international strength in the study of cis-regulatory elements regulating gene expression. The lab creates widely used software and databases, performs applied analyses of genome sequences, and partners with diverse research teams on projects at the intersection of the computational and life sciences.
Genome Sequencing has disrupted health research. The lab has been developing computational methods and tools to allow researchers and clinicians to identify functional consequences of genetic variations within cis-regulatory elements such as transcription factor binding sites. Alterations in the TF bound DNA sequences can contribute causally to phenotypes, but much work remains to develop the essential computational methods to study them.
The lab studies gene regulation via multiple lines. First, the lab creates novel algorithms and software to predict interactions between TFs and DNA. Second, the lab collaborates internationally on the analysis of emerging data, such as the international FANTOM project. Third, the lab engages in the applied analysis of genomes for pediatric disorders. Such work is key to translating basic research advances into clinical impacts.
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Stephen Barbazuk joined MICYRN in January 2012. He is responsible for the strategic planning process and the subsequent development, implementation and evaluation of all projects and activities and has management responsibility for the coordination and oversight of all financial, communication and administrative functions in the central office. Stephen’s most recent role prior to joining MICYRN was with the BC Provincial Health Services Authority as Corporate Director, Strategic Planning and Transformation Support. Stephen has a background in Life Sciences, having graduated from the University of British Columbia in Cell and Developmental Biology with subsequent work in Immunology research projects for the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and has since amassed expertise in strategic planning and project management in biotechnology, research and healthcare over the past 20+ years. He obtained his Project Management Professional (PMP) designation with the Project Management Institute in 2004, holds a 6-Sigma Green Belt process improvement certificate and has completed international coach training in order to apply additional skills to support organizations in realizing their vision.
Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil, MD, PhD
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Dr. Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil assumed leadership of MICYRN in May 2018. He received his medical degree from the University Paris 5 - René Descartes in 1993 and a PhD in biological sciences at the University Paris 7 - Pierre et Marie Curie in 1995. He completed a fellowship in Neonatology in 1997 and a Master in Epidemiology in 2000. He was appointed professor of Pediatrics at the University Paris 11 in 1997. Thierry moved to Edmonton, Alberta, in 2003 to become the inaugural director of the Women and Children Health Research Institute (WCHRI) in 2006. In 2010, He was recruited as a senior scientist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and was the scientific director of the Clinical Research Unit at CHEO from 2011 to 2015. Since 2016, Thierry has been the section head of Neonatology at the Cumming School of Medicine, and the regional program director of Neonatology at Alberta Health Services. His areas of study include clinical trials with an emphasis on medications.
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Christine joined MICYRN in June 2014. In her role as administrative assistant, she is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Coordinating Centre and providing support to the Board of Directors and Executive team of MICYRN. Prior to her current role, she worked as an executive assistant at Little Mountain Place and as an administrative assistant at Providence Health Care. Christine received her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach.
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Andrea joined MICYRN in June 2013 with a background in science and communications. As the engagement lead for MICYRN she is responsible for supporting the implementation of the Network’s stakeholder engagement strategy through the development of communications material and engagement process framework for MICYRN’s initiatives and associated policies and procedures for the coordinating centre. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University and a Masters of English in writing from the University of New Brunswick.
Associate Director, Clinical Trials
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Breanne Stewart (BSc, BScN, RN) works in a part-time capacity as the associate director for clinical trials, splitting her time between MICYRN and the University of Alberta where she works with the Northern Alberta Clinical Trials + Research Centre. Breanne plays a critical role in ensuring MICYRN is able to build child/family-centric research and education capabilities. She provides support to the Clinical Trial Consortium—a network of up to 17 clinical research units representing each of the academic child health centres across Canada—to streamline and improve clinical trial processes and systems to enhance the quality and efficiency of regulated and non-regulated trials.