About Us

About Us

Dr. David Naylor

Photo: Dr. David Naylor

former president of the
University of Toronto

David Naylor is a professor of medicine and president emeritus at the University of Toronto. He received his MD from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine in 1978 with scholarships in medicine, surgery and pediatrics, and his D. Phil. as a Rhodes Scholar in the Faculty of Social and Administrative Studies at the University of Oxford in 1983. He joined the Department of Medicine of the University of Toronto in 1988 and was promoted to full professor in 1996.

Dr. Naylor was founding chief executive officer of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (1991 to 1998) and then dean of medicine and vice-provost for relations with healthcare institutions (1999 to 2005). From 2005 to 2013, he served as the University of Toronto's 15th president.

The co-author of approximately 300 scholarly publications, Dr. Naylor has also provided policy advice and strategic counsel to governments and health care associations, institutions and enterprises in Canada and abroad for more than 25 years. Dr. Naylor served as chair of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health in 2003 and chair of the Federal Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation in 2014–15. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a foreign associate member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Dr. Naylor has received a variety of national and international awards for leadership in health care, research, public health and higher education.

Dr. Robert Birgeneau

Photo: Dr. Robert Birgeneau

former chancellor,
University of California, Berkeley

Robert J. Birgeneau became the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, on September 22, 2004, serving until May 31, 2013. An internationally distinguished physicist, he is a leader in higher education and is well known for his commitment to diversity and equity in the academic community. During his service as chancellor, Birgeneau strengthened UC Berkeley's standing as one of the top universities, public or private, in the world. Under his leadership, Berkeley became the first university in the United States to offer comprehensive financial aid to undocumented students and the first public university to provide significant financial aid to middle-class students.

Before coming to Berkeley, Birgeneau served as president of the University of Toronto for four years. He previously was dean of the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he spent 25 years on the faculty. He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London and the American Philosophical Society, among other scholarly societies. He has received many awards for teaching and for his research on the fundamental properties of materials.

His awards include a special Founders Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Carnegie Corporation's 2008 Academic Leadership Award as a "champion of excellence and equity in education," and the Shinnyo-en Foundation's 2009 Pathfinders to Peace Prize for his contributions to bringing about a more peaceful world. In 2012 Birgeneau received the Karl Taylor Compton Medal from the American Institute of Physics. In 2016 he received the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board, honouring "truly exceptional life-long leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service activities in science, technology and public policy." He has also received honourary doctorates from a number of universities, including the University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and Western University.

A Toronto native, Birgeneau received his BSc in mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1963 and his PhD in physics from Yale University in 1966. He served on the faculty of Yale for one year, spent one year at Oxford University and was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1968 to 1975. He joined the physics faculty at MIT in 1975 and was named chair of the Physics Department in 1988 and dean of the School of Science in 1991. He became the 14th president of the University of Toronto on July 1, 2000.

At Berkeley, Birgeneau holds the Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Chair in the departments of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Public Policy. He and his wife Mary Catherine, also a Toronto native, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren.

Dr. Martha Crago

Photo: Dr. Martha Crago

Vice-President, Research,
Dalhousie University

Martha Crago is vice-president (research) and a professor in human communication disorders at Dalhousie University. Her previous university administrative positions include vice-president of international and governmental relations at the Université de Montréal, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies at McGill University, and associate provost (academic programs) at McGill University.

Martha Crago is the chair of the Research Committee of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. Previously she was a member of the American Association of Universities Deans of Graduate Studies group, Universitas 21's Research Directors and Graduate Studies Group, and the Board of the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools. She was the founder of the Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities and one of the founders of the International Forum of Public Universities, a consortium of 21 non English–language world-class universities. She has served as president of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies and as a member of the University Advisory Group at Industry Canada. She was also asked by the Premier of Nova Scotia to serve on the One Nova Scotia Coalition that proposed an action plan for the province in 2015.

Dr. Crago is founder and chair of the board for the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprises. She is also currently the Canadian academic member of the federal government's Canada-Brazil Joint Committee and is a director on the boards of two Networks of Centres of Excellence: the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network, and Ocean Networks Canada. Dr. Crago also sits on the boards of the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada and the Canadian Light Source and is a member of the Committee on Research Partnerships of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. In addition, she has been on the advisory councils of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the National Research Council - Institute for Marine Biosciences. At Dalhousie University, she chairs a variety of research institutes, governing councils and committees.

Dr. Crago has been an active researcher in language acquisition. Her work has been published extensively in scientific journals and books, and she is the editor-in-chief of Applied Psycholinguistics, published by Cambridge University Press. She was vice president of the International Association for the Study of Child Language from 2007 to 2010.

Dr. Crago was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes académiques (France, 2009); Femme de mérite (Montréal, 2000); and Woman of Excellence (Nova Scotia, 2015). She is also the recipient of a McGill University prize for her contributions to research.

Mike Lazaridis

Photo: Mike Lazaridis

Quantum Valley Investments

Mike Lazaridis, OC, O. Ont., FRS, FRSC, is co-founder and managing partner of Quantum Valley Investments (QVI), which he and Doug Fregin established in Waterloo. In March 2013, they launched QVI with $100 million to provide financial and intellectual capital for the development and commercialization of quantum physics and quantum computing breakthroughs. QVI aims to help transform ideas and early-stage breakthroughs into commercially viable products, technologies and services. Mr. Lazaridis has been working for more than a decade to create a "quantum valley" in Waterloo by bringing the world's best minds in physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science and materials science together to collaborate on cutting-edge quantum research, and QVI marks his latest venture in this quest.

In 1984, Mr. Lazaridis founded BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion), where he invented the BlackBerry device, revolutionized the smartphone industry and built Canada's largest global tech business. Mr. Lazaridis served in various positions, including president and co-CEO (1984 to 2012), co-chairman of the board (2007 to 2012) and board vice-chair and chair of the Innovation Committee (2012 to retirement in 2013).

Mr. Lazaridis is the founder and board chair of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where he helps generate important private and public sector funding for the Institute. He also founded the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the Quantum-Nano Centre, both at the University of Waterloo. He has donated more than $170 million to Perimeter and more than $100 million to IQC.

Among his many honours, Mr. Lazaridis is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada and has been named to both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada. He was listed on the Maclean's Honour Roll as a distinguished Canadian in 2000, named as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People, honoured as a Globe and Mail Nation Builder of the Year in 2010, selected as the 2013 Visionary of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum, and awarded the Ernest C. Manning Principal Award, Canada's most prestigious innovation prize.

Mr. Lazaridis holds an honorary doctoral degree in engineering from the University of Waterloo (where he formerly served as chancellor), as well as a Doctor of Laws from McMaster University, the University of Windsor and Université Laval. In addition to his many professional and personal accomplishments, Mr. Lazaridis won an Academy Award and an Emmy Award for technical achievements in the movie and TV industries for developing a high-speed barcode reader that greatly increased the speed of editing film.

Mr. Lazaridis was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He moved to Canada in 1966 with his family, settling in Windsor, Ontario.

Dr. Claudia Malacrida

Photo: Dr. Claudia Malacrida

Associate Vice-President, Research,
University of Lethbridge

Dr. Claudia Malacrida received a BA (with Great Distinction) in Psychology and an MA in Sociology from the University of Calgary and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Alberta. She has held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and a Killam (honorary) Post-Doctoral Fellowship, both at the University of Calgary, and she was Visiting Professor at Hokkai Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan. She has held a Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair at the University of Lethbridge and was a University Scholar at that university. Her research has been funded through SSHRC, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research.

Dr. Malacrida has served on numerous review panels for SSHRC, the Aid to Scholarly Publications Program, and the Alberta Gambling Research Institute (AGRI), and she has sat on the editorial boards of Disability & Society and Qualitative Health Research. She serves on the board of RESOLVE (formerly the Manitoba Research Centre on Family Violence and Violence Against Women), AGRI and the Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research. She is a SSHRC Leader, a member of the steering committee for the University of Alberta Integrative Health Institute, and a representative for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research.

Dr. Malacrida is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in the fields of disability studies and sociology of the body. Her research engages with both historical and current sociological concerns. She is the author of five books on disability/body issues and has published many articles, chapters and papers on a wide range of related topics. She is a sought-after speaker on qualitative research methods, the history of medicine, childbirth and medicalization, the social construction of difference, and the history of institutionalization and eugenic sterilization in Canada.

Dr. Malacrida is Associate Vice-President (Research) at the University of Lethbridge. She served as Chair of the Sociology Department at that university from 2011 to 2015.

Dr. Art McDonald

Photo: Dr. Art McDonald

former director of the
Sudbury Neutrino Laboratory,
Nobel Laureate

Arthur (Art) McDonald, CC, O. Ont., FRS, FRSC, P. Eng., is professor emeritus at Queen's University and director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) International Scientific Collaboration, whose measurements proved that the fundamental particles called neutrinos have a non-zero mass. These particles are so elusive that it took an ultra-clean detector the size of a 10-storey building, located 2 km underground in Vale's Creighton mine near Sudbury, to observe one neutrino from the sun per hour. These measurements require changes to the Standard Model of elementary particles and confirm in great detail how the Sun burns. For this work, he was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. McDonald and the SNO Collaboration were also winners of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and the 2006 John C. Polanyi Prize.

Dr. McDonald was a research officer at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River Laboratories from 1969 to 1982; a professor at Princeton University from 1982 to 1989; and a professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, from 1989 to 2013, becoming professor emeritus in 2013. Since 1989 he has been director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Scientific Collaboration.

He has received the Bonner Prize from the American Physical Society (2003), the Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics (2003), the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (2003), the Sigma Xi Fund of Canada Award for Scientific Achievement (2004), the Bruno Pontecorvo Prize in Particle Physics (2005), the Killam Prize (2010) and the Henry Marshall Tory Medal (2011). He was also co-recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics (2007) and the Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize in Particle Astrophysics (2013) and was made a member of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame (2009) and the Nova Scotia Discovery Centre Hall of Fame (2010). He holds nine honorary degrees.

Dr. McDonald continues research on neutrinos and dark matter at the SNOLAB underground laboratory and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics.

Dr. Martha Piper

Photo: Dr. Martha Piper

interim president,
University of British Columbia

Dr. Martha Cook Piper is Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of British Columbia. She also served as the 11th President of the University of British Columbia from 1997 to 2006.

Dr. Piper has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Montreal, Shoppers Drug Mart, TransAlta Corporation and Grosvenor Americas Ltd. She has also served as a board member of CARE Canada, the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, and the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation. She was Chair of the Board of the National Institute for Nanotechnology and served as a member of the Trilateral Commission.

Dr. Piper received her B.Sc. degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Michigan, her M.A. degree from the University of Connecticut, and her PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University. She has served as Director of the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University (1979–85), Dean of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta (1985–93) and Vice-President (Research and External Affairs), University of Alberta (1993–97).

The recipient of 17 honorary degrees, Dr. Piper is an officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of British Columbia. She was named Educator of the Year by the Learning Partnership in 2004, was appointed an Honorary Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford, in 2007 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008.

Dr. Rémi Quirion

Photo: Dr. Rémi Quirion

Chief Scientist,

On September 1, 2011, Rémi Quirion, OC, CQ, PhD, FRSC, became Quebec's first chief scientist. As such, he chairs the boards of the three Fonds de recherche du Québec and advises the Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation on research and scientific development issues.

Before his appointment as chief scientist, Dr. Quirion was the vice-dean for science and strategic initiatives in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and senior university advisor on health sciences research. He was the scientific director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute's Research Centre, a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, and the executive director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's International Collaborative Research Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Quirion was the first scientific director of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), one of Canada's 13 health research institutes.

His work helped to clarify the roles of the cholinergic system in Alzheimer's disease, of neuropeptide Y in depression and memory, and of the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in pain and opiate tolerance. He earned his PhD in pharmacology from the Université de Sherbrooke in 1980 and carried out his post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States in 1983. Dr. Quirion has over 650 publications in prominent scientific journals and is one of the most extensively cited neuroscientists in the world. He has received several awards and honours, including the Ordre national du Québec (Chevalier du Québec, CQ) in 2003, the Prix Wilder-Penfield (Prix du Québec) in 2004 and the Order of Canada (OC) in 2007. He is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2015, he was appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes académiques, a distinction awarded by the French government to recognize contributions to the development of France–Quebec relations in research.

Dr. Anne Wilson

Photo: Dr. Anne Wilson

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Successful Societies
Fellow and professor of psychology,
Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Anne Wilson is a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology and a professor in the Psychology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University. She received her PhD in 2000 from the University of Waterloo, and the following year she won the Premier's Research Excellence Award. Her research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust, and Mitacs industry-academic partnerships. In 2016 she served on the National Grant Review Committee (Psychology) for SSHRC's Insight Development Grants.

In 2015 she was named Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Successful Societies, an international group of interdisciplinary scholars who focus on social inequality and its consequences. In 2014 she was elected as a Member of the inaugural cohort of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Dr. Wilson is also an elected Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and Member of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. She was recognized as one of the Waterloo Region's "Top 40 under 40" in 2012 for her socially relevant work and knowledge translation on gender and body image.

Dr. Wilson is internationally recognized for her research on how personal, social and national identity extends across time and how people construct their personal and collective pasts and futures. She studies a wide range of topics, including historical injustice and inequality, social representations of ethnicity, gender and religion, personal health and well-being, and individual and collective action to promote a more sustainable future. She participates in interdisciplinary networks that study topics such as inequality and climate change. She has published more than 50 papers and delivered or co-authored hundreds of presentations, keynotes and invited talks internationally.


The Secretariat is a group of officials from diverse fields and backgrounds, housed at Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED). It will support the Panel by providing contextual information, policy and communications guidance, foundational work, analysis, as well as logistics and administrative support..

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