The purpose of the International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) is to provide advice and guidance in defining the overall strategic direction of the LDI, focusing its programs, and helping address challenges to its operations.
MEMBERS OF THE ISAB
CHAIR - Alan Bernstein, O.C., PhD, FRSC
Dr. Alan Bernstein, President & CEO of CIFAR, received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in Medical Biophysics. Following postdoctoral research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London (UK), he joined the Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto. In 1985, he joined the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute and served as Director of Research from 1994-2000.
In 2000, Dr. Bernstein became the founding president of CIHR, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, where he led the transformation of health research in Canada (2000 – 2007). He then served as executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise (2008 – 2011), an international alliance of funders charged with accelerating the development of an HIV vaccine.
Author of over 200 peer reviewed publications and more than 60 articles in the lay press, Dr. Bernstein’s contributions to science have been recognized with many awards and honorary degrees. He serves on advisory and review boards for governments, foundations and research institutions. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College and Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs; an Officer of the Order of Canada; recipient of the Order of Ontario; Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureate; and recipient of the 2017 Henry Friesen International Prize in Health Research.
Sir John Bell - ex officio
Sir John Bell was the inaugural Chair of the ISAB (2014-15). A Canadian, he is president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, and chair of the UK government’s Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research. He is the founder of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and is a leader in the biomedical research activities in the Clinical School at Oxford. Dr. Bell studied medicine as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and is the founding director of three biotechnology start-up companies. He currently serves as ex officio member of the ISAB.
Daniel J. Drucker
Dr. Drucker graduated in medicine from the University of Toronto (1980), and received postgraduate training (medicine and endocrinology) at Johns Hopkins Hospital (1980-81), the University of Toronto (1980-84) and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (1984-87). He is currently Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a senior Scientist in the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Sinai Health System.
Dr. Drucker has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of his research accomplishments elucidating the mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential of enteroendocrine hormones. These include the Prix Galien Canada for outstanding academic research (2008), the Donald Steiner Award for Outstanding Diabetes Research from the University of Chicago (2007), the Clinical Investigator Award from the Endocrine Society (2009), the Claude Bernard Prize from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (2012), the Oon International Award and Lecture from Cambridge University (2014), the Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association (2014) and the Manpei Suzuki Foundation International Prize for Diabetes (2014). In 2015, he was elected to the Royal Society and named an officer of the Order of Canada.
Benedikt FischerBenedikt Fischer, PhD (University of Toronto) is the inaugural (since 2018) Hugh Green Foundation Chair in Addiction Research, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand. He holds secondary academic appointments as Senior Scientist, Institute of Mental Health Policy Research (IMPHR), CAMH and Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and status faculty appointments at the Department of Psychiatry, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University. Previous to his current positions, Dr. Fischer held a CIHR/PHAC Applied Public Health Research Chair, subsequent to other (e.g., CIHR & MSFHR funded) investigator career awards, and directed the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health & Addictions (CARMHA), Faculty of Health Sciences Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (2008 - 2015). Dr. Fischer's international research activities are multi-disciplinary in orientation, focusing primarily on the socio-behavioral epidemiology and individual/population-level health outcomes of, and evidence-based (prevention and treatment) interventions for psychoactive substance use, including key co-morbidities (e.g., mental health, pain, infectious diseases), with a strong interest in marginalized/high-risk (e.g., street-involved, correctional, indigenous) populations. His scientific work is conducted within a population/public health framework, and strongly geared towards effective 'knowledge translation' and evidence-based interventions/policy implementation. His research portfolio includes more than 300 scientific publications, including The Lancet, American Journal of Public Health, CMAJ, as well as co-author of the internationally recognized books: ‘Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate’ (2010) and 'Drug Policy and the Public Good' (2nd edition, 2018). He is the lead author of the internationally established ‘Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines’ (LRCUG). In 2016/17 he acted as Senior Science Advisor to Health Canada’s Cannabis Legalization & Regulation Secretariat; previously, he held scientific advisory positions with CIHR (Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addictions) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (Science Advisory Board). Dr. Fischer is a sought-after scientific expert commentator on matters of substance use, health and policy in the media.
Dr Jeremy Grimshaw received a MBChB (MD equivalent) from the University of Edinburgh, UK. He trained as a family physician prior to undertaking a PhD in health services research at the University of Aberdeen. He moved to Canada in 2002. His research focuses on the evaluation of interventions to disseminate and implement evidence-based practice. Dr. Grimshaw is a Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Knowledge Transfer and Uptake. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal College of Edinburgh. He has been awarded the CIHR Knowledge Translation award twice and is the 2018 CIHR Barer-Flood career achievement award for Health Services and Policy Research. He has over 550 peer reviewed publications.
Mark Levine, MD
Mark Levine is Professor in the Department of Oncology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He holds the Buffett Taylor Chair in Breast Cancer Research at McMaster University. He is a medical oncologist with a special interest in breast cancer. He received his medical degree from McGill University and completed training in hematology and oncology at Duke University Medical Centre, returning to McMaster to pursue additional training in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University.
Over a 35-year career, Dr. Levine has been an active researcher in clinical trials and health services research in the areas of breast cancer and venous thromboembolism. A number of the trials he has conducted have been landmark studies influencing healthcare in both Canada and internationally. Through this work he helped establish the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG) and has held the position as Director since 1984. Dr. Levine also has over 310 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has brought significant research funding to McMaster University.
Dr. Levine has held numerous prominent professional positions throughout his career serving as Chairman of Health Canada’s Steering Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Care & Treatment of Breast Cancer, as well as Associate and Consultant Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He has recently been appointed Associate Editor for JAMA Network Open.
In addition, Dr. Levine has been the recipient of several prestigious accolades that include the O. Harold Warwick Prize from the National Cancer Institute of Canada and Order of Canada both acknowledging life-time accomplishments and contributions to the medical field as a clinical researcher.
Ronan A Lyons, FFPH (UK), FFPHM (RCPI), MD is Professor of Public Health and Director of the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research at Swansea University, Director of the Wales and Northern Ireland site of Health Data Research UK, and Adjunct Professor at Monash University, Australia.
He graduated in medicine from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, in 1983. After several years of hospital medicine, he completed public health specialist training prior to moving to Wales as a public health consultant and part-time ED clinician. In 1998, he entered academia, initially with the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff and in 2005 moved to the newly created Swansea University Medical School.
Prof Lyons has played a major role in the development of surveillance systems to measure the incidence, outcomes and burden of injuries in the UK, Europe and globally. In 2012 he was invited to chair the International Collaborative effort on Injury Statistics and Methods (US National Centre for Health Statistics) and has been instrumental in creating a global network to measure the individual, family and population burden of injuries.
Prof Lyons has led a series of major research studies and pioneered the development of privacy-protecting whole of population electronic cohorts in the UK, including the development of the Wales Electronic Cohort for Children (1M children) and the creation of a unique, award-winning, household/individual data linkage system for the evaluation of the impact of non-healthcare interventions on health. His research interests are quite wide-ranging and include the influences of wider health determinants on health and wellbeing through the life-course, the role of the build environment on health, and the evaluation of natural experiments. He leads the analysis platform for the MRC Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) initiative, providing global remote access to more than 30 cohorts.
In 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.
Carol Prives is the DaCosta Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. She was educated in Canada, receiving her BSc and PhD from McGill University. Her postdoctoral training took place at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Weizmann Institute, after which she became a faculty member at the Weizmann Institute. She then joined the Biological Sciences Department at Columbia University where she was named the DaCosta Professor of Biology in 1995. Dr Prives served as Chair of that department between 2000 and 2004.
Since the late 1980’s her work has focused on the p53 tumor suppressor protein, the product of the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers. She and her group have elucidated aspects of the structure and function of the p53 protein especially as it relates to its roles as a transcriptional activator. In parallel, her group has examined how cancer related mutant forms of p53 regulate tumorigenesis. Work from her laboratory has also illuminated the functions of the key p53 negative regulators, Mdm2 and MdmX.
Dr Prives has served as Chair of both the Experimental Virology and the Cell and Molecular Pathology Study Sections of the NIH and was a member of the NCI Intramural Scientific Advisory Board. She was also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Massachusetts General Cancer Center as well as the American Association for Cancer Research. She is currently a member of the Scientific Council of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and is Co-Chair of the Scientific Academic Advisory Council of the Weizmann Institute of Science . She also serves on the Editorial Boards of Cell, Genes & Development, Cancer Discovery and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr Prives has received several honors including being named an American Cancer Society Research Professor, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the AACR Academy. She has presented numerous named lectures and has received awards including the NCI Rosalind E Franklin Award for Women in Science, the Paul Jansen Prize in Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship Award and the Ernst W Bertner Award from MD Anderson. Dr Prives has also received an honorary doctorate from McGill University, her alma mater.
Dr. Arthur Slutsky is Professor of Medicine, Surgery and Biomedical Engineering (University of Toronto) and recently stepped down as Vice President (Research) St. Michael’s Hospital. His research has been highly translational, focusing on basic discoveries including: (1) importance of atelectrauma (injury caused opening-closing of lung units), (2) discovery of biotrauma (pulmonary mediators released during mechanical ventilation can lead to distal organ dysfunction), and (3) ventilator-induced pulmonary fibrosis. These findings were followed by clinical research and multi-centered RCTs addressing lung protection in patients with ARDS, as well as demonstrating that protective lung strategies can increase the number of donor lungs available for transplantation. His work has also impacted how patients with normal lungs are ventilated in the ICU and operating room.
Dr. Slutsky has published >500 original papers, 70 books/chapters, and many randomized controlled trials which have changed clinical guidelines and practice. He has a (Google Scholar) H-index of 118, and his work has received >70,000 citations. He has won numerous awards including:
• Election to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2007)
• ATS Critical Care Lifetime Achievement Award (2012),
• Dame Margaret-Turner Warwick Respiratory Lecturer Award of the U.K. National Heart and Lung Institute (2014),
• Honorary Member of European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (2014),
• Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Health Researcher of the Year (2014),
• Election to the Royal Society of Canada (2015),
• Member of the Order of Canada (2018).
As Vice-President (Research) from 2000-2018 at St. Michael’s hospital he led the exponential growth in basic science and translational medicine (funding from the CIHR was less than $1 Million in 2000, and the past year it was over $17 Million), and the development of the Keenan Research Center and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.
Valerie Beral, DBE, AC, FRS
Dr. Beral is Professor of Epidemiology, University of Oxford. She studied medicine at Sydney University, Australia. After a few years of clinical work in Australia, New Guinea, and the UK, she spent almost 20 years a the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine working in the Department of Epidemiology. In 1988 she became the Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit in Oxford. Major focuses of her research include the role of reproductive , hormonal and infectious agents in cancer. She is Principal Investigator for the Million Women Study and leads the international collaborations on breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.
Dr. Frenette is Director and Chair of the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. His research interests have focused on the stem cell microenvironment in normal hematopoiesis and cancer. His laboratory has uncovered the critical role of the sympathetic nervous system in the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell egress from their niches, and elucidated circadian rhythmicity in stem cell release. His research group has identified Nestin+ mesenchymal stem cell as the target cell for neural signals and a novel HSC niche candidate in the bone marrow. Recent work from his laboratory has uncovered distinct functions of the two branches of the autonomic nervous system in regulating prostate cancer progression. Dr. Frenette received a medical degree from Université Laval in Quebec City followed residency training at McGill University in Montreal, and completed a clinical fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at Tufts’ New England Medical Center in Boston. He trained as postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Drs. Denisa Wagner (Harvard Medical School) and Richard Hynes (MIT) and then was on the faculty at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York from 1998-2010. Dr. Frenette is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2004) and the Association of American Physicians (2010). He has served on the editorial boards of Blood, JCI, Stem Cell Reports, the Medical Advisory Board of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, as chair of a scientific committee of the American Society of Hematology, and on multiple other panels at the NIH. He was recently elected Vice-President of the International Society of Experimental Hematology (ISEH) and will become president of ISEH in 2015.
Thomas J. Hudson, MD
Dr. Thomas J. Hudson is President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, a new Institute with a focus on translational research in prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Dr. Hudson is a thought leader in making personalized medicine a reality. He is internationally renowned for his work in genomics and human genome variation and was instrumental in the creation of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. He was a founding member of the International Haplotype Map Consortium and the Public Population Project in Genomics. Dr. Hudson is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and editor-in-chief of the journal Human Genetics. Dr. Hudson has co-authored over 250 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
David Naylor is President Emeritus and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He served as President from 2005 to 2013 and Dean of Medicine from 1999 to 2005. Earlier, Naylor was founding Director of Clinical Epidemiology (1990-96) at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, and founding Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (1991-98). Naylor is the co-author of approximately 300 scholarly publications, spanning social history, public policy, epidemiology and biostatistics, and health economics, as well as clinical and health services research in most fields of medicine. Naylor was involved in the initiation and early governance of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and led Canada’s National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health in 2003. More recently, he was a member in 2009-10 of the Global Commission on the Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century; and in 2010-11, was an expert panelist on the Review of R&D Spending in Canada. Among other honours, Naylor is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a Foreign Associate Fellow of the US Institute of Medicine, and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Dame Linda Partridge
Professor Dame Linda Partridge works on the biology of ageing. Her research is directed to understanding both how the rate of ageing evolves in nature and the mechanisms by which healthy lifespan can be extended in laboratory model organisms. Her work has focussed in particular on the role of nutrient-sensing pathways, such as the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling pathway, and on dietary restriction. Her current work is directed to developing pharmacological treatments that ameliorate the human ageing process to produce a broad-spectrum improvement in health during ageing. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including giving the Royal Society Croonian Lecture in 2009 and a DBE for services to Science. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the Director of the UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing, as well as founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne.
Michael Simons, MD
An RW Berliner Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology at Yale where he serves as a Director of Yale Cardiovascular Research Center and a Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS ‘80) and Yale University School of Medicine (MD ’84). He completed his clinical training in internal medicine at the New England Medical Center and cardiology training at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. During his training in molecular cardiology at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda and postdoctoral training in vascular biology at MIT he acquired expertise in endothelial and smooth cell biology and angiogenic growth factor signaling. Dr Simons’ research focuses on biology of arterial vasculature and spans basic, translational and clinical areas of investigations.His studies included the first report of antisense modulation of geneexpression in vivo, the discovery aselective regulatory pathway controlling arterial and lymphatic specification and fate determination as well as elucidation of key role of FGF signaling in the maintenance of vascular integrity. He led the first clinical trials of therapeutic angiogenesis in the USA and the world and his basic research discoveries provided a soundtheoretical foundation for the design of effective clinical trials of therapeutic arteriogenesis.
Professor Simons has been elected to a number of honorary societies including Association of American Physicians, American Society of Clinical Investigations and Association of University Cardiologists. He is also a Fellow of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Physiology. Other honors include Alfred A. Richman Research Award of the American College of Chest Physicians; Clinician-Scientist and Established Investigator Awards of The American Heart Association; AHA NorthEast Research Award; Honorary Citations and Awards from Japanese Circulation Society, India Cardiovascular Society and an Honorary Fellowship from University College London among others.
Sir Patrick Sissons
Graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, then undertook his postgraduate clinical and research training at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London, and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California where he acquired an interest in the pathogenesis of persistent virus infections. From 1988 he was Professor of Medicine in the University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Consultant in Infectious Disease in Cambridge University Hospitals. From 2005 until 2012 he was Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine in Cambridge, and (from 2009) Director of Cambridge University Health Partners, one of five designated Academic Health Science Centres in the UK. His research has focussed on the biology and pathogenesis of human cytomegalovirus infection. He has served on numerous national grants committees and advisory bodies, and from 2010 became Clinical Vice President of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. He is a past member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Canada Gairdner Foundation, a Board member of the National Medical Research Council of Singapore, and Chair of the Health Sciences panel for the Hong Kong 2014 Universities Research Assessment Exercise.
Sir Simon Wessely MA BM BCh MSc MD FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci FKC
Simon Wessely is Professor and Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine and Vice Dean for Academic Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), King’s College London. He is best known for his work on unexplained symptoms, syndromes and military health. He founded the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, a unique collaboration between the IoP and the KCL Department of War Studies, founded in 2003. Its flagship project, a large-scale ongoing study of the health and wellbeing of the UK Armed Forces, has had a direct impact on public policy and on forms of treatment and help for Service personnel.
Born and educated in Sheffield, he studied medical sciences and history of art at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and then finished his medical training at University College Oxford, graduating in 1981. He obtained his medical membership in Newcastle, before moving to London to train in psychiatry, where he also obtained a Master’s and Doctorate in epidemiology. Professor Wessely has been a consultant liaison psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital since 1991. He became Director of the Chronic Fatigue Research Unit at King’s in 1994 and of the Gulf War Illness Research Unit in 1996. He is Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry to the British Army, a member of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council, and a Foundation Senior Investigator of the National Institute for Health Research. Professor Wessely has over 650 original publications, with a particular emphasis on the boundaries of medicine and psychiatry, unexplained symptoms and syndromes, military health, population reactions to adversity, epidemiology, history and other fields. He has co authored a text book on chronic fatigue syndrome, a history of military psychiatry and a book on randomised controlled trials, although none are best sellers. He is active in public engagement activities, speaking regularly on radio, TV and at literary and science festivals. He is a trustee of Combat Stress, and his contributions to veterans’ charities include cycling (slowly) six times to Paris to raise funds for the Royal British Legion. In 2012 he was awarded the first Nature “John Maddox Prize” for Standing Up for Science, and was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.
Jeff Wrana, PhD, FRSC
Received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto and after completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering returned to Toronto where he is now a Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tannenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital and Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. His research interests lie in understanding cell fate choice in development and cancer with a focus on morphogen signalling networks. His work uncovered the TGFb-Smad signalling pathway. He currently is director of the SMART High Throughput Biology Center and his research interests encompass the generation and analysis of large diverse biological datasets to define molecular networks of importance in cell fate determination and cancer. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Gertrude Elion prize from the American Association of Cancer Research, the Paul Marks prize from Memorial Sloan Kettering (NY) and he is an Ontario Premier Summit award winner.