The Oversight Board is made up of representatives from the U of A, AHS, SCHF and AWHF. The board ensures that WCHRI meets the highest standard of good governance, including accountability and transparency and delivers quality, innovative research. The board provides strategic direction and is responsible for making sure that legal and regulatory requirements are met, approving the annual budget and monitoring WCHRI’s overall performance.

Oversight Board members

Brenda HemmelgarnDean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A (Chair)
Verna Yiu
(Brenda Hemmelgarn, Designate)
Provost & Vice-President Academic, U of A
Aminah Robinson Fayek
(Jason Acker, Designate)
Vice President, Research & Innovation, U of A
Todd AlexanderChair, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
Jane SchulzChair, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
Lawrence RicherVice Dean, Research (Clinical), Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
Tammy HopperDean, Rehabilitation Medicine
Hanne OstergaardDirector, Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta
Mircea Fagarasanu
(Marc Leduc, Designate)
Vice President, Provincial Clinical Excellence, AHS
Christine WesterlundSenior Operating Officer, Stollery Children’s Hospital, AHS
Janie ClinkSenior Operating Officer, Royal Alexandra Hospital, AHS
Karen FaulknerInterim President & CEO, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation
Delphine BrookerBoard of Trustees representative, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation
Sharlene RutherfordPresident & CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Dianne BalonBoard of Directors representative, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Ex -officio (non-voting members)
Sandra DavidgeInstitute Executive Director
Lonnie ZwaigenbaumInstitute Associate Director
Tom StelfoxDeputy Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
Updated April 2024

The Scientific Advisory Committee is made up of internationally renowned research leaders. The committee provides an external viewpoint and advises WCHRI on a number of topics relevant to institute structure and strategy—research themes, operations, mentorship, leadership, evaluation, etc. The committee also offers WCHRI a mechanism to build national and international collaborations with other like-minded institutes and networks.

Scientific Advisory Committee members

Stephanie A. Atkinson, PhD, DSc (honoris causa), FCAHS, FASN

  • Professor, Department of Pediatrics
  • Associate Member, Department Biochemistry & Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
  • Special Professional Staff, McMaster Children’s Hospital

Annette Majnemer, OT, PhD, FCAHS

  • Vice Dean, Education, Faculty of Medicine
  • Professor, School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, McGill University
  • Director, CHILD-BRIGHT Network

Patrick McGrath, OC, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS

  • Professor, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University
  • Former Vice President Research, Innovation and Knowledge Translation for the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia Health Authority

Charles Nelson, PhD

  • Director of Research, Developmental Medicine Center, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research, Boston Children’s Hospital

Paula Rochon, MD, MPH, FCAHS

  • VP Research, Women’s College Hospital (WCH)
  • Professor, Department of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, University of Toronto
  • RTO/ERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine

The Program Advisory Committee is made up of U of A cross-faculty representatives. The committee represents member interests and advises WCHRI’s executive director on programs and operations, which includes:

  • providing guidance on the development, prioritization and alignment of WCHRI programs and services;
  • assisting in the determination of performance indicators and reviewing actual performance against those indicators;
  • assisting in the dissemination of key WCHRI outcomes and results; and,
  • providing guidance on operational and business issues, especially issues that would compromise the success of WCHRI.

Theme leads are appointed within the Program Advisory Committee by the executive director. Their role is to provide more focused attention towards:

  • developing a community of member researchers within each theme area;
  • identifying opportunities to better support theme areas through existing programs and operations; and,
  • assisting with ongoing strategic planning by developing goals and objectives that will support theme area development.

Program Advisory Committee members

Amit BhavsarAssociate Professor, Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Stephane BourqueAssociate Professor, Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Sandra DavidgeExecutive Director, WCHRI
Matt HicksAssociate Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Cheng Han LeeSawin-Baldwin Chair in Ovarian Cancer, Associate Professor, Lab Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Piush MandhaneProfessor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Stephanie MontesantiAssociate Professor, School of Public Health
Colleen NorrisCavarzan Chair in Mature Women’s Health, Professor, Faculty of Nursing
Lesley PritchardAssistant Professor, Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Yifeng WeiAssistant Professor, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Lonnie ZwaigenbaumAssociate Director, WCHRI
Updated May 2024

The WCHRI Trainee Advisory Committee is composed of in-training members representing the following areas:

  • member faculties/departments;
  • research theme (child, maternal, women);
  • levels/types of training (graduate, postdoctoral, residency).

The Trainee Advisory Committee is aimed at engaging in-training members in WCHRI programs and activities. The Trainee Advisory Committee reports to the Program Advisory Committee and is responsible for the following areas:

  • representing in-training member interests in WCHRI;
  • providing feedback and suggestions to improve WCHRI programs and trainee engagement;
  • providing career, mentorship and skill-building opportunities and resources;
  • advising on WCHRI Research Day workshops, topics and format;
  • other topics as determined by the committee and approved by Program Advisory Committee.

Trainee Advisory Committee members

MemberSupervisorPositionWCHRI ThemeDepartment/Faculty
Akingbade, Oluwadamilare (Dammy)


Manal Kleib


Postdoctoral fellow




Alawiye, TaiyeDenise SpitzerMasters studentChildren & AdolescentsSchool of Public Health
Chan, KazettePeter KannuMasters studentChildMedical Genetics
Cornelson, Shannon  Undergraduate studentWomenNative Studies
Frerichs, HaleySophia PinMedical studentWomenObstetrics & Gynecology
Joly, Vannesa Jacqueline PeiPhD studentChildEducation Psychology
Khodabocus, Ibrahim Stephane Bourque PhD StudentChildPediatrics
Mcweeny, Robert Yifeng WeiPhDChildPsychiatry
Mohammadabadi, Aida


Maryam Sharifzadeh-AminMasters StudentChildren & AdolescentsSchool of Dentistry
Munhoz, JaquelineCatherine FieldPhD studentWomenNutrition
Thompson, Alexa (chair)Carmen CharltonPhD candidatePregnancyLaboratory Medicine & Pathology
Tichenor, ErinTim BarlottMasters studentWomenRehabilitation Medicine
Tiernan, Keatton (delegate chair)Kate StoreyMasters studentChildSchool of Public Health
WCHRI Senior StaffTanya VothWCHRI  

Updated April 2024