The governance of WCHRI is defined in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Alberta Health Services (AHS), the governors of the University of Alberta (U of A), the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation (SCHF) and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation (RAHF). Although not formally in the MOU, the WCHRI Trainee Advisory Committee (started in 2018), reports to the Program Advisory Committee on important initiatives and strategies regarding our trainee members.

Oversight Board

The Oversight Board is made up of representatives from the U of A, AHS, SCHF and RAHF. 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 Hemmelgarn Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A (Chair)
Steven Dew Provost & Vice-President Academic, U of A

Walter Dixon
(Randy Goebel, Designate)

Vice-President, Research, U of A
Sarah Forgie Chair, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A

Jane Schulz

Interim Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation Chair in Women's Health Research
Lawrence Richer Vice Dean, Research (Clinical), FoMD (Senior representative)
Shanthi Johnson Dean, School of Public Health, U of A
Lorne Tyrrell Director, Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, U of A
Kathryn Todd Vice President, Provincial Clinical Excellence
Christine Westerlund Senior Operating Officer, Stollery Children's Hospital, AHS
Judith Hockney Senior Operating Officer, Royal Alexandra Hospital, AHS
Mike House   President & CEO, Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation
Jeff Bryson Board of Trustees representative, Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation
Sharlene Rutherford President & CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Dianne Balon Board of Directors representative, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Ex -officio (non-voting members)
Sandra Davidge Institute Executive Director
Todd Alexander Institute Associate Director
Katherine Sweet Director of Strategic Partnerships, Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation
updated September 2020

Scientific Advisory Committee

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

Daniel Benjamin, MD, PhD
Kiser-Arena Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University
Chair, Pediatric Trials Network
Associate Director, Duke Clinical Research Institute

Daniel Goldowitz, PhD
Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia
Senior Scientist, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia

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

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

Program Advisory Committee

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 (all UAlberta staff)
Todd Alexander Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Geoff Ball Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Rhonda Bell Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
WCHRI theme lead for pregnancy and developmental trajectories
Margie Davenport Associate Professor,  Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation
Sandra Davidge Executive Director, WCHRI
Greg Funk Professor, Physiology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry; Lead, WCHRI Shared Lab Space
Carla Hilario Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing
Lisa Hornberger Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Gary Lopaschuk  Associate Chair, Research, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Jacqueline Pei Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education
Lesley Pritchard Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Sue Ross  Cavarzan Chair in Women's Health Research
WCHRI theme lead for lifelong women’s health
Lonnie Zwaigenbaum Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
updated September 2020

Trainee Advisory Committee

You can email your Trainee Advisory Committee to if you have comments or suggestions for trainee activities or if you would like more information.

The WCHRI Trainee Advisory Committee (TAC) reflects our diversity within:

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

The TAC is aimed at engaging in-training members in WCHRI programs and activities. The TAC reports to the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) and shall be responsible for:

  • Representing in-training member interests in WCHRI.
  • Providing feedback and suggestions to improve WCHRI programs and trainee engagement.
  • Providing input on career and skill-building opportunities for in-training members.
  • Advising on WCHRI Research Day workshops, topics, and format.
  • Participating in WCHRI Research Day activities as co-judges, co-moderators, timers, etc.
  • Other topics as determined by the committee and approved by PAC.
Trainee Advisory Committee Members
Member Supervisor Position Theme Department/Faculty

Tara Azimi

Stephanie Montesanti PhD candidate Children, Women School of Public Health
Megan Beggs (on leave) Todd Alexander PhD candidate Children Physiology
Alyson Campbell Shannon Scott PhD candidate Children Nursing
Andrea Eaton
Geoff Ball Masters student Children, Pregnancy Pediatrics
Qutuba Karwi Gary Lopaschuk Postdoctoral fellow Children, Pregnancy Pediatrics
Nitya Khetarpal Sue Ross Undergraduate student Women Obstetrics and Gynecology

Victoria Meah (on leave)

Craig Steinbeck Postdoctoral fellow Pregnancy, Women Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation
Ehsan Misaghi Andrew Waskiewicz MD/PhD candidate Children, Pregnancy Science
Katie Mitran Stephanie Yanow PhD candidate Pregnancy School of Public Health
Nicholas Ruel (chair) James Hammond Masters student Children Pharmacology
Alexa Thompson (delegate chair) Carmen Charlton Masters student Pregnancy Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Jacqueline Pei   WCHRI Program Advisory Committee    
WCHRI Senior Staff   WCHRI    
updated December 2020