Governance

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 
Dennis Kunimoto Acting Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A (Chair)
Steve Dew
(Randy Goebel, Designate)
Provost & Vice-President Academic, U of A
Matthias Ruth Vice-President, Research, U of A
Susan Gilmour Chair, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
Radha Chari Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
Christopher Power   Vice Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, U of A
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 Research, Innovation and Analytics, AHS (Vice-Chair)
Christine Westerlund Senior Operating Officer, Stollery Children's Hospital, AHS
Judith Hockney
(Selikke Janes-Kelley, Designate)
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
Andrew Otway   President/CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Melanie Nakatsui  Board of Directors representative, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Ex -officio (non-voting members)
Sandra Davidge Institute Executive Director
Lawrence Richer Institute Associate Director
updated May 2019

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 which 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
David Eisenstat Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Lisa Hornberger Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Gary Lopaschuk  Associate Chair, Research, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Andrew Mackie Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Jacqueline Pei Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education
Lawrence Richer  Associate Director, WCHRI
WCHRI theme lead for children’s health and well-being
Sue Ross  Cavarzan Chair in Women's Health Research
WCHRI theme lead for lifelong women’s health
Shannon Scott Professor, Faculty of Nursing
Lonnie Zwaigenbaum Professor, Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
updated May 2018

Trainee Advisory Committee

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 educational activities, grant processes and program development. The TAC reports to the Program Advisory Committee and is responsible for:

  • representing in-training member interests in WCHRI.
  • providing feedback and suggestions to improve WCHRI programs and trainee engagement.
  • developing career and skill building workshops via the WCHRI Lunch and Learn program.
  • advising on Research Day workshops, topics, and format.
  • other topics as determined by the working group and approved by the Program Advisory Committee.
Trainee Advisory Committee Members
Member Supervisor Position Area Department/Faculty
Maryam Kebbe (chair)   Geoff Ball PhD candidate Child Pediatrics
Shima Afhami (secretary) Andrea Haqq Masters student Child Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
Esha Ganguly (delegate secretary) Sandra Davidge PhD candidate Both Obstetrics and Gynecology
Megan Beggs Todd Alexander PhD candidate Child Physiology
Khushmol Dhaliwal Lonnie Zwaigenbaum and Andrea Haqq Masters student Child Pediatrics
Andrea Eaton Geoff Ball Masters student Both Pediatrics
Nitya Khetarpal Sue Ross Undergraduate student Women Obstetrics and Gynecology
Christina Le Jackie Whittaker   PhD candidate Child Physical Therapy
Fatheema Subhan Cathy Chan Postdoctoral Fellow Both Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
Sukhpreet Tamana Piush Mandhane Postdoctoral Fellow Child Pediatrics
Jacqueline Pei   WCHRI Program Advisory Committee    
Lorin Charlton   WCHRI    
updated April 2019