Meet the Executive Team

Professor Christine Allen

Christine AllenAssociate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives

As Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives (AVPVP SI), Professor Christine Allen serves as lead for the identification, assessment, prioritization and support of strategic, cross-divisional, excellence-driven, institutional initiatives. She works with the Vice-Presidential, Provostial portfolios and academic divisions to identify these initiatives and to co-ordinate on resources from external agencies and organizations. She also works with the Centre for Research and Innovation Support on training and leadership development.

Professor Allen is the GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. She holds a PhD in chemistry. Her research focuses on the design of innovative materials and drug delivery technologies. She is the co-founder and served as President of Nanovista Inc., a company focused on high-precision, image-guided cancer therapy. Professor Allen has also served as the Chief Scientific Officer at Avicanna Inc., a leading biopharmaceuticals company working with cannabinoids. She is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Controlled Release, the President-Elect of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, and an appointed member of NSERC’s Governing Council and Executive Committee.
She has served in several senior academic leadership roles, including Associate Dean, Academic at the Faculty of Pharmacy from 2011 to 2012, Associate Dean, Graduate Education from 2013 to 2015, and most recently Interim Dean from 2018-19.

Renée Brost

Renée BrostChief Administrative Officer

Renée Brost provides leadership, strategic direction and sound management to operations and business administration within the Research and Innovation portfolio, ensuring that plans, benchmarks, and policies are in place to support the mission of the Division. She oversees the DVPRI Budget & Operations team, the Systems & Tools team, and the Education & Outreach initiative. The CAO is responsible for leading the VPRI’s annual budget process and provides strategic advice to the Vice-President, the Executive Team and senior staff on a wide range of initiatives to optimize the Division’s capacity to perform its service mandate for the University. Previously Ms. Brost contributed to the U of T community as Manager, Finance and Administration at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and a Research Manager at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research. Prior to joining U of T she held various technical research and laboratory operations roles in industry, government and academia.

Judith Chadwick, BA, MEd

Judith ChadwickAssistant Vice-President, Research Services

A nationally recognized leader in post-secondary research funding and administration, Judith Chadwick oversees U of T’s Research Services team and serves as Chief Administrative Officer for the Division of the Vice-President Research and Innovation. Under her leadership, U of T has attracted more than $1 billion in research investment from the Government of Canada and Province of Ontario through such programs as the Canada Research Chairs and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Ms Chadwick is also Program Director for U of T’s Connaught Fund, which invests more than $3 million annually in emerging and established scholars. She has served in leadership positions on a number of local, provincial and federal level committees and working groups. A U of T employee for more than 30 years, Ms Chadwick sits on the Research Advisory Board and has participated in the university’s Mentoring Program for many years. She holds a M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and a B.A. in Political Science and English from U of T.

Professor Lorraine Ferris

Lori FerrisAssociate Vice-President, Research Oversight and Compliance

Professor Ferris provides academic leadership in the areas of research oversight and compliance and oversees the Research Oversight and Compliance Office (ROCO). ROCO includes human and animal research ethics, environmental health and safety, and research financial reporting and audit. The role of ROCO is to ensure that the University adheres to all research-related ethical, legal and financial reporting requirements so that the University’s world class researchers and trainees can conduct their work in an ethical, safe and responsible environment.

In addition to ROCO’s oversight role, Professor Ferris also coordinates the University’s internal processes pertaining to allegations of research misconduct and she works closely with the academic divisions to increase awareness of the importance of research integrity and the responsible conduct of research. Professor Ferris is the University’s delegated authority for the review and management of significant conflict of interest declarations for NIH-funded research.

Professor Ferris is a tenured Full Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. She holds a PhD in psychology and two LL.M degrees (Alternative Dispute Resolution and Administrative Law). Her research interests include public health, medico-legal policy, women’s health and health services research. She has served as President for the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), serves as the Chair of the WAME Ethics and Policy Committee, and is on the editorial boards of Medicine and Law, Research Integrity and Peer Review and International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Prior to joining the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Professor Ferris served as the Associate Vice-Provost, Health Sciences Policy and Strategy and as a Special Advisor to the Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

Helen Lasthiotakis, PhD

Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships & Director, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation

As Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships and Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation, Helen Lasthiotakis has a leadership role in the oversight of strategic partnerships with external funding and advocacy organizations, coordination of activities with academic divisions and other central portfolios, provide oversight for strategic initiatives, awards and honours, global research partnerships, research information and analysis, preparation of major reports, and the management of the Office. She is a member of the Research Advisory Board.

Dr. Lasthiotakis has held previous senior roles at U of T, including Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of the Dean in the Faculty of Arts & Science; Director, Academic Programs & Policy in the Office of the Vice-President and Provost; Science Coordinator for the Canada Ocean Drilling; and Program Manager for the Nortel Institute for Telecommunications in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. She also supported the University’s inaugural Senior Advisor to the President on Science Engagement. She holds two degrees in Geology, and a PhD from the University of Toronto in Leadership, Higher & Adult Education and has published in peer-reviewed journals.

Derek Newton, PhD

Derek NewtonAssistant Vice-President, Innovation, Partnerships and Entrepreneurship

Derek Newton is the Assistant Vice-President, Innovation, Partnerships and Entrepreneurship at the Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) which helps build successful partnerships between industry and the U of T research community and also manages the university’s portfolio of intellectual property.  Derek has held previous senior roles at Western University, where he served as Director (A) of the Office of Research Development and Services and the Office of Research Ethics. He has also worked at a large biotechnology funding organization and a boutique consultancy specializing in biotechnology. He holds two degrees in biochemistry and a PhD from U of T in biomedical research and is multi-published in peer-reviewed journals. His combination of academic and professional experience has helped him build strong relationships with researchers and the private sector.

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