Recipients of the 2017 President’s Impact Awards and Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award

Lisa Austin

Faculty of Law

Lisa Austin is a professor of law and the Chair in Law and Technology. She is cross-appointed to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  She is a Connaught Scholar and co-founder of the Information Technology, Transparency, and Transformation (IT3) Lab, which seeks multidisciplinary solutions to problems involving privacy and transparency.

Professor Austin is Canada’s leading academic on privacy law and she has a strong international reputation for her work in the field, which focuses on the limits of existing privacy law frameworks and theoretical models to deal with the informational challenges of the 21st century.  Her work has had a broad impact on the development of law and policy within Canada. Several core ideas in Professor Austin’s academic scholarship have had a major impact on prevailing legal views within Canada. These include arguments justifying a privacy interest in public spaces and in relation to public records; critiquing the role of consent in private sector privacy models; understanding the privacy interests in communications metadata; and outlining the constitutional dimensions to privacy interests in cross-border data flows—issues that have broad implications for the privacy of all Canadians and their personal information. Her work has been cited by many Canadian courts, including multiple times by the Supreme Court of Canada, and has had a major impact on prevailing legal views, influencing legislators and regulators. She was invited to co-write the Canadian Judicial Council’s policy on access to court records. This policy has influenced how courts manage access to their records and has been cited by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Federal Court in a case dealing with the privacy interests raised by search engines indexing court records. Prof. Austin shares her work widely with the community, and in turn gains a stronger understanding of the needs of the community and the problems they face.

Zubin Austin

Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy

Zubin Austin is a professor and Koffler Research Chair at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.  He is an award winning educator, having received the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada Education Excellence Award, the province of Ontario’s leadership in Faculty Teaching Award, and has been named a 2016 Canadian Academic leader by pharmacy Business Magazine.

Professor Austin is an international leader in the area of bridging education for internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs).  The central focus of Professor Austin’s work has been to support better integration of IEHPs into the workforces of Canada and other countries at a time of skills shortages in many parts of the world.  His work has been recognized as a “best practice model” by the Conference Board of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (Government of Canada). In 2014, he was commissioned by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK (the largest regulatory body for health professionals in the world) to produce a report titled “Preventing small problems from becoming big problems in health and care.” His research has also been translated across disciplinary boundaries in work with national and provincial regulators in such fields as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, midwifery, nursing, and dietetics. He recently completed a report commissioned by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (CPO) focused on competency assessment that has been used nationally and internationally across diverse health and non-health professions. Thousands of IEHPs across more than a dozen health professions have completed educational programs and online modules that have been developed through Professor Austin’s research program, and these IEHPs in turn have provided care to tens of thousands of patients across Canada and around the world.

Ron Deibert

Faculty of Arts & Science

Ron Deibert is a professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, which undertakes interdisciplinary research intersecting global security, information and communication technology, and human rights.  He is a recipient of the Order of Ontario and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communication rights, openness, and security worldwide.”

For over 15 years, Citizen Lab has researched and documented information controls that impact the openness and security of the Internet and threaten human rights, and is unrivalled in its international reputation. Professor Deibert’s research has uncovered state surveillance and censorship threats around the world and has exposed corporations that have provided repressive regimes with technologies that allow them to conduct surveillance on citizens and censor its media. The impact of Professor Deibert’s research beyond academia can be seen in the extensive media coverage Citizen Lab receives, as well as the awards and honours he and Citizen Lab have garnered. The impact of Professor Deibert’s research has also played a key role in the development of technology that protects citizens’ rights to Internet freedom and privacy, including software that allows users to bypass Internet censorship and an online tool that helps users formally request access to personal information being stored by their service provider. He has made it a priority to ensure that his findings are communicated beyond academia. He authored the book Black Code: Privacy, Surveillance, and the Dark Side of the Internet (2013), which was adapted into a feature-length documentary film (“Black Code”) premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and playing at film festivals worldwide.

Kathleen Gallagher

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Kathleen Gallagher is a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. Professor Gallagher completed two terms as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC), won a Tier 1 CRC at a competitor university and, remaining at U of T, earned the title Distinguished Professor in 2015. She helped found U of T’s Centre for Urban Schooling.

A leading scholar of social inequality, youth, and schooling, Professor Gallagher has committed herself over the past two decades to research with and for the benefit of young people in marginalized communities—including low-income, poverty-stricken and homeless populations, refugee communities, and communities in which girls and women have been historically discriminated against. Through her pioneering research in drama education and schooling, which engages with questions around the arts, pedagogy, classroom relations, and wider social contexts, she has profoundly changed the lens through which young people are thought about and valued in societies.  As a result of sustained and creative efforts to mobilize research findings beyond academia – via, for example, community-based research and outreach, public workshops, policy briefs, high-level networking, influential partnerships and collaborations with artists – Professor Gallagher’s timely work has been taken up across professional, practitioner, governmental and non-governmental organizations and civil society communities, both in Canada and around the world. In particular, her expertise on youth, gender and schooling is regularly seized upon by national and international media outlets, educational associations, schools and institutions, legislative and policy organizations, and think tanks, as these bodies look to build effective strategies for improving the lives of disenfranchised youth. As such, her work has responded to issues affecting some of the most marginalized communities across the globe and here at home, impacting girls in India, girls/women and LGBTQ communities in Taiwan, refugees in Greece, together with socio-economically disadvantaged, homeless, and educationally struggling young people in the GTA and in other low-income regions across Ontario. Perhaps most importantly, Professor Gallagher has forged collaborative and enduring links between university research and community-based organizations, artists, and local, national and international non-profits, government agencies, and think tanks.

Andreas Laupacis

Faculty of Medicine; St. Michael’s Hospital

Prof. Laupacis is also the recipient of the 2017 Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award


Andreas Laupacis is a professor in the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.  He is also a general internist and the Executive Director of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital.  Dr. Laupacis is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and, among other awards, was the inaugural recipient of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Barer-Flood Prize in Health Services and Policy Research.

Dr. Laupacis is an internationally recognized health services researcher who has made a fundamental impact in a number of areas including clinical, health services, health economics, and health policy research.  His impact is demonstrated in a numbers of firsts: he introduced the concept of “number needed to treat”; he introduced research that prevented strokes worldwide; he was one of the first physicians in Canada to advocate for cost-effectiveness studies in health care decision-making and has thereby changed the way governments integrate science into policymaking; and he advocated for the inclusion of patients’ voices.  As a general internist and palliative care physician, Dr. Laupacis’ research and health policy work has always been grounded in an understanding of the needs of patients. As such, he was one of the first to articulate the need for greater involvement of patients in research and health policy making, which is now increasingly common. In academic and non-academic settings, Dr. Laupacis has advocated for the use of research evidence in crafting health care policy, and for greater patient and public involvement in the setting of research and health policy priorities. Most recently, he has elevated the level of public discourse about health policy in Canada with two widely read websites that are used by those working within the health care system, in medical education, and by students, journalists, and the general public ( and

Paul Santerre

Faculty of Dentistry

Paul Santerre is a professor of Dentistry with a cross-appointment at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME). Professor Santerre’s research and innovation activities have been recognized by numerous awards, including the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation in Partnerships of Small and Medium Sized Companies, the Governor General’s Award for Innovation, and the Ernest C. Manning Principal Award for Entrepreneurship.

Professor Santerre is sought after internationally for his expertise in polymeric biomaterial design and biostability of implant materials. This work has led to the development of novel technologies that established startup Interface Biologics (IBI), and more recently, Polumiros Inc. His entrepreneurial activities beyond academia are guided by the urgent need to translate scientific discoveries and innovations into tangible health care benefits, and have culminated in 60 awarded patents to date with 38 patents in progress. Professor Santerre’s inventions cover a very broad range in the area of regenerative biomaterials, including cardiovascular and musculoskeletal applications, as well as novel dental materials and tissue fillers for women undergoing lumpectomies after cancer surgery. Another key example of the impact of these inventions is Interface Biologics’s clot reduction technology, which is now pivotal to the successful use of catheter products in the medical field. This innovation has gone on to transform the lives of many tens of thousands of people around the world who depend on blood catheter technologies.  Professor Santerre’s innovative research is impacting life-science jobs, healthcare and quality of life, commercial innovation, and experiential learning.

Zindel Segal

University of Toronto Scarborough

Zindel Segal is Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders and a Senior Scientist in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Douglas Utting Research Prize and the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario’s Hope Award.

Professor Segal is the creator and developer of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a novel treatment that prevents relapse in clinical depression. His work is already having an important impact on the treatment of mental health in North American and the U.K., and will soon be extended globally through the training of mindfulness-based therapists and the launch of online MBCT treatment programs. Professor Zindel’s relatively low-cost therapeutic technique has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant medication for preventing relapse of depression, without the serious side effects. MBCT can be delivered in person or online by trained therapists, reducing burdens on national health care systems in multiple ways, and the treatment is couched in the language of mindfulness and resilience which has been found to be significantly less stigmatizing than the languages of psychotherapy or psychopathology, promoting uptake in treatment. Globally, national health systems have adopted MBCT because it is both effective, and with its group structure, often significantly cheaper than the alternatives. MBCT is recommended in a number of national (USA, Canadian, UK) Depression Treatment Guidelines as a first line intervention for preventing depression relapse. Prof. Zindel’s work has reached the general public in impressive numbers. His 10 books, including The Mindful Way Through Depression and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, have sold over 350,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into 15 languages.

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