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Following an international search that attracted a very strong field of candidates, it gives me great pleasure to let everyone at UHN know that Dr. Bradly Wouters will become the next Executive Vice President, Science and Research on October 1, 2016. Given the extraordinary international interest in this role, it is very satisfying to promote from within UHN.
In his new role, Brad joins UHN's Executive Team and provides the executive connection to the Research Committee of UHN's Board which, together with UHN's Executive Team, works to drive UHN's research agenda forward. This work creates the internal conditions necessary for the continued success of UHN as a Canada's foremost research hospital and gives us the ability to be a strong research partner with Provincial and Federal governments and private industry.
Brad is known throughout UHN, having served as interim Director of Research at Princess Margaret since 2014. He joined UHN as a Senior Scientist in 2008 from Europe where he was Professor and Director of the Radiation Oncology Research Department at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He has held a leadership role in the European Society of Radiation Oncology for the past 8 years.
It was critical to the Search Committee that the successful candidate has a strong record of scientific publications and ongoing success with grant funding to support his work. Brad's career is exemplary in both regards. In addition, he continues to serve on the editorial boards of numerous international scientific journals.
Brad has received a number of awards during his career including the University of Toronto's Excellence in Research Leadership Award, the ESTRO Klaas Breur Gold Medal Award, the Michael Fry Research Award from the Radiation Research Society, the Premier's Research Excellence Award from the Province of Ontario and the Polyani Prize in Medicine from the Government of Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of British Columbia and was a Post-doctoral fellow in Radiation Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine. His current research is focused on understanding the influence of hypoxia and the tumor microenvironment on cell signalling and phenotypic heterogeneity that drive poor patient prognosis in pancreatic, breast, brain, and head and neck cancers. His laboratory is investigating several approaches to translate this knowledge to develop effective, personalized approaches to treatment.
Brad's commitment to the integration of research within the clinical environment, his desire to further develop and strengthen the culture of research at UHN and his understanding that everyone at UHN can contribute to the critical role UHN has as Canada's leading research hospital were important factors in the committee's decision to have Brad take this role.
Dr. Chris Paige has played an extraordinary role in evolving UHN's research presence over the past 18 years. I will continue to rely on Chris of advice and perspective and Chris has kindly offered to facilitate a very smooth transition and coordinated handoff.
Please join myself and the UHN Board of Trustees in congratulating Brad on his appointment. His knowledge of our research culture and the strengths of his fellow scientists will make this a smooth transition for UHN.