Recent Appointments

Chair, Family & Community Medicine

Professor David Tannenbaum as Interim Chair, effective April 1, 2020.  Dr. Tannenbaum is Associate Professor and Vice Chair (Partnerships) in the Department of Family & Community Medicine, and also Family Physician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital. He previously served as Interim Chair in 2017.

Professor Michael Kidd has been Chair of the department since 2017. He has accepted an appointment as Principal Medical Advisor to the Department of Health of the Government of Australia, and Professor of Primary Care Reform at The Australian National University. 


Director, Learner Experience

Professor Reena Pattani has been appointed Director, Learner Experience, effective May 1, 2020. She will lead approaches to optimize the learner experience, and will oversee pathways for MD and Post MD learners to report on mistreatment. Dr. Pattani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at U of T, and a Staff Physician and Clinician Teacher in the Division of General Internal Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital.


Chair, Paediatrics

Dr. Meredith Irwin has been named Chair of the Department of Paediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine effective April 1, 2020.  This is a joint appointment as Chief of Paediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children, approved by the Hospital’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Irwin is a paediatric oncologist and clinician-scientist, with cross-appointments in Medical Biophysics and Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology at U of T. She is Co-Director of the Neuroblastoma Program at SickKids and Head of the Solid Tumour Section of the Division of Haematology/Oncology, where she also serves as an attending physician. She is also a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology program in SickKids’ Research Institute.


Chair and Graduate Chair, Physiology

Professor Scott Heximer has been appointed Chair and Graduate Chair of the Department of Physiology, for a five- year term effective January 1, 2020. He has also been appointed as the Ernest B. and Leonard B. Smith Chair in Physiology.

Dr. Heximer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology and has served as Interim Chair since May 2019. He is also a principal investigator for the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, and holds a Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Physiology, Tier II. His research focuses on understanding the signaling pathways and phenotypic variation in cardiac fibroblasts.


Chair, Nutritional Sciences

Professor Deborah O'Connor has assumed the role of Chair in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, as of January 1, 2020. Prof. O’Connor has also been appointed as the Earle W. McHenry Chair in Nutritional Sciences. She had served as Interim Chair in the department since July 2018.

Prof. O'Connor holds scientific appointments in the Translational Medicine Program at The Hospital for Sick Children and the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. Her research focuses on maternal and infant nutrition, and strategies to support provision of human milk and adequate nutrients to vulnerable children including very preterm infants. 


Director, Professional Values

Professor Pier Bryden has been appointed Director, Professional Values in the Faculty of Medicine for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2019. This appointment will help the Faculty create an ecology of professionalism that is essential in promoting health and wellbeing among faculty and other members of the U of T Medicine community.  

Dr. Bryden is Associate Professor and Vice-Chair, Education in the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of Program Integration for the MD Program in the Faculty of Medicine.  She is also a staff psychiatrist at The Hospital for Sick Children, a role she has held since 2001.  Dr. Bryden was the Faculty Lead for Ethics and Professionalism in the MD Program from 2009 to 2013, and the Pre-clerkship Director from 2013 to 2017, a role in which she co‐led the most extensive curriculum renewal the program had experienced since 1992.   


Acting Dean; Acting Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions

Dean Trevor Young will take an approved administrative leave from January 1 to June 30, 2020. During that time, Professor Salvatore Spadafora will serve as Acting Dean, and Professor Lynn Wilson will serve as Acting Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions. Dean Young will continue in his role as Chair of the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health while on administrative leave, although the task force aims to complete its work by the end of 2019.

Professor Spadafora is currently Vice Dean, Post MD Education. As Vice Dean, he has been recognized for superb leadership and administrative skills. Under his guidance, the Faculty has excelled in the areas of academic oversight, program governance, and the financial management of its post MD activities, including clinical fellowships and training agreements. 

Professor Wilson is currently Vice Dean, Partnerships, and Associate Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions. She has played a key role in developing the University’s relationships with its health science partners. Under Professor Wilson’s guidance, the Faculty and U of T have leveraged our location to increase collaboration, develop innovative opportunities for researchers, educators, and learners, and advance strategic international relations.


Director, Institute of Medical Science

Professor Mingyao Liu has been re-appointed as Director of the Institute of Medical Science for a second five-year term, beginning January 1, 2020. Dr. Liu is a Professor in the Department of Surgery, with cross-appointments to the Departments of Medicine and Physiology. He is the James and Mary Davie Chair in Lung Injury, Repair, and Regeneration and Head of the Respiratory and Critical Care Group at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, where he is a Senior Scientist. 

Prof. Liu has fostered several international collaborations, particularly between Canada and China, among many other accomplishments as Director.


Chair, Speech-Language Pathology

Professor Pascal van Lieshout has been re-appointed as Chair of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology for a second five-year term, beginning July 1, 2019. Dr. Lieshout is Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Executive Chair of the Rehabilitation Sciences Sector in the Faculty of Medicine. He is also a graduate faculty member in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, and an adjunct professor in the PhD Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the City University of New York.   

A former Canada Research Chair in Oral Motor Function, Dr. Van Lieshout is Director of the Oral Dynamics Laboratory and Adjunct Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He studies oral motor control mechanisms in a variety of populations, aiming to understand how people produce speech and what might cause problems performing this complex function. 


Interim Chair, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Professor Deirdre Dawson has been appointed Interim Chair, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, for one year effective July 1, 2019.  She succeeds Professor Susan Rappolt, who will complete her second term on June 30. Dr. Dawson is an Associate Professor in the department, where she serves as Vice Chair of Education and Chair of the Professional Curriculum Committee, and in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. In addition, she holds appointments as Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences, and Adjunct Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. 


Chair, Medicine

Professor Gillian Hawker has been re-appointed as Chair, Department of Medicine, for a second five-year term beginning July 1, 2019. A recent external review recognized many accomplishments under Dr. Hawker’s leadership, in particular, her “contributions to equity, wellness, integration of university and hospital processes, support for faculty and the redefining of the leadership team are outstanding.” Her commitment to clinician scientist training, as well as to the principles of diversity and equity, have been hallmarks of her first term as chair.

Prof. Hawker is the Sir John & Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine and is cross-appointed to the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is a Senior Scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute and a staff member in Rheumatology at Women’s College Hospital.  


Interim Chair, Physiology

Professor Scott Heximer has been appointed Interim Chair, Department of Physiology effective May 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020, or until a new chair is appointed. Prof. Heximer obtained his B.Sc. and PhD in Biochemistry at Queen’s University, and he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Missouri. Prof. Heximer joined the Department of Physiology as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008. He is currently the department’s Vice-Chair of Research, Innovation and Space Planning and is also a Scientist in the Translational Biology and Engineering Program at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. 


Interim Chair, Paediatrics

Professor Jeremy Friedman has been appointed Interim Chair, Department of Paediatrics effective May 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020, or until a new chair is appointed. Prof. Friedman graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1985. He completed his paediatric residency training at SickKids in 1994 and has worked as a general paediatric hospitalist at SickKids since then, including as Head of Paediatric Medicine from 2004-2014. In 2012, he was appointed Associate Paediatrician-in-Chief at SickKids and Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Paediatrics at U of T.


Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions

The Agenda Committee of Academic Board has approved the reappointment of Professor Trevor Young as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and the Executive Committee of Governing Council has approved his reappointment as Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions for a second term from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2025. 

Under Professor Young’s leadership, the Faculty of Medicine has seen tremendous success over the past four years. He has promoted excellence at every level and has fostered thriving and mutually beneficial relationships with the University’s numerous affiliated hospitals. Professor Young’s key accomplishments at the Faculty include: strengthening our partnership with the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) and more than 30 affiliates across the Greater Toronto Area; advancing the Faculty’s position as the lead contributor to Ontario’s regulated health professional workforce; and making significant progress in areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion through his support of new programs and initiatives, such as the Diversity Mentorship Program and the Black Student Application Program.

The Faculty of Medicine will consult on the appointment of an Acting Dean and Acting Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions for the period of January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020, when Professor Young will take six months of administrative leave.


Director, Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Professor Graham Collingridge will step down as Chair of the Department of Physiology to become Director of the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases for a five-year term, effective May 1, 2019.  He will continue as a Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital.  

Professor Collingridge joined U of T in 2015 when he was appointed Chair, Department of Physiology.  Prior to that, he had been a professor of Neuroscience in Anatomy at the University of Bristol since 1994, also serving as Departmental Chair of Anatomy and Director of the MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity. 


Strategic Advisors, Indigenous Health

Professors Jason Pennington and Lisa Richardson have been appointed Strategic Advisors, Indigenous Health for the Faculty of Medicine. Since 2012, Drs. Pennington and Richardson have worked with Faculty leaders to create and develop the Office of Indigenous Medical Education within the MD program. They will lead efforts to expand the work of this office to support learners, faculty and staff across the education continuum. 

Professor Richardson is a clinician-educator in U of T’s Division of General Internal Medicine, and she practices at the University Health Network where she is also an Education Researcher at the Wilson Centre. Professor Pennington is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at U of T and Staff Surgeon at Scarborough General Hospital.


Associate Dean, Inclusion and Diversity

Professor Lisa Robinson, the Faculty’s Chief Diversity Officer, will become Associate Dean, Inclusion and Diversity, effective December 1, 2018. Professor Robinson was first appointed as the Faculty of Medicine’s inaugural Chief Diversity Officer in January 2016, and since then she has led efforts to enhance and promote the diversity of faculty, learners and staff and to create a more inclusive environment across the Faculty.

Dr. Robinson is a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, Head of the Division of Nephrology at SickKids and a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology program at SickKids Research Institute. 


Chair, Physical Therapy

Professor Darlene Reid will step down as Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy on Dec. 31, 2018. Prof. Reid will maintain her research and educational role as Professor of Physical Therapy, Senior Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) and member of the Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine.
Professor Susan Jaglal will assume the role of Interim Chair, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Prof. Jaglal is currently Vice-Chair Research for the department, with cross appointments to the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. She also holds the TRI-UHN Chair at U of T and is associate Academic Director of Research at TRI.
In addition, Professor Sharon Switzer-McIntyre will lead the MScPT program through the 2019 accreditation updates. Prof. Switzer-McIntyre is currently Director of the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program. 


Chief Administrative Officer

Dev Chopra, who has been serving as Interim Chief Administrative Officer for the Faculty of Medicine since May 2018, will stay on until December 31, 2019.  Mr. Chopra provides leadership of the Faculty's administrative services including finance, human resources, information technology, facilities management and space planning, and logistics services.