If you ask any of our staff they will tell you we are accountable to the patients and families in the communities we serve. However, we do have a dedicated group of stakeholders that give us guidance and make sure things run smoothly.

Board of Directors

Caroline Somers – Chairman of the Board and President

CO-CEO, Cassidy Bay Group Inc.

Caroline Somers has over 30 years of experience in the high tech industry. She currently is Co-CEO of Cassidy Bay Group, which assists companies to be more effective organizations by building powerful teams and through coaching executives to be successful managers and leaders. She has a wealth of business and operational experience including co-founding a successful startup and angel investing in more than 2 dozen companies. Ms. Somers has served on a number of boards in the community including on the board of Granite Networks (acquired in 2013), Chairman of the board of the Capital Angel Networks, Chairman of DNA Genotek (acquired in 2011), board of Ontario Centres of Excellence, Parteq Innovations, on the advisory board of Amika Mobile, and ICT Advisory board for Department of Foreign Affairs and International trade. She has completed the Directors educations program at the Institute of Corporate Directors. She is very active in the community and on a number of not for profit boards including being a founding board member for a local organization encouraging networking for business women and is currently on Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Chair of Digital Opportunity Trust and on the Innovation council for Joule, a CMA company.

Christopher Dyrda – Vice-President

Corporate Director

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Chris was born in rural Manitoba and after earning a Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba and am MBA from Queens, he enjoyed a 38 year career at TD Bank group, retiring as a member of the senior management team. He continues to serve as a Director for both for profit and non profit entities. Chris and his wife Karen have three sons and enjoy relaxing at their cottage on the lake near Perth.

Lynn van der Linde – Secretary

Director of Marketing and Donor Relations, Canadian Blood Services

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Lynn van der Linde is a Director of Marketing and Donor Relations at Canadian Blood Services, where she creates awareness and action plans for Canadians to donate blood on a regular basis. Lynn has also held various executive Board of Director positions with Canadian charities, namely Fertile Future – an organization that helps young cancer patients understand their fertility options before undergoing cancer treatments that may render them infertile; as well as The IBD Foundation of Canada – which helps educate and empower youth and adults afflicted with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Lynn is also an accredited Sommelier and provides wine reviews on behalf of Natalie MacLean. Her most important job though is being the proud mother of two young boys. Her oldest son, Max was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in July 2012 where she has witnessed first-hand the physical, mental and emotional challenges that come with this disease. This understanding fuels her need to help children affected by IBD – and their parents – and ultimately find better treatments that will only come about through continued investment in research. She believes whole-heartedly in the mission of the CHEO Research Institute and looks forward to contributing to this important cause.

Martin Zablocki – Treasurer

Partner at Gowling WLG

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Martin Zablocki is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office, practising in the Corporate Group. His practice focuses on assisting Canadian companies to generate sales to foreign governments and helping foreign governments acquire goods and services from Canada. Martin has significant experience working with companies in the infrastructure, aerospace and defence sectors. He also has a notable track record of work with business leaders in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Martin was the President and CEO of Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). CCC is a Canadian Crown corporation focused on international trade, facilitating approximately $2B in exports to foreign governments on an annual basis. Mr. Zablocki held various other senior-level executive positions within CCC, including President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) wherein Mr. Zablocki provided strategic advice and operational leadership on all aspects of CCC’s business with particular focus on developing and executing strategies to generate business and sales in key markets. In addition, Mr. Zablocki has held the positions of Vice-President – Risk and Finance, and Chief Financial Officer, as well as Vice-President – Strategy and Organizational Development at CCC. Before joining CCC, Mr. Zablocki garnered 17 years of management experience with the Government of Canada, leading regional and national operations within the Canada Revenue Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Industry Canada. Mr. Zablocki holds two professional designations, Chartered Business Valuator and Certified Management Accountant, and has served on a variety of volunteer boards and committees

Harry Atkins

Physician, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ottawa Hospital Scientist, Centre for Innovative Cancer Research, OHRI; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa

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Harold Atkins MD is a physician of the Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, a scientist in the Center for Innovative Cancer Research and the medical director of the Regenerative Medicine Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He received his Bachelor of Medical Science degree and Medical Degree from the University of Ottawa followed by a rotating internship year at the Victoria General Hospital in Victoria BC. Specialty training in Internal Medicine was done at the University of Ottawa. Clinical and research fellowships in Hematology, Stem Cell Transplantation and Experimental Hematology followed at the University of Washington and at the Ontario Cancer Institute. He specializes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and has spearheaded the use of stem cell transplantation for immune repair to treat patients with severe autoimmune diseases of the nervous system focusing on Multiple Sclerosis. This work was published in the Lancet in 2016. He is running a clinical trial exploring the role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in preventing organ transplant rejection. His laboratory research includes a longstanding and fruitful collaboration with Dr. John Bell developing oncolytic viruses particularly for the treatment of hematological cancers as personalized cancer cell vaccines. He was awarded the OHRI’s Dr. Michel Chretien Researcher of the Year in 2016 and the Till and McCulloch Award from the Stem Cell Network in 2017.

Jason Berman (non-voting)

CEO and Scientific Director, CHEO Research Institute Inc.

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Dr. Jason Berman is the CEO and Scientific Director of the CHEO Research Institute and Vice President Research at CHEO. He is also a Full Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa. Previously he served as Associate Chair, Research, Department of Pediatrics, and Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology at Dalhousie University and interim Vice President Research, Innovation and Knowledge Translation for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has overseen the pediatric leukemia program for the Maritimes since 2005 and chairs an international clinical trial for children with Down syndrome and myeloid leukemia. He is internationally recognized for pioneering research using zebrafish to study childhood cancers and rare inherited diseases. His laboratory has served as the Atlantic node of the Centre for Drug Research and Development and a national hub for zebrafish modeling of orphan diseases. He has been co-chair of the C17 Childhood Cancer Network Developmental Therapeutics Committee and Director of the Clinician Investigator Program and Medical Research Graduate Program at Dalhousie. He is president of the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, vice president of the Canadian Hematology Society and a founding member of the Canadian Rare Disease Models and Mechanisms Network.

Sylvain Charbonneau

Vice-President, Research, University of Ottawa

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Sylvain Charbonneau was appointed Interim Vice-President, Research, at the University of Ottawa for a term starting July 1, 2017. He previously held the position of Associate Vice-President, Research at the University. Mr. Charbonneau received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in Photonics – Semiconductor Physics from Simon Fraser University, B.C. He joined the Institute for Microstructural Sciences at the National Research Council (NRC) in 1988. At the NRC, he led a number of research and development initiatives, including the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre and the Printable Electronics flagship program. In late 2000, he co-founded Optenia Inc., an NRC spinoff in the communications technology sector. Mr. Charbonneau has published over 180 papers and has 17 patents and licences in the fields of photonics, nanotechnology and ICT.

Watson Gale

General Counsel and Cheif Privacy Officer, CHEO

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Watson Gale is CHEO’s General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer as well as interim Vice-President, People, Strategy and Performance. Watson brings over 30 years of experience in law and executive management to his role together with an extensive background in governance. Watson has a business background and a long history of working with not-for-profit and charitable organizations, including being on the board of directors of several key organizations in Ottawa. In addition to practicing law in Ontario, Watson was called to the bar in both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories and has a strong interest in Canada’s amazing northern regions.

Parm Gill

Serial Entrepreneur

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Mr. Parm Gill is a serial entrepreneur with a myriad of start-up experience having launched several technology businesses over his career. As Managing Partner of the Gill Group, he acts as a strategic advisor, mentor, investor, and connector for start-up companies. He brings with him the experience and expertise of guiding the growth and development of numerous startup companies, with a focus on strategic planning, business development, fundraising, and intellectual property development and commercialization. His passion for entrepreneurship is equally matched by his passion for giving back to the community through active involvement with a number of charitable and non-profit organizations. You can find out more about him at, where he can also be contacted, and he can be found on Twitter @ParmSGill

Robert Hanlon

Retired, Chief Operating Officer, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)

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Robert Hanlon, retired as the Chief Operating Officer of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) in June 2017 after serving in this role since April 2001. From 1985 to 2001 Robert held various management positions at the Ottawa Civic Hospital including Chief Administrative Officer of the Loeb Health Research Institute (LHRI) from 1996 to 2001. He has played a key role in the spin out of various technologies from the LHRI and OHRI and is a recipient of the 2004 Ottawa Life Sciences Council Entrepreneurial Award. Robert was appointed by Treasury Board to serve as an external member of the Audit Committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research 2009-2016 and the Audit Committee for Correctional Services Canada 2016-2018. Robert served on the Finance and Audit committee of BioCanRx 2015-2017 and is the chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Canadian Stem Cell Network 2017-2019. Robert is a past president of the Canadian Society of Research Administrators, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Research Administrators. Robert earned a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biology in 1983 and a Master of Health Administration in 1985 from the University of Ottawa, achieving the designation of Certified Health Executive (CHE) from the Canadian College of Health Service Executives in 1988.

Don Husereau

Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of OttawaSenior Scientist, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Hall in Tirol, Austria

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Don Husereau is a Senior Associate with the Institute of Health Economics. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at The University of Ottawa and Senior Scientist at the University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Hall in Tirol, Austria. He is a former Director and Senior Advisor with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). Don’s current research focuses on the value of health system innovation and the use of evidence and economics to inform health policy based on sound principles of social justice, epistemology, and judgment and decision-making. This includes work on science policy and mechanisms to value and manage innovation that benefits innovators, public policy makers/administrators and academics/researchers. He is currently Chair on an International Task Force that has developed consolidated health economic evaluation reporting standards (CHEERS) that is now endorsed by leading biomedical and health policy journals. Don formerly served on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and is currently an Editorial Advisor for their biomedical journal, Value in Health. He is also an Editorial advisor for the general interest journal BMC Medicine and serves on both the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) Expert Review Committee (pERC) and Ontario Committee to Evaluate Drugs. Don received both his BSc in Pharmacy (1993) and his MSc (2000) from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Nicole Jauvin


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Nicole Jauvin retired in October 2011 after a 32 year career in the federal government. Since 2000, she was Deputy Minister in a number of other government departments, including the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the Canada Public Service Agency, Social Development Canada and Solicitor General of Canada. A lawyer by training, Ms. Jauvin holds a Licence in Civil Law and a Diploma of graduate studies in Law and was a member of the Quebec Bar throughout her career. She also holds a B.A. in Communications and a Diploma in International Cooperation from the University of Ottawa. She is a Director on a number of Boards, and also enjoys volunteering at The Ottawa Mission, a shelter for homeless people.

Kevin Keohane

President and CEO, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation

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Kevin Keohane is the President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation. Kevin spent 20 years with the Ottawa Citizen prior to joining the CHEO Foundation as Vice President, Development & Corporate Relations in 2001. In 2011, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and was subsequently appointed as President and CEO at the end of 2012. Kevin is also a member of the Canadian Children’s Hospital Foundation Executives (CCHFE) and the CHEO Foundation’s lead representative with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN).

Lindy Samson

Chief of Staff, CHEO

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Dr. Lindy Samson is the Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer at CHEO-OCTC. Appointed in April 2016, she is responsible for organizing the activities of the medical staff and for ensuring the quality of clinical care and patient safety. In addition, she is a staff physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases, she holds an academic appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine and is a Clinical investigator at the CHEO Research Institute. Her academic and research work is focused on pediatric HIV, the impact of social on the health of children and youth and teaching/evaluating the Health Advocate and Leadership Roles across the continuum of learners. She recently co-chaired an interdisciplinary initiative regarding the future health needs of children and youth in our region.

Lucie Thibault

Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

Lucie Photo

Lucie Thibault, PhD, is professor and dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. She has worked at Brock University, at The University of British Columbia, and has been a visiting scholar at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and at the RheinAhr Campus of Koblenz University of Applied Sciences. In 30 years of teaching, Lucie has taught organizational theory, ethics in sport, globalization of sport, governance and policy, and social issues in sport. Lucie serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics as well as the European Sport Management Quarterly. She has previously held the role of editor of the Journal of Sport Management. She is a member of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) and was named a NASSM research fellow in 2001. In 2008, Lucie was awarded the Earle F. Zeigler Award from NASSM for her scholarly and leadership contributions to the field. Her research interests lie in the formation, management, and evaluation of cross-sectoral partnerships in sport organizations. She also investigates the role of the Canadian government in sport excellence and sport participation and government involvement in developing sport policy. She has been an invited speaker featuring her research in many conferences around the world. Her research has appeared in numerous scholarly journals such as the Journal of Sport Management, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Human Relations, Leisure Studies, European Sport Management Quarterly, International Journal for Sport Policy and Politics, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. She is co-editor of Contemporary Sport Management (2018, Human Kinetics) and Sport Policy in Canada (2013, University of Ottawa Press).

Mark Walker

Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ottawa Hospital

Photo pf Mark

Dr. Mark Walker earned his Medical Degree from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (1993). His Residency Training in OB/GYN was completed at the University of Ottawa, Ontario (1998); followed by this Fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Toronto. In 2003, Dr. Walker earned a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. He recently graduated from Harvard University with a Masters in Health Care Management. Dr. Mark Walker is a high risk Obstetrician and Clinical Epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa. He has published over 250 per reviewed articles and has made a significant impact in our understanding of folic acid in pregnancy, and thrombophilia in pregnancy. Dr. Walker is highly involved in public policy at the provincial and national levels advocating for women and children’s health. Since joining TOH in 2000, Dr. Walker has held several positions including Fellowship Director for Maternal Fetal Medicine and working closely with the Department of Medicine for the promotion of medical disorders awareness in prenatal care. Dr. Walker’s leadership roles include Chief and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Newborn Care at The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, the scientific Director and co-director of BORN (Better Outcomes Registry and Network), and the Medical Lead for Obstetrics and Gynecology for the Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program. He held a Tier 1 Chair from the University of Ottawa in Perinatal Research. He is co-founder of the OMNI Research Group (Obstetrics & Maternal Newborn Investigations) at The Ottawa Hospital.

Leadership Team

The following people meet regularly and represent the programs and key themes of research at CHEO: 

Jason Berman, Chair
CEO and Scientific Director, CHEO Research Institute

Rhonda Correll
Chief Operating Officer, CHEO Research Institute

Alex MacKenzie
Interim Program Director, Molecular Biomedicine Research, CHEO Research Institute

Dhenuka Radhakrishnan 
Interim Program Director, Health Information Technologies, CHEO Research Institute

Roger Zemek
Program Director, Evidence to Practice Research Director, Clinical Research Unit, CHEO Research Institute

Sasha Carsen
Investigator, CHEO Research Institute
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, CHEO

Jean-Philippe Chaput 
Scientist, Healthy Active Living and Obesity, CHEO Research Institute

David Dyment 
Investigator, CHEO Research Institute
Physician, Department of Genetics, CHEO

Robert Jankov
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

Kusum Menon
Senior Scientist, Intensive Care, CHEO Researcher Institute

Chris St. Germain
Chief Financial Officer, CHEO Research Institute

Annual Reports

The Annual Report for 2019

Past annual report are available upon request. Please email Stayci Keetch, Director of Communications, [email protected]