The Scientific Advisory Board comprises eminent Canadian scientists who volunteer their time to review all applications for grant support, and so ensure that funding is only forthcoming for the most promising internationally competitive research.

2015 - 2016 Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Rachubinski

Dr. Richard Rachubinski

Richard Rachubinski received his Ph.D. from McGill under the supervision of John Bergeron and did postdoctoral studies at McGill with Gordon Shore and at The Rockefeller University with Paul Lazarow. He joined the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster in 1984 and in 1993 became Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Alberta, a position he still holds. In Alberta, he has helped build a department focused on mechanistic cell biology and which has gathered exceptional investigators working to link cell structure with cell function. Dr. Rachubinski’s research interests are in organelle assembly, particularly of the peroxisome, which functions in lipid metabolism and whose compromised assembly causes the defects observed in the inherited peroxisome biogenesis disorders. Dr. Rachubinski has received numerous national and international awards for scientific excellence.


Dr. Valerie Wallace

Dr. Valerie Wallace obtained her PhD in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto (UT) and completed postdoctoral studies in developmental neuroscience at University College London. From 1998-2013 she was at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (University of Ottawa) where she was Senior Scientist and Director of the Vision Research Program. A molecular and developmental biologist by training, she is recognized for her work on the role of Hedgehog signaling in neural progenitor proliferation in the central nervous system. Her lab is now applying this knowledge towards the development of cell-based approaches for the treatment of blinding eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.   Dr. Wallace joined the Toronto Western Research Institute in September 2013, where she is Director of Vision Sciences and Chair of the Vision Science Research Program. She holds appointments in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences and in LMP, UT. Dr. Wallace holds peer-reviewed grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada and Brain Canada.


Dr. David Westaway

David Westaway is a molecular biologist with a special interest in neurological disorders. He earned a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of London, in England. He completed postdoctoral training at the University of California. Before becoming Director of the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases at the University of Alberta, Dr. Westaway was appointed as Professor in the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Disease at the University of Toronto. Dr. Westaway has won a number of awards for his research including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Investigator award, AHFMR Scientist and a Zenith Scholar award from the Alzheimer's Association (USA); he is a Canada Research Chair. He serves on the Institute Advisory board of the CIHR Institute of Aging and is the current President of the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories. His work concerns cellular prion proteins and laboratory models of Alzheimer's disease.

The 2016 Catalyst Grant Competition is now open, and the deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday 15th June. The application forms and guidelines are available below, together with the results of the 2015 competition.