IBBME Staff and Faculty Changes: June 2013

Professor Christopher Yip will be stepping into the role of Director of the Institute as of July 1, 2013, for a five-year term. Yip, who was Acting Director of the Institute in 2007-08, is excited about the future of the Institute.

Dr. Yip, one of IBBME’s first core hires in 1997, is also cross-appointed to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, the Department of Biochemistry, and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. Since September Dr. Yip has acted as Interim Co-Chair for the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Option (IBBME), with Professor Kevin Truong.

“I need to congratulate Paul on doing such an excellent job as Director,” says Yip. “He’s really elevated the Institute to new levels, and has made some excellent strategic hires. I hope to continue this upward trajectory and take advantage of the great opportunities emerging with the new proposed undergraduate program.”

Outgoing Director Paul Santerre, who steps down from this position after an event-packed 5-year term, articulates that Chris brings to the Directorship “a broad perspective from the many University and external committees that he has served on over the past 15 years, across multiple faculties and at the provincial, federal and international levels. This will serve IBBME well given the Institute’s unique networking platform among its peer Institutions and the faculty members’ strategic talent for taking on interdisciplinary initiatives and multi-disciplinary research. He is particularly well-situated to take advantage of the sustained growth that IBBME has undergone over the past decade. Faculty, staff and students are grateful for his commitment to this important leadership role for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.”

IBBME also adds a number of newly cross-appointed professors to its ranks this month. Assistant Professor Edmond Young, an IBBME alumnus, joins the Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging & Systems Biology and Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering themes from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, where he is an Assistant Professor. Professor Young specializes in the development of microscale technologies with an emphasis on trying to recreate the living cell environment.

Dr. Kazuhiro Yasufuku is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and Staff Thoracic Surgeon in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the Toronto General Hospital. With his special interest in the area of minimally invasive diagnostics and therapeutics, Dr. Yasufuku will be a great asset to IBBME’s Engineering in a Clinical Setting and Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging & Systems Biology themes.

Dr. Tom Waddell is also a thoracic surgeon who will be joining our Engineering in a Clinical Setting theme. Dr. Waddell joins us from the Division of Surgery, where he is an Associate Professor, and the Toronto General Research Institute, where he pursues research on xenotransplantation and cell interactions as a Senior Scientist in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics – Respiratory & Critical Care.

IBBME also bids a fond farewell to Assistant Professor Mary Nagai, who finishes her Limited Term Appointed (LTA) at the Institute this month. Dr. Nagai, who has been with the Institute since 2008,has been actively involved with the community: in the past year she served as a Faculty Judge in CUBE’s (Club for Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering) annual technology competition, and led a rousing workshop during Bring Your Daughters and Sons To Work Day this fall. The Institute wishes her every success in her future endeavours.

On the administrative side, IBBME is very pleased to announce that Dr. Erin Vollick has accepted the full-time, permanent role of Senior Communications, Media & Alumni Relations Officer. Erin comes to the Institute with over twenty years of professional writing and editorial experience, and with numerous publications to her name. Over the past year Erin has been instrumental in raising the profile of IBBME’s faculty, staff and students.