Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (EC) is the CITF’s final decision-making body. It comprises the two Co-Chairs, the Executive Director, a PHAC representative, the Chief Scientist of Canada, and four additional members of the original CITF Leadership Group (LG), whose mandate ran from April 2020 to June 2022. An important condition for membership is that the individual has no intent to hold or seek funds from the CITF, either as a Principal Investigator or as a Co-Investigator on a project being funded by the CITF.

The Executive Committee:

  • Oversees and advises on governance of the CITF:
  • Sets out principles and procedures to govern potential Conflicts of Interest (COI) of EC and Working Party members and applies them to address COI;
  • Takes actions to ensure fair and transparent processes for the development, assessment, and implementation of scientific proposals, e.g.:
    • Develops and applies principles governing sourcing of proposals (sole source, Requests for Expression of Interest (RFEOI), CIHR competitions, other);
    • Advises on principles guiding the adjudication of proposals through a rigorous and non-conflicted peer review process;
    • Critically reviews budgets attached to proposed research investments to ensure value-for-money;
    • Assesses whether proposals for funding meet criteria related to scientific merit (including: are relevant to guide Canadian public health decision-making and are positioned to make a distinct contribution to science);
    • Sets the terms by which supported projects will be phased with a view to ensuring efficient use of resources (e.g., proof of study feasibility, examination of interim results, etc.).
  • Recommends all CITF investments; and,
  • Ensures ongoing review of adjudication principles and procedures and adjusts as needed.

Co-Chairs and Executive Director

Photo of David Naylor

David Naylor

Co-chair

Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto

Full bio

Catherine Hankins

Co-chair

Professor of Public and Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Full bio

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Timothy Evans

Executive Director

Professor, Director and Associate Dean of the School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

Full bio

Members

Photo of Mona Nemer

Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor of Canada

Full bio

Photo of Gina Ogilvie

Gina Ogilvie

Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

Senior Public Health Scientist, BC Centre for Disease Control

Associate Director, Women’s Health Research Institute

Full bio

Photo of Jutta Preiksaitis

Jutta Preiksaitis

Professor Emerita of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alberta

Full bio

Gail Tomblin Murphy

Gail Tomblin Murphy

Nova Scotia

Vice President of Research, Innovation & Discovery

Chief Nurse Executive of the Nova Scotia Health Authority

Full bio

Photo of Paul Van Caeseele

Paul Van Caeseele

Manitoba

Medical Director, Cadham Provincial Laboratory, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

Professor, Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, and Pediatrics & Child Health, University of Manitoba

Full bio

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Sarah Viehbeck

Chief Science Officer, Public Health Agency of Canada

Full bio

 Working Parties

The CITF’s Working Parties (WP) comprise some of Canada’s most respected experts from diverse fields.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Curating a list of priority issues and questions related to their WP’s area of focus and producing a gap analysis in order to identify areas of new research required;
  • Proposing appropriate modalities (i.e., open versus targeted calls for proposals) for the development of research proposals for the agreed priorities;
  • Identifying standards related to study design, measures, tests, etc.;
  • Recommending research projects for support to the CITF EC;
  • Reviewing interim findings of funded studies and providing feedback to ensure work is keeping pace with the CITF’s strategic goals;
  • Reporting on WP activities and funded study progress.

Field Studies Working Party

The Field Studies Working Party (FSWP) focuses on research related to COVID-19 public health, surveillance, epidemiology, and modelling in Canada. Members are chosen from across Canada based on their expertise in the aforementioned areas or other relevant disciplines.

Working Party Leads

Photo of James Kellner

James D. Kellner

Pediatric Infectious Disease Consultant

Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Community Health Sciences & Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services

Full bio

Photo of Gina Ogilvie

Gina Ogilvie

Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

Senior Public Health Scientist, BC Centre for Disease Control

Associate Director, Women’s Health Research Institute

Full bio

Vaccine Surveillance Working Party

The Vaccine Surveillance Working (VSWP) focuses on research related to the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. Members are chosen from across Canada based on their expertise in the areas of infectious diseases, vaccinology, immunology, epidemiology, public health, and other relevant disciplines.

Working Party Leads

Shelly Bolotin

Ontario

Scientist, Health Protection, Public Health Ontario

Full bio

Photo of Scott Halperin

Scott Halperin

Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University

Principal Investigator, Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN)

Full bio

Immune Science and Testing Working Party

The Immune Science and Testing Working Party (ISTWP) focuses on research related to COVID-19 immune science and antibody testing in Canada. Members are chosen from across Canada based on their expertise in the areas of immunology, infectious diseases, laboratory medicine (testing), and other relevant disciplines.

Working Party Leads

Charu Kaushic

Charu Kaushic

Scientific Director, CIHR-Institute of Infection and Immunity

Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University

Full bio

Photo of Mel Krajden

Mel Krajden

Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

Medical Director of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory

Full bio

CITF Leadership Group

The CITF Leadership Group included experts from across Canada in matters related to serologic surveillance, immunology, virology, infectious diseases, public health, and clinical medicine. It also included ex-officio members representing agencies of the Government of Canada, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the office of the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister, as well as representatives of Provincial-Territorial Ministries of Health, and McGill University (host of the Secretariat).

The CITF Leadership Group played an active role in the leadership of the CITF from the Task Force’s inception in April 2020 and wound down activities in June 2022. The CITF wishes to thank all Leadership Group members for their tireless volunteerism, spending countless hours steering the CITF to help Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leadership Group members

Indigenous Advisory Circle

The work of the Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) was initiated in 2020 and formally came to a conclusion in 2021. The CITF expresses its deepest thanks to all members for their efforts and contributions. As results from CITF-supported studies emerge bearing on Indigenous communities, the CITF will continue to make efforts to engage Indigenous policy, community, and scientific leaders in discussion of their implications.