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Dean Whiteside's second term begins: Significant Accomplishments and New Appointments

Dean Catharine Whiteside
Dean Catharine Whiteside

Cathy Whiteside has been appointed to a second term as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine after a highly successful first term, whose main accomplishments were building an outstanding team of academic leaders and administrative personnel. Alison Buchan, our new Vice-Dean for Research and International Relations came to us from the University of British Columbia. Sarita Verma became Deputy Dean, a new position in strategic planning and integration across various communities. Sarita also serves as Associate Vice-Provost for Health Professions Education. Cathy has built strong relationships with the university's hospitals and is now stepping toward the next level- integrating their research institutes in order to ask leading edge questions in health services that neither they nor the university alone can address.

"In the 1990s bioinformatics, proteomics and genomics were the moving edge of health research. Now we are moving into a world class position in stem cell biology - globally competitive with any place in the world. We have been able to attract top bioinformatics experts like Fritz Roth and proteomics and neuroscience scholars like Oliver Ernst. Recruiting has been facilitated by the integration that characterizes the University of Toronto community. This has served as a powerful attractant to recruit top faculty. Ned Shorter's forthcoming history of the Faculty of Medicine will emphasize this integration as a unique aspect of our culture."

The next 6 months of Cathy's strategic plan will be devoted to the evaluation of academic performance, using qualitative and quantitative evidence to benchmark and demonstrate the return on investment our faculty makes to Canadian health and to the economy. The TAHSN (Toronto Academic Health Science Network) CEOs are enthused about this project. Part of the information technology work in this area has been the "Web CV" project, entering all faculty CVs into a common IT base.

"The appointment to the University Chair of Surgery of Jim Rutka, one of the most important leaders in the world in his specialty, will bring Jim's expertise in research, clinical care and education to a broader focus on the Surgery Department. He has headed arguably the best neurosurgery division in the world and the Surgery Department can become the world leader in the future of surgery. There are evolving themes in surgery that cross disciplines, such as robotics, imaging and regenerative medicine. Ben Alman's Musculoskeletal (MSK) Institute is an example of a truly interdisciplinary unit, emphasizing rehabilitation, molecular biology, kinesiology, joint physiology and function.

In the future, Jim Rutka will have the opportunity to integrate surgical services across many sites. This has been done by necessity in the Vascular Surgery division. Future integration will be strategic and will likely include major sites throughout the region."


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