Leadership & Committees

The Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) is an internationally recognized centre of excellence in brain and mental health research and education, based at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and working in partnership with Alberta Health Services. The HBI is composed of over 1440 people, including 300 plus members spanning 16 academic departments and nine faculties at the University of Calgary, all working towards a shared vision. The HBI operates under the guidance of its strategic and academic committees.

Dr. David Park


David Park, PhD

HBI Director David Park, PhD, is a Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine’s Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Cell Biology & Anatomy at the University of Calgary. He is also the university's Brain and Mental Health Research Strategy Lead. 

Dr. Park is an internationally recognized expert in molecular biology. He completed his PhD in biochemistry at Rutgers University followed by post-doctoral training in neurobiology at Columbia University. His focus is on understanding the cellular mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s disease and stroke-related neurodegeneration.

Dr. Park’s Parkinson’s disease research efforts focus on the genetic causes of the disease, specifically on the genes linked to familial Parkinson’s disease. With regards to his stroke work, Dr. Park aims to understand and target cellular mechanisms to improve recovery and survival after stroke. His work has been published in high impact journals such as Nature Cell Biology; Science; Neuron; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; Nature Communications; the Journal of Cell Biology; and the Journal of Neuroscience and Human Molecular Genetics.

Dr. Park is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. He’s a Heart and Stroke Career Investigator and has also been named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2012). He currently serves and/or has served on various external grant review committees including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Parkinson Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. He has sat on sits on editorial boards such as the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Journal of Neurochemistry, and was a member of the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research. Dr. Park is currently serving as a Board Member on the Board for the Brain Canada Foundation and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (UBC) – Strategic Advisory Board.

As the director of the HBI, Dr. Park leads the Institute and ensures that its research and education programs operate at a level of excellence that is internationally recognized. He also plays a key role in securing and managing the financial resources required for the Institute to realize its vision and mission.  


The HBI Strategic Advisory Board provides strategic advice and oversight to facilitate the success of the Institute. Members also participate in community engagement and outreach activities. The board meets quarterly and includes members from the local community, Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary.

Strategic Advisory Board members:

  • Mrs. Brenda Mackie – Chair, Strategic Advisory Board
  • Ms. Susan Anderson – Community Representative and President & CEO Cannonball Capital Inc.
  • Dr. Beverly Adams – Vice Dean, Cumming School of Medicine
  • Mr. Jack Davis – Community Representative
  • Dr. Chen Fong – Community Representative
  • Dr. Peter Jamieson – Medical Director, Calgary Zone, Alberta Health Services
  • Mr. Stephen Lockwood – Community Representative and Special Advisor to Chair & CEO ATCO Ltd.
  • Mr. Randy Marusyk – Co-Managing Partner, MBM Intellectual Property Law LLP
  • Mr. Ronald Mathison – Community Representative and President and CEO, Matco Investments Ltd.
  • Dr. Rajiv Midha – Head, Department of Clinical Neurosciences
  • Ms. Nuvyn Peters – Community Representative 
  • Mr. Michael Rose – Community Representative and President, Tourmaline Oil Corp.
  • Mr. Allan Ross – Community Representative and Chair and Founder, ReportBack Analytics
  • Dr. Guy Rouleau – HBI Scientific Advisor and Director, Montreal Neurological Institute
    and Hospital
  • Dr. Valerie Taylor – Head, Department of Psychiatry
  • Dr. Manish Joshi – Head, Department of Radiology
  • Mr. Paul Wanklyn – Community Representative

Non-voting members:

  • Dr. David Park – Director, Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI)
  • Dr. Richard Frayne – Deputy Director, HBI
  • Mr. Craig Day - Senior Manager, Business and Operations, HBI
  • Ms. Jennifer Dotchin – Senior Manager, Innovation, Partnerships and Strategy, HBI

The HBI Executive Committee provides oversight and decision making for the operation of the HBI. The committee meets monthly and is responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of the Institute’s research and education strategies and operational plans, regular financial reviews, assisting with evaluation, space planning, recruitment planning and aligning strategic priorities of the Institute with the Cumming School of Medicine and the University of Calgary.

Executive Committee members:

  • Dr. David Park, Chair – Director, HBI
  • Dr. Richard Frayne – HBI Deputy Director and Chair, HBI Strategic Research and Innovation Committee
  • Dr. Sarah McFarlane – HBI Education Director
  • Dr. Paul Arnold – Member at Large and Director, Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education
  • Dr. Susa Benseler – Member at Large and Director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • Dr. Signe Bray – Member at Large
  • Dr. Benedikt Hallgrimsson – Head, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy
  • Dr. Manish Joshi – Head, Department of Radiology
  • Dr. Adam Kirton - Member at Large, a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • Dr. Hedwich Kuipers - Member at Large - early career researcher
  • Dr. Catherine Lebel - Member at Large -  a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (interm)
  • Dr. Rajiv Midha – Head, Department of Clinical Neurosciences
  • Dr. Rob Newton – Head, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Dr. Valerie Taylor – Head, Department of Psychiatry
  • Ms. Amanda Weiss – AHS Operational representative
  • Dr. Keith Yeates – Head, Department of Psychology
  • Mr. Craig Day - HBI Senior Manager, Business and Operations (ex officio)
  • Ms. Jennifer Dotchin – HBI Senior Manager, Innovation, Partnerships and Strategy (ex officio)

The members of the Strategic Research and Innovation Committee (SRIC) meet monthly to conduct an ongoing evaluation of research progress and to envision and help create the future of foundational research and it's translation in the Institute. The SRIC aims to create new points of collaboration; help to connect foundational and translational activities; identify group funding needs and projects; and to chart new research directions and required infrastructure.

SRIC Committee members:

  • Dr. Jaideep Bains (chair)
  • Dr. Eric Smith
  • Dr. Deborah Kurrasch
  • Dr. Roger Thompson
  • Dr. Paolo Federico
  • Dr. Chantal Debert
  • Dr. Matt Hill
  • Dr. Wee Yong
  • Dr. Luanne Metz
  • Dr. Tuan Trang
  • Dr. Shalina Ousman
  • Dr. Bijoy Menon
  • Dr. Bruce Pike
  • Dr. Quentin Pittman
  • Dr. Susan Graham
  • Dr. Sarah McFarlane
  • Dr. Davide Martino
  • Dr. Morris Scantlebury
  • Dr. Richard Frayne, HBI Deputy Director (ex officio)
  • Dr. Catherine Lebel, Theme Lead, Brain and Mental Health, AHCRI (ex officio)

The Education Committee ensures that the education program, which cuts across all research programs of the Institute, effectively trains the next generation of leaders in neuroscience. The Education Committee and its members seeks to enhance and further develop the educational opportunities available to trainees in laboratory and clinical research across the Institute. More broadly, the Education Committee works to enhance the level of brain science education and awareness within the community.

Education Committee members:

  • Dr. Sarah McFarlane (chair)
  • Dr. Deborah Kurrasch
  • Dr. Grant Gordon
  • Dr. Charlie Kwok
  • Dr. Willem Wildering
  • Dr. Marc Poulin
  • Dr. Shalina Ousman
  • Dr. Matthew Hill
  • Dr. Minh Dang Nguyen
  • Ms. Elena Nasim
  • Mr. Trevor Low

Volunteer committee members play an instrumental role in the success of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and its ability to support outstanding research and education in brain and mental health. The HBI sincerely values the time and effort contributed by these volunteers to ensure the HBI’s vision of healthy brains for better lives.

The HBI Donor Development and Relations Committee ensures accountability of the HBI to community supporters. It is advisory to the HBI and the Development Office of the Cumming School of Medicine, and was established to support the HBI’s efforts in community relations, donor development and donor stewardship. Donor Development and Relations Committee members include:

  • Mr. Jeff Hotchkiss - Chair
  • Dr. Chen Fong
  • Mr. Richard Hotchkiss
  • Ms. Brenda Mackie
  • Mr. Paul Wanklyn

In response to the HBI External Advisory Committee's recommendation, the HBI has established an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee . This committee has a mandate for making policy and practice recommendations to HBI leadership on producing an equitable workplace that emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and quality of life.

Committee Members:

The Institute's External Advisory Scientific Committee (EASC) is comprised of distinguished scientists from around the world who represent the highest standards of research and research administration in the neurological and mental health fields. The EASC acts in an advisory capacity, gathering for periodic site visits at the Institute to review the progress being made in our research and education programs and to provide input into the Institute's strategic direction. 

2023 External Advisory Scientific Committee members:

Dr Guy Rouleau, MD, PhD (Chair)
Director, The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital)
Chair, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
McGill University
Chair, Department of Neuroscience
McGill University Health Center

Dr Lynn Raymond, MD, PhD​​​​​​​
Director, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
Louise A. Brown Chair in Neuroscience
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Co-Director, Centre for Huntington Disease
​​​​​​​The University of British Columbia

Dr Philip Barker, PhD
Professor of Biology, Vice-Principal for Research and Innovation
Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation
The University of British Columbia | Vice Principal Research - Okanagan

Dr Stephen Ferguson, PhD​​​​​​​
Distinguished Research Chair in Neurodegeneration
Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
University of Ottawa Brain & Mind Research Institute
Director, uOttawa Behavior and Physiology Core Facility

Dr Else Sandset, MD, PhD
Consultant Neurologist
Stroke Unit, Department of Neurology. Oslo University Hospital
Secretary General, European Stroke Organization