New VP of research announced at Baycrest
July 19, 2017
TORONTO – Baycrest Health Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Allison Sekuler (pictured) as the new Vice-President, Research, and the Sandra A. Rotman Chair at Baycrest Health Sciences.
Dr. Sekuler joins Baycrest after a long and distinguished career as a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University, where she was the first Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience (2001-2011).
She is also the Co-Chair of the Academic Colleagues at the Council of Ontario Universities and Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Scholarships & Fellowships group along with being a member of NSERC’s Committee for Discovery Research.
The recipient of numerous awards for research, teaching and leadership, Dr. Sekuler comes to Baycrest with a notable record of scientific achievements in aging and vision science, cognitive neuroscience, learning and neural plasticity, and neuroimaging and neurotechnology, as well as vast experience in senior academic and research leadership roles.
Baycrest President and CEO Dr. William Reichman welcomed Dr. Sekuler to the Baycrest family. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Sekuler to Baycrest. Her record of excellence in the field of brain health research and passion for educating the next generation of scientists is second-to-none,” he said.
“We look forward to the leadership Dr. Sekuler will bring to our Rotman Research Institute, given her breadth and depth of clinical and research skills and her focus on bridging innovations in brain health science with translational care practices to benefit our clients and the greater community.”
Her new role at Baycrest marks something of a homecoming for Dr. Sekuler, who has deep connections to the organization. After completing a double-major BA in Mathematics and Psychology from Pomona College (1986), and a PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley (1990), Dr. Sekuler came to Canada as a faculty member at the University of Toronto, where she collaborated with Baycrest scientists Drs. Randy McIntosh and Cheryl Grady.
Dr. Sekuler’s connection to Baycrest extends to her own family as well: her father, Dr. Robert Sekuler – himself a neuroscientist, and one of the founders of the field of aging and vision – conducted research as a visiting scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI) in 2000.
Dr. Sekuler says she feels fortunate to be able to conduct and support research in Canada, and particularly at Baycrest.
“As lifespans increase, it is imperative that we do everything we can to improve the quality of life for people in their later years. Brain health and aging research are critical pieces of that puzzle,” Dr. Sekuler said.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to benefit older adults by more closely connecting fundamental and clinical research at a world-leading organization like Baycrest. And I’m especially excited to build on the incredibly strong foundations already in place at the Rotman Research Institute and the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation.”
Dr. Sekuler will commence her role at Baycrest starting September 1, 2017.
Dr. Sekuler’s appointment comes after an international search to find a successor to Dr. Randy McIntosh, who announced his intention to step down as VP Research last year, after eight productive years in the role, to commit more fully to his own thriving research program in computational neuroscience and the virtual brain platform.
“I want to thank Dr. McIntosh for assisting in the extensive search for his replacement, and for his years of outstanding service as Vice-President, research and director of the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest. He will continue to be a vital asset to Baycrest as a valued senior scientist while he pursues the exciting advancement of the incomparable virtual brain platform,” Dr. Reichman said.
About Baycrest Health Sciences
Baycrest Health Sciences is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti – a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. Founded in 1918 as the Jewish Home for Aged, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information please visit www.baycrest.org.
About Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute
The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences is a premier international centre for the study of human brain function. Through generous support from private donors and funding agencies, the institute is helping to illuminate the causes of cognitive decline in seniors, identify promising approaches to treatment, and lifestyle practices that will protect brain health longer in the lifespan.