Vice President (Research), University of New Brunswick
A native New Brunswicker, received his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from UNB in 1987 under the direction of Professor Zdenek Valenta. Following a two-year NSERC post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Robert K. Boeckman, Jr. at the University of Rochester, began his tenure at UNB as an Assistant in the department of Chemistry. In 1995 I was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 2000 promoted to full professor. From 1999 to 2007 I served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry, except for a brief 6-month period from July 1 to December 31, 2005, where I served as Acting Dean of Science. From July 2008 to June 2017 I served as UNB’s Dean of Science, until I stepped into the role of Acting Vice-President (Research) in July 2017 for a 1-year term. In March of 2018 I began my term as Vice President (Research).
The Office of the Vice-President (Research) provides leadership and vision in shaping UNB's strategic research direction and agenda. The Office of the VPR develops a higher profile for the full spectrum of research and scholarly activities in all UNB academic units. The responsibilities of the office include Research Ethics, Postdoctoral Fellows, UNB's Strategic Research Plan, Research Institutes and various other internal grants and awards. The Office of Research Services (ORS) reports to the VPR and provides both pre-award and post-award support services to faculty members, researchers and external partners. ORS seeks to support faculty members and researchers on both campuses in all stages of the research funding process. The Industry-Government Services (IGS) division of ORS provides support for the development and transfer of technology and knowledge. IGS facilitates research partnerships and provides access to those who wish to explore UNB's knowledge base and research capabilities. IGS is guided by the idea that UNB has a role with industry and government to support a stronger, healthier and more innovative New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada.
My area of research is mainly in the development of new and/or simpler ways to make biologically-interesting and structurally-challenging natural products. In recent years I have had a number of research collaborations with academic (Dalhousie, Acadia, Shahid Beheshti University Tehran) government (Canadian Forestry Services, Newfoundland Department of Natural Resources) and private (JDI-Ltd, Sylvar, Agrifor, Forest Protection Limited) organizations. Over my career I have published 44 peer-reviewed research papers in a number of prestigious national and international journals, and I have 5 patent applications. I have presented over 66 papers at various national and international conferences, and been an invited speaker on 17 other occasions. I have also served as an external examiner for numerous PhD theses. Finally, I have refereed over 170 papers for 34 different journals and 38 grant proposals for national and international granting organizations.
Since joining the faculty at UNB, I have established an excellent scholarship and teaching record. I have supervised 27 graduate students: 10 completed PhDs, 15 completed MScs, and 1 MSc and 1 PhD still in progress. In addition, I have supervised 67 Honours BSc students. Undergraduate and Graduate students from my group have gone on to: MSc and PhD degrees, MD studies, post-doctoral fellowships, university professorships, research scientist positions, and pharmaceutical sales. I have also been actively involved in teaching and revamping UNB courses at all levels, ranging from large first and second-year classes to small undergraduate senior and graduate courses.
While at UNB I have served on a number of University Committees. Of recent note are my involvement on the Academic Planning Committee (both stages), the Administrative Bargaining Committee for the most recent collective bargaining, the Strategic Research Planning Committee, UNB Standing Review Committee responsible for reviewing all CRC, CFI and AIF applications from the institution, and our current strategic planning committee. As Vice-President (Research) I serve on a number of Boards, both regionally and nationally, including but not limited to, SpringBoard Atlantic, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, BioNB, Canadian Consortium of
Ocean Research Universities, Huntsman Marine Centre, AceNet, and New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO).