Vice-President Research



Prof. Karen Chad began her appointment as Vice-President Research on January 1, 2010. She is also a professor in the College of Kinesiology. 

Karen Chad is the Vice-President Research at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and is also a faculty member in the U of S College of Kinesiology.

With a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland in Australia, Chad is a prolific researcher holding several research grants and contracts and has supervised numerous graduate students.  She received the YWCA Woman of Distinction (Health and Education) award and was awarded the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.  In addition, Karen has earned five teaching awards including the U of S Master Teacher Award.

Chad sits on a number of national boards and has chaired or overseen more than 100 key boards, committees, research programs, and teams.  Honors include an International Award for “Innovation in Research”, the National Leadership Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and in 2011 was identified as a “Woman of Influence” by Saskatchewan Business Magazine.

The University of Saskatchewan is committed to enhancing its capacity for research, scholarly and artistic work; strengthening its performance; and promoting the transfer of knowledge for the benefit of communities.  As the Vice-President Research, Chad plays a strategic leadership role in achieving these objectives within the context of the University’s key goals: to attract and retain outstanding faculty; to increase campus-wide commitment to research; to establish the University of Saskatchewan as a major presence in graduate education; and to recruit and retain a diverse and academically promising body of students.

Building on the University of Saskatchewan’s renowned history of discovery and innovation spanning more than a century, Chad, the University’s Vice-President Research, aims to enhance globally important research under the banner of “discovery with impact”; bringing its expertise on issues of importance to communities and to society.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Vice-President Research provides overall leadership in developing and promoting the University's research, scholarly and artistic work activities and increasing research intensiveness and performance. The Vice-President Research portfolio includes responsibility for:

Associate Vice-President Research



Dr. Marciniuk is a Professor of Medicine in Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and recognized internationally as an expert and leader in clinical exercise physiology, COPD, and pulmonary rehabilitation.  He has given 525 invited presentations, and published 197 peer-reviewed publications, chapters and reviews.  Dr. Marciniuk is a past-President of CHEST, served as a founding Steering Committee member of Canada’s National Lung Health Framework, Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Respirology Examination Board, and past-President of the Canadian Thoracic Society.  Dr. Marciniuk co-Chaired the 2016 CHEST World Congress in Shanghai, China, and also co-Chaired the China-CHEST Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) Steering Committee leading to the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission officially endorsing PCCM in 2016 as a pilot medical subspecialty in China. 

Dr. Marciniuk is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and has been bestowed with the Distinguished Scientist Honor Lecture (2011) and the Thomas L. Petty Master FCCP Memorial Honor Lecture (2015) by the American College of Chest Physicians, the Founder’s Award (2013) by the Canadian Lung Association, and the Christie Memorial Lecture and Award (2016) by the Canadian Thoracic Society.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Leadership for strategic initiatives to foster and enhance research success at the U of S, including its academic units, research centers and institutes;
  • Advancing international research activity and impact, and providing oversight of the International Research and Partnerships Office;
  • Defining and communicating priorities and outcomes for the health research portfolio, and building and promoting the health discovery agenda of the University through a variety of strategies and contacts;
Acting as the institution’s CIHR Tri-Council Leader, working closely with the institution’s other Tri-Agency Leaders and Associate Research Deans to build the innovation agenda within and across their units at an institutional level.

Interim Associate Vice-President Research



Prof. Andrew Potter provides strategic leadership on a broad portfolio of files related to USask’s discovery and innovation mission across campus and contributes his wise counsel to senior leadership.

He joins the Office of the Vice-President Research for a one-year term from the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre, where he led that organization for more than a decade.

VIDO-InterVac has more than 100 patents, of which eight are for animal vaccines and six are world firsts. Prof. Potter’s ground-breaking projects have contributed to several of these world firsts, including the first genetically engineered animal vaccine and vaccines to protect against pathogens found in food and water. He has contributed to more than 60 patents for animal and human vaccines and therapeutics.

Prof. Potter is also a professor of veterinary microbiology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, has served on numerous national public and private sector committees, and has been instrumental in transferring technology from the VIDO-InterVac laboratories to the private sector. He has mentored more than 40 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who currently hold positions in industry, academia and government worldwide.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Interim AVPR promotes and ensures high standards of research, scholarly and artistic work at USask. The Interim AVPR leads a broad portfolio including:

  • Leadership for strategic initiatives to foster and enhance research success at USask, including its academic units, research centres and institutes.
  • Provision of support aimed at fostering new research programs and forging inter-disciplinary and inter-agency research partnerships.
  • Oversight of the university’s Canada Research Chairs program and university research programs and federal funding programs e.g., (CFI, NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR).
  • Oversight for inter-college research centers and institutes and leadership as VPR designate for capital projects for which the VPR is Executive Sponsor.

Director, Research Services, and Assistant Vice-President Research



Dena McMartin is a Professor of Environmental Engineering as well as Director of Research Services and Assistant Vice-President Research. Prof. McMartin is a former Associate Vice-President (Academic and Research) at the University of Regina with experience including oversight of research centres and institutes and the Canada Research Chairs program.

Prof. McMartin’s research program focuses on rural water quality and quantity needs in Canada and abroad, impacts of climate extremes on water availability and rural livelihoods in the Americas, characterization and remediation of oilsands process water, and best practices in agriculture for improved water quality and quantity management. She holds tri-council grants, as well as funding from federal and provincial agencies and industry partners.

Dena serves on national committees of Engineers Canada and provincial committees of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan, as well as serving on the Saskatchewan Architects Association Council. In 2013, she was named a Fellow of Engineers Canada (FEC) in recognition of her contributions to the engineering profession.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Leadership of the Research Services and Ethics Office (RSEO)
  • Member of the Vice-President Research Executive
  • Works closely with Tri-Agency Leaders
  • Support of Responsible Conduct of Research and related research compliance requirements

Executive Director, International



Professor Lee earned his BSc in geological engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and a MA and PhD in geological sciences from Princeton University.

Prior to his appointment at the U of S, Professor Lee served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and has also held several administrative portfolios at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario – as Vice-Provost (International), Academic Integrity Advisor to the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

As a geochronologist, Professor Lee’s research uses the radioisotopic dating of rocks to solve fundamental geological and geological-engineering problems in such diverse areas as the ancient assembly of supercontinents, the history and thermal evolution of the Earth’s crust, the timing of mountain-building processes, and mineral exploration. His research program has been international in scope, and he has collaborated actively with a variety of national and international partners in academic and industry.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • coordinate, integrate, and facilitate the diverse breadth of the university’s international activities in research, teaching, and the student experience
  • promote initiatives that continually improve the quality and breadth of the university’s international activities through forging robust institutional partnerships with universities, innovation enterprises, governments, and industry.
  • work closely with university partners to enhance research collaborations, degree programs, intercultural competence, and student mobility, as well as with provincial, state, and federal governments to advise on and promote international-education strategies.

Professor Lee is a strong proponent of internationalization across the university and has a longstanding interest in international issues in higher education.

Director, Strategic Research Initiatives


Director, Research Profile and Impact


Managing Director, Innovation Enterprise



Johannes’s background includes founder and CEO roles with several high-tech and service companies and organizations in various fields. In 2013, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry elected him an International Fellow for his contribution to the development of the ’green economy’ through purposeful efforts with innovations, entrepreneurship and commercialization of research results. Before joining the University of Saskatchewan (UofS) in 2015 Johannes was the CEO of SLU Holding AB (Inc.), the commercial subsidiary of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Johannes has served as chairman and board member for several research-based spin-off companies as well as the research institute JTI, the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. Since 2017 he has been a member of the mentor network for the VC funded THRIVE Agtech accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Johannes received his PhD in nuclear particle physics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and complemented his education with executive management courses from Harvard Business School, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and others.

As Managing Director of Innovation Enterprise (IE) at the UofS, Johannes applies an entrepreneurial approach to develop and strengthen its innovation and commercialization capacity. IE invests in ideas and innovations with global potential and actively participates in turning ideas into solutions, in addition to managing all intellectual property matters at the UofS. Based on experience from developing and managing high-tech and knowledge-intensive organizations, IE fosters an entrepreneurial culture and contributes to the successful realization of the university’s ideals of diversity, connectivity and sustainability. IE currently ranks second in Canada in licensing income.

Products and services that IE provides:

Business Operations

  • Innovation development
  • Business development and planning
  • HR/staffing strategy for innovation projects and early stage companies
  • Network development
  • Start-up initiation and development

Programs and Services

  • Industry engagement (e.g. AIMday, Industry Portal)
  • Communications advice and guidance
  • Market survey/assessment
  • Student engagement programs
  • Entrepreneurial programs
  • Educational programs
  • Mentorship

Finance & Legal

  • Finance strategy
  • Intellectual property management
  • Licensing
  • Legal services and strategy
  • Funding (seed funding, equity, grants & debt instr.)
  • Advice and assistance with negotiations

Tri-Agency Leaders

Reporting to the Vice-President Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Representative serves as the NSERC presence on campus and in the community to promote achievements and conduct promotional activities in the areas of natural science and engineering.

Dr. Borowsky joined the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Psychology in 1995. His cognitive neuroscience research centres on the localization of language processes in the brain, both temporally as related to reaction time and duration, and spatially, which is examined through the use of fMRI techniques. The application of his lab’s work in preparing patients for neurosurgery resulted in his appointment as an associate member of the Division of Neurosurgery. Dr. Borowsky’s extensive success with NSERC began as a U of S undergraduate when he was funded through the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award program.

As a faculty member, Dr. Borowsky has held continuous funding from NSERC Discovery since 1999, and has experience both as a member and as co-chair of a national NSERC Discovery Grant Evaluation Group.

For more information, visit NSERC.


Ron BorowskyRon Borowsky

Reporting to the Vice-President Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Leader serves as the SSHRC presence on campus and in the community to promote achievements and conduct promotional activities to support tri-council mandates in the area of the humanities and social sciences.

Dr. Noble has provided the University of Saskatchewan with expert guidance on SSHRC programs since 2013. Under his leadership, the SSHRC internal review process has been strengthened to positive reception from grant applicants. Dr. Noble joined the U of S in 2002, bringing his expertise in environmental assessment and resource management to the Department of Geography & Planning. He holds a joint appointment as professor with both Geography and the School of Environment & Sustainability. His current research involves assessing Canada’s watersheds and evaluating environmental assessment as a tool for sustainable resource development.

In the past decade, Dr. Noble has been awarded 9 separate SSHRC grants and brought funding to the U of S from his participation on projects worth over $8.5 million in research funding.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is an arm's-length federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the social sciences and humanities. For more information, visit SSHRC.


Bram NobleBram Noble

Reporting to the Vice-President Research, the CIHR Delegate role acts as the CIHR presence on campus and in the community in order to promote CIHR achievements and conduct promotional activities to support the CIHR mandate.

CIHR is the Government of Canada’s health research funding agency, supporting the work of more than 11,000 researchers and trainees in universities, teaching hospitals, and research institutes across Canada.

For more information about CIHR, visit


Darcy Marciniuk