Dr. Tom Hudson
President and Scientific Director
Dr. Thomas J. Hudson is President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He is implementing the Institute’s Strategic Plan, working with cancer research institutions across Ontario to leverage existing strengths. The Plan focuses on prevention, early diagnosis, cancer targets and new therapeutics. Its innovation platforms include imaging and interventions, bio-repositories and pathology, genomics and high-throughput screening, and informatics and biocomputing. Dr. Hudson is recruiting more than 50 internationally recognized principal investigators to conduct the research identified in the Strategic Plan.
Dr. Hudson was the founder and Director of the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre and Assistant-Director of the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research. Dr. Hudson is internationally renowned for his work in Genomics. At the Whitehead Institute, Dr. Hudson led the effort to generate dense physical and gene maps of the human and mouse genomes. He is a leader in the development and applications of robotic systems and DNA-chip based methodologies for genome research. In June 1996, he founded the Montreal Genome Centre based at the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute. In 2003, this group expanded to become the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre. Dr. Hudson and his team were founding members of the International Haplotype Map Consortium. Dr. Hudson’s interests in human genetic diseases focus on the dissection of complex genetic diseases. Disease projects in Dr. Hudson’s laboratory included the search for genes predisposing to lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, coronary artery disease, asthma, diabetes and colon cancer. The laboratory also used the DNA-chip technology to characterize breast and ovarian cancer.
In 2007, Dr. Hudson was appointed to the rank of Professor (status-only) in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He previously taught in the departments of Human Genetics and Medicine at McGill University and practiced medicine at the McGill University Health Centre – Montreal General Hospital (Division of Immunology and Allergy).
Dr. Hudson is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was one of the co-founding members of P3G and is currently serving as its Scientific Director. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Human Genetics.
The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Hudson has received the 2005 Achievement of the Year in Healthcare from Maclean’s magazine, the 2005 Award for Research in Immunology by the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the André-Dupont 2002 Young Investigator Award given by Quebec’s Clinical Research Club, an Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a Burroughs-Wellcome Clinician-Scientist Award, The 2002 Prix de la Santé from the Armand-Frappier Foundation, the 2001 Young Scientist Award by the Genetics Society of Canada, the 2000 Scientist of the Year by Radio-Canada, and the 1999 Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.
Ms. Karen Belaire
Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Karen Belaire was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research on January 16, 2012. She is responsible for development of financial strategies to help grow the organization, development of multi-year strategic operating plans, and quality control and regulatory compliance. She is working with stakeholders to forge effective partnerships and collaborative opportunities.
Ms. Belaire has an extensive background in finance, information technology and human resources, both in health care and academia. Most recently, she worked as an independent consultant on a range of projects.
Previously, Ms. Belaire was the Chief Operating Officer of the London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, Ontario. She assisted the hospitals in refining their existing clinical city-wide structure, ensuring fiscal accountability and responsibility, and optimization of patient safety.
At McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Ms. Belaire was Vice-President, Administration. She was responsible for oversight over a broad operational portfolio that included finance, human resources, risk management, physical plant, security, parking, planning, media services, and others. Ms. Belaire has also served as an executive at several Ontario-based hospitals, as Acting President and CEO of Cambridge Memorial Hospital in Cambridge, Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Services at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Vice-President, Finance, at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga and Manager of Patient Accounts at Toronto East General Hospital in Toronto.Ms. Belaire holds a BA in geography from York University, an MBA from Laurentian University and is a Certified General Accountant.
Dr. Nicole Onetto
Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Nicole Onetto was appointed Deputy Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research on November 2, 2009. As Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Onetto works with OICR’s program and platform leaders to determine strategic directions and priorities of the Institute’s research programs. She is providing direct oversight of the OICR operations support teams.
Dr. Onetto is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with cancer research stakeholders including partner organizations, collaborative clinical trials groups, Cancer Care Ontario, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, research institutes and academic institutions.
Previously, Dr. Onetto was the Senior Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of ZymoGenetics, Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in protein therapeutics.
From 2002 to 2005 Dr. Onetto was the Executive Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., where she led the clinical development which led to the approval of Tarceva® for non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Canada.
Prior to this Dr. Onetto served approximately three years with Gilead Sciences, Inc. as Senior Vice-President, Medical Affairs and as Vice-President, Medical Affairs. Prior to the merger of Gilead and NeXstar, Dr. Onetto was Vice-President, Medical Affairs for NeXstar Pharmaceuticals. There she was responsible for the strategy/implementation and coordination of all clinical trials worldwide bringing many potential products into development.
From January 1995 to May 1997, Dr. Onetto served as Senior Director Medical Affairs for the European oncology division of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). During this assignment with BMS, she was responsible for the coordination of all European oncology clinical trials from phase I to phase IV for all oncology BMS products. From July 1991 to January 1995, Dr. Onetto was Director, Clinical Cancer Research for BMS. While at BMS she was the International Project Leader for Taxol® and was responsible for the filing of the initial NDA for Taxol® and several supplemental NDAs. During her tenure at BMS she worked very closely with the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer.
Before this appointment, she held positions at Immunex Research and Development Corp. and Hoechst Canada, Inc.
Dr. Onetto studied at the University of Paris where she received her Bachelor’s degree. She holds a Doctorate in medicine and is qualified in pediatrics and hematology oncology and also has a Master of Science degree in pharmacology from the Université de Montréal. Dr. Onetto has received many awards throughout her career.
Mr. Jeff Courtney
Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Jeff T. Courtney was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research on November 12, 2012. He is leading the Institute’s efforts to commercialize novel approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer resulting from research conducted in Ontario. Mr. Courtney has extensive experience in venture capital, business development and strategic planning.
Prior to joining OICR, Mr. Courtney was Managing Director of Verde Ventures, a management consulting firm specializing in providing financial and strategic advice to companies in the life sciences, health care and technology. Mr. Courtney is Co-founder and CEO of Sempra Therapeutics, a dermatology start-up company that is developing novel, topically administered skin-penetrating glycosaminoglycan formulations for use in cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications.
As General Partner at VG Partners, Mr. Courtney was part of the leadership team that oversaw the $250 million Advanced Life Sciences Fund – the focus of which was on medical technologies, imaging, therapeutics and diagnostics. Mr. Courtney also was a partner at CDP Sofinov, President of Faulding Canada Inc., Executive Vice-President of Pharmascience Inc. and held various senior positions with Johnson & Johnson.
Mr. Courtney has served on numerous boards of directors for public and private enterprises in the biomedical industry and is currently a director on the boards of the Ontario Preclinical Imaging Consortium and Tornado Spectral Systems. He is a member of the Investment Committee of the MaRS Discovery District’s Investment Accelerator Fund.
Mr. Courtney earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology, from the University of Guelph.
Ms. Jane van Alphen
Ms. Jane van Alphen has served as the Vice-President, Operations at OICR since 2006, where she oversees the infrastructure of the Institute which includes facilities, health and safety, human resources, information technology, privacy and information security, policies and the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board. Ms. van Alphen also participates as a member of the senior management team and is liaison to the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, which provides OICR with its funding.
Ms. van Alphen worked previously as the clinical health services director at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto from 1999 to 2006, providing leadership within two key clinical portfolios. Within the Cardiac Program, Ms. van Alphen led the growth strategy of the program and its organizational management. Ms. van Alphen’s duties there also included project planning for a $35 million cardiac diagnostic and interventional unit. Ms. van Alphen’s portfolio included an inpatient and critical care units, various laboratories and this clinic’s 300 employees and $19 million annual budget.
Within the Dentistry, General Surgery, Orthopaedic and Otolaryngology Programs, Ms. van Alphen led six teams including two inpatient units and six outpatient areas. The $9 million portfolio that Ms. van Alphen managed in this role required her to oversee 240 employees, operating across 30 different occupational categories.
Prior to her role at The Hospital for Sick Children, Ms. van Alphen served as the perinatal manager at the Toronto General Hospital and as clinical leader and a registered nurse at Doctors Hospital, Toronto.
Ms. van Alphen began her post-secondary education at the University of Windsor, where she earned a BScN. Ms. van Alphen then obtained an M.Sc. in Physiology at the University of Toronto, where she twice received the University of Toronto Open Fellowship. Ms. van Alphen is further distinguished as a winner of both the Edward Christie Stevens and University of Toronto Life Sciences Awards. In 2003, Ms. van Alphen obtained an MBA from the Rotman School, University of Toronto and while completing her studies, received The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation Scholarship and the Alma Rae Fellowes Nursing Scholarship.
Ms. van Alphen has furthered her commitment to education as a lecturer at the University of Toronto from 1991 to 1994 and at Ryerson University from 1994 to 1998.
Ms. van Alphen has also published in the fields of neurology and physiology.
Ms. Michele Noble
Michele Noble was appointed Corporate Secretary of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) June 21, 2007. Previously, she was part of the team that developed the business plan and the Report to Government that led to the establishment of OICR and played a significant role in its implementation.
A Deputy Minister with the Ontario Government for ten years, Ms. Noble had extensive line department and central agency experience. As Secretary of Management Board of Cabinet from 1995 to 2001, she played an instrumental role in the major reform of the operations of the government. Ms. Noble was also Deputy Solicitor General, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, and Deputy Minister of Revenue. Prior to this, she held positions as Assistant Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Community and Social Services in both policy and operations.
Ms. Noble is the former Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Western Ontario and of the Board of Directors of Belmont House.
Ms. Noble holds a BA (Honours) in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from York University.