2016 Jury Members

Louis Bherer

BhererLouis Bherer was recently appointed full professor at the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal and researcher at l’Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal. Before joining Université de Montréal, Bherer was the inaugural Scientific Director of the PERFORM Centre at Concordia University in Montreal. He also held the CIHR Canada Research Chair on Aging and the Prevention of Cognitive Decline at Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM).

Bherer completed a Master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology (Université Laval), a PhD in Neuropsychology (Université de Montréal) and a post-doc in Aging and Neurosciences at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA). His research program studies the effect of cognitive stimulation, physical activity and exercise on cognition and cognitive decline associated with aging and chronic disease. Dr. Bherer’s research program is currently supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

J. Richard Blickstead

J. Richard Blickstead specializes in strategic organization revitalization, governance, stakeholder management, complex systems thinking, and executional excellence within healthcare, population health, and consumer-centric organizations.  He is the President and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association, a national health charity and President of Clothesline, one of Canada’s largest social enterprises.

Blickstead is the past CEO of the Wellesley Institute, a national applied research and policy think tank focused on advancing population health. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, a Fellow of the MaRS-Social Innovation Generation, and was latterly a President of RONA Retail, Wal-Mart FJ USA, Dylex- BW Stores, and Peoples Jewellers amongst others. Blickstead is a Governor of Centennial College, a Director and Past Chair of Imperial Manufacturing Group, Board Treasurer of Regis College at the University of Toronto, a Director of World Presidents Organization: Ontario Chapter, and Young President Organization, Toronto Chapter, and a Director of the Harvard Club of Toronto. He is a Past-Director of the Toronto Central LHIN, Past Chair of Centennial College’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation, Past Governor of the Canadian Centre for Diversity, and a past-Director of the Toronto Board of Trade and past Chair of its Policy and Advocacy Committee.

Blickstead has an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University, an MBA from the University of Toronto, and is a graduate of the joint Non-Profit Management Certificate program at the Harvard Business and Kennedy Schools. He is also an alumnus of Bishop’s College School.

Dr. Laurette Dubé

Dr. Laurette Dubé is the co-chair of the Bloomberg Manulife Prize. Originally trained as a nutritionist, with graduate degrees in finances (MBA), marketing (MPS), and behavioral decision making/consumer psychology (PhD), Dr. Dubé is Full Professor and holds the James McGill Chair of consumer and lifestyle psychology and marketing at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University.

Dr. Dubé’s lifetime research interest focuses on the study of affects, behavioral economics, and neuro-behavioral processes underlying consumption, lifestyle, and health behavior. Her translational research examines how such knowledge can inspire more effective behavioral change and ecosystem transformation. Dr. Dubé  is also the founding chair and scientific director of the McGill Center for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), a unique initiative that seeks to push the boundaries of disciplinary and complexity sciences to help individuals, communities, businesses, social enterprises, and governments more effectively tackle the most pressing societal and economic problems facing the world: those that lie at the nexus between agriculture, health and wealth production, consumption and distribution.  

With a strong focus on harnessing the power of business as a catalyst for real-world change, the MCCHE operates through collaboration of private sector organizations with NGO/social enterprises, policy makers and academics at community, state, national and global levels to elaborate whole-of-Society solutions that promote convergence through local and systemic changes. Behavioral economics, decision neuroscience, spatial-temporal statistics, and computational systems science models are at the core of real time learning enabled by this transdisciplinary research action approach.

Dr. Bärbel Knäuper

Dr. Bärbel Knäuper is Professor of Psychology and director of the Health Psychology Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at McGill University. Her research focuses on developing interventions for health behaviour change. For example, she is currently developing and testing the effectiveness of a series of behavioral weight loss programs that target certain populations (e.g. emotional eaters). She also works on developing interventions that can effectively be delivered by non-experts in behaviour change (e.g. physicians, dieticians). Other projects include the promotion of sleep in adolescents, the effects of mindfulness interventions, the promotion of physical exercise, and improving medication adherence.

Richard I. Levin

Richard I. Levin, MD, is President and CEO of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, and a leading voice for humanism in medicine. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice-Principal for Health Affairs at McGill University in Montreal from 2006-2011. Prior to that, he was the Vice Dean for Education, Faculty and Academic Affairs, and a professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Levin is Emeritus Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at McGill and in the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology at New York University.

In 2016 Dr. Levin received an honorary doctorate from Wake Forest University that cited his contributions: “For four decades he studied the heart as both the instrument of blood flow and the source of our humanity.” Dr. Levin earned a B.S. in Biology with Honors from Yale University in 1970 and graduated from the NYU School of Medicine where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha in 1974. He was Senior Chief resident in Internal Medicine at Bellevue in 1977-1978, completed a cardiology fellowship at NYU and then a postdoctoral fellowship in vascular biology at the Specialized Center for Research in Thrombosis at Cornell University Medical College. For 25 years, he practiced cardiology at Bellevue Hospital and  is currently an Attending Emeritus there. He was President of the Council of Deans of the Faculties of Medicine of Quebec and Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Resident Matching Service.

Dr. Ron Sigal

Dr. Ron Sigal is Professor of Medicine, Kinesiology, Cardiac Sciences and Community Health Sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.  He is active in clinical medicine, teaching and research. Dr. Sigal completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at McGill University in 1987-92, and a research fellowship at the McGill Nutrition and Food Sciences Centre in 1992-93.  He completed a Master of Public Health degree and a research fellowship in Epidemiology and Genetics at Harvard University in 1993-96.  

Dr. Sigal has held a Health Senior Scholar award from Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, and previously a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award.  His current research focuses on clinical trials related to physical activity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Sigal is a practicing endocrinologist, who has cared for people with diabetes for more than 20 years.  He has volunteered for the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) in several capacities since 1997. He is currently co-chair of the CDA Professional Section Executive and a member of the CDA Board of Directors.  He served on the CDA Expert Committee that developed the CDA Clinical Practice Guidelines for 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018, and also on the Dissemination and Implementation Committee for these guidelines.  He has been the lead author of the guidelines on Physical Activity/Exercise for the Canadian Diabetes Association (2003, 2008, 2013, 2018) and the American Diabetes Association (2006).

Dilip Soman

Dilip Soman is a professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and the co-director of the university’s Behavioural Economics in Action research cluster. He also served as a senior policy advisor and a scholar-in-residence at the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada in Ottawa, where he continues to serve on an advisory board.

Prof. Soman is a behavioural scientist and conducts research on interesting human behaviours and applications to choice architecture, consumer welfare, health behaviours, policy and financial well-being. He is the author of more than 50 research papers and several books, including the recently published The Last Mile (University of Toronto Press). Soman works with several governments, businesses and NGOs in the area of behavioural insights and their implication for value creation and delivery. In addition to his teaching, Soman also conducts an open online class (MOOC) entitled “Behavioural Economics in Action.” He holds degrees in engineering (B.E., Bombay), management (MBA, IIM) and the Behavioural Sciences (Ph.D., Chicago) worked in sales and advertising, consulted for several organizations, and taught at the University of Colorado, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and been a distinguished visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore and the University of Chicago.

Christine Williams

Christine Williams is currently Vice President of Research at the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute and responsible for overseeing adjudication and distribution of ~$45 million of donor funding for research. She has overseen a major transition in CCSRI funding programs in past three years.



McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE)

Desautels Faculty of Management

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