Prof Leah Cowen will be University of Toronto’s first associate vice-president for research, building on expertise that includes being a co-founder of spinout Bright Angel Therapeutics.

University of Toronto named Prof Leah Cowen as its first associate vice-president for research on Friday to better support faculty and boost the quality and impact of the institution’s research across its three campuses.

The position was created by Prof Ted Sargent, vice-president for research and innovation, and for strategic initiatives, following consultation with faculty.

Cowen will step into her new position in March 2021 and will hold the appointment for a four-year term. She is currently chairwoman of the department of molecular genetics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and specialises in infectious fungal diseases.

Among Cowen’s accomplishments to date are her co-founding of fungal inhibitor developer Bright Angel Therapeutics. She also serves as the spinout’s chief scientific officer.

She said: “The transition to this new role as associate vice-president, research, is a very exciting one at this stage, providing a wonderful opportunity to engage and support a much broader portfolio of research and scholarship across the university.

“It has been a really incredible experience to work with students, faculty and staff over the past four and a half years as chair of molecular genetics to enable our mission in research and education to thrive.”

– Image courtesy of University of Toronto