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Office of the Vice-President Research

Dr. Karen Mossman, Vice-President, Research

Headshot of Karen Mossman.Karen is responsible for research activities within the university and the aggressive pursuit of partnerships – nationally and internationally – designed to capitalize on McMaster’s significant research strengths.

She leads the strategic development for the research portfolio and all research-related policies and practices.  She oversees the University’s overall research funding, including developing strategies aimed at increasing McMaster’s share of federal, provincial and other funding opportunities; the development and maintenance of research infrastructure and platforms; and the development and implementation of strategies to foster innovation and commercialization.

Prior to assuming this role, Karen was McMaster’s associate vice-president, research, and the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. She also holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Medicine. As a molecular virologist, she has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how cells sense viral infections and, in turn, how viruses evade detection by host cells. More recently, her research efforts have also focused on development of “oncolytics” — therapeutic viruses used to fight cancer.

Karen is a member of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and the McMaster Immunology Research Center.  She is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the McMaster Innovation Park. Karen holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Alberta.


Dr. Andy Knights, Associate Vice-President, Research

Headshot of Andy Knights.Andy supports the vice-president, research on all research initiatives, with a specific focus on identifying funding opportunities and prospective cross-disciplinary collaborations and maximizing the potential of the University’s research centres and institutes. He is responsible for overseeing research operations including research ethics policies, reviews of centres and institutes and nominations for prizes and awards.  He works with the vice-president to promote and maintain a culture of innovation; create conditions for increasing the University’s overall quality and quantity of research activity; and engage the University community and external partners on potential funding opportunities.

Andy’s expertise is in the field of silicon integrated optics and optical circuits and his experience blends both the academic and industry sectors. He received his Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia in 1995, followed by post-doctoral appointments at Western University and the UK Ion Beam Research Centre. Prior to joining McMaster in 2003, Andy was principal engineer at Bookham Technology – a UK-based company specializing in the development of highly integrated optics.  He co-authored the first textbook on silicon photonics, has published more than 250 research articles, holds 12 active patents in the area of integrated optics, and founded KT3 Photonics – a successful McMaster spin-off company, which subsequently became part of Ottawa-based Ranovus.

Kathy Charters, Assistant Vice-President, Research Administration

Headshot of Kathy Charters.Kathy provides strategic leadership to the University’s research administration team, advises on trends and developments in research funding and opportunities; and provides subject matter, finance and budgeting expertise to the University’s senior leadership. Responsible for client services, Kathy oversees a number of initiatives designed to provide our research community with the most effective and efficient services and support.  Kathy is the primary liaison for our external funding agencies and works to ensure stewardship of the University’s research funds by adhering to ethical standards of conduct in compliance with University and funding agency policies.

Kathy has been involved in research administration at McMaster for more than two decades, serving in a number of progressive positions. Prior to assuming this role, Kathy was the executive director of the Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS) for eight years.  She has extensive experience in all aspects of research administration – both on pre- and post-award activities. Recognized internally and externally for her ability to modernize procedures and processes, Kathy plays an integral role in the University’s finance and research finance activities.


Dr. Darren Lawless, Assistant Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Partnerships

Headshot of Darren Lawless.Darren provides university-wide leadership for activities central to the research enterprise, working with the University’s senior leadership and faculty members to seek out and establish partnerships with public and private stakeholders, identify opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations, and support institutional commercialization and entrepreneurship efforts.

Darren joined McMaster in May 2020, after serving as Humber College’s Dean of Applied Research and Innovation. Over his 25-year career, Darren has held leadership roles in research and development, in both the private and academic sectors. While in industry, he developed expertise in commercializing technologies and partnering with academia and provincial and federal governments. Darren successfully transferred those skills to the academic sector where he continues to build mutually beneficial partnerships – with government, industry and community stakeholders – that leverage McMaster’s research excellence to drive technology and social innovation across the sectors.

Darren holds a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from Concordia University, and completed a post-doctoral appointment at Argonne National Laboratories near Chicago, Illinois. He is an inventor with contributions to over 50 patents and has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. He serves on a number of private and public advisory boards, including the NSERC Council.


Dave Tucker, Assistant Vice-President, Research (Nuclear)

Headshot of Dave Tucker.Dave is responsible for advancing McMaster’s role as a global leader in nuclear research, training and commercialization. He’s building on existing – and fostering new – strategic external partnerships with the private sector, government and other institutions and industry associations, nationally and internationally. Dave works with the University’s senior academic leaders to identify opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations and leads research initiatives related to innovation-driven economic development and commercialization in the nuclear sector.

Dave returned to McMaster in 2021 after a three-year stint as the head of the Radiation Safety Technical Services at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, where he led the delivery of radiation safety and dosimetry services for the IAEA’s global operations. Prior to that, he had a distinguished 20-year career at McMaster, serving, most recently, as Senior Health Physicist.

Dave has more than 32 years of experience in progressive leadership roles in the Canadian and international nuclear sector. He is a two-time McMaster grad, earning an Hons B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Medical Physics and holds a number of professional certifications.


Dr. Gay Yuyitung, Executive Director, McMaster Industry Liaison Office

Headshot of Gay Yuyitung.Gay Yuyitung has led McMaster’s Industry Liaison Office (MILO) since 2014 and has been an integral part of the MILO team since 2002. She oversees MILO’s efforts to ensure that McMaster inventions and discoveries are being moved into society and into the hands of those who can put them to their best use. Under Gay’s direction, MILO staff assist faculty, staff and students at McMaster and our affiliated hospitals in their work with industry – facilitating sponsored research contracts and commercialization of their research.

Gay has experience in negotiating license agreements to transfer technology from the university to both large multinationals as well as small and medium sized enterprises. She has served on a number of boards and provided management support for several McMaster related companies, from initial start-ups growing to mature companies to raising angel and venture capital investment, with significant revenues. Prior to joining McMaster, Gay gained significant marketing experience at MDS Nordion and Eli Lilly. Gay holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from McMaster University.