Leadership Team

Matthias Ruth, Vice-President (Research and Innovation)

Matthias Ruth leads the University's large and complex research innovation portfolio. He and his team support and advance UAlberta's research ecosystem, working across the University's portfolios and faculties, and with external partners and stakeholders. The VP Research team also provides leadership, guidance and research support services, as well as developing and facilitating major research initiatives and partnerships.

He was appointed Vice-President (Research) on May 1, 2018 and also joined the Faculty of Arts as a professor in the Department of Economics. Matthias comes comes to UAlberta from Northeastern University in Boston, USA.

Matthias has a master's degree from the University of Heidelberg, Germany and a PhD from the University of Illinois. His research focus is dynamic modeling of natural resource use, industrial and infrastructure systems analysis, and environmental economics and policy. His theoretical work draws on engineering, economics and ecology.

Email: matthias.ruth@ualberta.ca | Phone: 780-492-5353


Laura Beard, Associate Vice-President (Research)

Laura's role is to develop, support, and sustain excellence in research in the Social Sciences and Humanities across the University. She serves as a liaison to funding agencies and government, helping to build provincial, national, and international research collaborations as well as community research partnerships.

Laura holds a PhD from The Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland. A professor of Modern Languages & Cultural Studies, her research interests includes life narratives, Indigenous literatures, stories and storyworlds, gender, nation and narration.

Email: lbeard@ualberta.ca | Phone: 780-492-5320


Alex Clark, Associate Vice-President (Research)

Alex's role focuses on developing, supporting, and sustaining excellence in health research and innovation across the University and its communities - across all disciplines, methods, and fields.

An interdisciplinary health services researcher, he has led work using quantitative and qualitative methods into psychosocial aspects of coronary heart disease and heart failure. He has a special interest in academic professional development.

Email: alex.clark@ualberta.ca | Phone: 780-492-2918

Walter Dixon, Associate Vice-President (Research and Priority Initiatives)

Walter liaises with funding agencies and government, and helps foster and build research collaborations. He also oversees the University's Post Doctoral Fellows Office, Academic Visitors' Office and Research Ethics Office

Walter served as Interim Vice-President (Research) from July 1, 2017 through May 1, 2018 when he returned to the role of Associate Vice-President (Research) which he has held since 2015.

A professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Walter is a graduate of the University of Alberta and the University of Cambridge. His research focus is livestock reproductive performance and the impact of nutrition during gestation on embryo/fetal development, lifetime growth potential and animal health parameters.

Email: walter.dixon@ualberta.ca | Phone: 780-492-3579

Randy Goebel, Associate Vice-President (Research) and Associate Vice-President (Academic)

Randy Goebel is a member of the senior leadership team in both the Research and Provost/VP Academic portfolios. Among his responsibilities is the University's centres and institutes, 82 distributed across all faculties, and the new bi-lateral agreement on research collaboration with the National Research Council. He co-leads the development of the University precision health strategy (with Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry), for the Medical Isotope Cyclotron Facility working group, and other emerging internal and external research collaborations.

A professor of Computing Science, Randy is also a principal investigator with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute.

Email: rgoebel@ualberta.ca | Phone: 780-492-2280


Deborah James, Associate Vice-President (Innovation)

Deborah has more than 15 years of academic, executive and consulting experience. Most recently, she worked with faculty and the public and private sector to create, connect and implement large-scale initiatives, including the creation of a health innovation incubator and an accelerator program to help transfer UAlberta research driven innovations into society.

Email: deborah.james@ualberta.ca | Phone: 780-492-8342