Advisory Committee

The Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB) was introduced in December 2003 in response to a need to improve and streamline ethics reviews of multi-centre oncology research. OCREB’s primary responsibility is to protect the safety and rights of human research participants. OCREB serves as an expert oncology research ethics board for the hospitals in Ontario that conduct multi-centre cancer trials. OCREB is a program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), and it is an independent body operating at arm’s length from programmatic and research structures within the OICR. OCREB is accountable to the OICR Board of Directors through the OICR Governance and the OCREB Advisory Committees.

OCREB Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Jim Wright – Chair

Division Head, Radiation Oncology
Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, McMaster University

Dr. Jim Wright is Head of the Integrated Radiation Treatment Program at the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC) in Hamilton. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph and his subsequent medical degree, radiation oncology residency, and Master’s in Epidemiology all at McMaster University. Wright is an active member of the head and neck and lung disease site groups at the JCC. He is an active collaborator on many clinical and translational research trials and grants, and has an interest in Health Services Research, specifically in the area of clinical trials. He is currently the Chair of the CCTG’s Data Safety Monitoring Committee, and prior to his role in the Radiation Treatment Program, he was the head of the Clinical Trials Department at the JCC for 10 years.

Josée Bertrand

Principal, The Osborne Group

Josée is a Principal at The Osborne Group, which offers a wide range of professional interim management, consulting, planning and project management services. Prior to joining The Osborne Group, Josée spent over 30 years as a senior financial management executive spanning a variety of industry sectors including not-for-profit, charitable foundations, manufacturing and banking. She is a CPA and graduate of Western University. In addition to the OCREB Advisory Committee, Josée serves on the Audit & Finance Committee of the Canadian Children’s Hospital Foundation (CCHF). She is a past Board member and Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee for Casey House Hospital & Foundation. She is also an active fundraiser for a number of charities including the We’re Funny That Way Foundation, Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, SickKids Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Laurel Evans

Director, Research Ethics, University of British Columbia

Laurel Evans was appointed Associate Director of Research Ethics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in April 2007 and became Director in 2011. Evans oversees the operations of the human research protections program of the University and its affiliated hospitals (currently six REBs). She is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring ethical review processes and standards at UBC and its affiliated hospitals and for raising awareness of research ethics requirements by educating and promoting compliance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 (2014), as well as other national and international standards, including the ICH-GCPs and the FDA and DHHS regulations.

Evans’ prior experience includes three years at McMaster University in a combined role of Sr. Ethics Advisor and Legal Counsel – Clinical Trials, and almost two years with St. Michael’s Hospital where she had responsibility for contract review and special projects. Laurel was the legal representative on the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board and an adjunct professor at McMaster where she taught health law, policy and ethics in the Health Studies and Health Sciences programs.

Evans is a past President of the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards (CAREB). She was Co-Chair of the CAREB Serious Adverse Event (SAE) reporting Working Group (2008-2009), which was responsible for the development of the CAREB Guidance for Review of Unanticipated Problems. In her capacity as a CAREB member, Evans was instrumental in assisting with CAREB responses to several initiatives, including the 2008 Experts Committee Report, the 2010 draft of the Tri-Council Policy Statement, a response to Health Canada for expressions of interest in accreditation of REBs in 2009, as well as the Canadian General Standards Board Standard for REBs (2013). She is currently a member of CAREB’s professional certification program committee, developing learning objectives and content for the conflict of interest, privacy and accreditation/qualification modules.

Evans was lead contact for the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative, a 1 Million dollar grant from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Her office has recently been awarded an additional $120,000 from the Michael Smith Foundation to assist in the sustainability of the BC ethics harmonization model by creating a separate work-space for multi-jurisdictional reviews in British Columbia, leveraging the UBC online system.

In May of 2015, Evans was appointed Chair of the REB Accreditation Working Group established by Health Canada and the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre (CIHR, HealthCareCan, Rx&D). The Working Group’s Final Report was submitted in August of 2016.

Nancy Walton

Associate Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University, Chair, Women’s College Research Ethics Board

Dr. Nancy Walton is the Director of the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University. In June 2017 she completed a year on secondment to the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister. She is also the Chair of the Research Ethics Board at Women’s College Hospital. As of 2017, she was appointed as an ethicist to the Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Research Ethics Board. 

Walton has a PhD in Bioethics from the University of Toronto Collaborative Program in Bioethics (2003) and an undergraduate degree in nursing science from Ryerson (1992). She has both published and presented in the areas of priority setting and decision-making in health care, internet-based research, research ethics board composition, risk in social science and humanities research and the legal and ethical concerns in research involving children and adolescents. She was Co-Investigator for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care-funded project on Variations in Revascularization Practices in Ontario. As a Principal Investigator, her main research focus is on the experiences of parenting children with autism spectrum disorder and the phenomenon of the “parent-as-therapist”.

Walton served as the Director, e-learning, for Ryerson University from 2013-2016. She was the Chair of the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board from 2004-2013 and has actively engaged in academic governance through her roles as the Vice-Chair of Ryerson Senate, and the Vice Chair of the Senate Priorities Committee. She served as the Co-Chair of the Ryerson United Way campaign for 2011-2012. In 2013, she was the recipient of a University Faculty Service Award as well as the recipient of the Ryersonian of The Year Award. Walton has served as Academic Colleague for Ryerson University at the Council of Ontario Universities and as a member of The Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance.

Walton has served as a Council member of the National Council on Ethics in Human Research (NCEHR). She is a longstanding community member and member with expertise in ethics of the Research Ethics Board at the Hospital for Sick Children and a founding member of the Research Ethics Board at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

She is the Canadian author of the textbook “Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Nursing” (3rd edition) and is co-author of an upcoming textbook entitled “Critical Thinking for Nurses” (2018). She co-authors the Research Ethics Blog and the Nursing Ethics Blog.