UPDATED: Organized Research Units welcome new and returning directors

Graphic showing different research terms
Graphic showing different research terms

York University recently welcomed new and returning directors to some of its Organized Research Units (ORU), including the LaMarsh Centre for Child & Youth Research, the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, the City Institute at York University, YU-CARE, the Centre for Refugee Studies, the Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions, the Centre for Jewish Studies and the Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry.

“On behalf of the York University research community, I would like to congratulate Professors Gordon Flett, Gabrielle Slowey, Alison Bain, Joe Baker, Christina Clark-Kazak, Sergey Krylov, Carl Ehrlich and Derek Wilson on their directorship appointments,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research and innovation. “Their expertise and leadership will be vital in leading York’s research centres and institutes forward in accomplishing their visions and strategic directions.”

Gordon Flett
Gordon Flett

LaMarsh Centre for Child & Youth Research: Gordon Flett

The LaMarsh Centre for Child & Youth Research welcomed Gordon Flett as its new director on July 1. Flett will hold the position for a five-year term.

Most recognized for his contributions to research and theory on the role of perfectionism in psychopathology, Flett has received widespread national and international attention for his collaborative work on the topic with Paul Hewitt (University of British Columbia).

Flett has been the subject of numerous media stories, including coverage on CTV, CNN and the BBC. His work has been supported by major research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada. Flett’s other current research interests include the study of personality predictors of postpartum depression in new mothers and fathers.

Also, in keeping with his interest in adjustment across the lifespan, Flett is conducting programmatic research on the nature and correlates of suicidality in the elderly. He also holds a Canada Research Chair in Personality & Health.

Gabrielle Slowey
Gabrielle Slowey

Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies: Gabrielle Slowey

Gabrielle Slowey will serve a five-year term as director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. She moved into the role on July 1.

Slowey is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at York University, where she teaches courses in Canadian, aboriginal and Arctic politics. Her research investigates the intersection between governance, resource extraction, indigenous development, the environment and the state in multiple regions (northern Alberta, northern Quebec, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, the United States, Australia and New Zealand).

Her current research concentrates on pressures to develop shale gas reserves, and investigates the variation in response by local communities in Canada and in comparative perspective. She is the author of Navigating Neoliberalism: Self-Determination and the Mikisew Cree First Nation (UBC Press, 2008) and numerous book chapters.

Alison Bain
Alison Bain

City Institute at York University (CITY): Alison Bain

Alison Bain will fill a one-year term as acting director of the City Institute at York University. She holds the position until June 30, 2016.

Bain is an associate professor of geography who earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2002.

An urban social geographer who studies contemporary culture, Bain’s work examines the contradictory relationships between cultural workers, cities and suburbs, with particular attention paid to questions of identity formation, artistic practice and urban change.

Her research has been published in edited collections as well as in the scholarly journals Antipode, Area, Cambridge Journal of Regions Economy and Society, Gender, Place and Culture, Social and Cultural Geography, The Canadian Geographer and Work, Employment and Society. In 2013, she published Creative Margins: Cultural Production in Canadian Suburbs with the University of Toronto Press. She is currently co-editing a textbook with Linda Peake for Oxford University Press, entitled Urbanization in a Global Context: Canadian Perspectives.

Joe Baker
Joe Baker

YU-CARE: Joe Baker

YU-CARE welcomes Joe Baker as acting director for a one-year term ending June 2016.

Baker is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science and director of the York University Centre for Aging Research & Education. His research considers the varying influences on optimal human development, ranging from issues affecting high-performance athlete development and skill acquisition to barriers and facilitators of successful aging.

Christina Clark-Kazak
Christina Clark-Kazak

Centre for Refugee Studies: Christina Clark-Kazak

Christina Clark-Kazak is acting director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies, and will hold the position for a one-year term ending June 2016.

Clark-Kazak is the associate principal of research and graduate studies at Glendon College. She teaches in Glendon’s Department of International Studies and the Graduate School of Public & International Affairs.

Her research interests include age mainstreaming in migration and development policy, interdisciplinary methodology, the social construction of age, and the intersection of development and migration in the African Great Lakes.

Prior to becoming an academic, Clark-Kazak worked for eight years as a development practitioner with the Canadian government and non-governmental organizations.

Sergey Krylov
Sergey Krylov

Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions: Sergey Krylov

Sergey Krylov returns as director of the Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions after a sabbatical, and will hold the position for three years.

Krylov is the research chair in bioanalytical chemistry and a professor of chemistry at York University.

The overarching goal of his research is to create innovative and enabling technologies for biomedical and bioanalytical applications, including the study of basic natural phenomena, development and validation of new methods, and the creation of practical tools for use in clinical and industrial settings.

Krylov’s bioanalytical methods are being used by dozens of biology and chemistry labs, and in multiple companies worldwide.

His 164 publications have been cited 3,976 times.

Carl Ehrlich
Carl Ehrlich

Centre for Jewish Studies: Carl S. Ehrlich

The Centre for Jewish Studies welcomes Carl S. Ehrlich, who returns as director after a sabbatical.

Ehrlich (BA magna cum laude ’76 in Judaic studies/honours, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; MA ’84 and PhD ’91 in near Eastern languages and civilizations, Harvard University) has been a professor of Hebrew Bible in the Department of Humanities at York University since 1996, where he has also served as coordinator of religious studies.

Among his areas of interest are synchronic, diachronic and contextual approaches to the biblical text and Israelite civilization.

Ehrlich has authored The Philistines in Transition: A History from ca. 1000-730 B.C.E. (1996), Understanding Judaism (2004, reprinted in 2010 and translated into a number of languages) and Bibel und Judentum: Beiträge aus dem christlich-jüdischen Gespräch (2004). He has edited/co-edited Saul in Story and Tradition (2006), From an Antique Land: An Introduction to Ancient Near Eastern Literature (2009) and Purity, Holiness, and Identity in Judaism and Christianity: Essays in Memory of Susan Haber (2013).

From 2010-11, he taught courses at six universities in four countries on two continents in two languages over a 12-month period.

Derek Wilson
Derek Wilson

Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry: Derek Wilson

The Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry welcomed Derek Wilson as its new director on July 1.

Wilson is an associate director in the Department of Chemistry at York University. His current work focuses on the development of new mass spectrometry and NMR techniques for probing the intimate relationship between how proteins move and how they function.

Wilson was recruited to York immediately following his PhD in 2006, and he started his independent research career in 2007 (after a year of leave to complete his postdoc). He has since published numerous papers and cover features in top international journals, won several prizes including an Ontario Early Researcher Award and attracted more than $3 million in research funding from NSERC, CFI and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.

Wilson earned his BSc with distinction from Trent University, and his PhD in the lab of Lars Konermann at Western University. He has earned awards from the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada, including the top level Canada Graduate Scholarship and, ultimately, an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship which he took up at Cambridge under Professor Chris Dobson, a world-renowned expert in protein folding and aggregation.

Maria Costanza Guzman
Maria Costanza Guzman

Centre for Research on Language and Culture Contact: María Constanza Guzmán

The Centre for Research on Language and Culture Contact welcomes María Constanza Guzmán as its new director. Guzman is an associate professor in the School of Translation and the Hispanic Studies Department at Glendon College. In addition to directing CRLC, she also directs the Graduate Program in Translation Studies. At York, she is a CERLAC fellow and is affiliated with the graduate program in the Department of Humanities.

Her interests lie at the intersection between contemporary cultural theory, translation studies and Latin American studies; her current research focuses on translation and intellectual history in Latin America.

She has published numerous translations and articles, and is the author of the book Gregory Rabassa’s Latin American Literature: A Translator’s Visible Legacy (2010)co-editor of Translation and Literary Studies: Homage to Marilyn Gaddis Rose (2012) and Deterritorializing Practices in Literary Studies: Contours of Transdisciplinarity (2014), and editor-in-chief of the journal Tusaaji: A Translation Review.

She holds a PhD in comparative literature which she earned from the state of New York.