Clinical Council Operations Committee


The Operations Committee is comprised of faculty members of the University of Waterloo
and at least two clinicians from the Waterloo Region. One regular clinician member and the
chair of the Clinical Council.


The Clinical Council Operation Committee’s provides advice and recommendations, including a clear application process, in relation to the functions and activities of the clinical council. The Clinical Council Operations Committee is also responsible for planning and executing the activities related to the clinical council.


Clark Dickerson (Chair, Founding Member, Clinical Council Operations Committee)

Executive Director, Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) | University of Waterloo, Canada

Clark Dickerson

Clark Dickerson is a Professor of Kinesiology and Health Sciences (Faculty of Health) and Canada Research Chair of Shoulder Mechanics, as well as the Executive Director for the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) at the University of Waterloo, where he has been since 2005. His research focuses on human musculoskeletal biomechanics, particularly of the shoulder. He earned his BSME at Alfred University, his MS in bioengineering from Clemson University, and his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan. His current research interests include the development and experimental evaluation of computational shoulder models, digital ergonomics, age and disease-related shoulder disorder prevention, assessment, and mitigation, in vitro tissue mechanical characterization, and comparative and developmental shoulder mechanics. His work also extends to the design and evaluation of assistive devices, including upper limb exoskeletons and therapeutic soft robots.

Clark Dickerson is an author of over 145 peer-reviewed research articles and over 300 conference and invited talks. He is a past-president of Canadian Society for Biomechanics and current chairperson of the Board of the International Shoulder Group (a technical group of the International Society of Biomechanics).


Jennifer Howcroft (Founding Member, Clinical Council Operations Committee)

Lecturer, Systems Design Engineering Department | University of Waterloo, Canada

Jenny Howcroft

Jennifer Howcroft is a Lecturer in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

Her research encompasses technical and pedagogical research areas. Her pedagogical research focuses on engineering education, in particular engineering design, holistic engineering education, and empathy. Her technical research is predominantly focused on sensor-based human movement analysis encompassing signal analysis, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence techniques.


Kate Mercer (Founding Member, Clinical Council Operations Committee)

Liaison Librarian, Systems Design Engineering Department and Biomedical Engineering Department | University of Waterloo, Canada

Kate Mercer

Dr. Kate Mercer graduated with a Master of Information from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Waterloo, focusing on communicating health information. Kate is the liaison librarian for Systems Design Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo where her job includes collaborating with faculty, staff, and students to effectively provide instruction and support and conduct research. By providing support around subject-specific and interdisciplinary research Kate both supports and collaborates in driving research forward. At the University of Waterloo, Kate works on strategies related to information and misinformation, understanding the research landscape, and building innovative partnerships that span disciplines.

Kate is passionate about understanding how health information and technology interact, how people are accessing, understanding, and disseminating information, and how to better support students through their undergraduate degrees and beyond. Kate also researches in how engineering and science students navigate information seeking, and how to understand how framing critical appraisal can facilitate both learning and professional practice in the real world. Kate publishes on a rage of topics including information literacy, misinformation, scientific communication, artificial intelligence, and empathy in engineering teaching and learning.


Maud Gorbet (Founding Member, Clinical Council Operations Committee)

Professor, Systems Design Engineering Department | University of Waterloo, Canada

Maud Gorbet

Maud Gorbet is a Systems Design Engineering Professor and is cross-appointed with the department of Biology and the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo and also a collaborator with the Centre for Ocular Research and Education.

Her research interests center on biocompatibility issues with a focus on the role of innate immune cells and the impact of material-induced inflammation in the ocular and cardiovascular environments. Biomedical devices have significantly improved quality of life and increased life expectancy of millions of people, but their use is not without complications. Although the overall rate of complications remains low, the consequences have significant impacts, as exemplified by bleeding and clotting complications in cardiovascular devices or significant increased risks of microbial infections with overnight contact lens wear. Research in Professor Gorbet’s lab aims to understand interactions between biomaterials and biological systems. A better understanding of the mechanisms of material-induced cellular activation will support the design of materials and/or therapeutic strategies that can improve biocompatibility and will hence reduce the risks of complications.

Gorbet's research program thus aims to investigate the inflammatory response to biomaterials and design more robust in vitro models that can better assess biocompatibility.
Her team has successfully designed and engineered novel in vitro cell models to investigate the ocular cell response to ophthalmic materials, and is also investigating blood-material interactions. As part of her work on the ocular biomaterials, Gorbet's team is actively working towards understanding the role of neutrophils on the ocular surface.


Ben Thompson (Member, Clinical Council Operations Committee)

Professor, School of Optometry & Vision Science | University of Waterloo, Canada

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson completed his BSc and PhD in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, UK. He then completed postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Psychology, UCLA, USA and the Department of Ophthalmology, McGill University. Prior to joining us at Waterloo, Dr. Thompson was an Associate Professor in Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Bryan Tripp (Founding Member, Clinical Council Operations Committee)

Associate Professor, Systems Design Engineering Department | University of Waterloo, Canada

Bryan Tripp

Professor Tripp uses computational models to study how the brain processes information. He integrates neurobiological models and deep learning to study visuomotor processes. He is also interested in applying these models in challenging robotics tasks, to better understand how the brain deals with the complex physical world. Recent progress in his lab includes: The first deep-network architecture that is based quantitatively on a large cortical network (Tripp, 2019); the most comprehensive model of a higher cortical representation (Rezai et al., 2018); the largest dataset of human-demonstrated robotic grasps (Iyegar et al., 2018); the only robotic head that has movement capabilities on par with humans (including saccade velocity, stereo baseline, and range of motion) (Huber et al., 2018); and the first spiking neural network model of the planning of complex actions (Blouw et al., 2016).



 Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia (Founding External Clinical Operations Member)

Digital Health and Innovation Faculty Lead | McMaster University, Canada

Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia

Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia is a practicing Family Physician at the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team. He is the Faculty Digital Health and Innovation Lead at McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (Waterloo Regional Campus), as well as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Alarakhia is also the Chief Executive Officer of the eHealth Centre of Excellence.

Dr. Alarakhia was awarded the Canadian Digital Health Executive of the Year Award in 2019 and the College of Family Physicians of Canada Award of Excellence in 2018 and 2022.