Announcement: Dr. David Litchfield appointed Director, Research Infrastructure

a photo of Dr. David Litchfield

I am pleased to announce that Dr. David Litchfield, PhD, has been appointed to the newly created position of Director, Research Infrastructure at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University for a three-year term.

This new position is critical to our School’s research enterprise and will play a pivotal role in implementing our new five-year Strategic Plan.

Since 2017, Dr. Litchfield has served as the School’s Vice Dean, Research & Innovation. In that time, he has worked collaboratively to advance our research mission and increased our funding success on several fronts, expanded our Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program with a particular focus on equity, diversity and inclusion, and strengthened our research relationships and partnerships internally within Western, as well as externally.

Throughout his career, Dr. Litchfield has been involved with infrastructure initiatives, including serving as a Project Leader on a Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funded project enabling the establishment of a Functional Proteomics Facility where he served as the inaugural Director. 

In this new role, Dr. Litchfield will provide oversight of major research infrastructure; major grants supporting infrastructure; and the design and implementation plans for the new Bioconvergence Centre. He will work closely with Western’s Vice-President, Research on matters involving the School and Western, along with our other internal and external partners.

Dr. Litchfield earned his PhD in Biochemistry in 1987 from Western University, followed by postdoctoral training in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington Seattle. In 1991, he joined the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology at the Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation with an academic appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Manitoba. He was then recruited to Western as an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry in 1996 and in 1999, was cross-appointed to the Department of Oncology. Today, he serves as a Professor in both departments.

In addition to his prior role as Chair, Biochemistry, Dr. Litchfield’s administrative roles have also included Chair, Biochemistry Graduate Education Committee, and Director and Chair, Basic Medical Sciences Chairs Committee.

He currently serves as a member on several School and University committees, including the Core Planning Group – CFI Project Allocations, Core Facilities Working Group and the Joint Liaison Research Committee for Western and London hospitals. He has also served as Chair of numerous Endowed Chair and CRC Schulich Search Committees and serves as the School’s representative for the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine – Research Committee; the University Delegates Network of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; and is a member of the Board of Directors, WORLDiscoveries.

Dr. Litchfield’s research is focused on the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that control the growth and survival of mammalian cells since defects in these mechanisms underlie many human diseases including cancer, neurological disorders, and immune dysfunction. His lab, which is internationally recognized, also focuses on the development of systematic strategies to promote the development and validation of drugs, most notably protein kinase inhibitors, for molecular-targeted therapy and precision medicine.

Dr. Litchfield has also been an active member of the review community for scientific journals including Editorial Board of the Biochemical Journal and Executive Editor of BBA – General Subjects, as well as national and international granting agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, the Terry Fox Research Institute, National Institutes of Health and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

He was the recipient of the Western University Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award; the Dean’s Award of Excellence; Western’s Faculty Scholar Award; and the Excellence in Academics Award from the Department of Oncology, Division of Experimental Oncology.

I’m grateful to Dr. Litchfield for his many contributions to Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and I look forward to working with him in this new role as we build toward a stronger future for our School.

The School will be launching a search for a new Vice Dean, Research & Innovation on May 6.  


John Yoo, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University