A Strategic Focus on Research and Innovation

Vice-Dean (Research) Wojtek Michalowski intends the Telfer School to become a research powerhouse building on strengths. Here’s how the School will achieve that goal.

Wojtek Michalowski

Wojtek Michalowski


Through hiring and investments, we are creating a world-class research group in innovation and entrepreneurship. Both Vice-Dean (Career Development) Mark Freel and University Research Chair Peter Jaskiewiez, for example, provide academic leadership to the group, supported by strong external funding, as is Ajax Persaud in his capacity as a Section Coordinator.

My “dream” is to bring health and innovation together. Apart from being strong in innovation/entrepreneurship research, we have significant research expertise in health informatics, healthcare analytics, and human resources in healthcare, among other fields.  If we successfully “blend” these disciplines, I think we will create a unique niche, not only in Canada, but worldwide. We have all the intellectual capacity required to show how to bring innovation acumen to health systems management.

We have created a Telfer Health Transformation Exchange, for example, which links Telfer faculty and physicians from the National Capital Region. Physicians are (inexperienced) entrepreneurs, so bringing our expertise in entrepreneurship and health systems management to this group should really create wonders.

It’s crucial that we do innovative research. The Telfer School is well-positioned in the Ottawa ecosystem to be a thought leader that will shape the discussion about how business evolves. We have the high-tech industry here, we have the healthcare industry, and we have the federal government – all the external ingredients. Internally, we have enthusiastic faculty members who are conducting innovative research and who are leaders in their respective field. And finally, we have senior management both at the Telfer School and at the University that fully appreciates the importance of innovative research.

I draw on all these linkages for my own research that leverages information technology, analytics and artificial intelligence to design patient-centered therapy for so-called complex patients. People with atrial fibrillation who have other health conditions take multiple medications, which can adversely interact. We use computer modelling to mitigate all possible adverse interactions and provide solutions. We also assess patient behavior and suggest interventions that will help them to comply with doctor’s orders.

When we talk about innovative research, it is important to mention our colleagues in analytics who build innovative analytics models to help with the operations of Canada Post, Ottawa Police as well as hospitals and long-term care facilities, to name a few.

Our research is driven by relevance to the important issues our society faces right now, while simultaneously looking to the future and the solutions we will need in 10-15 years from now.

At the Telfer School, we are a forward-looking group of researchers that strives to compete with the best in the world.