Capone tapped for two-year extension

John Capone, Vice-President (Research), received a two-year extension to his term, now expiring June 30, 2019, university officials announced late last week. The Board of Governors approved the move Jan. 26, following a recommendation from the Review/Selection Committee for the Vice-President (Research).



With his original term set to expire July 1, Capone informed Western President Amit Chakma last month that he did not wish to be considered for a full second five-year term.

However, Capone, BSc’78 (Biochemistry), was concerned about the impact an immediate change in leadership would have on several initiatives underway, including Western’s BrainsCAN: Brain Health For Life, which received a $66-million investment from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF); the current Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) competition; and the Advanced Manufacturing Consortium with McMaster and Waterloo.

Capone also wished to see through measures currently being taken to build capacity in research support services, such as the search for an Associate Vice-President (Research) focused on social sciences arts, and humanities, as well as improving research ethics processes.

Capone requested, and received, the two-year extension, Chakma said.

The president shared Capone’s “concerns about a sudden leadership change at this juncture” and applauded the move.

“I would like to express my deep appreciation to John for his many contributions and his continued commitment to Western and the important work that lies ahead in advancing our research enterprise,” Chakma said in a statement released on Feb. 3.

Capone earned a PhD in Biochemistry from McMaster in 1983. From 1983-86, he was a Medical Research Council of Canada Centennial Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He returned to McMaster as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry in 1986 and was promoted to professor in 1995. Capone became Department of Biochemistry chair in 1997 and was appointed McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences associate dean of research in 2000. He was appointed dean of McMaster’s Faculty of Science on in 2005.

An award-winning scholar, Capone’s primary research interests focus on molecular studies of gene control and protein function in metabolic regulation and hormone action, as related to viral infections and diseases such as cancer.