The Office of the Vice-Principal, Research is located at the following address:

University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5L 1C6


Raquel De Souza is the Strategic Research Initiatives and Partnerships Manager for UTM's Office of the Vice-Principal, Research. She is responsible for designing and implementing programs and strategies that will increase UTM's strategic initiatives and research partnerships. After obtaining her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toronto, Raquel has held various roles at the interface between academia and external organizations. Most recently, she worked for the University of British Columbia (UBC) as Innovation Partnerships Manager at the Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation, and as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Research at UBC's School of Biomedical Engineering. 

Raquel DeSouza

Raquel De Souza, PhD
Strategic Research Initiatives & Partnerships Manager
HSC 340 - Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex


Veron Fernandes joined the UTM Research Office in January 2020 as Office Administrator.  She is the main point of contact for the office in the Health Sciences Complex and coordinates many OVPR efforts including scheduling, events’ assistance, overseeing our ethics committee, producing research reports, and disseminating information.

She has worked for the U of T Mississauga since 2010 supporting the university community in roles involving admissions, recruitment, and program coordination.

Veron is a travel enthusiast, having had the opportunity to explore 45+ countries she has a deep appreciation for international cuisine, art, and culture.

Image of Veron Fernandes

Veron Fernandes
Office Administrator
HSC-332 - Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex


In her role as Strategic Research Development Officer, Jessica Lapp is tasked with supporting the development of social sciences and humanities research programs at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Jessica’s research areas include media and communications studies, information studies, feminist memory practices, and the digital humanities; her interdisciplinary training lends itself to supporting researchers across a broad range of fields and disciplines. Prior to starting her role in the OVPR she held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. She has also worked in the arts, culture and heritage sector as a grant writer, editor, and project manager.

Contact Jessica to discuss research goals, funding opportunities, and the development of grant applications.

Jessica Lapp




Jessica Lapp, PhD
Strategic Research Development Officer

Anastassia (Ana) Pogoutse is a Strategic Research Development Officer at UTM’s Office of the Vice-Principal, Research. She focuses on the development of research programs in the sciences. Ana’s roles include supporting the development of large-scale grants and research programs, providing editorial services for smaller grants, compiling and analyzing research funding data, and leading information sessions related to funding opportunities. Ana has a background in research and holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto. Prior to starting at the OVPR, she worked as a research associate and grant writer at Harvard Medical School.

Contact Ana to discuss research goals, funding opportunities, and the development of grant applications.

Ana Pogoutse

Anastassia Pogoutse, PhD
Strategic Research Development Officer


Stefanie Bernaudo joins the team as a Strategic Research Development Officer. She will support the UTM community by advising faculty on funding application strategies, as well as prizes and awards. Stefanie holds a PhD in the biological sciences, with a focus on the molecular mechanism of ovarian cancer. Stefanie’s previous roles include a postdoctoral fellowship and Research Officer for the Faculty of Science at York University. She has extensive experience supporting grant applications, prestigious awards, partnerships, contracts and other external funding.   

Contact Stefanie to discuss research goals, funding opportunities, and the development of grant applications.

Stefanie Bernaudo

Stefanie Bernaudo, PhD
Strategic Research Development Officer


Tanya Rohrmoser is a writer and the Communications Officer for UTM’s Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and the Critical Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI). She’s tasked with supporting both teams in their communications strategies, storytelling efforts, and brand management. Tanya received her M.A. in English Literature from Brock University in 2010 and is a graduate of the Professional Writing & Communications program at Humber College. She has done consulting for local businesses, and worked in communications roles for House & Home Media, TIFF, University of Toronto Press, and Ridley College. 

Tanya Rohrmoser

Tanya Rohrmoser
Communications Officer


Rong Wu’s career path has education and technology written all over it, bringing with her a whole new level of learning and experience to the UTM Research Office. As the Internal Competitions & Events Coordinator, Rong oversees internal funding competitions, internal awards and the coordination of Research Office events.

A U of T Master of Information Studies graduate, Rong was the Program Assistant for the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation on the St. George campus and was also employed at the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement prior to joining the Research Office. Rong also served as the Learning Technology Liaison at Ryerson University, providing training for educational technologies such as Blackboard, Wiki, Tablets and Clicker, and she has worked at the Toronto Public Library.

True to her academic nature, Rong enjoys learning every chance she gets outside of the university, whether it’s through activities she undertakes with her two young children, or taking up new skills in the areas of crafting or baking.

Image of Rong Wu

Rong Wu
Internal Competitions & Events Coordinator
MN-3231 - Maanjiwe nendamowinan


Matthew Lefaive graduated from UTSC in 2019 with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Linguistics. Matthew will serve as the Digital Humanities Developer in the Critical Digital Humanities Initiative, aiding DH researchers in creating project websites and digital exhibitions. He is also the Project Manager for Bioline International – the longest running project currently housed in UTSC’s Knowledge Equity Lab – managing the platform content and day-to-day workflow. Matthew is interested in open access research and developing web applications to assist in language preservation and learning. 

Matthew Lefaive

Matthew Lefaive
DH Developer




Academic Workshop

Since joining the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2005, Peter Duggan combines his innovative and previous industry experience and knowledge in machining, wood working, mechanics and electronics to support the UTM Research Department: by taking concepts and ideas and bringing them to reality with the right materials for practical use. He was instrumental in the shop's purchase of its CNC machine in 2009.

Outside of work, Peter spends his personal time with his family and friends. He is an ice hockey goalie and spends a great deal of his time at a rink.  He enjoys time in his home workshop building different projects.

Image of Peter Duggan

Supervisor: Peter Duggan
Tel. 905 828-5327
Location: DV 1004

Life Sciences Core 

Xin Zhao started her second career and life anew in Canada beginning in the year 2000 as a research technician at University of Toronto’s St. George campus. With more than 13 years research experience in the field of molecular biology, cell culture, and imaging as well as strong lab-management skills, she joined UTM in 2014 as a core facility technician at the Department of Biology. With the goal of setting up and operating a new core facility, she helped to establish the UTM & Biology Core Facilities, which includes the Cell and Molecular Biology Facility, Cell and Tissue Culture Facility and Imaging Facility. Under Xin’s dedicated care and attention, the initiation and operation of core facilities has continued to be successful and these three core facilities have become important resources for UTM researchers. She joined The Office of Vice-Principal Research (OVPR) in July 2020 when the three core facilities were fully transferred from the Department of Biology to OVPR.

Now Xin manages the Cell and Molecular Biology Facility and the Cell and Tissue Culture Facility. Additionally, she takes care of common research equipment including autoclaves, pure-water systems, fridges/freezers and growth chambers, as well as the Honeywell remote alarm system.

Beyond her passions for work, Xin loves reading in a quiet space where she can enjoy emotional and inspirational stories no matter the genre.

Xin Zhao

Life Sciences Core Facility Technician: Xin Zhao
Tel: 905-569-4270
Location: Room HSC-334
Core Facilities Booking System

Collaborative Digital Research Space

For booking the CDRS space, please contact Veron Fernandes, Office Administrator at

Location: MN 3230 - Maanjiwe nendamowinan

Imaging Facility

As a cellular neurobiologist, Katie Harris-Howard completed her PhD in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at UofT, conducted postdoctoral research at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT, and worked as a Research Associate in the lab of former V.P., Research Bryan Stewart at UTM. 

She is fascinated by synapses, the structures that form communication links between neurons and other cells, and Katie’s ongoing research seeks to characterize novel cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to synaptic development, function, and plasticity. 

Katie has expertise in a wide range of imaging tools and techniques, and she is an experienced educator and adviser: she teaches courses in undergraduate biology, and mentors undergraduate and graduate students. Katie is delighted to provide expert guidance to help UTM researchers use the Imaging Facility resources to tackle their own research questions.

She is a mom of one, and outside of UTM Katie enjoys reading science fiction, baking, and playing board games. 

Image of Katie Harris-Howard





Senior Research Associate: Kathryn Harris-Howard, PhD
Tel. 416 996-8751
Location: DV 2023

NMR Facility

Dmitry Pichugin completed an HBSc in Organic Chemistry at UofT in 2011.

His research focuses on studying the interaction between GPCRs and ligands through Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and he tries to answer how binding plays into activation mechanism and signal transduction. In the case of Dimitry’s research, ligand means small organic molecules and a range of biologically relevant cations such as sodium, calcium, and magnesium.

Dmitry became fascinated with NMR during his undergraduate research projects and has pursued it ever since. He has worked on wide range of NMR projects, looking at small molecules, proteins, polymers, and solids, and one of his favourite areas is solving structures of organic molecules, but his personal goal is to learn as many different NMR experiments as possible.

Outside of work, Dmitry is an outdoor enthusiast, spending his time mountain biking, rock climbing, backcountry camping, or just hiking with his family or dog, or with his friends.

Image of Dmitry Pichugin
Senior Research Associate: Dimitry Pichugin

Tel. 416-524-1731
Location: DV 2051B

Growth Facilities

Research greenhouse and growth chambers

Do you wonder how plants can remain outside under all environmental conditions and thrive? Did you ever contemplate the stark difference in plants’ life compared to animals who can take shelter when the conditions (e.g. weather) become unbearable?  These are the questions that keep Vera Velasco in the research greenhouse and lab occupied for a good deal of her time.

Vera joined UTM in 2017 as a postdoc and is currently UTM growth facilities’ in-house plant physiologist. In her role, Vera facilitates and supports plant-related research within the UTM community. Her work includes investigating how plants acclimate to abiotic stressors, for example drought, heatwave and nutrient deficiency.  She examines plant morphological, biochemical and molecular traits in her quest to understand how plants will respond to future climate.

Vera loves the seas and has cruised in 5 out of the “seven seas.”  She started exploring Ontario’s natural bodies of water this year and aims to have experienced most of them before she retires.

See Vera’s profile at the UTM Growth Facilities website for a more complete bio.

Image of Vera Velasco






Senior Research Associate: Vera Velasco, PhD
Tel. 905 569-4394
Location: 1695 Outer Circle Road (northwest corner of Parking Lot 9)


Dr. Shawn Davis MSc, DVM, Dip (Path) started in the role of Veterinary Director at UTM in November 2021. She has worked as a laboratory animal veterinarian for 16 years in Ontario both academic institutions and within industry and has particular interests in working with investigators to help establish humane refinements for their research animals. When not at work, Shawn is a runner, dog lover and tries to keep up with her kids who are both taller than her now. 

Shawn Davis

Veterinary Director: Shawn Davis DVM, MSc, Dip(Path)
Tel. 416 628-6300
Location: DV 2034A