Franco Vaccarino biography

Franco Vaccarino, president of the University of Guelph

Universities Canada board director

Dr. Franco Vaccarino began his term as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph in August 2014.

Dr. Vaccarino is a director on the board of Universities Canada and serves on the association’s Research Committee.

A distinguished researcher and teacher, he has focused on emerging areas of study and innovative experiential learning opportunities. He is an internationally recognized and widely published researcher and scholar, with more than 100 academic publications.

Dr. Vaccarino’s studies of the neurobiology of stress and motivation are considered a model for bridging the neural and behavioural sciences. In 2004, he served as principal editor of the World Health Organization’s “Neuroscience of Psychoactive Substance Use and Dependence” report, the first comprehensive WHO report on the biology of substance dependence. In 2015, he was one of two principal editors of a national report on the effects of early and frequent marijuana use during adolescence released by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

In 1984, Dr. Vaccarino joined the University of Toronto Scarborough campus as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, where he later served as chair. He was also graduate chair of the tri-campus Graduate Department of Psychology and head of the Department of Psychiatry’s neuroscience program. Dr. Vaccarino became principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough and vice-president of the University of Toronto in 2007, and was reappointed in 2012.

He has received honours from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (In 2014, he was named a fellow.) He has served as executive vice-president (programs) and vice-president (research) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and as vice-president and director of research, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, both in Toronto.

Dr. Vaccarino holds a BSc from the University of Toronto and an MS and a PhD in psychology from McGill University. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Scripps and Salk institutes in California.

Universities Canada