James (Jay) Cross

Director of the College of Discovery, Creativity, and Innovation

Professor, Departments of Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medical Genetics, and Obstetrics & Gynecology

As the founding Director of the College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation, Jay Cross guides the development of the college’s vision and programs, with outreach across campus and into the community. CDCI programs will include opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to engage in activities that explore the connections between discovery research, creativity in all forms, and the elements of innovation. The foundation of the undergraduate learning experiences is inquiry-based, interdisciplinary courses focused on Global Challenges involving students who will be immersed in authentic, interdisciplinary inquiry experiences where teaching, learning and research are deeply integrated. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to engage in rigorous inquiry to generate creative and innovative solutions to challenges experienced in their local and global communities. The first course in the program launches in January 2017 and will involve students in investigating the challenge of “Feeding Nine Billion People” under the guidance of faculty mentors and members of the community.

Jay is an accomplished interdisciplinary researcher, educator, entrepreneur and innovator working in diverse areas such as maternal and child health, and agriculture. A common theme in Jay’s diverse contributions is a commitment to asking important questions about things that will make a difference in the world, and finding ways to answer those questions — a commitment reflected in the vision for the CDCI. Jay has a strong track record in leading initiatives that bridge science and its connections to society, and applying research to problems ranging from human development to enhancing the sustainability of the livestock industry. In all of his work, Jay is well known as a generous collaborator, a skilled community-builder and leader who enables others to succeed. Many in our university community will know him from his previous roles as the founding director of what is now called the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health, founding associate dean (research) of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and as associate vice-president (research). Jay’s work as a scholar and leader have been recognized by his peers numerous times over the course of his career, most recently in his appointment as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015.




View his online biography and list of publications.

See the UToday announcement of his appointment.