Joseph Rotman : biography

January 6, 1935 - living

Early Life and Family

Joseph Rotman was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He attended the University of Western Ontario after which he continued on to the University of Toronto to obtain his M.Comm. from the Institute of Business Administration in 1960.

Married to Sandra Frieberg since 1959, they have two children, Janis and Kenneth.

Advancement of Life Sciences and Innovation

Joseph Rotman has lent his business experience to the advancement of Canadian life sciences research, Canadian innovation and commercialization capacity, and related public policy at both the federal and provincial levels, including the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), and Chair of the Ontario Genomics Institute, a provincial entity, for Genome Canada.

In 1989, the Rotman Research Institute was established to gain knowledge in cognitive neuroscience. Since 1990, his wife's financial contributions have assisted the University Health Network at the University of Toronto in founding the Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health along with the Sandra Rotman Chair in Health Sector Strategy.

He is also a founder and was a member of the Board of Directors of MaRS (Medical and Related Sciences) Discovery District.

Rotman began co-leading the development of a major review and study of the state of brain research in Ontario and Canada in 2008. The review covered recommendations to transform brain research as well as its translation and commercialization in Ontario. This included the creation of the Ontario Brain Institute with a focus on optimizing the health, economic and societal impacts from brain research in Ontario and Canada. As a result, he currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors with the Institute, a virtual research centre helping Ontario to build on its global neuroscience achievements by turning health care discoveries into products and services to help people affected by brain diseases and disorders.

Another significant appointment for Rotman is Chairman of Grand Challenges Canada, which is a unique and independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people in developing countries by integrating scientific, technological, business and social innovation both in Canada and in the developing world. Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the federal government’s Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 budget. The organization works in a consortium with the International Development Research Centre and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Grand Challenges Canada is committed to bold ideas with big impact.

Rotman also chairs the Ontario Health Study’s Provincial Advisory Council. The Ontario Health Study is a large, long-term study of Ontarians that aims to create an extensive database of health-related information to help improve understanding, prevention, treatment and early detection of a wide range of illnesses.

He chaired both the Ontario BioCouncil Report for the Ontario government and the Expert Panel on Commercialization, called People and Excellence, a report for Industry Canada on commercialization.

Other boards and committees that Rotman has served on include: Gairdner Foundation International, Global Network of Science Academies and Royal Societies Development Advisory Committee, Ontario Genomics Institute, StemCell Network, and the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.

Education Benefactor

The Rotmans have maintained involvement with the University of Toronto since 1981. From 2001 to 2004, Rotman sat on the Committee for Honorary Degrees, was a Governing Council Member from 1995 to 2003, an Executive Committee Member (1998-2003) and was the Vice-Chair of the University of Toronto's Asset Management Corporation (2000-2006).

The Rotman School of Management was named in his honour by the leading gift of his wife and family and is an internationally renowned business education institution that educates globally competitive leaders and maintains the world’s leading business faculty. The Rotmans have also provided financial assistance for the Lloyd and Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute.

The Rotmans have also been supporters of Western University since 1999 though the Rotman Institute of Philosophy – Engaging Science, which fosters a global centre to build novel and productive bridges between humanities and the sciences to address relevant issues faced by society. In addition, Mr. Rotman established the Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science addressing the nature of scientific theory.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine