Senior Staff

Bev Holmes

President & CEO

As President & CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Bev is focused on the funding, production and uptake of health research and health care-related evidence in British Columbia.

Her leadership and commitment to integrating these areas is evident in her work at MSFHR, as co-chair of the National Alliance of Provincial Health Research Organizations (NAPHRO) and a Friends of CIHR Board member, her lead role in developing the BC SUPPORT Unit, and serving as executive lead during the establishment of the BC Academic Health Science Network.

Since joining MSFHR in 2010, Bev has supported the Foundation through a period of organizational redesign and program expansion, and helped establish MSFHR’s reputation as a leader in knowledge translation. Under her leadership, the Foundation has launched a new suite of funding programs that focus on developing, retaining, and recruiting the talented people whose research improves the health of British Columbians, addresses health system priorities, creates jobs and adds to the knowledge economy.

Bev is an active and respected member of the health research community and is regularly called upon to publish and present internationally on health research funding, and how best to support the translation of research evidence into policy and practice. 

Bev’s roles prior to MSFHR include health communications and knowledge translation consultant, researcher, writer and communications director. Bev received her MA and PhD from SFU's School of Communication and holds adjunct appointments at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health and SFU's Faculty of Health Sciences. Her research interests include knowledge translation, discourse analysis, health communication, risk communication, and public involvement in health research.

Martin Schechter

Chief Scientific Officer

Martin is advisor to the president & CEO as well as MSFHR’s board, committees, and executive team.

He helps develop and maintain relationships between the Foundation and its stakeholders — including BC health authorities, the research community, and the Ministry of Health — and takes a lead role on specific projects. Martin is a professor in (and previously the founding director of) the School of Population & Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Martin combines interests in clinical epidemiology and health services research with HIV and addiction research. He is both a founder and national director of the Canadian HIV Trials Network, a national network of investigators and research facilities aimed at conducting trials of HIV therapies, preventions and vaccines. For his contributions, Martin has been awarded the Order of British Columbia (1994), a Tier I Canada Research Chair in HIV/AIDS and Urban Population Health (2001), the Science Council of British Columbia Gold Medal (2002), and fellowship in both the Royal Society of Canada (2004) and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2005).

Cecillia Colbeck

Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Cecillia plans, implements, manages and operates the Foundation’s finance, information technology, and corporate services activities. She is also a key participant in strategic planning and leads related annual and long-term business planning.

With over 20 years’ experience in technology and innovation companies, Cecillia spent the last eight years implementing executive and board reporting, creating analytics for executive decision making, managing business intelligence tools, and building collaborative relationships.

Prior to joining MSFHR, Cecillia held management positions in multi-billion dollar companies on operations and finance teams. At McKesson (subsequently Change Healthcare), Cecillia introduced the use of predictive analytics for forecasting and evidence based decision making. At SAP, she initiated the use of prescriptive KPI reporting for executive performance management.

Cecillia is a Chartered Professional Accountant and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration from UBC. She has also completed an Executive Program in Business Analytics at the Wharton School of Business where she translated her learnings into real life business cases.