Conference Booklet now available! 

We’ve together a packed agenda that address the themes and topics our clinical trials community is talking about. Plus, plenty of networking opportunities to meet and mingle with other delegates and organizations working to innovate and improve the environment for clinical trials.

Download the Conference Booklet here


November 10 & 11
7:30am – 8:45am

Join us in the morning to pick up your badge, enjoy some breakfast and explore the Innovation Showcase and Headshot Salon before plenary sessions begin. 

Morning Sessions

November 10
8:45am – 12:15pm

Welcome Remarks

  • Susan Marlin, President & CEO, Clinical Trials Ontario
  • Dr. Bradly Wouters, Vice Chair, CTO Board of Directors; Executive Vice President, Science & Research, University Health Network

KEYNOTE: Canada’s Experience of the First Two Years of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparison With Peer Countries
The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest public health challenge the world has faced in the last 100 years. Extraordinary steps were taken to control disease spread, from rapidly developed vaccines to public health measures. Nearly three years in, how did Canada do compared to peer nations? How successful were we at controlling disease spread and at what cost?

Dr. Fahad Razak, Internist, St Michael’s Hospital; Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto

Clinical Trials at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research 
In 2022, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) launched the Clinical Trials Fund, a $250M investment over three years to support the Canadian clinical trials ecosystem. Updates will be provided on these funding processes, as well as next steps for developing a long-term clinical trials strategy for CIHR.

Dr. Megan Bettle, Executive Director, Clinical Trials, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Advancing Clinical Trials Across Canada 
Over the last decade, Canada has seen increased clinical trials activity, and that comes with more opportunities for improvement and collaboration. Organizations supporting clinical trials across the country share their goals, activities and vision for the future of clinical trials in Canada. 

Featuring leaders from clinical trials organizations, moderated by John Wallenburg, Chief Scientific Officer, Cystic Fibrosis Canada

  • Karen Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer, Research Manitoba
  • Olivier Jérôme, Director, public and patient engagement – CATALIS Québec
  • Dr. Tammy Mah-Fraser, Executive Director, Health Platforms, Alberta Innovates
  • Susan Marlin, President & CEO, Clinical Trials Ontario
  • Alison OrthUnit Director, Clinical Trials BC, Michael Smith Health Research BC
  • Janette Panhuis, Board Member, Network of Networks (N2); Former Chief Operating Officer of the Population Health Research Institute
  • Dr. Jordan Warford, Senior Director of Research, Nova Scotia Health

The Business End of Trials: Investment, Talent and Jobs  
Clinical trials are an essential part of Canada’s thriving life sciences sector. Advancements and hurdles related to investment, employment and business impact the vitality of our clinical trials community. This panel brings together life science leaders to discuss where we are today, and what needs to be addressed to make Ontario and Canada a destination for conducting clinical trials.

Featuring leaders from Canadian life sciences organizations, moderated by Dr. Bradly Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science & Research, University Health Network.

Afternoon Sessions

November 10
1:40pm – 4:45pm

Addressing Vulnerability in Clinical Trials Involving People Living with Dementia in Long-term Care Homes 
Conducting clinical trials in long-term care homes may render people living with dementia vulnerable to autonomy wrongs, welfare wrongs, and justice wrongs. In this session, Dr. Charles Weijer will present a systematic approach to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities that arise in these trials. He will share how we can put added protections in place to mitigate each vulnerability while maintaining a trial’s scientific validity.

Dr. Charles Weijer, Professor of Medicine and Philosophy, Western University

Indigenous Representation in Clinical Trials: Towards a future of equity and inclusion in research for Indigenous Peoples

Dr. Brittany Bingham, Director, Indigenous Research Indigenous Health | Vancouver Coastal Health Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) Assistant Professor, Social Medicine | UBC

Post Pandemic Call to Action: Inclusivity 
Historical data indicates that clinical study population may not represent the real world population. Regulatory agencies are taking a closer look at representation in clinical studies. As an industry, we can make impactful changes and contributions to ensure inclusive clinical research.

Melaina Boyce, Head of In-Country Clinical Study Operations, USA, Canada, & LATAM, EMD Serono Research and Development Institute

The Importance of Research in Community Hospitals 
Community hospitals care for the most patients, yet nearly all patient-based research is done at larger, academic hospitals. In this session Dr. Jennifer Tsang will discuss why it’s important for community hospitals to be involved in health research, and steps to increase engagement.

Dr. Jennifer LY Tsang, Physician Research Lead, Intensivist, Niagara Health, Physician Co-Lead, Critical Care Research Program, Niagara Health; Regional Deputy Research Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, McMaster University; Associate Professor of Medicine, McMaster University

Transparency, Responsible Research Practices, and Clinical Trial Reporting
How do we foster transparency, restore public trust in research, and make research results more useful to end-users? Institutions and individual scientists are yet to adopt the new tools that can help to attain this tall order. In this presentation, the “upstream” effects of research reporting standards will be examined.

Dr. Martin Offringa, Paediatrician, Trialist, Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children Toronto

KEYNOTE: Infodemic! Is Misinformation Killing Us? 
The spread of misinformation seems to intensify with each passing week. Indeed, it is a defining characteristic of our time! And research tells us that misinformation is doing tangible harm — to public health, mental health, public discourse, personal relationships, and public trust. How did we get here, why do people believe, and what can we do about it? In this presentation Professor Timothy Caulfield explores what the most recent evidence tells us about the nature and source of the current infodemic. He will also provide science-informed recommendations about how best to engage individuals and communities.

Timothy CaulfieldProfessor of Health Law and Science Policy | Bestselling Author

Anniversary Reception

November 10 
4:45pm – 7:00pm 

Special Remarks 
The Honourable Jill Dunlop shares special closing remarks and kicks off Clinical Trials Ontario’s 10th Anniversary reception in the Networking Hall, recognizing the incredible achievements of the clinical trials community.

The Honourable Jill Dunlop, Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities

CTO 10th Anniversary Reception 
Join us in celebrating ten years of improving the environment for clinical trials! See details here.

Morning Sessions

November 11
8:45am – Noon

KEYNOTE: From Evidence to Action: Thinking Beyond the Clinical Setting 
You conducted the trial. You have the evidence. Where can you go from here? In this keynote address, Dr. Samantha Nutt will expand our horizons and motivate action by drawing on her own experience as a physician and researcher turned global humanitarian. Early in her career, Samantha’s research and medical practice fueled her desire to tackle global health challenges. Today, she is the founder of War Child, a global humanitarian organization that promotes education, health and opportunities for children in communities affected by war. An award-winning storyteller, Samantha will discuss how research, evidence and collaboration are essential to tackling the most pressing health issues of our time and share how we can move that evidence forward to improve the lives of those who need it most.

Dr. Samantha Nutt, Physician, Global Humanitarian, Founder of War Child, Bestselling Author

The Role of Research During Conflict and Crisis
Conducting research during times of conflict and crisis may not be easy, but it is important. In this panel, experienced leaders in their fields will discuss the opportunities and barriers to conducting research in these conditions, how to build trust and consider lived experience, and where efforts should be focused.

Panel discussion moderated by Dr. Samantha Nutt. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Neil Arya, President of the Canadian Physicians for Research and Education in Peace (CPREP), Chair of the PEGASUS Global Health Conference
  • Dr. Andrew Boozaryprimary care physician, policy practitioner, researcher, and founding executive director of the Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine at the University Health Network
  • Dr. Prabhat Jha, Director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto

Vaccine Research in the Time of COVID

Dr. Scott Halperin, Director of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology; Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University; Head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, IWK Health Centre

Moment of Silence: Honouring Our Veterans 
We will observe a moment of silence to remember and honour veterans in Canada and around the world.

Patient Engagement: How Has it Evolved in the Past Decade? 
Speakers share their perspectives and experiences about how the clinical trials community has changed its approach to engaging with patients and the public.

  • Dawn Richards, Director of Patient and Public Engagement, Clinical Trials Ontario
  • Stuart Nicholls, Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Program Facilitator, Office for Patient Engagement in Research Activities, Ottawa Methods Centre, The Ottawa Hospital
  • Diana Ermel, Past-Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Network
  • Kevin Quach, Director, Senior Clinical Operations Lead, Hoffman-La Roche

Afternoon Sessions

November 11
1:00pm – 2:30pm 

Impact of the Pandemic on Study Designs 
The pandemic has focused attention on study design features related to efficiency and the impact of unplanned interferences. A platform trial design, governed by a master protocol, was used multiple times to study the effectiveness of competing treatments to SARS-COV-2. Platform designs are growing in frequency and the pandemic has heightened attention to this design. The objectives, adaptability and challenges of platform designs will be reviewed.

John Amrhein, Vice President & Managing Partner, McDougall Scientific, a division of Alimentiv

Successful Commercialization Requires Thinking Beyond Health Outcomes When Designing Trials 
Successful adoption and commercialization of a health innovation (drug, diagnostic device, etc.) is driven by much more than demonstrating a positive clinical health outcome. It is essential to consider all four of the Quadruple Aims of healthcare – Improved Patient Experience, Improved Clinical Experience, Lower Costs, and Better Health Outcomes. Clinical trials are a perfect opportunity to collect the data needed to attract and keep investors engaged, and ultimately, secure early customers.

Bibaswan Ghoshal, Director, Market Acceleration, Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization

The Impact of the COVID Pandemic on a Research Ethics Board & Lessons Learned 
In this talk, Sharon Freitag will describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Research Ethics Board and Office, highlighting the challenges, successes and lessons learned.

Sharon FreitagSenior Director, Research Ethics, Unity Health Toronto

Designing a Decentralized Study During the COVID Pandemic
In this talk, Dr. Sharon Walmsley will walk delegates through her experience designing and conducting the STOPCoV, a decentralized study evaluating COVID-19 vaccines, and highlight successes, challenges and lessons learned.

Dr. Sharon Walmsley, Director of the Immunodeficiency Clinic, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network; Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

Not by Choice but by Necessity: An Institutional Response to Research and the Pandemic
In this talk, Patrick will describe institutional/corporate perspectives of a large community hospital with regard to research activity through the early stages of the pandemic, loosening of pandemic restrictions and in response to new models of clinical research propelled forward by consumer voices, industry and pragmatism.

Patrick Clifford, Former Director of Research and Innovation, at the Research Institute of Southlake Regional Health Centre

Conference Closing Remarks

Susan Marlin, President and CEO, Clinical Trials Ontario

Stay tuned for more sessions!

Attendance at our conference may be eligible for SOCRA continuing education credits. All conference delegates may request a certificate of attendance.