Keynote Speakers

Frances A Shepherd

Cancer Clinical Research Unit, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Jesse Hirsch

Futurist, Digital Strategist and frequent CBC contributor

Kris Klein

Partner at nNovation LLP

Michael Jackson

Leader, Public Health & US Elections, Amazon Web Services

Featured Panelists

Ma’n H. Zawati
Executive Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University
Ma’n H. Zawati

Executive Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University

Ma'n H. Zawati (LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D. (DCL)) is the Executive Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy in the Department of Human Genetics at
McGill University. He is also an Associate Member of McGill¹s Biomedical Ethics Unit. His research concentrates on the legal, ethical and policy dimensions of health research and clinical care, with a special focus on biobanking, data sharing, professional liability, and the use of novel technologies (e.g. mhealth apps, WGS, WES) in both the clinical and research settings. Dr. Zawati is funded by CIHR, Genome Canada, and Genome Quebec. His work is interdisciplinary, drawing together perspectives from law, ethics, bioinformatics, genomics, and policy. He¹s also a frequent
presenter on a variety of the most critical and topical issues in healthcare and the biosciences. He has appeared at 100+ international conferences, symposia, meetings, and has shared his expertise with universities, research ethics boards and law firms. Dr. Zawati has published 13 book chapters and 45+ peer reviewed articles in leading publications such as Nature Reviews Genetics, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, the Journal of Medical Genetics, and the McGill Journal of Law and Health. In 2015, he
was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (stay at Oxford University) and was named a Royal Society of Canada Delegate for the IAP Young Scientists of the Year international symposium. In 2014, the Young Bar Association of Montreal named him as one of its Lawyers of the Year.

Michael Israels
Chief Financial Officer, CCRM
Michael Israels

Chief Financial Officer, CCRM

Michael Israels is the Chief Financial Officer of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM). Prior to joining CCRM, Michael was a Management Consultant at Ernst & Young LLP, President of BEST Funds, a Toronto-based venture capital firm, and CEO Of Convexus Managed Services Inc., a start-up investment fund administration company. As CFO, Michael is responsible for overseeing finance, administrative, facility & IT activities, the creation and support of start-up regenerative medicine companies, risk management activities, sourcing of risk capital, corporate development supporting CCRM’s growth strategy, and development of investment funding vehicles.

Durhane Wong-Rieger
President and CEO, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders
Durhane Wong-Rieger

President and CEO, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders

President & CEO of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, Chair of the Consumer Advocare Network, President & CEO of the Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes, Chair of Canadian Heart Patient Alliance and member of Genome Canada Steering Committee for the Rare Disease Precision Health Initiative.  Internationally, she serves as Chair of Rare Disease International, Board member of Asia Pacific Rare Disease International, member of the Editorial Board of The Patient- Patient Centred Outcomes Research, member of the Global Commission to End the Diagnosis Odyssey for Rare Diseases and member of Health Technology Assessment International Patient /Citizen Involvement Interest Group.  She is also a certified Health Coach.

Durhane has a PhD in psychology from McGill University and was professor at the University of Windsor, Canada.  She is a trainer and frequent lecturer and author of three books and many articles.

Andy Smith, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Andy Smith, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS

President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Dr. Andy J. Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ontario. In addition, he is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He completed medical school, including a Masters of Science, and General Surgery residency at the University of Toronto. He also completed a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan – Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Upon returning to Canada, he established himself as a leader in the management of colorectal cancer. He has served as Head of the Division of General Surgery at Sunnybrook, Chair of the Division of General Surgery at the University of Toronto and Chief of the Odette Cancer Program and Regional Vice President for Cancer Care Ontario. Most recently, Dr. Smith has served Sunnybrook as its Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Executive.

Patrick Cupido
Past Chair, CATIE (Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange)
Patrick Cupido

Past Chair, CATIE (Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange)

Patrick spent most of his professional career with the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.  In the years since learning he was HIV+ in 1989, he has also applied his accounting and management experience as executive director of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area, and on the boards of CATIE, Fife House Foundation, the Ontario AIDS Network and the Canadian Treatment Action Council.  His interests (and the volunteer positions through which he has pursued them) include community engagement and ethics in research (Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study Governance Committee, Canadian HIV Trials Network Community Advisory Committee), treatment side effects (Health Canada's Expert Advisory Committee on the Vigilance of Health Products), and new prevention technologies (Canadian HIV Vaccines Plan Steering Committee).

Charles Weijer
Professor - Canada Research Chair in Bioethics at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University
Charles Weijer

Professor - Canada Research Chair in Bioethics at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University

Charles Weijer is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University in London, Canada. He is the leading expert on the ethics of randomized controlled trials. In 2008, Charles founded the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, which is dedicated to fostering collaboration between the humanities and the sciences, and served as the Institute’s first director. In 2014, he received Western’s Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research, and, in 2016, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada

Bettina Hamelin, PharmD, EMBA
President and CEO of Ontario Genomics
Bettina Hamelin, PharmD, EMBA

President and CEO of Ontario Genomics

Bettina has more than 15 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical industry as well as 10 years of experience as a tenured professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval. Prior to assuming her current role as President and CEO of Ontario Genomics, Bettina served as Vice-President of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Directorate. She has also held a variety of leadership positions at Pfizer Canada. She is known for pioneering novel public-private partnership models, and breaking down barriers between federal, provincial and private sector stakeholders. Bettina holds a B.Sc. in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky, U.S. and an EMBA in Healthcare from the UBC

John Adams
Board Chair of the Best Medicines Coalition, Co-founder, President & CEO of Canadian PKU and Allied Disorders
John Adams

Board Chair of the Best Medicines Coalition, Co-founder, President & CEO of Canadian PKU and Allied Disorders

Mr. Adams is Board Chair of the Best Medicines Coalition, Co-founder, President & CEO of Canadian PKU and Allied Disorders non-profit and Co-Founder and Trustee of the Global Association for PKU. He is a former Chair of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders.

Mr. Adams is a graduate of York University; worked as a reporter for The Globe and Mail; chief of staff to a Cabinet Minister in Ontario; elected three times to Toronto City Council, serving as Budget Chief and Acting Mayor; and served as a trustee of Canada’s largest hospital, the University Health Network

Ray Truant
Chair of the Scientific Advisory board of the Huntington Society of Canada
Ray Truant

Chair of the Scientific Advisory board of the Huntington Society of Canada

In 1999, Ray was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster University , where he started new projects on polyglutamine diseases, focusing on Huntington's Disease. In 2001, Ray won the CIHR "New Scientist" award and his group is now supported by operating grants from Canada and the United States. In 2010, he was promoted to full Professor in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences.

Professor Truant is Chair of the Scientific Advisory board of the Huntington Society of Canada since 2007.  Dr. Truant is a recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the 2014 Michael Wright Community Leadership Award.

The Truant lab is in an academic setting, but highly collaborative with pharmaceutical industry and biotech partners, as well as clinical collaborators, Dr. Mark Guttman at the Centre for Movement Disorders in Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital and the University of Toronto, as well as Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky at McMaster's Neuromuscular Disease Clinic.  Dr. Truant is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Mitokinin LLC, a biotech firm dedicated to the development of small molecules drug therapy to restore the phosphorylation of mutant Huntingtin and thus treat Huntington's disease.

Carole Légaré, BSc, MD, CCFP, Cert PE & PV
Director, Office of Clinical Trials, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada
Carole Légaré, BSc, MD, CCFP, Cert PE & PV

Director, Office of Clinical Trials, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada

Dr Carole Légaré completed her medical training at the University of Ottawa, and her postgraduate pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance training at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK. After gaining experience in clinical practice and public health, she joined Health Canada in 2002 where she initially worked in pharmacovigilance.  She also worked as a senior medical advisor for the Centre for Biologics Evaluation during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.   In 2013, she joined the Therapeutic Products Directorate as the Director of the Office of Clinical Trials, where she oversees all activities related to the approval and pharmacovigilance of clinical trials involving pharmaceuticals.  She is currently a member of the ICH E8 working group on General Considerations for Clinical Studies.

Jennifer Chan
VICE PRESIDENT, POLICY AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Merck Canada Inc
Jennifer Chan

VICE PRESIDENT, POLICY AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Merck Canada Inc

Jennifer Chan was appointed Vice President, Policy and External Affairs, at Merck Canada Inc. as of June 1, 2014 and is responsible for the company’s team of government relations and public affairs specialists.  Prior to this role, she held the position of Vice President, Policy and Communications at Merck Canada since December 2011.

A native of Montreal, Jennifer began her career in academic research before joining Schering-Plough in 1993 as a Clinical Research Associate. Since then, she has worked in various areas of the business, primarily in Regulatory Affairs, Specialty Services and Medical Affairs. She was Director of Regulatory Affairs, for Schering Plough at the time of the merger with Merck in 2009.

Jennifer is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Health Economics in Alberta, as well as the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery and the Quebec Network for Personalized Health Care. She is a member of the board of Life Sciences Ontario and has served as a Merck for Mothers ambassador in Canada since the program was launched in 2011. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology and a Master of Science degree in pharmacology and therapeutics, both from McGill University in Montreal. She completed the last year of her master’s degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Peter Jones
Industry Lead – Canadian Healthcare Microsoft Canada Co.
Peter Jones

Industry Lead – Canadian Healthcare Microsoft Canada Co.

As Healthcare Industry Lead for Microsoft Canada, Peter Jones is responsible for developing the strategy vision of modern healthcare for the Canadian marketplace. Working closely with the Microsoft Worldwide Healthcare team, Peter is deeply enriched in the best practices of healthcare digital transformation that is being practiced by healthcare industry leaders around the globe. Peter’s mandate is to help clients improve their clinical and operational performance by leveraging Microsoft solutions for healthcare data and records management, advanced analytics, and big data, while remaining compliant. Peter joined Microsoft nearly 20 years ago and has been focused on the healthcare industry for over 10 years. He is actively involved in a number Health Informatics groups such as COACH, CHIEF (Advisor), and is an active ITAC Health board member.

Frank Naus
Chief Operating Officer, Allphase Clinical Research Inc.
Frank Naus

Chief Operating Officer, Allphase Clinical Research Inc.

Dr. Frank Naus is the Chief Operating Officer of Allphase Clinical Research Inc., a Canadian CRO headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Frank earned his Doctorate in Business Administration from Walden University and has an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and MSc and BSc degrees in Applied Health Sciences from the University of Waterloo. Frank started his career in the pharmaceutical and clinical research industry. Prior to joining Allphase, he was Vice President Research at Hamilton Health Sciences.

Brad Millson
Sr. Principal, Health Access and Outcomes, IQVIA Canada
Brad Millson

Sr. Principal, Health Access and Outcomes, IQVIA Canada

Brad leads projects to deliver real world evidence solutions, medical and market access strategy for the pharmaceutical industry and its stakeholders. Brad has almost 20 years of experience in the Life Sciences industry across government and private sectors in Canada and globally. His interests include developing innovative approaches to leveraging “big” healthcare datasets to answer core questions about value and outcomes in the healthcare system.

Prior to joining IQVIA, he led the investment attraction function for Life Sciences at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He also spent several years in the US at a leading biotech strategy consulting firm developing solutions in new product development & launch, marketing, sales, and business development. He is a Dean’s List graduate of the MBS program (integrated MSc Biotech + MBA ) at Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, California, and holds a B.Sc. in Physiology from McGill University.

Brad speaks English and French, and is conversational in Mandarin Chinese

Patrick Clifford
Director of Research and Innovation, Southlake Regional Health Centre
Patrick Clifford

Director of Research and Innovation, Southlake Regional Health Centre

Patrick Clifford is currently the Director of Research and Innovation, at the Research Institute of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket Ontario and CreateIT Now the Southlake owned and operated on campus health innovation centre.  Patrick’s responsibilities include 1/oversight of research operations and infrastructure (including the REB) and 2/ advancing innovation and commercialization activities along with culture building, through strategic collaborations with industry, academia, funders and other key partners. Currently Patrick is charged with leading the development and implementation of Southlake’s research agenda and advancing the innovation and commercialization strategy which includes growing partnerships and collaborations with private sector ventures wishing to test and/or validate wide ranging health focused technologies with Southlake clinicians in an acute care, large community hospital environment. Patrick is also engaged in Southlake’s health sector leadership role in innovative, outcome based, procurement practices. Patrick brings 32 years of health care experience in acute care to his current role. He holds an MSW, a BA, BSW and BEd. and continues to practice as a clinician on a periodic basis in an emergency mental health setting.

Drew Memmott
Senior Vice President for Research Administration at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Drew Memmott

Senior Vice President for Research Administration at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Drew Memmott is currently the Senior Vice President for Research Administration at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Associate Director for Administration for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated Comprehensive Cancer Center comprised of 5 Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals and 2 Harvard biomedical schools. He is the senior administrative leader for all aspects of research at DFCI and the DF/HCC consortium. In his role as SVP he is responsible for oversight of the research administrative infrastructure (including grant and contract management, core facilities, laboratory operations, and the animal resource facility) and clinical research operations (including clinical trials administration and operations, Institutional Review Board, protocol review approval and activation, and clinical trials financial management). In his role as Associate Director for Administration for DF/HCC he oversees the administration of the DF/HCC Cancer Center Support Grant and its associated operational requirements including administration, shared resources, and clinical research support.
Prior to DFCI Drew held a number of senior leadership roles at Mayo Clinic. He was the Associate Director for Administration for the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI designated national cancer center with operations in three geographic regions. Additionally, Drew also served as a Director of Research Administration at Columbia University Medical Center.
Drew is an active member of the Cancer Center Administrator’s Forum (CCAF), an organization of NCI designated Cancer Center Administrators; the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI); an External Advisory Board Member for several NCI designated cancer centers; and the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) where he has served in multiple committee leadership roles.

Anne Mullin
Engagement Leader, Shift Health
Anne Mullin

Engagement Leader, Shift Health

Dr. Anne Mullin works with leading decision-makers across the health and life sciences sector to amplify the impact of biomedical discoveries and healthcare innovations on the health and wellbeing of populations in both developed and developing countries.

​Anne’s collaborative approach to working with clients and rich academic track record in the study of infectious disease have supported the sustainability and success of numerous international product development consortia, allowed both industry and academic partners to manage risk of high-impact clinical trials, and helped clients from industry, academia and the not-for-profit sector attract capital, establish partnerships and drive innovation. Having led engagements in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa, Anne’s client base spans the globe.

John-Peter Bradford
CEO, Life-Saving Therapies Network
John-Peter Bradford

CEO, Life-Saving Therapies Network

John-Peter is a cancer survivor, caregiver and is passionate about his work on issues of cancer research, healthcare policy and treatment delivery. He is co-founder of the patient-led Life-Saving Therapies Network (LSTN), an international group consisting of patients, oncologists, researchers, regulators, ethicists, HTA specialists, and industry representatives. It's mission is to create faster, less expensive access to better therapies (precision medicine, immunotherapies, etc.) for lethal diseases. LSTN focuses on practical reform of clinical research of regulatory frameworks.

He is also a Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee of Lung Cancer Canada, and is a member of the Research Advisory Group of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Cancer Care Advisory Committee of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. His book, Journeys in Cancerland, with Lisa Newman, was published in 2012. It was based on his experiences and observations of the healthcare system as a cancer patient. He has also published in magazines, newspapers, literary periodicals and peer-reviewed scientific journals on a range of topics including regulatory and healthcare reform.

In the public sector, John-Peter has been principal consultant in restructuring the infrastructures of the House of Commons, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Medical Research Council of Canada, The Immigration and Refugee Review Board of Canada, HRDC, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, to name a few. He coordinated the development of the Inuit land claim that was presented to the Trudeau government in 1976, and was the basis for the eventual formation of Nunavut, Canada’s newest territory. In the private sector, he has served as CEO and board member for publicly listed and private companies, as well as strategic advisor to senior management, organizational doctor and deal maker. He has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars.

John-Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Ontario (FCMC). He holds a B.A. (Psychology) from Fairfield University in Connecticut and an M.A. (Experimental Psychology) from the University of Toronto, where he also successfully completed all requirements but dissertation for a doctorate, specializing in psychopharmacology with a minor in neuroanatomy. During his tenure at the University of Toronto, he taught and held Province of Ontario and NRC Fellowships, and was nominated for a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Community Services.

Monica Taljaard
Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Monica Taljaard

Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Monica Taljaard is a Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and Associate Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. She received her PhD degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University in 2006. Her main research interests are in the design, analysis and ethics of cluster randomized trials. As a methodologist with the Ottawa Methods Centre, she works with clinicians and researchers from a variety of disciplines and medical specialties in the design and analysis of cluster randomized trials, standard clinical trials, and observational studies. She supervises MSc and PhD students in Epidemiology and teaches Biostatistics courses at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Mark Clemons
Clinical Investigator, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Dr. Mark Clemons

Clinical Investigator, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr Mark Clemons graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. (B.Med.Sci; MB BS). He completed his post-doctoral training in internal medicine and medical oncology at the Hammersmith Hospital, London; Christie Hospital, Manchester (MSc, Oncology; MD, Oncology) and at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto. He is a Clinical Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Cancer Therapeutics Program), staff medical oncologist (Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre) and Professor of Medicine (University of Ottawa). He is the recipient of multiple peer-reveiwed research grants and is widely published in the field of breast cancer management. His publications also reflect eclectic topics such as; retirement planning, excessive oncologist travel, oncologist quality of life and issues such as preventing spam. His current research vision is to remove many of the barriers that lead the development of multiple standard of care therapies with very little data to actually show which treatment is best in the real world setting.

Dr. Lisa Goos
Director of Clinical Research Services, The Hospital for Sick Children
Dr. Lisa Goos

Director of Clinical Research Services, The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. Lisa Goos is the Director of Clinical Research Services at The Hospital for Sick Children. Lisa received her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from York University, and was a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program in Neurosciences and Mental Health at The Hospital for Sick Children. Her area of research specialization was the influence of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms on cognitive development and behaviour. Dr. Goos has also worked and published extensively in the area of genetic communications, helping scientists and non-scientists engage in informed dialogue and decision-making on the basis of genetic information. In senior strategic and operational research administration positions for over 10 years, Lisa has developed both corporate and divisional strategic plans, led teams through the completion of large strategic projects, and implemented operational systems and procedures to support effective management of the research enterprise. An exceptional corporate change agent, Lisa has driven development in the strategic and functional capacity necessary to enable knowledge translation, and facilitated research integration with practice across healthcare, legal and academic settings.

Eric Gildenhuys
Vice-President of Business Development of Deep 6 AI
Eric Gildenhuys

Vice-President of Business Development of Deep 6 AI

Eric began his career by co-founding and selling a software company to Optio Software, helping guide Optio to a successful IPO by expanding into the healthcare market and launching its European headquarters. During his career, Eric has been helping software and professional services firms such as PwC all over the world in shifting the paradigm of their business development culture, resulting in new contracts worth $100+ million.  He is a frequent speaker and works closely with hospitals, pharma companies and research institutes on patient recruitment programs.

Jason Field
President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario
Jason Field

President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario

Dr. Jason Field is the President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario (LSO), the industry voice for the life sciences sector in Ontario. Jason obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and his undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo. Following graduate school, Jason returned to Ontario and worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a research scientist developing scalable manufacturing processes of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Dr. Sheila Sprague
Assistant Professor, McMaster University Department of Surgery
Dr. Sheila Sprague

Assistant Professor, McMaster University Department of Surgery

Sheila Sprague is a clinical researcher with expertise in the design and conduct of large randomized controlled trials, observational studies, systematic reviews, and scoping reviews.  She obtained a Doctorate Degree in Medical Science from the University of Amsterdam and a Master of Science Degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University.  She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery and serves as an Associate Faculty Member in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University.  She also serves as the Associate Director at the Centre for Evidence-Based Orthopaedics at McMaster University.  Her research focusses on improving the care of fracture patients.

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