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

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

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.

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

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.

Patrick Cupido
Executive Director of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo
Patrick Cupido

Executive Director of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo

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).

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Michelle Noble
Executive Director of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario
Michelle Noble

Executive Director of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario

Michelle Noble is the Executive Director of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO). She works with its 23 member hospitals to champion the unique and vital role they play in the province’s health care system. CAHO hospitals provide advanced patient care services, train the next generation of health care professionals and conduct leading-edge research. On the foundation of this work, they generate the expertise and evidence to drive change as system leaders, building a healthier, wealthier, smarter Ontario.

Prior to CAHO in 2018, Michelle was VP of Communications and Marketing for BILD, the Building Industry and Land Development Association for the GTA. Previously, she led partnerships and consultation for the Ontario Growth Secretariat and for five years, she headed communications, marketing and public consultation for Waterfront Toronto, the tri-government organization mandated with transforming Toronto’s waterfront.

Michelle, an accomplished brand and profile builder, has significant experience in both the public and private sectors. She held senior marketing and communications roles with Eli Lilly, Labatt, Nike, and the leading association for the food and consumer productions industry in Canada.

No stranger to health care, Michelle started her career as a health policy reporter and editor, and early in her career she worked for the University of Toronto as its health sciences news service officer.

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.

Dr. Shoo K. Lee, MBBS, PhD, FRCPC, DHC
Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health
Dr. Shoo K. Lee, MBBS, PhD, FRCPC, DHC

Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health

Dr. Shoo Lee is a neonatologist and health economist. He is Scientific Director of the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Professor of Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Public Health; Paediatrician-in-Chief and Director of the Maternal-Infant Care (MiCare) Research Centre at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Senior Clinician Scientist of the Lunenfeld-Tannenbaum Research Institute.

Dr. Lee received his medical degree from the University of Singapore, completed his paediatric training at the Janeway Children's Hospital in Newfoundland and neonatal fellowship training at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and received his PhD in Health Policy (Economics) from Harvard University.

As the founder and Chairman of the Canadian Neonatal NetworkTM and the International Neonatal Collaboration, Dr Lee fosters collaborative research, and he leads the CIHR Team in Maternal-Infant Care. His research focuses on improving quality of care, patient outcomes and health care services delivery. He developed Family Integrated Care model as a paradigm of care in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Ritesh Patel
Chief Digital Officer – Health & Wellness, Ogilvy Consulting
Ritesh Patel

Chief Digital Officer – Health & Wellness, Ogilvy Consulting

Ritesh joined Ogilvy in 2014, as the Chief Digital Officer for Ogilvy CommonHealth. There he worked with the digital team at OCHWW to create the industry’s first marketing cloud that enabled clients to truly have a 360 view of their HCP customer. Ritesh has also led the team here that successfully created an EHR practice enabling clients to directly message HCPs on an EHR platform.

Additionally, Ritesh supported and led the creation of the OCHWW Innovation Lab. The Lab has been responsible for showcasing the art of the possible. Voice-activated systems like Alexa and Google Home, connected homes, wearables, chatbots and AI are the subjects the Lab are focused to showcase how these tools and technologies have and will continue to impact healthcare in the not-too-distant future.

Ritesh consults with major clients on digital transformation and innovation. He is an outspoken digital evangelist who has lent his expert POV in a variety of forums over his 19+ year career. He is passionate about educating his peers and his clients about what the future of digital looks like for healthcare and, in addition to all the innovations he's been responsible for bringing forward, he has taken his mission on the road and speaks at a wide variety of digital and healthcare-centred events across the world.

Wout Brusselaers
CEO and Founder of Deep 6 AI
Wout Brusselaers

CEO and Founder of Deep 6 AI

Wout is the CEO and founder of Deep 6 AI, which uses NLP and AI on clinical data to accelerate clinical trial recruitment and analysis. Deep 6 originated in arguably the world’s most complex data environment, the US Intelligence space.

Wout started his career as a diplomat in the Middle East before joining McKinsey & Company, serving blue chip and startup clients across Asia. Next, Wout founded an extreme sports adventure company in Singapore, then spent five years in the high-stakes world of international security, growing and leading a 22,000-headcount organization across four continents into a $500M global player.

Dr. Shelia Sprague
Assistant Professor, McMaster University Department of Surgery
Dr. Shelia 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 aslo 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.

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.

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