Anny Fortin currently holds the position of Director of Research at Dafra Pharma R&D in Belgium, a pharmaceutical company specializing in the development and sales of drugs against infectious diseases on the African market. She holds a doctorate in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal, during which she specialized in host response to infections and the study of complex genetic diseases. Dr. Fortin won the Governor General’s Gold medal and Thomas Haliburton Henry Award for her PhD thesis. Dr. Fortin has now accumulated 10 years of experience in the corporate sector in the field of genetics, drug target identification and anti-infectious drug development. She is also present on the academic scene through numerous publications, presentations and training of graduate students.
Greg Hines is currently the President and CEO of ArcticDx Inc. a Molecular Diagnostic Company with an intellectual property portfolio in colorectal cancer and age-related macular degeneration. Previously, Mr. Hines was President, CEO and Director of Tm Bioscience Corporation (TSX: TMC) where he led the design, development and commercialization of a molecular diagnostic platform. Prior to this Mr. Hines served as President of Leo Pharma (Canada) Inc., a research-based pharmaceutical company which Mr. Hines founded in Canada in 1981. In this capacity he brought eight new medicines through clinical development (phase 2&3), regulatory approval and commercialization.
He also served on the Board of Directors of MEDEC, Rx&D, Toronto Biotechnology Initiative and Genesis Genomics Inc. Mr. Hines was the Chairman of the Rx&D Board in 1997/98. Mr. Hines served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Genesis Genomics Inc. and as an Entrepreneur in Residence mentoring life science companies at the MaRS centre in Toronto.
Dr. Alex Montpetit is an Adjunct Professor at McGill University and the Assistant Scientific Director of the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre. His current research interests include the use of high-throughput DNA technology in the discovery of genetic determinants of rare and complex traits such as Type II diabetes, cancer and neurological diseases. He also develops bio-informatic methods for the analysis of structural variants, methylation profile and other types of variation from high-density arrays.
Dr Montpetit completed his PhD in Biochemistry in 2002 at the Universite de Montreal under Dr Daniel Sinnett in the field of the genetics of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He then completed post doctoral research under Dr Tom Hudson at the Montreal Genome Centre, leading large-scale genomics projects, mostly association studies for various complex traits and the Canadian portion of the HapMap project.
Dr. David Rosenblatt is a Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University and the holder of the Dodd Q. Chu and Family Chair in Medical Genetics. He is also Chief of the Department of Medical Genetics, SMBD Jewish General Hospital and Director of the Medical Genetics Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory, McGill University Health Centre. He is a leader of basic and clinical research and education in human genetics in Canada and internationally.
Dr. Rosenblatt has made major contributions to our knowledge of inherited metabolic diseases, particularly in the genetics and treatment of defects of the vitamins folic acid and vitamin B12. As Chair of the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University in Montreal from 2001-2013, he built an outstanding department that has achieved international prominence both for research, and also for the education of basic and clinical scientist, clinical and laboratory physicians, and genetic counsellors. He has served as President of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of Medical Geneticists of Quebec. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and Correspondant étranger of the Académie Nationale de Médecine of France.
Chris Wagner has more than 20 years of experience in commercialization and product development in the life sciences industry. Mr. Wagner currently serves on the Board of The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation, the Advisory Board for B.C. Children’s Hospital / Centre for Molecular Medicine, Boreal Genomics, Life Science BC, and the Rick Hansen Institute.
Mr. Wagner recently served as President and CEO of Sirius Genomics. The Company develops personalized medicines for critical care illness. In collaboration with government, business, universities, and venture capital, the Company made multiple discoveries covered by thirteen patent families. Mr. Wagner saw the Company through new strategy development, new scientific discovery, non-dilutive and equity capital raising, and the world’s largest sepsis genomics clinical trial.
Prior to Sirius Genomics, Mr. Wagner was with Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (now Vifor Pharma/Galenica Group) as an officer, founding member of the company’s executive committee, and as Vice President of Business Development & Global Marketing. Mr. Wagner was part of the four member team securing $76 million in venture capital and $113 million in public financings. During his five-year tenure at Aspreva the valuation of the company was increased from $3 million to over $1 billion.
Prior to Aspreva, Mr. Wagner was with Eli Lilly working in Europe, North America and Asia with positions based in Toronto, Indianapolis and Boston. He worked on the development and commercialization of 15 products including biologics and small molecules with annual sales ranging from tens of millions to over four billion dollars per year.
Ma’n Zawati (LL.B., LL.M.) is a lawyer and the Academic Coordinator of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University. He is also an Associate Member of the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University. His research focuses on the legal and ethical aspects of biobanking, as well as the legal duties and liability of health care professionals in both clinical and research settings.
Mr. Zawati has published numerous articles on issues such as access to genomic databases, the return of research results/incidental findings in genomic research, the legal liability of physicians and the closure of biobanks. Mr.Zawati has also presented on these topics in Canada and internationally and is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Montreal, McGill University and the Université de Sherbrooke.
Mr. Zawati sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bioethics Society, representing Eastern Canada (Quebec) and is a legal representative on the research ethics committee of the Montreal General Hospital.
Sandra MacPherson was part of the founding management team at Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, with responsibility for communications and business development research. Prior to the launch of Aspreva, Sandra gained 12 years experience as a scientific and medical journalist in both Toronto, Ontario and London, UK holding staff positions on General Practitioner and Laboratory News. When her two children were small she worked as a successful freelance health and science journalist for a variety of consumer magazines and newspapers including The National Post, Nature, FHM and Mother and Baby. As an active member of her community, Sandra contributes her time and expertise to a variety of organizations. She has an honours degree in Genetics from St. Andrews University in Scotland.
Dr. Hayden is a Killam Professor of Medical Genetics, Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, and Director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. He earned his medical degree and PhD in genetics from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hayden focuses his research primarily on genetic diseases, including genetics of lipoprotein disorders, Huntington disease, predictive and personalized medicine. His group has identified 10 disease-causing genes. which includes the identification of the major gene underlying high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in humans. He is also co-leader of the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety project, a BC-led Genome Canada-funded, national strategy to prevent adverse drug reactions. He is author of over 600 peer-reviewed publications and invited submissions.
Over the course of his career, he has received numerous prestigious honours. His most recent awards include the Jacob Biely Prize which is UBC's premier research prize in 2010, the Order of British Columbia and an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Alberta in 2009. He was named Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year by CIHR and was also one of the five finalists of the Globe and Mail’s Nation Builder competition in 2008. In 2007 he received the Prix Galien, which recognizes the outstanding contribution of a researcher to Canadian pharmaceutical research.