Conference Speakers

We are delighted to welcome each of these accomplished individuals to speak at AIM 2020 during either our keynote discussions or panel sessions! Quick Links:

Keynote Speaker

 

Mike Tremblay

President and CEO, Invest Ottawa & Bayview Yards

Michael Tremblay joined Invest Ottawa & Bayview Yards as President and Chief Executive Officer in March of  2017. Prior to joining Invest Ottawa, he was the Vice President of Public Sector for Microsoft Canada from April 2007. In 2020, Mike was appointed to the Board of Directors for both organizations.


Mike has 36 years of sales, marketing, operations and general management experience,  with considerable experience serving public sector clients. Mike has also held senior executive positions with SAP, Fujitsu Consulting, JDS Uniphase, EDS Systemhouse and Digital Equipment Corporation – principally across Canadian, American and Latin American markets.


He has an MBA from Concordia University in Montreal and is a graduate of Computer Technology from Algonquin College. Michael completed the Directors Education Program and is ICD.D certified with the Institute of Corporate Directors where he is a  member of the Ottawa Chapter Executive. Mike was appointed as a director with the  Institute on Governance in 2017. From 2004-2017, Michael served as a member of Algonquin College’s Board of Governors and served as Chair of the College’s Foundation  Board.

Siri Chunduri 

Policy and Research Analyst, HealthCareCAN

Siri Chunduri is a public health graduate from the University of Waterloo. Siri has a wealth of experience in the public health sector from working at the Canadian Public Health Association, in both the Department of Policy and National Programs, as well as a private consultant for over 6 years.


She is currently a policy and research analyst at HealthCareCAN, an organization representing over 40 hospitals and regional health authorities from across Canada. Siri works on updating HealthCareCAN’s members on the latest developments in the healthcare sector through policy briefs, creating knowledge translation tools, and gathering information through meetings with industry, federal government departments, and other stakeholders. Representing the interests of HealthCareCAN’s members also
involves research and data collection to further advocacy efforts.


She oversees projects delivered in partnership with organizations such as the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, and the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction. Siri also assists in identifying speakers, finalizing themes, and creating scripts for the moderator among other activities as a member of the Program and Policy Advisory Committee for the National Health Leadership Conference, a yearly conference co-hosted by HealthCareCAN and the Canadian College of Health Leaders. In addition, she plays an active role on the advocacy steering committee for the Quality End of Life Care Coalition of Canada.
 

When away from work, Siri loves spending time with family and friends, traveling to new countries, baking, and can make an excellent margarita.

Liam Crapper, PhD

Policy Analyst, NSERC

Liam Crapper is a Policy Analyst at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in the Policy and International Relations team. Before joining the public sector, he worked as a science communications consultant, President of Science & Policy Exchange, and host of the On Your Mind Podcast. Liam received his PhD in neuroscience from McGill in 2018, where he built new models to study the impacts of genetic diseases on early brain development. 

Lakshmi Krishnan, PhD

Acting VP, Health, National Research Council

As a globally recognized researcher and expert in the field of infectious diseases and cancer, she is committed to the development of novel vaccines and therapeutics and innovative solutions for the improvement of human health.

 
Dr. Krishnan joined the NRC in 1998 and, as a research officer, built expertise in immunology research at the  Institute for Biological Sciences, in the areas of vaccine adjuvant development and host pathogen interactions. Prior to her current appointment, she was the Program Lead for Vaccines and Immunotherapy  (2015 to 2018) and Director of R&D for Immunobiology (2016 to 2018). Possessing extensive research expertise in the fields of vaccinology and therapeutics development, over the course of her career Dr.  Krishnan has been the recipient of numerous competitive research grants from various agencies including the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH – USA). She also chairs the Federal Vaccine Research Innovation and  Development committee, which consists of membership from 13 different federal departments across the  Government of Canada. 


Dr. Krishnan received her Master's degree in Bio-medical Genetics from the University of Madras (India) and  Ph.D. in Immunology from the National Institute of Immunology in India, following which, she completed post doctoral studies at the University of Alberta through an Alberta Heritage Foundation scholarship. She serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa and has mentored many graduate students. She has published over 75 primary research articles in peer-reviewed journals, and is listed as an inventor on several patents. She has received NRC’s outstanding achievement award multiple times in various categories such as organizational excellence, partnership and research technology breakthrough. She routinely serves on grant panels, including as  Scientific officer and Chair for CIHR, NIH and other agencies, and represents NRC on the Canadian Cancer  Research Alliance Board. In addition to her academic training Dr. Krishnan is a Leadership Training Program (LDP®) graduate from the Centre for Creative Leadership, USA.

Kelsey Young

Epidemiologist, PHAC

Kelsey Young is a Scientific Project Coordinator with the Public Health Agency of Canada. She is the Agency’s lead for influenza vaccine with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Secretariat, and leads the development of NACI influenza vaccine guidance through the committee’s Influenza Working Group. She holds a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Toronto.

Panel: Careers in Public Health & Government

Christy Etienne

Career Consultant, Carleton University

Christy is a Career Consultant at Carleton’s Co-op & Career Services. She holds a Master’s degree in Counselling and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Christy has worked in non-profit and community organizations focused on developing programming and resources for the psychosocial and transitional support of newcomers to Canada. In the past year, she has shifted careers to work directly with university students through career advising and counselling-related positions. As a Career Consultant, Christy assists Carleton University students and alumni with the job search process, as well as career planning and goal setting both individually and through group workshops.

Stacey-Ann Morris

Career Curriculum Design Specialist, Carleton University

Stacey-Ann is a Career Curriculum Design Specialist at Carleton’s Co-op & Career Services. She has worked in post-secondary institutions, non-profit organizations, and federal government in different capacities such as Learning and Development, Curriculum Design, and Strategic Communications. In the
post-secondary world, she has worked at Carleton University, Algonquin College, University of Ottawa and Harvard University. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Human Rights. As a Career Curriculum Design Specialist, she works with faculty to integrate employability skills in their courses and assessments and designs/facilitates workshops for students. 

Pamela Pilon

Senior Social Media Advisor,
National Research Council Canada

​Pamela Pilon is a Creative Thinker who works with project advisors, scientists and partner businesses to highlight their research and achievements.
 
With so much information available online, Pamela believes that social media is key to providing Canadians with facts to make informed choices while clarifying unproven claims.
 
Pamela has worked on advertising, marketing and social media campaigns with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Coast Guard and Infrastructure Canada. Most recently, she is leading a social media team at the National Research Council of Canada, where she and her colleague have managed to double their reach by gaining 10,000 Twitter followers in less than 6 months, using humour and facts.
 
Pamela is trained in graphic design, marketing and advertising, and writing for the media. She is currently working with the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa where she lives with her spouse and two kids.
 
Connect with Pamela:

linkedin.com/in/pamelapilon/  

Krishana Sankar, PhD

Science Career Impact Project (SCIP)

Dr. Krishana Sankar is an award winning and published researcher who completed her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Medicine. Her PhD research combined bioengineering and molecular biology to improve the efficiency for islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes. She is currently the science communication lead and volunteer program manager for COVID-19 Resources Canada, a centralized hub designed to help those involved in COVID-19 R&D in Canada.


Dr. Sankar has been involved in graduate professional development since her time in graduate school. She is the founder and CEO of GradWriteSlack, a remote writing and support group for academic trainees worldwide. With over 700 members in 15 different time zones, over 70% of active users have gone on to successfully complete their dissertations, comprehensive exams and much more. In addition, Dr. Sankar is the resume workshop lead for the Science Career Impact Project (SCIP). She organizes and has led over 20 workshops herself. The SCIP resume workshop has reached over 250 academic trainees within academic departments, research institutions, student run organizations and not-for-profit organizations. SCIP also partners with different organizations to provide mentorship and industry case
studies.

 

To learn more about SCIP, visit their website here: 

http://sciencecareerimpact.org/

Bruce Seet, PhD

Founder/President S2BN & Director, Medical Affairs, Sanofi

Dr. Bruce Seet has a diverse background and experience. He earned is Bachelor (Human Physiology) and Doctoral (Microbiology and Immunology) degrees from Western University,followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Bruce joined Sanofi Pasteur in 2014 and is now the Director of Medical Affairs. After a decade of research in academia, Dr. Seet joined GalaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2006, holding a variety of roles in Medical Affairs, Marketing, Policy and Market Access and Reimbursement, and supported a range of therapy fields including vaccines, oncology, and other specialty care products. While at GSK, he completed his MBA at the Rotman School of Management. Dr. Bruce Seet uses his unique experience to enhance the professional development of graduate-level trainees. He also serves on the Research Management Committee as well as the HQP Development Committee for BioCanRx, a Network Centres of Excellence (NCE) that accelerates the clinical development of promising cancer immunotherapies in Canada. He is also the President and founder of the Science to Business Network (S2BN).

Parallel Workshops

 
 

Marc-Andre Blais

Associate Scientist, Turnstone Biologics

He has 5 years of biotech experience in fields such as large-scale fermentation of enzymes to point-of-care genetic testing to the current position at Turnstone Biologics as an Associate Scientist in Analytical Development. In this current role, he helps develop assays for GMP testing of oncolytic viruses.

Dinuka Gunaratne

Centre for Career Action Lead, University of Waterloo

Dinuka Gunartne is a former international student from Sri Lanka and studied Zoology at the University of Guelph. Throughout his career in Canada for the last 13 years, he has strived to support people who build their careers as students and new Canadians. Dinuka has worked at five postsecondary institutions in Canada in various roles, including international student
services, advancement and alumni relations and, most recently, in Career Services. For four years, Dinuka served as the Career Education Coordinator (Graduate Students) at the University of Alberta. In this role, he supported the career development of Masters and Ph.D. students through high touch career education programs (e.g. Career Mentoring Programs, Job Shadowing, etc.). In September 2020, he joined the University of Waterloo to lead Career Education Strategy and Communications within the Centre for Career Action. He holds
leadership roles with the Canadian Graduate and Postdoctoral Development Network (GPDN), Graduate Career Consortium (GCC) and Candian Association of Colleges and University Student Services (CACUSS) and regularly advocated on behalf of graduate students and international students.

Joan McCormick

Principal, Price Regulation Consulting, IQVIA

With more than 25 years of experience in the operation of the Canadian pharmaceutical
market, Joan assists major pharmaceutical companies in developing their pricing strategy and preparing submissions to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB).  Based in Ottawa, she leads the Price Regulation Consulting team for IQVIA, providing in-depth analysis, expert advice, and foundational training on the PMPRB’s processes and policies.  Joan obtained her bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, and her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Donna D'Souza, PhD

Clinical Research Associate, Abbott Point of Care

After completing an MSc studying Kinesiology and Health Sciences (York University) and a PhD in Medical Sciences (McMaster University), I moved to Ottawa for a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Ottawa. During this time, I concurrently worked as an Internship Advisor for the Clinical Research Graduate Certificate Program at Humber College, and developed an interest in clinical research. About 16 months into my Postdoctoral Fellowship, I realized that academia was not for me, and obtained a position as a Clinical Research Associate at Abbott Point of Care in Ottawa. In this role, I work with a diverse team of scientists, data managers, statisticians, and project managers to develop and complete clinical trials. 


Transitioning from academia to industry has been both exciting and challenging. I look forward to connecting with others and sharing my experiences!

Sebastian Hadjiantoniou, PhD

Founder, Incuvers

Dr. Sebastian Hadjiantoniou is Co-Founder and CEO of the Ottawa startup Incuvers. He
holds a Masters of Neuroscience from King’s College London and a PhD in cell biology from the University of Ottawa. During his academic career, he spent his time extensively researching the interface between the physical microenvironment and its effect on stem cell development. During his residency as a PhD candidate at the Pelling Lab, he published several papers in the fields of stem cell biology and biophysics. His company Incuvers, is developing the next generation of SMART incubators called IRIS. IRIS is an all in one
incubator, imagineer system and connected IOT device that allows researchers to visualize their cells in real time and receive comparitive feedback among its community of users. He is a visionary and thought leader in the world of cellular research technology and has given talks on the future of IoT and AI in cell biology.

 

Since founding Incuvers in 2018, Dr. Hadjiantoniou has led the startup to win numerous awards across Ontario and Quebec in addition to being accepted into the TOP 40 Ottawa tech companies at Invest Ottawa’s Accelerator Program. The company has also been awarded multiple grants and raised private investment capital enabling Incuvers to grow to a team of 6. He is profoundly driven by how the implementation of AI and the democratization of biology will drive the next generation of discoveries.

Simon Sauvé, PhD

Research Manager, Health Canada

Dr. Simon Sauvé is a Research Scientist and the Principal Investigator of the Separation Sciences and Analytical Biotechnology laboratory at the Centre for Biologics Evaluation in the Biologic and Radiopharmaceutical Drugs Directorate (BRDD) of Health Canada. Furthermore, Dr. Sauvé is currently the Research Manager of the Regulatory Research Division of BRDD.
 

The major focus of his research is to develop and apply analytical methods for biomolecules based on high resolution separation techniques such as high-performance liquid-chromatography and capillary electrophoresis. He also provides scientific advices for the regulation and review of new drug submission submitted to Health Canada. His lab works on a number of projects of specific relevance to vaccines, biopharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Dr. Sauvé is member of the EDQM Group of Expert 6 responsible for the elaboration and revision of Biological and Biotechnological products European Pharmacopeia.


Simon Sauvé received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry (2001) followed by a Ph.D. in Structural Biology and Pharmacology (2006) at the Université de Sherbrooke, Québec. He obtained his PhD under the supervision of Professor Pierre Lavigne and was awarded an Office of the Chief Scientist Research Fellowship to pursue Protein NMR postdoctoral studies under Dr Yves Aubin in the Centre for Biologics Research at Health Canada, Ottawa. Dr. Sauvé was a research chemist from 2008-2015 before leading his own research group. 

Nikita Fay, PhD

Account Manager, STEMCELL Technologies

Nikta Fay is a Key Account Manager at STEMCELL Technologies. She came into this role with an advanced research-based background and minimal business experience. Over the last 5 years, through self-learning and internal and external opportunities at STEMCELL, she has gained an intimate understanding of the unique challenges of commercialization of therapeutics by biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Nikta is passionate about furthering science in Canada and supporting the dream of the “all Canadian” cell and gene therapy. She completed her PhD in Cell Biology and Virology at UBC in 2014.

Tyler Leggo

Project Manager, AstraZeneca

Tyler completed his B.Sc at Carleton University in Biochemistry and Biotechnology where he pursued a 4th year research project in surface plasmonics/nanoparticles under partnership with Spartan Biosciences for real-world application of the Spartan Cube®. Following graduation, he held various Quality Management positions within the Life Sciences Sector in Operations, Supply Chain and finally as an Industry Consultant before returning to the University of Toronto to complete the Master of Biotechnology (M.Biotech) program to pursue the business side of the Life Sciences industry. This has led him to his current position at AstraZeneca as a Project Manager for their Global Clinical Operations – Oncology Portfolio.  

Sue Twine, PhD, MBA

Director R&D Production Platforms and Analytics, NRC 

Dr. Twine received a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry (1996) and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Southampton, UK (1999). She relocated to Canada to complete post-doctoral studies in Biophysics and Proteomics/Microbiology. She completed her MBA at Heriot Watt University, UK (2018). During her career, Dr. Twine has held positions in both academia and government research and technology organizations, focusing on the development of advanced mass spectrometry and -omics approaches for vaccine and biologics development. She is currently Director R&D at the National Research Council. Sue has authored more than 50 research publications and has been the editor of three books. Early on in her career, Sue discovered her passion for supporting others in their career growth. She has followed this passion through mentorship of students and leadership of scientific teams. She has mentored more than a dozen students, and is proud to note that many hold post-doctoral or faculty positions worldwide. 

Nicole Forbes, PhD

Scientific Project Coordinator, Public Health Agency of Canada

Originally from the Seattle area, I have been an Ottawa native since 2007. Before moving to Ottawa, I obtained my BA in Liberal Arts at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec. After taking an elective in Microbiology, I fell in love with all things related to microscopic pathogens. I followed this passion to Halifax and completed a BSc Honour’s Co-op degree in Microbiology and Immunology from Dalhousie University. I next joined the laboratory of Dr. Earl Brown at the University of Ottawa, where I obtained my PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2013. My PhD thesis was on the adaptive evolution of Influenza A virus and the role of the NS1 viral gene in virulence. I spent the next 6 years in the lab of Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, where I first finished a post-doctoral fellowship focusing on industrial applications of novel viral sensitizing small molecules to boost production of viral therapeutics, which included collaborations with international vaccine manufacturers. I held a Mitacs Elevate Industrial Fellowship with Dr. Diallo and Sanofi Pasteur for two years to complete projects in viral vaccine manufacturing R&D. I expanded my roles in both leadership and program management while at the OHRI, taking on additional roles leading multi-disciplinary research teams on the pre-clinical development and clinical translation of novel virus-based cancer immunotherapies, in the labs of Jean-Simon Diallo and Rebecca Auer. I also was program manager for a multi-institutional team grant led by Dr. John Bell called the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium (COVCo), which was funded by The Terry Fox Research Organization. In 2019 I decided to try out working in the federal government, first as a biologist at Health Canada. I led a GRDI-funded project in collaboration with the NRC, using next generation sequencing technologies to design a microfluidics device for the rapid identification of foodborne pathogens. After 3 short months, I created new networks within the government while attending a conference, and leveraged my expertise in scientific project leadership and
knowledge base in vaccines, virology, and immunology. Through networking, I was quickly offered a secondment at the Public Health Agency of Canada to work as a Scientific Project Coordinator at the secretariat for the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). I ended up joining PHAC in the midst of a pandemic. By the time the position started in April 2020, I had been re-tasked as a technical lead on COVID-19 medical countermeasures in addition to providing technical expertise to NACI to support working groups for vaccine preventable diseases such as COVID-19 and influenza virus. I spent the first 16 weeks of my job juggling working from home with providing care for my two small daughters and somehow it turned out all right. Over the past few months I have taken on leadership roles, including managing a small team that works on daily evidence appraisals of emerging clinical evidence on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. I provide technical expertise to policy advisors and external advisory bodies, and respond to ever changing demands in a fast paced (albeit virtual) working environment. Throughout my career I have harnessed the power of networking, effective writing and communication, and scientific expertise, to find challenging and rewarding work opportunities.

James MacLeod, PhD

Medical Science Liaison, Merck

James embarked on his scientific journey in high school, where he volunteered at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and presented his work on CD127 and CD8+ T-cells at national and international competitions. His passion for science had been ignited and he was accepted at Queen’s University where he completed a BSc Hon. majoring in Biology. During this time at Queen’s, he co-founded a local branch of the International Genetically Engineered Machine Team, with the inaugural project receiving a bronze at MIT in Boston. James decided to continue his studies at Queen’s, initially enrolling in a MSc in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, before switching to a PhD, assessing the role of calpain proteases in both HER2+ and triple-negative breast cancer. While at Queen’s, James was also involved in governance, serving as a Trustee for the university as well as Speaker of Council for the Society of Graduate and Professional Students. On graduation he was employed by Merck as a Medical and Scientific Liaison in oncology, supporting immunotherapy in Eastern Ontario and Atlantic Canada. James’
other passions include scuba diving and skiing, and he is an internationally certified ski instructor and a race coach.

Fanny Tzelepis, PhD

Scientific Evaluator, Health Canada

Fanny Tzelepis graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Universidade de Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil (2003). She obtained her PhD (2008) in Immunology from Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil. She conducted her postdoctoral studies focused on immunology of human infectious disease at University of Ottawa/National Research Council (2008-2011) and McGill University (2012-2013). As a research associate at McGill University Health Centre (2013-2015), she pursued her interest on host-pathogen interaction. In 2015, she joined the Cancer Centre at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute as a research associate. There, her work focused on the development of a novel cancer immunotherapy and on the establishment of CAR-T cell production. After 3 years at the Cancer Centre and a total of 18 years in the academia, Fanny took a new challenge in her career by joining the In vitro Diagnostic Devices Evaluation Division of the Medical Devices Directorate – Health Canada as a scientific evaluator. Her work involves the evaluation of in vitro diagnostic medical devices of different complexities and technologies, review of proposed clinical trials (investigational testing) of medical devices to be conducted in Canada, and review of Clinical and Regulatory Guidances and Standards. Fanny is a member of the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) Z252
Technical Committee.

Networking Sessions

 

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