Michael Abrams

Vice President Research, Cuprous Pharmaceuticals


Dr. Abrams was the former President and CEO of Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc., Chief Innovation Officer and VP for Research and Development at CDRD Ventures Inc., and Managing Director of Arbutus Bipharma Corporation.

Dr. Abrams completed his PhD in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has extensive experience working in biotechnology companies and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Dr. Abrams was the founding CEO of AnorMED Inc. and led that company for 10 years. AnorMED developed the FDA-approved stem cell mobilizing drug, Mozobil, and was acquired by Genzyme in 2006 for over $500M.


Marc J. Adler

Assistant Professor, Ryerson University


Dr. Marc J. Adler is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Ryerson University. He is interested in the design and synthesis of novel functional organic molecules and in greener methods for organic synthesis. His lab makes and studies molecules that are useful for various applications, including as catalysts and reagents for organic synthesis, as photo-and electroactive components of organic electronics, and as bioactive synthetic and semi-peptidic small molecules.

His lab is currently pursuing research on practical and greener organosilane reagents, catalysts, and methods for organic synthesis; porphyrin silane derivatives as novel molecules for organic electronics; peptidomimetic covalent drugs for the inhibition of protein-protein interactions (PPIs); and the chalcone/flavanone scaffold as a molecular switch bearing the unique properties of covalent dynamism controlled by a chemical stimulus and detectable by UV/Vis spectroscopy.


NMIN project involvement:

Co-Investigator: Customisable metallo-nanotexaphyrins for cancer imaging and therapy

Department of Chemistry & Biology, Ryerson University
Kerr Hall North 212
350 Victoria St.
Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2K3
Tel: 416-979-5000 ext 543461

Christine Allen

Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Christine Allen is a Professor and the GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. She is also the university's first-ever Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives, and previously served as the Associate Dean Graduate Education and as the Associate Dean Academic. Her research is focused on the rational design and development of new materials and technologies for the delivery of drugs and contrast agents.

Dr. Allen completed her doctoral research in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University and post-doctoral research in the Department of Advanced Therapeutics at the B.C. Cancer Agency. She joined University of Toronto in 2002, from Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Vancouver, B.C.), where she had worked as a scientist and Assistant Director of materials research.

She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, numerous patent applications, and nine book chapters on both lipid and polymer-based delivery systems. She has served on several peer review panels for granting agencies including CIHR, NCIC and NIH. She was awarded a CIHR-Rx&D Career Award (2004-2009) for her research on the design and development of technologies for cancer treatment in addition to many other awards.


Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto
144 College Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3M2
Tel: 416-946-8594

Stephane Angers

Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Angers is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Associate Dean of Research, and Canada Research Chair in Functional Architecture of Signal Transduction Complexes at the University of Toronto. He is an expert in the field of signal transduction.

His research program seeks to understand the signalling mechanisms underlying the Wnt and Hedgehog families of growth factors. For this, he exploits functional proteomic and genomic approaches to identify novel proteins regulating these signalling pathways and studies their functions during development, tissue homeostasis and in human diseases. A major area of focus is the role of these important molecules in high fatality cancers such as Glioblastoma and pancreatic cancers.

Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto
144 College Street, Rm 901
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3M2
Tel: 416-978-4939

Marcel Bally

Professor, University of British Columbia

Theme 1 Leader; PharmaCore Leader

Dr. Marcel Bally is Head & Distinguished Scientist of Experimental Therapeutics for BC CANCER; Division Chair of Pharmacology and Toxicology for the Centre for Drug Research and Development; a Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Bally's laboratory focuses on developing improved protocols for the treatment of cancer. Basic research interests include evaluation of novel targeted anticancer drugs. However, his group is also comprehensively pursuing combinations of existing, already approved cytotoxic agents, to demonstrate the value of pursuing anticancer drug combination products.

Dr. Bally has extensive expertise in the use of liposome drug carriers for improving the specificity of anti-cancer drugs as well as enabling the use of some exciting new biologically active agents, such as therapeutically active antibodies, nucleic acid drugs (antisense oligonucleotides and siRNA) and therapeutically active peptides.

Isabelle Brunette

Professor, Université de Montréal


Dr. Isabelle Brunette is Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, Director of the Corneal Transplant Research Unit,and holds a Charles-Albert Poissant Chair in Corneal Transplantation at the Université de Montréal. She is an ophthalmologist specializing in the cornea.

A member of the BioFemtoVision Research Program, Dr. Brunette is internationally recognized for her ophthalmic research, which focuses on optimizing the functional outcomes of corneal transplantation with leading-edge advances in tissue engineering and femtosecond laser technology.

Unité de Recherche en Ophtalmologie
Hôpital Maisonneuve Rosemont
5415 De l’Assomption
Montréal, Québec
H1T 2M4
Tel: 514-252-3400

Mitchell Cairo

Professor, New York Medical College


‌Dr. Cairo is Chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation‌; Director of the Children and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center; Associate Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics; and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology and Cell Biology & Anatomy at the New York Medical College.

He is an international leader in childhood lymphomas and leukemias, stem cell transplantation, developmental therapeutics, experimental hematopoiesis and immunology and stem cell biology and regenerative therapy. The Cairo Laboratory of NYMC is focused on the identification of genetic abnormalities in childhood, adolescent and young adult acute leukemias and lymphomas, and develops and investigates novel strategies of targeted therapy to unique targets and/or genetic defects.

NMIN project involvement:

Collaborator: Neutrophil encapsulation platform for targeted drug delivery

19 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY 10532
Tel: 914-493-7997

Joseph Casey

Professor, University of Alberta


‌Dr. Casey is a professor of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. His laboratory focuses on membrane transport, and on the role of bicarbonate transport in causing disease in particular.

Major ongoing projects in his lab include: determining the structure and transport mechanism of the chloride/bicarbonate exchanger, AE1, which is central to red blood cell and kidney function; and understanding how defects in the transport protein called SLC4A11 cause blinding corneal diseases (Fuch's endothelial dystrophy and congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy),

4020E Katz Group Rexall Building
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6G 2E1
Tel: 780-492-7203

Warren Chan

Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Warren Chan is Director of the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Distinguished Professor of Nanobioengineering, and Canada Research Chair in Nanobioengineering at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Chan is an internationally recognized, leading researcher in the area of nanoengineering. His lab is developing nanotechnology for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed research articles, seven book chapters, and one book. He has been cited over 46,000 times, given 142 invited presentations and holds 15 patents/provisional patents.

He has received the Kabiller International Nanomedicine Award (2015) and the NSERC E.W. Steacie Fellowship (2012). He is an associate editor of ACS Nano.

Q. Dai, S. Wilhelm, D. Ding, S. Sindhwani, A. M. Syed, W. C. W. Chan, “Quantifying the Targeting Effiency of Ligand-Coated Intact Nanoparticles to Cancer Cells in Solid Tumours.”  ACS Nano, 2018, 2018, 12, 8423. IF = 13.7

A. J. Tavares, W. Poon, Y. N. Zhang, Q. Dai, R. Besla, D. Ding, B. Ouyang, A. Li, J. Chen, G. Zheng, C. Robbins, W. C. W. Chan, “The Effect of Removing Kupffer Cells on Nanoparticle Tumour Delivery,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2017, 114, E10817. IF = 9.4.

L. Zhan, S. Guo, Y. Gong, F. Song, F. Xu, M. C. McAlpine, D. R. Boulware, W. C. W. Chan, J. C. Bischof, “The Role of Nanoparticle Design in Determining Analytical Performance of Later Flow Immunoassays,” Nano Letters, 2017, 17, 7207. IF = 12.7.

B. Udugama, P. Kadhreisan, A. Samarakoon, W. C. W. Chan, “Simplifying Assays via Tableting,” J. Amer. Chem. Society, 2017, 139, 17341 IF =13.8.

S. Singha, Y. Yang, X. Calemente-Casares, K. Shao, Q. Dai, S. Liu, J. Yamanouchi, C. Umeshappa, R. Nanjundappa, P. Detampel, M. Amrein, C. Fandos, P. Serra, R. Tanguay, S. Newbigging, A. Khadra, W. C. W. Chan, P. Santamaria, “Peptide-MHC-based Nanomedicines for Autoimmunity Function as T-cell Receptor Microclustering Device,” Nature Nanotechnology, 2017, 12, 701.  IF = 39.4.

A. Strtak, S. Sathiamoorthy, P. S. Tang, K. M. Tsoi, F. Song, J. B. Anderson, W. C. W. Chan, J. Shin, “Yeast Population Evolve to Resist CdSe Quantum Dot Toxicity,” Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2017, 28, 1205.  JIF = 4.9.

A. M. Syed, S. Sindhwani, S. Wilhelm, B. R. Kingston, D. S. W. Lee, J.  Gommerman, W. C. W. Chan, “Three-Dimensional Imaging of Transparent Tissues via Metal Nanoparticle Labeling,” J. Amer. Chem. Society,” 2017, 139, 9961. IF = 13.8.

S. A. Macparland, K. M. Tsoi, B. Ouyang, X. Z. Ma, J. Manuel, A. Fawaz, M. A. Ostrowski, B. A. Alman, A. Zilman, W. C. W. Chan, I. D. McGilvray, “Phenotype Determines Nanoparticle Uptake by Human Macrophages from liver and Blood,” ACS Nano, 2017, 11, 2428.


S. Sindhwani, A. M. Syed, S. Wilhelm, W. C. W. Chan, “Exploring Passive Clearing for 3D Optical Imaging of Nanoparticles in Intact Tissues,” Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2017, 28, 253.

Y. Wang, Z. Qin, D. R. Boulware, B. S. Pritt, L. M. Sloan, I. J. Gonzalez, D. Bell, R. R. Rees-Cheanner, P. Chiodin, W. C. W. Chan, J. C. Bischof, “Thermal Contrast Amplification Reader Yielding 8-Fold Analytical Improvement for Disease Detection with Lateral Flow Assays,” Analytical Chemistry, 2016, 88, 11774.

Y. Y. Chen, P. Silva, A. M. Syed, S. Sindhwani, J. V. Rocheleau, W. C. W. Chan, “Clarifying Intact 3D Tissues on a Microfluidic Chip for High-Throughput Structural Analysis,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2016, 113, 14915.

K. Zagarovsky, L. Y. T. Chou, W. C. W. Chan, “Controlling DNA-Nanoparticle Serum Interactions,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sciences, 2016, 113, 13600.


S. Wilhelm, A. J. Tavares, W. C. W. Chan, “Reply to ‘Evaluation of Nanomedicines: Stick to the Basics‘” Nature Reviews Materials, 2016, 1. 

164 College Street, Room 407
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G9
Tel: 416-946-8416

Quincy Chu

Associate Professor, University of Alberta


Dr. Chu is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, and an investigator in the Oncology Department of the Cross Cancer Institute.

He is a medical oncologist who specializes in thoracic malignancies as well as early-phase clinical trials. He is an investigator with the Cross Cancer Institute’s New Drug Development Program, and is also the CCTG Investigational New Drug Committee Chair.

His main research interests include thoracic malignancies and sarcomas; Phase I/II clinical trials of innovative anti-cancer agents; and the molecular determinants of response and toxicities of innovative anti-cancer agents.

11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T6G 1Z2
Tel: 780-432-8248

Marco Ciufolini

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Ciufolini is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in synthetic organic chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia. He is a leading expert in organic chemistry with significant expertise in medicinal chemistry.

His research interests center on the chemical synthesis of nitrogenous natural products and span natural products chemistry, synthetic methodology, and medicinal chemistry.

He has various awards to his credit, including most recently, the 2013 Canadian Society for Chemistry R.U. Lemieux Prize.

He is co-founder of Integrated Nanotherapeutics and of AB Science, SA. The latter company was created to commercialize one of the drugs he invented: the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, Masitinib®, which is in Phase III trials for various cancerous and degenerative conditions.

He is also a co-founder of Chrysalon SA, and Global Pharmaceutical Consulting, Inc., and is a consultant in medicinal and process chemistry for several pharmaceutical laboratories in the US and in Europe.

Dr. Ciufolini's research on new reactions for the assembly of nitrogen-containing compounds and on the total synthesis of nitrogenous natural products is described in over 130 peer-reviewed articles and 7 book chapters. He is also an inventor on over 30 patents.

Department of Chemistry, UBC Faculty of Science
Vancouver Campus
2036 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604-822-2419

Pieter Cullis

Professor, University of British Columbia

Scientific Director; Theme 2 Leader; NanoCore Leader

Dr. Cullis is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. He is also the Director of the NanoMedicines Research Cluster and Founding Director of the Centre for Drug Research and Development.

His laboratory has been responsible for fundamental advances in the generation, loading and targeting of liposomal systems for intravenous delivery of conventional and genetic drugs. This work has led to two products that have been approved by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe for the treatment of cancer and its complications, one that is in late-stage (Phase III) clinical trials and two more that are about to enter Phase I studies.

From 1987 to 1991, Dr. Cullis was President and Director of The Canadian Liposome Company Inc. (CLC), a company he co-founded. CLC was a subsidiary of The Liposome Company Inc. (TLC, Princeton, NJ). Dr. Cullis has also played a founding role in Inex Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Director and CSO 1992-2004), Lipex Biomembranes Inc. (Director and Chairman, 1985-2000), Northern Lipids Inc. (Director and Chairman, 2005 onwards) and Protiva Biotherapeutics Ltd. (Director 2001-2005 and Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board).

He has published over 300 scientific articles and is an inventor on over 30 patents. Dr. Cullis was awarded the Ayerst Award by the Canadian Biochemical Society in 1986, the B.C. Science Council Gold Medal for Health Sciences in 1991, the Alec D. Bangham Award for contributions to liposome science and technology in 2000, the B.C. Biotechnology Association award for Innovation and Achievement in 2002, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004 and was awarded the Barre award for contributions to Pharmaceutical Sciences by the University of Montreal in 2005. Dr. Cullis also received the UBC Alumni Award for Research in Science and Medicine in 2005. In 2011, Dr. Cullis won the prestigious Prix Galien Canada award and the Bill and Marilyn Webber Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nancy Dos Santos

Program Director, BC Cancer Agency


Dr. Dos Santos is Director of Pharmacology for the Investigational Drug Program in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the BC Cancer Agency, where she is also Research Administrative Manager.

BC Cancer Research Centre
675 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1L3
Tel: 604-675-8022

Jan Dutz

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Dutz is Departmental Head and Professor of Dermatology and Skin Science in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is also an investigator BC Children's Hospital and a Senior Scientist with the Child and Family Research Institute (CFRI).

Dr. Dutz is a rheumatologist and dermatologist with a special clinical interest in the cutaneous manifestations of autoimmunity. His laboratory is engaged in studies to optimize the use of the skin as an organ to alter systemic immune responses. In separate projects, they are studying the priming or activation of T cells involved in models of systemic lupus erythematosus and juvenile onset diabetes mellitus.

950 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 4H4
Tel: 604-875-4747

Marianna Foldvari

Professor, University of Waterloo


Dr. Marianna Foldvari is the Canada Research Chair in Bionanotechnology and Nanomedicine and a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Foldvari is an internationally recognized expert in nanomedicine. Her expertise is in pharmaceutics, dosage form and drug delivery system design (dermal, transdermal, transmucosal, ocular, intranasal, injectables and needle-free) nanotechnology, non-viral delivery methods and vaccine development.

She has over 20 years of experience as an academic researcher and in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry through technology transfer activities. Her research program focuses on the development of intelligent and non-invasive drug delivery systems design for protein drugs, gene therapy and pharmaceutical development of nano-enabled products.

Dr. Foldvari developed Biphasix™, a needle-free drug delivery system for dermal delivery of drugs. Important characteristics of the delivery system are improved drug encapsulation and drug permeation through the skin.

She is Associate Editor of Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Editorial Board Member and Hot Topic Editor for Current Drug Delivery, the Journal of Nanomedicine and Biotherapeutic Discovery, the Journal of Bionanoscience and the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding.

Volker Gerdts

Professor, University of Saskatchewan


Dr. Gerdts is a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and the Director and CEO of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Gerdts' expertise is in the area of human and livestock vaccines, mucosal immunology, and vaccine delivery and formulation. HIs current research interests include: the development of neonatal vaccines; innate immunity at the respiratory surfaces (antimicrobial peptides); basic mechanisms of intestinal immunity; lymphocyte trafficking; mucosal immunology; chemokines; enteric infections; and knowledge transfer of basic research into applied clinical research and producers.

Azita Haddadi

Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan


Dr. Haddadi is an associate professor of Pharmacy and a member of the Drug Discovery and Development Research Group at the University of Saskatchewan. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Chapter of Controlled Release Society.

Dr. Haddadi’s research program focuses on overcoming the ongoing challenges in cancer therapy. The main emphasis of this research is to develop new biomedical and pharmaceutical nanotechnology strategies to achieve the critical issues in cancer chemo-immunotherapy.

Her research activities span the following areas: formulation and characterization of polymeric nanomaterials and protein therapeutics; siRNA/Oligonucletide delivery in cancer treatment; targeted delivery systems for pharmaceutical applications (topical, iv. or sc. administration); receptor-mediated nanoparticles for vaccine delivery; and receptor-based tumor targeting for chemotherapy.

NMIN project involvement:

Co-Investigator: Nanoparticle formulations for anti-inflammatory IDR peptides

D301.1 Health Science Building
107 Wiggins Road
Saskatoon SK, S7N 5E5
Tel: 306-966-6495

Andrew Halayko

Professor, University of Manitoba


Dr. Halayko is a Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Pathophysiology, of Pediatrics and Child Health, and of Internal Medicine, and is Canada Research Chair in Airway Cell and Molecular Biology, at the University of Manitoba. He is also Leader of the Biology of Breathing Theme of CHRIM, co-Leader of the DEVOTION Network, and a Principal Mentor of the The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Training Program in Allergy and Asthma.

His lab's translational research program on asthma pathophysiology supports the development of new therapies, and understanding mechanisms for disease origins in children. He and his team generate new fundamental knowledge of cell and molecular mechanisms using human cell cultures, and assess relevance in pre-clinical research with small animal models and human subjects.

Dr. Halayko's researc interest are in asthma biology and pathophysiology; the developmental origins of lung disease; and air pollution, tobacco and cannabis smoke exposure in infant lung health.

NMIN project involvement:

Co-Investigator: Nanoparticle formulations for anti-inflammatory IDR peptides

605 John Buhler Research Center
715 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5
Tel: 204-480-1327

Dennis Hall

Professor, University of Alberta


Dr. Hall is a professor of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. His research interests are focused on the development of new reactions and strategies to access functional molecules with potential uses in biology and medicine, to which end he explores applications of organoboron compounds using both rational design and combinatorial strategies.

4-010 Centennial Centre for Interdisc Science
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G2
Tel: 780-492-3141

Robert Hancock

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Robert E. W. Hancock is a Canadian microbiologist and University of British Columbia (UBC) Killam Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Director of the UBC Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research (CMDR), an Associate Faculty Member of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and a Canada Research Chair in Health and Genomics.

Dr. Hancock is considered a world leader in his field and is well known for his work on cationic host defence (antimicrobial) peptides and finding alternative treatments for infections in the light of antibiotic resistance. He is the co-founder of Migenix, Inimex Pharmaceuticals, ABT Innovations, Sepset and the Centre for Drug Research and Development.

Dr. Hancock has received numerous awards and honours including: the Prix Galien, the Killam Prize, the Michael Smith CIHR Researcher of the Year award, and the ICAAC Aventis Antimicrobial Research Award. In 2001 he was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Kenneth Harder

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Kenneth Harder is Associate Professor in the Laboratory for Host-pathogen Immunogenetics, in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology of the University of British Columbia. He holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Host-pathogen/tumour immunology and is co-leader of the Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity Research Group.

Dr. Harder's lab studies and identifies key genes and cellular signalling pathways that guide the development and activity of cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system. They are particularly interested in the role of tyrosine kinase/ phosphatase-regulated signalling pathways that control signalling thresholds important for the development and function of dendritic cells and other phagocyte populations. A complementary research theme in the laboratory is centred on the study of cytokine networks that regulate immunosuppressive programs within phagocytes.

Ultimately, his lab seeks to understand how changes in phagocyte signalling thresholds impact immunological diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis and cancer, toward identifying targets of future therapeutic strategies.

Sarah Hedtrich

Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Hedtrich is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She is interested in nanotechnologies, structural tissue engineering / biomaterials, inflammatory respiratory diseases, and skin. Her research focus spans: novel therapies for inflammatory and genetic diseases of human epithelia; tissue regeneration and wound healing; topical drug delivery and nanomedicine; and new biomedical approaches (alternatives to animal testing).

Aly Karsan

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Karsan is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia, and Medical Director of the Cancer Genetics Laboratory and the Centre for Clinical Genomics in the Genome Sciences Centre, at the British Columbia Cancer Agency.

Dr. Karsan is internationally recognized in the field of blood cancer research. His translational research lab has generated seminal work on the role of noncoding RNAs and innate immune signaling in blood cancers. He currently leads a team of six principal investigators in a Terry Fox Research Institute Program Project in acute leukemia research.

Dr. Karsan is also a recognized leader in delivering clinical genomic assays. He established the first clinically-accredited Next Generation Sequencing lab in Canada, the Centre for Clinical Genomics (CCG), which was among the first in the world. The CCG delivers cancer genomic testing to the entire population of BC. This pioneering work in using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies for clinical delivery has led to the development of various novel technologies for clinical genomic testing.

Dr. Karsan’s clinical focus is to bring new genomic technologies into the diagnostic arena. His research interests focus on functional genomics in myeloid malignancies with a particular interest in the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). His recent research has revolved around the role of microRNAs and innate immune signaling pathways in MDS.

NMIN project involvement:

Collaborator: Targeting myeloid leukemia with nanomedicines

Rm 9-111, 675 West 10th Ave
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5Z 1L3
Tel: 604-675-8033

Christian Kastrup

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Theme 2 Co-Leader; NanoCore Co-Leader

Dr. Kastrup is an Associate Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories and Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia, and is a member of the Centre for Blood Research and Associate Member of the School of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Kastrup’s research utilizes biochemical engineering to solve problems related to hemostasis and thrombosis. He and his trainees investigate, utilize, and mimic the biochemistry and biophysical dynamics of blood coagulation to create innovative materials that perform new functions inside of blood vessels, and work to develop novel treatments for severe hemorrhage. They use a variety of biochemical assays, genetic engineering tools, blood samples, biomaterial synthesis, microfluidics, imaging, and small and large animal models to answer a variety of research questions.

Dr. Kastrup’s accolades include the Sir Major Banting Award from the True Patriot Love Foundation, being a MSFHR Scholar, a Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, and receiving a CIHR Foundation Grant. He is the Chief Scientific Officer and a founding member of CoMotion Drug Delivery Systems, Inc., a UBC-based start-up, which is currently working to develop a hemostatic agent for severe combat and surgical hemorrhage.

Michael Smith Laboratories, 211
2185 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604-827-3749

Shana Kelley

Professor, University of Toronto

Theme 3 Leader

Dr. Shana Kelley is a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she is also the academic director of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PRiME).

Dr. Kelley's research interests are the development of new technologies for clinical diagnostics and drug delivery.

Dr. Kelley’s work has been recognized with a variety of distinctions, including being named one of ‘Canada’s Top 40 under 40′, a “Top 100 Innovator” by MIT’s Technology Review, and a NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Fellow. She has also been recognized with the Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award, a NSF CAREER Award, a Dreyfus New Faculty Award, and the 2011 Steacie Prize. She is a founder of two molecular diagnostics companies, GeneOhm Sciences (acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2005) and Xagenic Inc.

Kelley Laboratory
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
144 College Street
Toronto, ON, M5S 3M2
Tel: 416-978-8641

Aneal Khan

Professor, University of Alberta


Dr.Khan is a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and the President and CEO of Discovery DNA.

His research interests include interventional therapies for rare diseases such as gene therapy and investigational new drugs. He focuses on a variety of ultra-rare diseases, but has experience with lysosomal storage diseases, mitochondrial diseases, genetic cardiomypathies and metabolic bone diseases. He has a focus on clinical trials for new drugs from Phase I through Phase IV studies and recruits patients at a national level. His company, Discovery DNA, specializes in exome, genome and mitochondrial DNA rapid sequencing.

Alberta Children’s Hospital
3rd Floor Metabolic Clinic
2888 Shaganappi Trail NW
Calgary, AB T3B 6A8
Tel: 403-955-7587

Jonathan Krieger

Application Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children


Dr. Krieger is an Application Scientist in Proteomics/Mass Spectrometry for the SPARC Biocentre at The Hospital for Sick Children. He is also a Senior Applications Scientist and Service Team Manager for Bioinformatics Solutions Inc.

Dr. Krieger is a PhD trained scientist with 10+ years of implementing and employing novel proteomic technologies to molecular biology studies. His expertise encompasses experimental design, HPLC and LC-MS/MS operation, and data analysis.

686 Bay Street, 21st Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 0A4
Tel: 416-813-8786

Afsaneh Lavasanifar

Professor, University of Alberta


Dr. Lavasanifar is Professor in the Pharmaceutical Sciences division of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. She is also the Scientific Chief Officer and Vice President of Meros Polymers Inc., a spinoff company established on basis of technology developed her lab.

Her research is focused on the design and development of polymer-based delivery systems that can increase solubility, modify the pharmacokinetic pattern, reduce toxicity and increase the efficacy of different therapeutic agents. The ongoing research projects in her laboratory include development of novel polymeric nano-carriers and stimulus responsive gels for application in cancer chemo and immunotherapy or deliver of anti-inflammatory agents. She is an inventor in 5 patent/patent applications on novel polymer-based formulations for drug and siRNA delivery.

Dr. Lavasanifar is the Associate Editor of Molecular Pharmaceutics and a member of the Editorial Board of Materials Sciences and Applications and Iranian Polymer Journal.

2-142F Katz Group Centre
Medical Sciences Building
University of Alberta
8613 – 114 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H7

Blair Leavitt

Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Leavitt is Interim Director and Senior Scientist at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the BC Children's Hospital; full Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC); the UBC Director of the Transgenic Core Facility; the UBC Neurogenetics Director of Research; and a Neurologist in the Centre for Huntington Disease.

A scientist and physician, Dr. Leavitt's laboratory develops new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease using transgenic mouse models.

Ada Leung

Director of Operations, Cuprous Pharmaceuticals


Dr.Leung is a Founder of, and Director of Operations at, Cuprous Pharmaceuticals, and is an inventor of the Metaplex technology.

She completed her PhD at the University of British Columbia, where she was awarded a prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her thesis work involved identifying and validating novel targets that could be used to enhance platinum-based chemotherapy against non-small cell lung cancer.

In the final years of her PhD, Dr. Leung undertook another project which contributed to the development of the Metaplex technology. She recently completed a Mitacs Elevate Fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Chris Orvig.

Shyh-Dar (Star) Li

Professor, The University of British Columbia

Theme 1 Co-leader; PharmaCore Co-leader

Dr. Shyh-Dar (Star) Li is Professor at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chair of the Nanomedicine and Chemical Biology Research & Training Program, and holds the Angiotech Professorship in Drug Delivery, at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Li's research focuses on developing innovative drug delivery technologies to enhance drug targeting, with a particular interest in lipid and polymer-based nanoparticles. His team has successfully licensed three drug delivery technologies to industry, with one for brain cancer therapy in phase II trials.

Dr. Li has won several research awards, including the 2014 AFPC New Investigator Award, the 2013 AAPS New Investigator Award in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technologies, the 2013 CIHR New Investigator Award, the 2013 CSPS Early Career Award, and the 2012 Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award.

David Liu

Professor, Harvard University


Dr. Liu is the Richard Merkin Professor, Director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, and Vice-Chair of the Faculty at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University; and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Dr. Liu's research accomplishments have earned distinctions including the Ronald Breslow Award for Biomimetic Chemistry, the American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award, the Arthur C. Cope Young Scholar Award, and awards from the Sloan Foundation, Beckman Foundation, NSF CAREER Program, and Searle Scholars Program. In 2016 he was named one of the Top 20 Translational Researchers in the world by Nature Biotechnology, and in 2017 was named to the Nature’s 10 researchers in world and to the Foreign Policy Leading Global Thinkers.

Dr. Liu's research integrates chemistry and evolution to illuminate biology and enable next-generation therapeutics. His major research interests include the engineering, evolution, and in vivo delivery of genome editing proteins such as base editors and prime editors to study and treat genetic diseases; the evolution of proteins with novel therapeutic potential using phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE); and the discovery of bioactive synthetic small molecules and synthetic polymers using DNA-templated organic synthesis and DNA-encoded libraries. Base editing (named one of four 2017 Breakthrough of the Year finalists by Science), prime editing, PACE, and DNA-templated synthesis are four examples of technologies pioneered in his laboratory. He is the scientific founder or co-founder of seven biotechnology and therapeutics companies, including Editas Medicine, Pairwise Plants, Exo Therapeutics, Beam Therapeutics, and Prime Medicine.

Brian MacVicar

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. MacVicar is the Co-Director of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience at UBC and is Professor and Head, Basic Neuroscience, in the Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. MacVicar’s research has focused on the mechanisms required to maintain a healthy brain by finding ways to prevent neuronal damage. His work has provided new insights into potential targets for preventing brain damage via neuronal death during stroke.

Dr. MacVicar has been a leader in the development and application of advanced brain imaging techniques during his career. He discovered that brain tissue is more transparent in infrared wavelengths, which are used widely to visualize nerve cells in intact brain tissue. With Image Science, a company he founded, he developed software that was widely used to control scientific image acquisition equipment and imaging analysis. The MacVicar lab has implemented two-photon microscopy and uncaging techniques to investigate and visualize complex interactions in the brain. The application of advanced imaging techniques has allowed his lab to make significant contributions to our understanding of how neuronal activity is regulated and how to protect nerve cells during stroke.

Dr. MacVicar is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) and of The Canadian Academy for Health Sciences (FCAHS).

MacVicar Lab
Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
4th Floor, 2215 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver BC, V6T 2B5
Tel: 604-822-7797

Anne Marinier

Associate Professor, Université de Montréal


Dr. Marinier is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Université de Montréal, and Principal Investigator and Director of Medicinal Chemistry at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC).

Dr. Marinier and her group focus on medicinal chemistry. They work to design and synthesize new chemical entities with proven biological and therapeutic activity in the treatment of cancer and other related diseases.

Trained as a Chemist, Dr. Marinier earned her Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the Université de Sherbrooke in 1990 after working under the guidance of Pierre Deslongchamps. She then joined Garland Marshall’s team at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, for a postdoctoral fellowship.

She was hired by pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1991. There she worked on developing new anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor drugs. She joined IRIC in 2007 and contributed to the creation of what would become the country’s largest medicinal chemistry core facility in a university setting.

NMIN project involvement:

Collaborator: Neutrophil encapsulation platform for targeted drug delivery

Pavillon Marcelle-Coutu, 4306-9
2950 Chemin de Polytechnique
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4
Tel: 514-343-6111 ext. 17351

John Marshall

Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Marshall is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto, an intensivist at St. Michael’s Hospital, and a Senior Investigator in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science.

His laboratory studies the cellular mechanisms underlying prolonged neutrophil survival in trauma and sepsis. As a clinical investigator he has been the principle investigator of the AATICC trial of empiric antibiotic therapy for suspected ICU-acquired infection and of the CHAT trial of adjuvant therapy for H1N1 influenza, as well as a co-investigator on a number of Trials Group programs. He has also been a steering committee member for a number of industry-sponsored trials of novel therapies for sepsis.

He is the founding chair of the International Forum of Acute Care Trialists (InFACT) – a global network of 37 investigator-led critical care clinical research groups and vice-chair of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium.

He has given more than 1000 invited lectures at more than 500 meetings around the world, has published more than 475 manuscripts and book chapters, has been cited more than 100,000 times, and is an Associate Editor of the journals Critical Care Medicine and Critical Care.

NMIN project involvement:

Collaborator: Neutrophil encapsulation platform for targeted drug delivery

St. Michael’s Hospital
Room 4-007, 30 Bond St
Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8
Tel: 416-864-5225

Anton McCaffrey

Sr. Director, TriLink BioTechnologies


Dr. McCaffrey is Senior Director of Emerging Science and Innovation at TriLink BioTechnologies.

Dr. McCaffrey is a researcher in the area of nucleic acid therapeutics and diagnostics, with expertise in design, manufacturing and purification of messenger RNA (mRNA) at gram scales for gene therapy applications, RNA interference, zinc-finger nucleases, TALENs, CRISPR and microRNAs. He has over 25 years experience designing nucleic acid-based therapeutics. His research interests include scalable mRNA manufacturing processes, chemical modification of mRNA to reduce innate immune stimulation, and development of specialized assays for mRNA characterization.

Michel Meunier

Professor, Polytechnique Montréal


Dr. Michel Meunier is a professor in the Department of Engineering Physics and the head of the Laser Processing and Plasmonics Laboratory, at Polytechnique Montréal.

Dr. Meunier’s team has developed a new approach to synthesis of gold-silver alloy nanomaterials, with fine control of their composition and size, and is working on the development of novel medical imaging techniques. Dr. Meunier has perfected a technique for detection of cell-surface biomarkers that is a cost-efficient improvement over the classic immunofluorescence method: 3D multiplexed immunoplasmonics microscopy, which uses Abs-functionalized plasmonic nanoparticles (fNPs) as “headhunters” to target biomarkers, with reflected light microscopy (RLM) used to detect the biomarkers visually.

Dr. Meunier is also developing tools for cancer treatment, drug delivery, and nanosurgery, such as the “light nanoscalpel” which is aimed at functionalized plasmonic nanoparticles that concentrate its light to perforate the membrane. Recently, Dr. Meunier designed a procedure for optimized, controlled design (material, shape and size) of metallic nanoparticles to improve nanosurgery performance.

Robert Molday

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Molday is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, a Canada Research Chair in Vision & Macular Degeneration, Director of the Centre for Macular Research, and Senior Member of the Brain Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.

He has elucidated the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying a number of retinal diseases including X-linked retinoschisis, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt macular degeneration, and Lebers Congenital Amaurosis. He has used this information to develop therapeutic treatments for a number diseases in animal models for retinal diseases. These include gene and drug based therapies.

Research in his laboratory is currently directed toward identifying and characterizing vertebrate retinal photoreceptor proteins and elucidating their role in: phototransduction and other signaling pathways; rod and cone photoreceptor cell structure and morphogenesis; lipid transport across membranes; protein and vesicle trafficking; and inherited retinal degenerative diseases which are a leading cause of blindness in the world. His lab is also involved in drug discovery and gene therapy as potential therapeutic treatments for inherited retinal degenerative diseases including macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

Life Sciences Centre
2350 Health Sciences Centre
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Tel: 604–822–6173

Neeloffer Mookherjee

Associate Professor, University of Manitoba


Dr. Mookherjee is an Associate Professor at The University of Manitoba, Canada, within the departments of Internal Medicine and Immunology, and the section of Proteomics and Systems Biology.

Dr. Mookherjee’s research program is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying chronic inflammation. Her research group seeks to understand the role of cationic host defence peptides (also known as antimicrobial peptides) in the biological process of inflammation and innate immunity.

Her research group employs various Systems Biology approaches to interrogate the regulatory mechanisms underlying the bioactivity of these peptides. She is also pursuing the use of small cationic peptides as an immunomodulatory therapy for chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and asthma.

She is also involved in a collaborative initiative to define molecular changes in human lung and blood following inhaled exposure to environmental air pollutants such as diesel exhaust.

Dr. Mookherjee is current Chair of WISDOM (Women In Science: Development, Outreach & Mentoring), a Rady Faculty of Health Sciences instituted initiative at The University of Manitoba.

NMIN project involvement:

Co-Investigator: Nanoparticle formulations for anti-inflammatory IDR peptides

University of Manitoba
799 JBRC, 715 McDermot Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P4
Tel: 204-789-3835

Brad Nelson

Professor, University of Victoria


Dr. Nelson is Distinguished Scientist and Director of the Deeley Research Centre at the BC Cancer Agency, Scientific Co-Director of BC Cancer's Immunotherapy Program, Professor of Biochemistry/Microbiology at the University of Victoria, and Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Nelson became founding Director of the Deeley Research Centre in 2003. His laboratory is pursuing the development of innovative immunotherapies for cancer. Areas of focus include: understanding how tumour-reactive T cells and B cells promote survival of cancer patients; using genomic and bioinformatic methods to decipher the barriers to effective immunotherapy; and using the power of genetic engineering to create more precise and potent immune cells for use in immunotherapy.

NMIN project involvement:

Co-PI: Development of the Metaplex immuno-oncology platform

Deeley Research Centre
BC Cancer – Victoria
2410 Lee Avenue, 3rd Floor
Victoria, BC, V8R 6V5
Tel: 250-519-5705

Mark Nitz

Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Nitz is a professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on using organic synthesis coupled with the power of biocatalysis and state of the art biophysical techniques such as fluorescence, NMR, mass spectrometry, and microcalorimetry, to creatively assemble new tools for studying biology.

His current research is in the area of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chemistry and biology. By understanding the underlying biology and learning new techniques to synthesize and manipulate this interesting class of natural products, his lab hopes to learn new ways of intervening in a wide variety of human diseases.

DB 459 – Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories
80 St. George Street
Toronto, ON, M5S 3H6
Tel: 416-946-0640

Keith Pardee

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Pardee is Assistant Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Canadian Research Chair (tier II) in Synthetic Biology and Human Health at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Pardee's research focuses on moving synthetic biology outside of the cell. His research program combines biochemistry, molecular engineering, and electronics to create a new class of sterile and abiotic tools for applications both in and outside the lab. By generating in vitro synthetic biology programs and creating in vitro environments to host these biomolecular programs, he aims to produce small, programmable sensors and devices for research, portable diagnostics, implantable therapeutics, and tools for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Dr. Pardee’s research has been published in Cell, Nature, PLoS Biology, and Genes and Development, among other journals.

Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy University of Toronto 144 College Street Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3M2 Tel: 416-946-5289

Victor Rafuse

Professor, Dalhousie University


Dr. Rafuse seeks to adapt what we know about the developing nervous system to help treat neurodegenerative diseases and conditions such as spinal cord injury, ALS, and Parkinson’s disease. Using molecular biology, electrophysiology and standard anatomical immunohistochemistry (as well as in vitro and in vivo techniques), Dr. Rafuse is working towards understanding how motor axons grow and form stable synapses during development and following nerve injury.

Dr. Rafuse is well known for engineering adult human stem cells into functional motor neurons, for use in drug-screening models and potential future therapies for ALS. He and his team were also able to induce the axons of motor neurons to make appropriate nerve-to-muscle connections after a peripheral nerve injury.

Dr. Rafuse is also working on a gene therapy to help people with ALS breathe more easily, and launching new projects to explore the relationship between metabolism and ALS.

Department of Medical Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
Neural Development & Plasticity Laboratory
3rd floor, Life Science Research Institute
1348 Summer Street
Halifax, NS B3H 1X5
Tel: 902-494-3609

Raymond Reilly

Professor, The University of Toronto


Dr. Reilly’s research focuses on developing novel radiopharmaceutical agents to detect and treat cancer. His work involves discovery, preclinical development and clinical translation of these agents for molecular imaging or molecularly targeted radiotherapy of cancer.

Dr. Reilly’s research group develops and studies the use of novel radiopharmaceutical probes that target proteins overexpressed on tumour cells to aid in cancer diagnosis, imaging and treatment.

Dr. Reilly’s group investigates monoclonal antibodies labeled with radioisotopes for imaging and treatment of cancer, and is also studying the use of radiolabelled gold nanoparticles for locally treating tumours with radiation. In one unique approach, the antibodies or nanoparticles are designed to enter tumour cells and deliver a short range radiation called Auger electrons inside the cell rather than from the outside, reducing the toxicity to nearby healthy tissues.

Prof. Reilly’s group aims to translate their most successful imaging and radiotherapeutic agents to clinical trials. They evaluate the agents preclinically using animal tumour models and develop pharmaceutical quality formulations of the agents that are ready to test in phase I clinical trials.

NMIN project involvement:

Co-Investigator: Customisable metallo-nanotexaphyrins for cancer imaging and therapy

Room 1204
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto
144 College Street
Toronto ON M5S 3M2
Tel: 416-946-5522

Colin Ross

Associate Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Colin Ross is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and a Scientist at BC Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ross’s expertise spans pharmacogenetics, genomics, drug development, drug safety, adverse drug reactions, predictive genetics, and genetic/clinical factors of drug response. Ross Lab researchers investigate the genetic basis of disease and severe adverse drug reactions using genomics-guided precision medicine approaches to help make drugs safer, improve disease diagnosis, and develop new, targeted therapeutics.

Dr. Ross’s research capitalizes upon national and international collaborations with clinicians, researchers and industry partners. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety (CPNDS), a nation-wide collaborative network of researchers. He currently holds a leadership role on the network’s executive steering committee.

Fabio Rossi

Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Fabio Rossi is Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Director of the UBC Biomedical Research Centre, and a Board member of the NCE Stem Cell Network.

Dr. Rossi's research focuses on stem cells, regeneration, gene therapy, and control of cell fate. He has provided seminal contributions to multiple fields related to the role of inflammation and mesenchymal progenitors in adult tissue regeneration and pathogenesis. His laboratory was the first to show that microglia (CNS-resident macrophages) are self-renewing locally and do not originate form bone marrow. He also described a dramatic and unexpected positive trophic role of tissue resident mesenchymal progenitors in tissue regeneration, starting a novel and very active new field investigating these cells.

Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)
UBC Campus
2222 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Tel: 604–822–7138

Ramona Salvarinova

Clinical Assistant Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Salvarinova is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Divison of Biochemical Diseases of the Department of Pediatrics, within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

She works as a full-time physician with the Division of Biochemical Diseases at BC Children’s Hospital and provides care for pediatric patients diagnosed with inborn errors of the metabolism, as well as pediatric metabolic consultative services within British Columbia. She has interest in innovative treatments for patients with rare diseases and is investigator or co-investigator in several clinical trials.

Dr. Salvarinova is a fellow with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists.

Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha

Associate Professor, University of Montreal


Dr. Sapieha is the director of the Neurovascular Eye Disease Lab at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre and holds the Wolfe Professorship in translational vision research and a Canada Research Chair in retinal cell biology. He is an associate professor in the departments of Ophthalmology and Biochemistry at the University of Montreal and an adjunct professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. He is also the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of SemaThera Inc.

His research team has made impactful discoveries about the mechanisms underlying age and diabetes-related loss of vision, implicating deregulation of neuronal metabolism and cellular senescence in retinal vascular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy; notably, they identified roles for guidance cues such as Semaphorins and Netrins in these diseases.

Dr. Sapieha’s important contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying retinal disease have led to new avenues of treatment to prevent blindness and made him a leader in his field.

Université de Montréal
PO Box 6128, Centre-ville Station
Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7
Tel: 514-252-3400 ext 7711

Edward Sargent

Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Sargent is University Professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology and also serves as Vice President - International. He is founder and CTO of InVisage Technologies Inc. of Menlo Park, and a co-founder of Xagenic Inc. of Toronto.

Professor Sargent’s research interests cover many areas of nanotechnology and its application to communications and computing, medicine, and tapping new energy sources.His research has been cited more than 16,000 times and has been disseminated in Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Chemistry and Nature Photonics. His book The Dance of Molecules: How Nanotechnology is Changing Our Lives (Penguin) was published in Canada and the United States in 2005 and has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Arabic.

GB 447
10 King’s College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G4
Tel: 416-946-5051

Molly Shoichet

Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Shoichet is an expert in the study of polymers for drug delivery and tissue regeneration. She holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and is Professor of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Shoichet aims to advance the basic science and enabling technologies of tissue engineering and drug delivery. She is a world leader in the areas of polymer synthesis, biomaterials design and drug delivery in the nervous system. Her research program is unique in its breadth, focusing on strategies to promote tissue repair after traumatic spinal cord injury, stroke and blindness and enhance both tumour targeting through innovative strategies and drug screening via 3D cell culture with new hydrogel design strategies.

Dr. Shoichet has founded three spin-off companies and is actively engaged in translational research with several industry partners and in science outreach.She is currently Senior Advisor on Science & Engineering Engagement at U of T and serves on the Board of the Ontario Science Centre.

Dr. Shoichet is the recipient of 44 prestigious national and international awards. She is the only person ever to be inducted into all three of Canada’s National Academies. In 2011, Dr. Shoichet was appointed to the Order of Ontario, Ontario’s highest civilian honour. In 2013, her contributions to Canada’s innovation agenda and the advancement of knowledge were recognized with the QEII Diamond Jubilee Award.

Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research
160 College Street, Room 514
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E1
Tel: 416-978-1460

Elizabeth Simpson

Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Simpson is a leading scientist in mammalian genetics and genomics. The overall goal of her research is to improve treatment for human disorders of the central nervous system, with a focus on brain and eye.

At the University of British Columbia, she is a Senior Scientist at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT), a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics, and an Associate Member in the Departments of Psychiatry and Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. She is also an Investigator of the Centre for Brain Health and a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health. She currently serves as Director of the CMMT Mouse Animal Production Service.

Dr. Simpson is best known for her work on mouse models of human disease, and has identified a gene implicated in bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). Currently, she and her laboratory are working on the development of gene-based delivery of proteins; also known as “gene therapy”.

Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (UBC) at Child & Family Research Institute
3020 – 950 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4
Tel: 604-875-3850

Shiela Singh

Professor, McMaster University


Dr. Singh is a professor of surgery and biochemistry, chief pediatric neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital, prior Division Head of Neurosurgery at Hamilton Health Sciences, and scientist appointed to the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University. She holds a Tier 1/Senior Canada Research Chair in Human Brain Cancer Stem Cell Biology, and is Director of the McMaster Surgeon Scientist Program. She is also CEO and a co-founder of Empirica Therapeutics.

Dr. Singh’s lab applies a developmental neurobiology framework to the study of brain tumorigenesis. Building upon previous cell culture techniques developed for the isolation of normal neural stem cells (NSC) and applying them to brain tumours, and through development of a xenograft model to efficiently study brain tumour initiating cell (BTIC) activity, Dr. Singh’s lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern BTIC self-renewal. Dr. Singh is currently studying the regulation of BTIC signaling pathways in glioblastoma, brain metastases and childhood medulloblastoma, with an ultimate goal of selectively targeting the BTIC with appropriately tailored drug and molecular therapies.

NMIN project involvement:

Collaborator: Neutrophil encapsulation platform for targeted drug delivery

MDCL 5027
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8

Terrance Snutch

Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Snutch is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, in the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, and in Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia. He hold a Canada Research Chair in Biotechnology and Genomics-Neurobiology, and is Director of Translational Neuroscience in the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

His lab’s major research interest is the study of the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction in the nervous system and its relationship to neurological disorders. The research utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to characterize various aspects of the molecular, electrophysiological, pharmacological, biochemical and genetic properties of ion channels in normal and pathophysiological states.

His current projects involve epilepsy, migraine, schizophrenia, autism and chronic pain. The lab also employs state-of-the-art 3rd generation sequencing (MinION) aimed at defining genetic and epigenetic disease-related states. Dr. Snutch actively translates discoveries to industry and patients and to date, has designed and advanced new drugs for pain and epilepsy into the clinic.

#301 – 2185 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4
Tel: 604-822-6968

Chris Tam

Co-Founder & CEO, Integrated Nanotherapeutics


Dr. Tam is co-founder of Integrated Nanotherapeutics. She obtained her B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University and her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Alberta. She has extensive research experience in biochemistry, cell biology as well as drug design and development.

Prior to founding Integrated Nanotherapeutics, Dr. Tam worked at the Life Sciences Institute at the University of British Columbia, where she was part of the supervisory team for graduate and post-graduate scientists working on the development of lipid nanoparticles for the delivery of macromolecule drugs, such as siRNA and DNA, as well as small molecule drugs. Many of these lipid nanoparticle drug formulations have direct implication for the treatment of a wide range of diseases including cancers, hematological diseases, osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders and diabetes.

Suite 402, 6190 Agronomy Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Tel: 778-819-1622

Ryan Vander Werff

Services Manager, Biomedical Research Centre, UBC


Ryan Vander Werff is Single-Cell & Next-Gen Sequencing and Services Manager for the BRC-Seq at the Biomedical Research Centre of the University of British Columbia.

He received both his BSc and MSc from the University of California, San Diego in Molecular and Cellular Biology. During that time, his research focus was on Cancer Biology, looking at the mechanistic site of action for PTHrP’s growth inhibitory effects on Non Small Cell Lung Cancer. He went on to work for private labs focused on therapeutics, drug delivery, and diagnostics and worked with high throughput screening, laboratory automation, micro-fluidics, analytics, and most recently, next generation sequencing. With Sequenom, in La Jolla California, he sequenced fetal DNA through methylation-based filtering of maternal blood samples, setting up new assays via Illumina`s next generation sequencing, laboratory automation, and other technologies.

2222 Health Sciences Mall, UBC Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3 Website

Bruce Verchere

Professor, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Bruce Verchere is Professor in the Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Surgery at the University of British Columbia (UBC), head of the Diabetes Research Program at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) at BC Children’s Hospital, and the Irving K Barber Chair in Diabetes Research.

Dr. Verchere's research focuses on the pancreatic islet and aims to understand how beta cell death and dysfunction arises in diabetes and following transplantation, with particular focus on islet amyloid and inflammation, with the goal of developing therapeutic approaches for enhancing beta cell survival and function in diabetes.

Dr. Verchere is chair of the CIHR Diabetes Obesity Lipid and Lipoprotein Disorders and JDRF Islet Biology & Transplantation Training and Innovative grant review panels, and a member of the national research council and national board of directors of the Canadian Diabetes Association. He has served on the editorial boards of Diabetes and the Canadian Journal of Diabetes and is currently on the editorial board of Endocrinology, and associate editor of the Bjournal Islets. In 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for diabetes research and service.

950 West 28th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4
Tel: 604-875-2490

Gilbert Walker

Professor, University of Toronto

Associate Scientific Director; Theme 3 Leader

Dr. Gilbert Walker is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto and the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Biointerfaces. Dr. Walker received his B.A in Chemistry and Mathematics from Bowdoin College in 1985, and his Ph.D from the University of Minnesota in 1991. In 1999, he joined the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor, and in 2005 became a Canada Research Chair Professor at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Walker works with polymers the size of one ten-thousandth of a human hair. He uses the unique ability of polymers to self-assemble, producing nanostructured materials with electromagnetic, mechanical, and physiological properties. His work in biomolecular interaction analysis is enabling more-timely cancer diagnosis and medical care and his aquatic polymer nanomaterials are being patented for greener aquaculture.

Chen Wang

Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Wang is a hematopathologist and Head of the Division of Hematology, in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of Mount Sinai Hospital. He is also an Associate Professor of Lab Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.

His research is focused mainly on lymphocytic neoplasms. In collaboration with investigators at the University of Toronto, Dr. Wang developed Raman nanoparticles targeting leukemia cells and developed a flow cytometry method to assess this, and achieved triplex Raman nanoparticle labelling of leukemia cells.

Pathology & Lab Medicine
Mount Sinai Hospital
600 University Ave. Rm 602
Toronto ON  M5G 1X5
Tel: 416-586-4469

Ellen Wasan

Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan


Dr. Ellen Wasan, B.S. Pharm., PhD., is an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan. She is part of the Drug Discovery and Development Research (DDDRG) cluster in Health Sciences and teaches pathophysiology and pharmaceutics in the PharmD program in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition.

Dr. Wasan’s research is focused on lipid-based drug delivery for poorly water-soluble drugs and macromolecules. She has extensive experience with liposomal and self-assembling systems for delivery of small molecules and nucleic acids. Current projects include development of oral chitosan polymeric nanoparticles for sustained release of immunosuppressants, lipidic formulations of adjuvants for nasal administration of human and veterinary vaccines, and topical agents for Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Dr. Wasan has over 40 publications, over 40 conference presentations and multiple drug delivery patents. She is an inventor of an oral formulation of Amphotericin B that is presently in Phase II clinical trials. She was the 2013 winner of the Gattefossé Lipid Drug Delivery Award of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the 2011 Applied Research Award from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
107 Wiggins Rd.
D-Wing Health Sciences 3D01-17
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK
S7N 5E5
Tel: 306-966-3202

Kishor Wasan

Professor, University of Saskatchewan


Dr. Wasan is Professor and former Dean (2014-2019) of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan.

His research interest is in in the area of lipid-based drug delivery and lipoprotein-drug interactions.

Dr. Wasan completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas Medical Center's MD Anderson Cancer Center in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Cell Biology at the Cleveland Clinic and then joined the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC until 2014.

Dr. Wasan has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and 240 abstracts. He has received many awards and honours, including: a CIHR University-Industry Research Chair in Pharmaceutical Development (2003-2008); the title of University Distinguished Scholar (2004); an AAPS Award for Outstanding Research in Lipid-Based Drug Delivery (2007); an AFPC-Pfizer Research Career Award (2008); a CIHR/iCo Therapeutics Research Chair in Drug Delivery for Neglected Global Diseases (2009); induction into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2010); and the Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences Leadership award for outstanding contributions to Pharmaceutical Sciences in Canada (2011).

E3326 Health Sciences
University of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-966-6328

Michael Weinfeld

Professor, University of Alberta


Dr. Weinfeld is a Professor in the Division of Experimental Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Alberta.

The focus of the research in his laboratory is the cellular response to chemical and radiation-induced stress. His team is particularly interested in DNA damage and repair, and cell death and survival.

4321 Cross Cancer Institute
Edmonton, AB
Tel: 780-432-8438

Lorne Whitehead

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Whitehead is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia, and he serves as the university’s Special Adviser on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Research.

Dr. Whitehead studies the optical, electrical, and mechanical properties of micro-structured surfaces, a field in which he holds more than one hundred US patents and numerous international counterpart patents. His technology is used in many computer screens and televisions.

In addition to CLEARink, Dr. Whitehead has also helped to start five new companies, commercializing technologies that he developed in his UBC laboratory – Sonigistix, Brightside (purchased by Dolby Laboratories in 2007), Boreal Genomics, SunCentral and ELIX Wireless.

Previously, he has held a number of other administrative positions including Associate Dean, Dean pro tem, VP Academic & Provost and Leader of Education Innovation. In these roles he has often applied organizational innovation methods to the improvement of teaching and learning.

Since joining the UBC faculty in 1994,he has received more than 100 patents for innovations in building illumination and displays for computers, television and cinema.

Department of Physics & Astronomy
Vancouver Campus, UBC
325 – 6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604-822-3075


Dominik Witzigmann

Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of British Columbia

Researcher; Admin Lead, NanoCore

Dr. Witzigmann is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia, is Administrative Lead for NMIN's NanoCore core facility, and currently serves on the board of the “Gene Delivery and Gene Editing Focus Group” of the Controlled Release Society (CRS).

Dr. Witzigmann's research is focused on targeted DNA therapeutics for the treatment of orphan monogenetic liver disorders and the development of lipid-based nanomedicines for the delivery of biomacromolecules. A key step in this development process is the investigation of nano-bio interactions at an organ and cellular level.

Peter Zandstra

Professor, University of British Columbia


Dr. Zandstra is Professor & Director of School of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia. He is also Chief Science Officer of Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM). He holds an academic appointment as a Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and is the Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering.

Dr. Zandstra’s research focuses on understanding how complex communication networks between stem cells and their progeny influence self-renewal and differentiation, and how this information can be applied to the design of novel culture technologies capable of controlling cell fate.

His work integrates engineering and biological approaches and has contributed to the development of clinically and industrially relevant and academically recognized technologies based on the design of bioprocesses for the growth and differentiation of adult and embryonic stem cells. Direct applications of this work include tissue and cellular engineering, gene therapy, and organ transplantation.

Room 1116 Donnelly Centre
160 College Street
Toronto, ON
Tel: 416-978-8888

Gang Zheng

Professor, University of Toronto


Dr. Zheng is a Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics, the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. He is also Associate Research Director of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada Research Chair in Cancer Nanomedicine (Tier 1), and Associate Editor of Bioconjugate Chemistry.

Dr. Zheng's research focuses on the development of novel technology platforms for molecular imaging, photodynamic therapy (PDT) and nanomedicine. His lab's main interest is to develop two new drug platforms to combat cancer: 1) light-activated intelligent molecules and 2) nature-inspired theranostic nanomedicine.

Dr. Zheng’s lab discovered porphysome nanotechnology (Nature Materials 2011), named one of the “top 10 cancer breakthroughs of 2011” by the Canadian Cancer Society. His lab also discovered that on exposure to low-frequency ultrasound, porphyrin microbubbles form nanoparticles that possess the same optical and therapeutic properties as the original microbubble, and can be used simultaneously for imaging and drug delivery (Nature Nano 2015).

MaRS Centre, Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower 5th Floor Rm 354 101 College Street Toronto, ON
M5G 1L7
Tel: 416-581-7667 Website

Yan Zhou

Research Scientist, University of Saskatchewan


Dr. Zhou is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiolo, and a Scientist and Project Leader (influenza) at the university's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

Her research expertise includes molecular biology of influenza virus, virus induced signal transduction, viral pathogenesis and vaccine development.

University of Saskatchewan
120 Veterinary Road
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5E3
Tel: 306-966-7716

Shan Zou

Sr. Research Officer, National Research Council


Dr. Zou is a Senior Research Officer and Team Leader for Nanoscale Measurement at the Metrology Research Centre of the National Research Council Canada. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Carleton.

Her research focuses on the development of nanoscale standards and measurement methods that underpin applications of nanoscience; and the development of integrated multimodal techniques for characterization of nanomaterials and quantitative detection of cancer cells and cellular mechanical responses to drug treatments. Recently, she has been working on the reference material development of boron nitride nanotubes and cytotoxicity of nanomaterials.

Dr. Zou has expertise in nanomechanical characterization; cytotoxicity measurements of nanomaterials; and material and surface characterization. She seeks to contribute to a greater understanding of the effects of nanomaterials on the environment and living systems, and to promote the safe and responsible use of nanotechnology tools and nanomaterials.

100 Sussex Drive
Building Sussex, Room 1095
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6
Tel: 613-949-9675