Ontario Genomics is made up of a dynamic and highly experienced team. Our staff brings deep expertise across the life sciences sector, with backgrounds in public and private sector research spanning academic settings, upstart biotechnology companies and major pharmaceutical corporations, finance and commercialization, bioethics, education and communications.
- Mark Poznansky – President and CEO
- Camilo Acero – Web Coordinator
- Daniel Bacinello – Manager, Research & Business Development
- Ihor Boszko – Vice President, Business Development
- Elaine Corbett – Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
- Kathryn Deuchars – Director, Ontario Personalized Medicine Network & Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
- Koula Ferreira – Office Coordinator/Accounting Clerk
- Robin Harkness – Vice President, Research
- Britney Hess – Business Analyst
- Christy Hockley – Project Coordinator
- Kelly Hunter – Manager, Research & Business Development
- Azard Kallan – Director, Finance
- Sugy Kodeeswaran – Senior Manager, Business Development & Research (on leave)
- Les Kondejewski – Director, Research Programs
- Viraj Mane – Manager, Business Development & Research
- Dennis McCormac – Senior Science Advisor & Director Genomics Services
- Maggie O’Dea – Manager, Communications
- Helen Petropoulos – Director, Business Development & Research
- Shobha Ramsubir- Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
- Christine Scaramuzzo – Director, Operations
- Caitlin Taylor – Manager, Research & Business Development
- Jordan Thomson – Manager, Strategic Planning
President and CEO
Mark J. Poznansky has been at Ontario Genomics since 2010.
His role at Ontario Genomics draws on his substantive experience in the life sciences and in running institutes and businesses, as well as his knowledge of government affairs and business development.
Previously he ran his own consultancy group offering a range of services including program reviews, strategic planning, change management and leadership training to clients in government, hospitals, universities and the private sector. Before that, he was President and Scientific Director of Robarts Research Institute (London, Ontario), where during his tenure, from 1993 to 2007, the institute increased its staff from 100 to over 600, increased its annual research funding from $10 million to over $40 million, and developed a reputation for business development spinning out seven different companies, including Viron Therapeutics, where Dr. Poznansky served as President and CEO. He also served on the Merck USA Scientific Advisory Leadership Team for three years. Prior to that, he was Associate Dean of Medicine for Research at the University of Alberta (1984-1993). He has held faculty positions at University of Western Ontario, University of Alberta and Harvard University.
Dr. Poznansky has published over 80 research papers. He served as Chair of Let’s Talk Science, until recently served as Chief Science Advisor to the CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute and was a board member of the Innovation Institute of Ontario. He was a founding member and past chair of the Council for Health Research in Canada, and also chaired the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund and MDS Capital Corp. He has also served as a member of numerous science-related committees including the Science Advisory Committee of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Medical Research Council of Canada Grants panel. Dr. Poznansky was made a member of the Order of Ontario in 2004 and the Order of Canada in 2005.
Earning his bachelor’s degree and PhD at McGill University, Dr. Poznansky completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.
Camilo Acero joined Ontario Genomics in 2014. In his current role, he is responsible for implementing OGI’s digital strategy including maintaining websites, managing marketing and email campaigns.
Camilo has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and has worked in communications and marketing for fifteen years in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors in the US and Canada. Camilo brings his experience to Ontario Genomics to successfully implement communications strategies, marketing campaigns, branding, media planning, web maintenance, content management, social media strategies and event organization.
Manager, Research & Business Development
Daniel Bacinello joined Ontario Genomics in October 2016. In this role he provides management support to funded research projects across our funding programs and works with academic and industry partners in developing strong funding applications for large-scale genomics research.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics Daniel worked as the Research Officer for York University’s Faculty of Science. At York Daniel supported all functions of the Dean’s Office relating to research funding. He managed and coordinated the development, writing and submission of all grant applications from the Faculty of Science and worked to build new avenues of research collaboration and funding.
Daniel earned his PhD in Nanotechnology jointly from the University of Waterloo and the University of Bordeaux focusing on the development of hybrid polymer-peptide nano-vesicles for tumour-targeted drug delivery. He is currently pursuing an MBA from the University of Toronto.
Vice President, Business Development
Ihor Boszko joined Ontario Genomics as Vice President, Business Development in October 2016. In this role, Ihor leads the activities of the business development team, focussed on working with companies in a variety of industry sectors to solve business challenges by leveraging commercially-relevant genomic technologies and innovations. Industry sectors of focus include: human health, agriculture, water, forestry, energy, bio-products and mining.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Ihor spent nearly 15 years in the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry developing, commercializing and partnering innovative molecular technologies. Most recently, he worked at Xagenic Inc, joining at seed stage in February 2011 to leading commercialization efforts, with responsibility for marketing and corporate development. He also worked with the founder of the company to successfully raise >$50M in Series A & B venture capital financing to fund the development of the Xagenic X1™ diagnostic platform.
Previously, Ihor was Manager of Business Development at Luminex, where his work included licensing, technology assessment, strategic planning, and competitive intelligence. Prior to joining Luminex, Ihor was with Tm Bioscience for 5 years, where he was initially part of the R&D team that developed the core technology, and then helped to commercialize that same technology in a Business Development role.
Ihor holds a MSc in molecular biology from McMaster University and an MBA from Queen’s University.
Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
Elaine Corbett joined Ontario Genomics in July 2014. In her current role, she is responsible for developing partnerships between industry and academia with the aim of bringing new genomic-derived discoveries to the marketplace through a variety of programs and initiatives.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Elaine was a Project Manager at SQI Diagnostics, a Toronto-based biotech company, where she managed multidisciplinary programs for advanced microarray diagnostics. Previously, she was a Senior Field Application Scientist at Axela, a biotech company which develops diagnostic platforms and applications, where her focus was on client management, technical sales and product development.
She received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Cell Biology Program at the Hospital for Sick Children. Elaine received her Honors BSc in Biomedical Science from University College Cork, Ireland.
Director, Ontario Personalized Medicine Network & Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
Kathryn Deuchars joined Ontario Genomics in September, 2011. Previously Dr. Deuchars was President and CEO of Attodyne Inc., a start-up medical/industrial device company based on technology from the University of Toronto.
Prior to that, Dr. Deuchars was Chief Operating Officer of University Medical Discoveries and MedInnova Partners, technology development corporations that focused on the development and commercialization of early-stage biomedical innovations. She joined UMDI/MedInnova in 2000 and garnered experience at all stages of the investment process including acting on the boards of several companies.While at UMDI, Kathy was a member of the Technology Investment Group of MDS Capital, where she participated in the research and analysis of later-stage investment opportunities. Previously, Dr. Deuchars spent 6 years in the biotechnology industrial sector as a research scientist at NPS Allelix Inc., where she supported or led various drug discovery programs.
Dr. Deuchars earned her PhD from the Ontario Cancer Institute, The University of Toronto, in the molecular biology of cancer chemotherapy resistance.
Office Coordinator/Accounting Clerk
Koula Ferreira joined Ontario Genomics in October 2015. She supports the Director of Operations in the day-to-day running of the OG office as well as assists the Director of Finance with the accounts payable/receivables.
Koula’s prior work in the retail industry (head office) and recruitment/payroll services expanded her abilities in accounts payable, accounts receivable and collections.
Koula has a HR certificate from George Brown College and has studied business administration.
Vice President, Research
Robin Harkness joined Ontario Genomics in 2015 as Vice President, Research. In this role, Robin leads the operations of the research programs and develops strategies to identify and cultivate potential projects and funding sources for early-stage market-driven research to help realize the full potential of genomics research.
As a life sciences professional, Robin brings over 25 years of experience to Ontario Genomics having held senior and executive positions in industry, the-not-profit sector, and academia, as well as providing strategic and technical R&D support to the biotechnology sector as a consultant.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Robin held positions at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer as Executive Director, Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, and at Sanofi Pasteur as Associate Vice President, Program Leader, and Associate Vice President, Research. While at Sanofi Pasteur, Robin was responsible for several global vaccine development programs and led the research activities at the company’s Canadian site.
Robin earned a B.Sc. from Carleton University, a Ph.D. from the University of Victoria, and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Munich.
Britney Hess joined Ontario Genomics in 2016. As a Business Analyst, she supports OG’s objective of helping industry to access and benefit from genomics. Her role includes performing due diligence on proposed projects that are eligible for support or funding. Britney is also responsible for market research and cost-benefit analyses, business case development and sourcing relevant sector information.
Previously, Britney worked at Bioenterprise Corporation as a Junior Analyst in Agricultural Technologies. She performed needs-based-analysis and provided entrepreneurs with market, industry and competitor data specific to their innovative technology. She assisted with strategic relationship development, business plan evaluation, and the identification of public funding opportunities.
Britney earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Western Ontario. During her Master of Management of Applied Science (MMASc) she focused on an interdisciplinary approach to technology commercialization.
Christy Hockley joined Ontario Genomics in September 2013. In her current role, she is responsible for coordinating and managing all research projects here in OGI. Most recently, Christy was Administrative Coordinator of Bioscience Education Canada (BEC), where she was the point of contact for all regional coordinators on the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada competition. She has also coordinated and supported administrative duties on projects including lectures, workshops, and the Lab Tools for Schools program.
Prior to that, she worked at Experchem Laboratory Inc. as a pharmaceutical analyst. With over seven years of laboratory experience, she has worked extensively on gas chromatography, QA/QC, method development, and analytical testing.
Christy studied chemistry, biology, philosophy and abnormal psychology at Trent University and obtained a Diploma in Chemical Laboratory Technology – Pharmaceutical Co-op Program at Seneca College.
Manager, Research & Business Development
Kelly joined Ontario Genomics as a Manager, Research and Business Development in April 2017. In this role, Kelly works closely with top research teams and institutions to develop comprehensive proposals for various research funding competitions offered through Genome Canada and Ontario Genomics.
With over 20 years of experience in molecular science, Kelly brings a unique blend of experience in both academic labs and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies throughout the US and Canada. As a Lead Scientist for BioFire Diagnostics, LLC, a bioMérieux company based in Marcy-l’Étoile, France, Kelly worked to develop and manage industrial research projects in assay development for clinical diagnostics, food safety and security, environmental and bio-threat surveillance. More recently Kelly worked with Xagenic Inc. and ChipCare Corp, small medical device start-up companies based downtown Toronto. Through these roles, Kelly has expertise throughout the product development life-cycle, from early discovery through to product development and commercialization.
Kelly earned her BSc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, performing her postdoctoral studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Azard Kallan joined Ontario Genomics in November 2014. He oversees accounting and finance, and monitors the compliance of funded projects with the financial terms of the agreements. Prior to joining OGI, Azard was the National Director of Finance for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada (JDRF) and the Chief Finance Lead for JDRF CCTN (Canadian Clinical Trial Network). He brings his finance, human resources, and information technology management experience from diverse industries such as health and fitness, radio and television, manufacturing, plumbing and heating.
Azard is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, and is currently enrolled in the Laurentian University MBA program.
Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
Sugy Kodeeswaran joined Ontario Genomics in June of 2013. In her current role she develops new business initiatives and helps scientists and companies find paths to the marketplace for their discoveries through various programs and initiatives. Her years of experience in research program management and working with stakeholders in the hospital, academic and industry sectors helps her to develop successful funding applications, monitor project progress and impact, seek project investments, and to aid in the translation of scientific discoveries to the market place.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Sugy was at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research where she was Director of the Ontario Tumour Bank, and managed a province-wide biorepository and data bank. Prior to that, Sugy worked at Apotex Inc. within the departments of Quality and Regulatory Affairs.
Sugy earned her BSc in Chemistry from McGill University and her MHSc in Health Administration in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.
Director, Research Programs
Les Kondejewski joined Ontario Genomics in April 2013 where he is responsible for all research programs. His experience in management of cross-functional scientific teams, both in academia and industry, helps him to manage Ontario Genomics-funded programs, seek project investments, and monitor projects’ accountability and progress. Les also aids in the identification of commercialization avenues for scientific discoveries.
Les has an extensive background in research and project management, particularly in personalized medicine. Previously, he held research and program management responsibilities at Caprion Proteomics. Later, at Diaceutics Inc., he worked with client teams to facilitate the creation of integrated development and commercialization plans for targeted therapies.
Les received his BSc from Carleton University and his PhD in biochemistry from Dalhousie University. He carried out postdoctoral research and a research fellowship at the Protein Engineering Network of Centres of Excellence at the University of Alberta.
Manager, Business Development & Research
Viraj Mane joined Ontario Genomics in June 2016. He develops new business initiatives and helps companies and scientists pursue applied research in the clean water and forestry sectors.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Viraj was a technology development manager at MaRS Innovation, a commercialization hub for early-stage life sciences. He has also supported medical countermeasures research for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency where he performed project management, proposal review, interagency communications, and oversight of a bilateral research program.
Prior to these technology development roles, Viraj published 17 peer-reviewed manuscripts related to adenoviral gene therapy, diagnostic RT-PCR assay development, interferon biology, and nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery. He co-authored a patent while conducting research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is filing a new patent on an independently-developed medical device.
Viraj received his BSc in biology from The College of New Jersey and his PhD in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine.
Senior Science Advisor & Director Genomics Services
Dennis McCormac joined Ontario Genomics in June 2006. His role promoting Ontario Genomics-funded genomics and proteomics Science and Technology Innovation Centres (STICs) benefits from his extensive experience with product marketing at several start-up companies. Dr. McCormac’s current focus is on marketing “omics” and informatics services to both academic and commercial researchers, acquiring these leading-edge technologies, and expanding the support base in Ontario.
Previously, he was a marketing manager with San Diego-based Stratagene, which acquired Iobion Informatics (Toronto) during his tenure there. Dr. McCormac’s relationships with opinion leaders in both industry and academe and his approach to educating researchers on pathway analysis expanded the company’s product user base. He had also been product manager with Imaging Research in St. Catharines, where he helped its profitable genomics software business to grow, ultimately leading to its acquisition by GE Healthcare. Recently, Dennis has become interested in the intersection of science and art. You can usually find him running around fostering art collaborations to promote his passion for life science and genomics.
Dennis received his BSc, MSc, and PhD at the University of Waterloo in plant-cell and molecular biology. He undertook related postdoctoral research at the University of Oregon, the State University of New York (Buffalo), and Arizona State University. His work has resulted in a number of scientific publications.
Maggie O’Dea joined Ontario Genomics in November 2016 as Manager, Communications. In her current role, she is responsible for communicating the importance and value of both genomics and Ontario Genomics’ work to internal and external stakeholders. This includes leading the planning and execution of major communications efforts such as strategic educational campaigns, as well as supporting programs and strategies to bolster Ontario’s genomics research and commercialization capacity.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Maggie was a Strategic Planner at Target Marketing & Communications Inc., one of Canada’s top creative agencies, where she was responsible for competitive and consumer research, analysis and planning. She has also worked with the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador (ACNL), Planned Parenthood, and Queen’s Health Outreach (QHO).
Maggie earned a BSc(Hons) with a major in Life Sciences at Queen’s University, and completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Memorial University, where she is a named Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies.
Director, Business Development & Research
Helen Petropoulos joined Ontario Genomics as a Research Program Manager in 2005 and transferred to Business Development in 2006. In her current role, she develops new business initiatives and helps scientists and biotech companies find paths to the marketplace for their discoveries through various programs and initiatives.
Before joining Ontario Genomics, Helen worked as an analyst with SHI Consulting, a life sciences strategy consulting firm based in Toronto. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario, and completed an industrial postdoctoral fellowship at Wyeth Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts (now part of Pfizer).
Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
Shobha Ramsubir joined Ontario Genomics in February 2014. She is responsible for building partnerships between industry and academia, with an end to developing new business initiatives that translate genomics-derived discoveries to commercial applications. She helps stakeholders create successful grant applications, secure project investments and monitors the progress of funded projects.
Previously, Dr. Ramsubir worked as an Account Manager for StemCell Technologies Inc., one of Canada’s largest biotech companies. She received her Honors BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph and earned her PhD in gene therapy from the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto.
Christine Scaramuzzo joined Ontario Genomics in November 2007 with over 20 years of experience as a senior administrator in both the corporate and the not-for-profit sectors. Supporting the President and CEO of Ontario Genomics, her duties also include the development, implementation, integration and maintenance of policies, processes and systems that support the overall corporation, including: facility management, information technology, human resources, administrative and contract management, and board governance.
Christine has a secretarial diploma in business administration and has studied administrative management, human resources, communications, and time management. Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Christine worked in broadcasting, investment management and consulting.
Manager, Research & Business Development
Caitlin Taylor re-joined Ontario Genomics in September 2016. In her current role, she works with academic and industry partners seeking funding in the development of grant applications, sourcing funding, supporting GE³LS and in the management and monitoring of successful large scale research projects.
She first joined in June 2008 as a Research Program Manager. Between 2011-2016, she was a reviewer and consultant for a number of funding organizations, aiding in the development and execution of large scale funding competitions, building large multi-disciplinary research teams, and overseeing funded projects.
Caitlin received her BSc with Honours in Biology from Mount Allison University and her Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics (Cell and Molecular Biology Division) at the University of Toronto. Her NSERC-funded doctoral research focused on cancer immunology, specifically the effects of extracellular calcium on healthy and leukemic B cell biology. She has also authored several peer-reviewed scientific publications and been a co-author on two patent applications.
Manager, Strategic Planning
Jordan Thomson joined Ontario Genomics in April 2015. As Manager, Strategic Planning, he supports the organization in developing strategic plans and implementation road maps for cornerstone initiatives in research and business development.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Jordan led a technology development program in wastewater treatment at DuPont Canada where he gained experience in stakeholder management and business case development. He has also led seminal industry/academic collaboration projects for PARTEQ Innovations and GreenCentre Canada.
Jordan received his Bachelor’s degree in the Arts and Science programme at McMaster University and completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Toronto where he studied nanotechnology and synthetic chemistry.