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
- Elaine Corbett – Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
- Kathryn Deuchars – Director, Ontario Personalized Medicine Network & Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
- Sana Mulji Dutt – Senior Manager, Communications
- Robin Harkness – Vice President, Research
- Britney Hess – Business Analyst
- Christy Hockley – Project Coordinator
- 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
- Tina McDivitt – Director, Strategic Planning and Communications
- Meredith McLaren – Manager, Research & Business Development
- Helen Petropoulos – Director, Business Development & Research
- Shobha Ramsubir- Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
- Christine Scaramuzzo – Director, Operations
- Jordan Thomson – Analyst, 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 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.
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 B.Sc. in Biomedical Science from University College Cork, Ireland.
Director, Ontario Personalized Medicine Network & Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
Dr. 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.
Before 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 area of the molecular biology of cancer chemotherapy resistance.
Senior Manager, Communications
Sana joined Ontario Genomics in December 2014. As Senior Manager, Communications, Sana’s role is to communicate the importance and impact of Ontario Genomics, to internal and external stakeholders. Sana brings to Ontario Genomics over 12 years of communications experience in the education and healthcare industries. In her most recent roles, she developed and implemented communications strategies for the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences, for the Office of Vice-President of Research & Innovation at York University, and for YORKbiotech, Inc., a former innovation centre focused on advanced healthcare technologies.
Sana received a Bachelor of Commerce as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. She also earned an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University.
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 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.
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.
He received his BSc from Carleton University and his PhD in biochemistry from Dalhousie University. Les 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 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.
He 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.
He 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.
Director, Strategic Planning and Communications
Tina McDivitt joined Ontario Genomics in March of 2012. In her current role she leads corporate efforts in strategic and resource planning as well as impact assessment and communication. Tina also leads the creation of strategic plans and implementation road maps aimed at bolstering Ontario’s genomics research and commercialization capacity.
Prior to joining Ontario Genomics, Tina was a Consultant with ShiftHealth−a life sciences-based management consulting firm−where she focused on business case development, business planning for new ventures and creation of research, corporate, communication and partnership strategies.
Tina received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Waterloo and completed her PhD in molecular mechanisms of infectious disease in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto.
Manager, Research & Business Development
Meredith McLaren joined Ontario Genomics in July 2014. In her current role, she supports and guides academic and industry partners in the development of grant applications, and in the management and successful completion of large scale genomics projects.
Meredith was a Research Scientist at Luminex Molecular Diagnostics in Toronto prior to joining Ontario Genomics. In this position, she worked with her Marketing colleagues to develop new product ideas into business cases, gained extensive experience in the various stages of molecular diagnostic product development – from prototype development to regulatory clearance and market launch, and collaborated with clinical partners to ensure product alignment with end user needs.
Meredith earned her PhD in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, where she studied the molecular pathways of HIV infection.
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, she 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, and has over 20 years experience as a senior administrator in both the corporate and the not-for-profit sectors. Supporting OGI’s President and CEO, her duties also include; to develop, implement, integrate and maintain 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.
Analyst, Strategic Planning
Jordan Thomson joined Ontario Genomics in April 2015. As a Strategic Analyst, 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.