The Board comprises of leaders from Ontario's life science sector, including not for profit research and education institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology enterprises, finance, public policy centres and government.
Through quarterly meetings, the Board aims to fulfill OGIâ€™s guiding principle promoting world-class research, creating strategic genomics resources and advocating the development of a globally competitive life sciences sector.
The Board membersâ€™ time and expertise are essential to the ongoing success and future direction of OGI, and we are grateful for their contributions.
- Brian Underdown (Chair)
- Jack Gauldie
- Jay A. Lefton
- Paul Lucas
- Roderick McInnes
- Pierre Meulien (ex officio)
- John P. Molloy
- Caroline Popper
- Mark Poznansky
- Robert Roberts
- Bonnie Schmidt
- Louis Siminovitch
- Niclas Stiernholm
- Cal Stiller
- Gregg Szabo
- James Tiedje
Managing Director, Technology Investing, Lumira Capital
Brian Underdown has served on the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since 2004 and as Chair since 2011.
His academic research, extensive experience in venture investment, and operational knowledge in commercial biotechnology enhance OGIâ€™s efforts to facilitate and catalyse the impact of genomics research.
Dr. Underdown is Managing Director of Lumira Capital, where he concentrates on investments in North American therapeutics companies at all stages of development. He had earlier been Assistant Vice-President for Research at Pasteur Merieux Connaught, where he headed the Canadian Universities Research program and several global programs to develop vaccines. During his academic career, he was Associate Dean of Research at the University of Torontoâ€™s Faculty of Medicine and at McMaster Universityâ€™s Faculty of Health Sciences.
Dr. Underdown has held senior positions on national and international bodies concerned with science policy and university-industry collaboration. He has served on boards of such life sciences companies as Argos Therapeutics, Ception Therapeutics, Cytochroma Inc., Golden Horseshoe Biotechnology Network, ID Biomedical, Nysa Membrane Technologies, Trillium Therapeutics, Transmolecular Therapeutics, and Viron Therapeutics.
He received his PhD in Immunology from McGill University and undertook postdoctoral studies at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Emeritus University Professor, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) and Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Health.
Jack Gauldie has been a member of the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since September 2011.
Dr. Gauldie was Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine for 15 years (1989-2005) at McMaster University. He currently holds the title of Distinguished Emeritus University Professor. Recognized internationally for his work in defining the molecular regulation of the acute phase inflammatory response, he is a world expert in the areas of cytokine biology and the molecular regulation of inflammation and immunity. He is also the lead investigator for McMasterâ€™s Institute for Molecular Medicine and Health. In addition to his responsibilities at McMaster, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.
He earned his BSc from McMaster University and his PhD from University College London.
Founder and President of Popper and Company LLC.
Caroline Popper has been a member of the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since September 2011.
Dr. Popper is the Founder and President of Popper and Company LLC and has more than 21 years of hands-on biotech and life sciences operating experience. An internist and pathologist, she has combined her medical and scientific perspectives with her business knowledge, having managed a wide spectrum of life sciences businesses in diagnostics, devices and drug discovery. Dr. Popper worked at Becton Dickinson for 10 years where she was responsible for clinical affairs, marketing strategy and business development. She was also the founding General Manager of BDGene, a start-up focused with partner Millennium Pharmaceuticals on developing cancer diagnostics. From 2000-2002, she was the Chief Business Officer for MDS Proteomics.
Dr. Popper received her medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a board member of Applied Precision, NanoMR, Claros Diagnostics and Innovative Biosensors.
Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais
Jay Lefton has served on the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since 2006.
He has broad experience in public as well as private mergers and acquisitions. His knowledge of both the corporate legal culture and the life sciences sector assists the Board in its oversight of operational and business development.
Mr. Lefton is a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais in Toronto, where he is active in corporate and securities law, including public and private financings, mergers, acquisitions and take-over bids, private equity, and strategic alliances, technology transfer and licensing, with an emphasis on technology and life sciences companies.
He has served on the Ontario Securities Commission's Securities Advisory Committee, chaired the Board of Outside Advisors for the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Business, and been on the adjunct faculty at the Osgoode Hall School of Law (Toronto). He sits on the Board of Directors of Pathways to Education Canada and is a director of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (Toronto), ThinkFirst Foundation of Canada (Toronto), and was previously on the Board of the University of Toronto's Innovations Foundation. Mr. Lefton is on the Board of Governors of Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto) and Chair of the Cell Therapy Program Advisory Board of Princess Margaret Hospital (Toronto). Mr. Lefton is also a member of the Adjudication Panel for the Premier's Catalyst Awards for innovation, sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.
Mr. Lefton earned his B.Comm. (Hons) and LL.B. from the University of Toronto, and in 1983 joined the Ontario Bar.
Former President and CEO, GlaxoSmithKline
Paul Lucas has served on the OGI Board of Directors since 2009.
Mr. Lucasâ€™ pharmaceutical background and involvement with research in pharmaceutical settings assists OGI in its programmatic focus on increasing the impact of R&D it funds and moving innovative developments into the marketplace.
Mr. Lucas served as President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Canada from 2000 until 2012, where he was responsible for all pharmaceutical operations in Canada. During his time with GSK, he built the company into a national manufacturing leader, producing and shipping more than CAD $2 billion worth of products, representing approximately 25 per cent of the total Canadian pharmaceutical shipments. Previous to joining Glaxo Canada in 1986, he held progressive management positions at Eli Lilly Canada and McNeil Pharmaceutical.
Mr. Lucas sits on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Regional Research Alliance and is a member of the Principalâ€™s Advisory Council of the University of Toronto at Mississauga. He served in the past as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Canadaâ€™s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D).
He received his BSc (Honours) in Biology and Chemistry from Queenâ€™s University, and obtained his Chartered Directors designation (CDir) from the Directors College, a joint venture of McMaster University and the Conference Board of Canada, in 2008.
Director of Research, Lady Davis Research Institute, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University
Dr. Roderick R. McInnes has served on the OGI Board of Directors since 2009.
His deep expertise in human genetics as well as his focus on the molecular basis of retinal and eye development and disease serve OGIâ€™s focus on sourcing, developing, funding and managing research projects.
In 2009, Dr. McInnes was appointed as Director of the Lady Davis Research Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, of McGill University, as well as Alva Chair in Human Genetics in the Faculty of Medicine. He is also a professor in the departments of Human Genetics and of Biochemistry at McGill. Since 2000, he has been the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Genetics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and, for 2010, he is President of the American Society of Human Genetics. Previously at the University of Toronto, he was a University Professor and a Professor of both Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics, as well as a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children, where he worked for over 30 years. He was previously an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Dr. McInnes has authored or co-authored over 120 research articles, and co-authored the 5th, 6th, and 7th editions of Thompson and Thompsonâ€™s Genetics in Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2008, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and in 2009 to the Order of Canada.
Dr. McInnes received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Dalhousie University and his PhD from McGill University.
President & CEO, Genome Canada
Pierre Meulien has served as an ex officio observer on OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since 2010.
Dr. Meulien has over twenty years experience as a research scientist and executive in the life sciences sector, spanning â€“ both internationally and in Canada â€“ academic institutions, not-for-profit funding and economic development, and both biotech and pharma companies. His deep experience with translation of life science outcomes and technologies into beneficial applications will strengthen OGIâ€™s mandate on this front.
He became President and CEO of Genome Canada in 2010. Previously, Dr. Meulien was Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia (Genome BC), where he promoted the organizationâ€™s ongoing scientific strategy, focusing on genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics within the larger realm of biotechnology and life sciences sector. He was also pivotal in developing an international strategy that resulted in partnerships with the European Union, Chile, Australia and Norway.
Prior to Genome BC, Dr. Meulien was the founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland) and held international leadership roles, including Senior Vice President of R&D with Aventis Pasteur (now sanofi pasteur, a division of sanofi-aventis, one of the top ten pharma companies worldwide) in Toronto, Director of Research for Aventis Pasteur in Lyon, France, and as a research scientist and member of the management team with Transgene, a biotechnology company in Strasbourg.
Dr. Meulienâ€™s received his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
President and CEO, PARTEQ Innovations, Queenâ€™s University
John Molloy has served on the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since 2004.
His experience with technology transfer and investment for university-generated discoveries serves OGIâ€™s business development focus on enabling and commercializing genomics research.
He is currently President and CEO of PARTEQ Innovations at Queenâ€™s University. He joined PARTEQ in 1986 as Director of Commercial Development and has since led in commercialization of intellectual property arising from research at Queen's. Under his leadership, PARTEQ has become a model for university-based technology transfer in Canada, having helped establish more than 40 companies worldwide. In 1999, Mr. Molloy created Canadaâ€™s first venture fund managed by a university body for technology transfer: the $7-million Working Ventures CMDF Queen's Scientific Breakthrough Fund.
Mr. Molloy is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers, Chair of the Ontario Society for Excellence in Technology Transfer (Toronto), and a founding director of the Alliance for the Commercialization of Canadian Technology. He also serves on the boards of numerous private and public companies.
Mr. Molloy received his MBA from Queenâ€™s University (Kingston).
President and CEO, Ontario Genomics Institute
Mark J. Poznansky has been at OGI since 2010.
His role at OGI 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. He has held faculty positions at University of Western Ontario, University of Alberta and was a lecturer at Harvard University.
Dr. Poznansky has published over 50 research papers. He serves as Chair of Letâ€™s Talk Science, until recently served as Chief Science Advisor to the CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute and is 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 bachelorâ€™s degree and PhD at McGill University, Dr. Poznansky completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.
President and CEO, University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Director of The Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre (Ottawa, Ontario)
Robert Roberts has been a member of the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since September 2011.
Dr. Roberts is President and CEO of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Director of The Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre, which he founded in 2005. Dr. Roberts has had a distinguished and prolific career as a cardiologist, educator and scientist, having published over 900 scientific articles. He is a member of the editorial board of many journals, including his role as Editor of Current Opinion in Cardiology. He is widely acknowledged as being one of the founders of molecular cardiology. His career has seen him work as a heart disease researcher at the University of California, San Diego in his early years, and he has also served as Director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Barnes Hospital at Washington University and as Chief of Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he worked for 23 years. He was appointed to his current role in 2004.
Dr. Roberts received his M.D from Dalhousie University, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Cardiology at the University of Toronto.
President, Letâ€™s Talk Science
Bonnie Schmidt has served on the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since 2007.
Her work to increase public awareness of science through education and outreach programming is of great benefit to OGIâ€™s outreach to students, teachers, and the general public.
She founded (1993) and is president of Letâ€™s Talk Science, a national, charitable organization that works to increase science literacy.
Dr. Schmidt has published several research papers on physiology and on informal science education and has addressed numerous science and education forums. An honorary professor at the University of Western Ontario (UWO), she currently serves as founding Chair of the Science and Technology Awareness Network. She has also served as Vice-President of Canadians for Health Research, and on the Mogenson Trust Committee of its Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and sat on the Ontario governmentâ€™s Early Learning Experts Panel, the board of the UWO Alumni Association, and the grant selection committees at Industry Canada and NSERC as well as NSERC's national communication committee. Her honours include the Caldwell Partnersâ€™ Top 40 under 40, the Queenâ€™s Golden Jubilee Award, the University of Western Ontarioâ€™s Young Alumni Award, and the YWCAâ€™s Woman of Distinction.
She received her BSc and PhD in Physiology from the University of Western Ontario.
Research Director Emeritus, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
Louis Siminovitch has been a member of the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since December 2002.
His long experience as a research scientist and in developing and administering several research institutes in Ontario complements and enhances OGIâ€™s initiatives in managing research programs.
Dr. Siminovitch is Research Director Emeritus at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital as well as University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he was instrumental in establishing and developing the Department of Medical Genetics. He conducted research and provided leadership as founding Research Director at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute after being geneticist-in-chief at the Hospital for Sick Children and earlier at the Ontario Cancer Institute, which he set up. Concurrently, he was on the faculty of the University of Toronto, which he joined after beginning his career at Connaught Medical Research Laboratories in Toronto.
He has published nearly 150 research papers. He has been awarded Canadaâ€™s Centennial Medal (1967), the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Silver Medal (1977), and companionâ€™s rank in the Order of Canada. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Royal Society (London), winner of the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award and the Izaac Walton Killam Memorial Prize, an inductee in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US). He has also received several honorary degrees.
He earned his bachelorâ€™s degree and PhD in Biochemistry from McGill University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
President and CEO, Stem Cell Therapeutics
Niclas Stiernholm has served on the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since 2004.
He brings â€“ in addition to his academic research credentials â€“ expertise in business development as well as in research and development in a commercial setting, which allows him to enable and catalyse OGIâ€™s work to advance the impact of genomics research.
Dr. Stiernholm is President and CEO as well as a director of Stem Cell Therapeutics, a privately held Canadian biopharmaceutical company, where he oversees strategic direction, business development, and advancement of scientific programs.
Previously, he was Executive Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer with YM BioSciences, where he played a key role in the success of YMâ€™s 2002 IPO. He had formerly worked in business development at Allelix Biopharmaceuticals.
He has published several research papers and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of YM Biosciences and on the Board of Directors of AIM Therapeutics.
Dr. Stiernholm received his undergraduate degree from Elon University (North Carolina) and his PhD in Immunology from the University of Toronto, where he also conducted postdoctoral studies.
Chair and CEO, Stilco
Dr. Cal Stiller has been a member of the OGIâ€™s Board of Directors since September 2012.
Dr. Stiller received his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1965 and his fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) in 1972. He is a member of the Order of Ontario and officer of the Order of Canada. He is the recipient of four Honorary Degrees and the Canada Wightman Gairdner Award, was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (one of only five).
Dr. Stiller was principal investigator on the Canadian multi-centre study that established the effectiveness of Cyclosporine in transplantation, was the first to demonstrate that Type 1 Diabetes was amenable to immunosuppression and has published over 250 scientific and medical papers. In 1972 Stiller began transplantation in London and in 1985 established the Multi-Organ Transplant Service at University Hospital serving as its chief for over a decade. He has been president of the Canadian Society of Nephrology and co-founded the MaRS Centre, the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Dr Stiller also founded two firms in health care and technology services. He established four venture capital funds to invest in innovation, including the largest life sciences fund in Canada.
Vice President, Specialty Products, Merck Frosst Canada
Gregg Szabo has served on the OGI Board of Directors since 2009.
His experience with the business of drug development and managing the relationship with public stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry serves OGIâ€™s focus on increasing the impact of R&D it funds and moving innovative developments into the marketplace as well as its commitment to stakeholder interests and advancement.
In his current role, assumed in 2009, he oversees Merck Frosst Canadaâ€™s Specialty Products business unit, which is responsible for the HIV, Hepatitis C virus, drug addiction, fertility, mature products and ophthalmics businesses. Previously, Mr. Szabo held the position of Executive Director, Policy, Reimbursement and Communications at Merck Frosst Canada, where he has worked since 1990 with progressive roles in business development, sales, marketing and corporate affairs.
He is Chairman of the Advisory Council of Ivey MBA Health Sector Stream at the University of Western Ontario and sits on the board of the Alberta Institute for Health Economics and the advisory committee of the Conference Board of Canadaâ€™s Centre for the Advancement of Health Innovation. He was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Biotechnology Council of Ontario and was previously Vice-Chairman of the Ontario Regional Committee of Canadaâ€™s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D).
Mr. Szabo earned his BSc with honours in Chemistry from McMaster University and his MBA at McGill University.
Director, Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
James Tiedje has served on the OGI Board of Directors since 2009.
His expert knowledge in microbiology enhances OGIâ€™s research program initiatives in the bioproducts and crops arena, and provides international perspective and insight.
Dr. Tiedje is also University Distinguished Professor in both the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. He is a leading expert in microbial ecology, physiology, diversity and biodegradation of environmental pollutants, and has authored or co-authored over 400 research publications in leading and sector-specific life science journals. His group discovered several microbes that live by halorespiration on chlorinated chemicals and is using genomics to better understand ecological functions, speciation and niche adaptation.
He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Editor of Microbial and Molecular Biology Reviews. He served on the Board on Life Sciences of the National Research Council and co-chaired the committee responsible for their New Science of Metagenomics report. He was President of the American Society for Microbiology in 2004-05; President of the International Society of Microbial Ecology from 1998-2001; and Chair of the Soil Biology Division of the International Union of Soil Science from 1998-2002. He shared the 1992 Finley Prize from UNESCO for research contributions in microbiology of international significance, and has received the Soil Science Research Award from the Soil Science Society of America and the Environmental Award from the American Society of Microbiology. Dr. Tiedje is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the American Academy of Microbiology and the Soil Science Society of America. He is also a member of the U.S National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Tiedje received his BS degree from Iowa State University and his MS and PhD degrees from Cornell University in soil microbiology with a minor in biochemistry.