Executive Director, Corporate Development MaRS Innovation
Judith provides financial strategy and in-depth portfolio reporting for MaRS Innovation and its technologies and companies under management. She also takes an active role in fundraising and investor relations, and leads a variety of special projects.
Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Judith was a principal with Genesys Capital Partners, one of the largest Canadian-based venture-capital firms focused on the life sciences industry. She is also a past director of Insception, Millenium Biologix Corp., Plexagen Diagnostics, and Zelos Therapeutics Inc. Previously, Judith was a partner with Royal Bank Capital Partners Life Sciences Fund and, prior to that, director of Bio/pharmaceutical Research at Drug Royalty Corporation.
Judith received her M.B.A. in finance from Columbia Business School and her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Toronto.
David Burt, PhD
President of D. S. Burt, R&D Consulting
Dr. David Burt has more than 25 years experience in multinationals and start-ups within the vaccine industry holding senior scientific management positions including Director of R&D, North America for GSK Biologicals, Vice-President, Research at ID Biomedical Corporation of Quebec and Vice-President, Research for Intellivax International. Before joining Intellivax, David spent 8 years leading teams in vaccine R&D at Pasteur Merieux Connaught (now Sanofi-Pasteur) in Toronto.
David is currently President of D. S. Burt, R&D Consulting, offering independent consulting advice in vaccine and biologics research and development.
Dr. Burt was previously a research scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, England. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Birmingham and a BSc. in Biological chemistry from the Essex University, UK. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and is co-inventor on 7 patents.
David has been an advisory board member of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity and a board member of PREVENT, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CERC) established through the Canadian Networks of Centers of Excellence program.
David has received various honors including the Harry Jerome Award for Health Sciences in 2006 for his contributions to scientific endeavor and his activities in promoting science in the community.
Kevin Canning, PhD
VP, Science Strategy, Portfolio and Operations at The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd.
Kevin has over sixteen years of leadership and people-management experience in roles of increasing responsibility in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology incubator ecosystem. He has worked in, and led teams in, basic research and genetics, research alliances/scouting, venture capital, clinical research, statistics, epidemiology, data management, medical development, commercial assessment, medical affairs, outsourcing and contracts, strategy and operations.
Kevin holds a Ph.D. and an H.B.Sc. in Physiology, both from Western University. He holds an M.B.A. from the Ivey Business School, Western University and was recognized as an Ivey Scholar in this program.
Shane Climie, PhD
Principal, Popper and Company
Shane Climie, Ph.D. is a Principal with Popper and Company, which is focused on building life science organizations by meeting the needs of entrepreneurial, life science startups and the investors that support these early stage organizations. Popper and Co provides expertise in the areas of business management, marketing strategy and technology or opportunity assessment. Dr. Climie has more than 20 years of R&D and business development experience in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. He has led research teams involved in all aspects of drug discovery and technology development, and has designed, negotiated and managed many R&D collaborations. He has extensive experience in technology evaluation, technology development and strategic planning. Prior to joining Popper and Co. Dr. Climie held several positions at Protana (formerly MDS Proteomics) including Senior Vice President of Science Strategy and Business Development, Senior Vice-President of Research Collaborations, and Vice-President of Proteomics and Business Development. From 1999 to 2000, Dr. Climie was co-founder, Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer of MDS Ocata. In 1999 Dr. Climie was a Visiting Research Scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. From 1990 to 1999, Dr. Climie held several managerial positions at Allelix Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Now NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., (Nasdaq:NPSP) including Principal Scientist. Dr. Climie did postdoctoral work at the University of California at San Francisco with Dr. Daniel Santi, and received a Ph.D. in medical biophysics from the University of Toronto and a B.Sc. in biology from the University of Waterloo.
Roger Foxall, PhD
Life Science Strategies Inc., Surrey, BC
Roger obtained his B.Sc.(Eng.) at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, followed by postdoctoral studies at the University of Oxford. He moved to Ottawa in 1968 to take up a Research Officer position at the National Research Council. Following a series of assignments that prepared him for a career in research management, Roger became Director of the NRC Laboratory in Halifax in 1984 and was its Director General from 1990 until April 1998. Roger moved to British Columbia in July 1998, and established a consulting company focused on the life sciences. From August 2000 through January 2002 he served as the founding President and CEO of Genome British Columbia. Roger then served as Executive Vice President Research until December 2003 and Executive Vice President Corporate Development until August 2005. Roger is now CEO of Life Science Strategies Inc specializing in strategic analysis and advice regarding programs and projects in the genome sciences. Recent clients include Genome Canada and the genome centres in Alberta, Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the PROOF Centre for Excellence in Commercialization and Research.
Darlene Homonko, PhD
Director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Industry Liaison at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at the Sinai Health System
Dr. Homonko has 20 years experience in life sciences commercialization. She is the Director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Industry Liaison at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at the Sinai Health System in Toronto, Ontario where she is actively engaged in supporting the translation and business development of new medical research technologies.
A natural at engaging people and developing partnerships, she spearheaded the formation of a vibrant bioscience cluster in Hamilton, Halton and Niagara as the Executive Director of the Golden Horseshoe Bioscience Network (GHBN) for five years.
Dr. Homonko began her career with Milestone Medica Corporation’s (MMC) an early stage Canadian Biomedical Venture Fund. She held the post of Director of Operations and Business Development for one of MMC’s companies – Molecular
Templates Inc. (MTI), that was developing anti-cancer therapeutics from bacterial proteins. She has also been a Senior Industry Liaison Officer at the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation and Director of Business Development at Vineland Research an Innovation Centre.
In possession of a strong background in intellectual property management, technology evaluation and analyzing corporate research and development in commercial alliances for sound business practice, Dr. Homonko holds a Ph.D., Neuroscience from the University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Sciences; a M.Sc., Kinesiology from Dalhousie University; and a B.Sc., Physical Education, Health, General Science from the University of Rhode Island.
John Kelly, PhD
CEO, KeliRo Company Inc.
John Kelly is currently the CEO at KeliRo Company Inc., which supports business development in domestic and international agricultural markets. He is formerly vice-president of the Erie Innovation and Commercialization with the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association. Throughout his career, he has sought to enable innovation and diversify agriculture and food opportunities throughout Canada and elsewhere. He has a wealth of experience in the private and public sector and has held various executive and Board of Director positions with start-ups and multinational companies, including Life Sciences Ontario, MaRS Landing, Land O’ Lakes, Ralston Purina, Rhone-Poulenc Canada Inc. and Aventis CropSciences Inc., as well as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Throughout his career, he has been focused on innovation, development and implementation, actively advancing products and technologies in agriculture, food, biotechnology, pharma and the bioeconomy sectors.
John holds a B.Sc. (Agr). and Ph.D. from the University of Guelph and a Master of Science from the University of Alberta. John is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science and the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph.
John has been involved in the training programs at York University through the Asian Business & Management Program for more than 5 years, having trained many individuals from that region. These training programs have provided the opportunity for Canada to share some of its expertise with international delegations. They are very concentrated programs with lots of breadth and add significant value to participants as they go through them.
Head, Strategic Research Partnerships (Ontario)
Director, Medical Affairs, Rare Diseases, Pfizer Canada Inc.
Mark Lundie is currently the Director of Medical Affairs, Rare Diseases, with Pfizer Canada Inc. He received a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Waterloo ((1986) followed by a MSc from Queen’s University (1989) and a doctorate degree from Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at Queen’s University in 1995. He joined the pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer Canada in 1997 and over the past 22 years has held a number of positions of within the Pfizer Canada Medical Division. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at Clinical Trials Ontario, the Center for Probe Development & Commercialization and Ontario Genomics. Mark has supported the development of public-private partnerships with a number of research based institutes such as the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, the Structural Genomics Consortium, MaRS Innovation and the Center for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine.
Managing Director, Genesys Capital
Mr. Stiff joined Genesys Capital in 2002 and became Partner at the firm in 2007 and Managing Director in 2016. During his tenure with Genesys, he has been responsible for investments in eleven early stage portfolio companies that cross a multitude of clinical disciplines and technology areas. He currently sits on the Boards of Fairhaven Pharmaceuticals, Inversago Pharma and BIOTECanada. Past board affiliations include Allostera Pharma Inc., gIcare Pharma Inc., Interface Biologics, Inc., Matregen Corp, Naurex Inc. (acquired by Allergan NYSE:AGN), NeurAxon Inc., StemPath Inc., Therapeutic Monitoring Systems Inc. and Zelos Therapeutics Inc.
Prior to joining Genesys, Mr. Stiff worked at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in the genetic diagnostics field. This experience, combined with an academic background in biology, has provided significant technical knowledge of many areas of life sciences. Mr. Stiff completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Queen’s University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
Nancy Tout, PhD
Head of Research & Development, Syngenta Canada
Dr. Nancy Tout is the Head of Research & Development for Syngenta in Canada, where she leads the Research & Development efforts and a talented team of scientists across Canada. Nancy doesn’t shy away from the challenges of being in a science-driven business and is often sharing her passion as an Ambassador for science and agricultural literacy through her support and personal involvement in Scientists in School and Agriculture in the Classroom. Dr. Tout has also been named to Syngenta’s North America Diversity and Inclusion Champion Network in support of strategies and programs that embrace the unique perspectives and capabilities of employees to help drive innovation.
Nancy holds a Honours B.Sc..degree (Biology) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Guelph and completed post-doctoral training in the University of Guelph Department of Environmental Biology.
Nancy participates on Bioenterprise Corporation’s Science and Innovation Advisory Committee to advise on trends in global research in the agri-technology sectors. Nancy is also a Board member of AgScape, the voice of agriculture in the classroom across Ontario, and an Advisory Board member for Wilfrid Laurier University’s Centre for Women in Science. Nancy has been recognized as a Female Food Hero by CropLife International and as part the Ontario Agricultural College’s 140th anniversary project “140 Faces of OAC”.
Nancy was born, raised, and educated in Southwestern Ontario and now gives back to her community through her charitable work as a Research Information Volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and as an Advisory Board member with Diabetes Canada, where once again, science continues to play a central role in her life and her vision of a cure for those living with Type 1 Diabetes.
Brian Underdown, PhD
Dr. Underdown has held senior positions as a scientist and executive at Toronto and McMaster Universities and organizations such as Sanofi-Pasteur and Lumira Capital. Throughout his career he has served as a consultant and board member of both private, public and non-profit organizations. In each of these roles, he has fostered collaboration among entrepreneurs and academics. He has stressed the importance of all members of the research community including students, scientists and individuals involved in the translation of science; cognisant of science as both a cultural and practical activity.