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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors oversees the management, strategic direction and financial accountability of the Network. The Board approves GlycoNet’s policies and procedures to adhere to Network goals and mission. It is also responsible for the membership and the makeup of committees. The Board receives input from seven Board Committees: the Executive Committee, the Finance & Audit Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Research Management Committee, the Commercialization & Legacy Committee, the EDI Committee, and the Training Committee.

 

Members of the Board

Samuel Abraham
Samuel currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to Western Economic Diversification, and as a board member to Inspire Health, the Institute for Health Systems Transformation and Sustainability, and the Vancouver Prostate Centre, as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Quest Pharma and as a Key Opinion Leader for Quark Venture Inc.

Strategic Advisor,
Western Economic Diversification
Christine Charette
Christine is an accomplished, results oriented life science executive with over 25 years of investment, advisory, business development and marketing experience. She is an expert in translating scientific data into market potential and concrete company strategy. Most recently Managing Partner and Founder of Scientia Advisors and Investments where she advised and facilitated fundraising for emerging life sciences companies, Christine has extensive experience in capital markets, strategic planning and analysis.

Managing Partner,
Scientia Advisors
Walter Dixon
Dr. Dixon is an effective leader and team player, having built strong relationships through various corners of the research portfolio, including the Research Services Office, Research Ethics Office, TEC Edmonton, Postdoctoral Fellows and Academic Visitors Office, Field Research Office, Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management, and Advanced Research Computing (ARC-IST). He has worked collegially with partners in the ministries of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism (EDTT) and Advanced Education (AE) and in government agencies such as Alberta Innovates and Alberta Health Services.

Interim Vice President Research,
University of Alberta
Karimah Es Sabar
A highly-recognized Canadian life sciences leader, Karimah Es Sabar brought 30 years of dynamic global business experience to her role as President and CEO of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She previously held the position of Senior Vice-President, Business and Strategic Affairs at CDRD, responsible for ensuring the organization’s long-term sustainability, while leading its business functions and successfully building the many national and international alliances and strategic partnerships which are now contributing significantly to advancing the goals of CDRD.

CEO and Partner,
Quark Venture Inc.
Joseph Garcia
Joseph is a partner who practises in the areas of corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Joseph advises high growth public and private companies, underwriters, pension funds, private equity groups, and venture capital investors on complex domestic and cross-border private and public securities offerings, mergers & acquisitions, and international commercial transactions. He advises clients in a variety of industries, including life sciences, technology, retail, mining and clean technology.

Partner,
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Frank Gleeson
Frank is an accomplished business leader with a depth of experience as an operating executive, venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He has been involved in over 20 start-ups and has negotiated financing and M&A transactions valued in excess of $500 million. Prior to founding Satellos in early 2018, Frank spent 4 years as the Chief Commercial Operations with the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) where he was instrumental in building a global radiopharmaceutical manufacturing business and supporting the creation of 2 spin-out companies.

CEO and Partner,
Satellos Bioscience Inc.
John Holyoake
John joined Bloom Burton & Co. in January 2012. At Bloom Burton, John’s responsibilities include M&A advisory, licensing advisory and monetization planning, as well as conducting technical and commercial due diligence on companies across all healthcare sectors. John’s area of expertise spans early-stage technologies to profitable healthcare service companies, with a particular focus on preclinical-stage biotech.

Vice President Investment Banking,
Bloom Burton & Co.
Lisa Kalynchuk
Lisa is the Vice-President Research at the University of Victoria. Prior to this appointment, she was the Associate Vice-President Research from 2017-2019. As VPR, Dr. Kalynchuk is responsible for the research portfolio at the university, which includes strategic leadership to advance a rich research environment and the mobilization of knowledge, and a service component to support research policies and procedures that meet the highest ethical and regulatory standards.

Vice-President Research, Medical Sciences,
University of Victoria
Todd Lowary
Dr. Lowary is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. Group research interests are focused in the areas of carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry, in particular as these fields relate to bacterial glycans. Recognitions include an EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship and the Bernard Belleau Award from the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC). In 2011 he and four colleagues were co-recipients of the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering from NSERC.

Immediate Past Scientific Director,
GlycoNet
Nils Petersen
Dr. Petersen is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada. He currently serves as a member of three boards of not-for-profit organizations including Compute Canada, TECTERRA, and the Canadian Light Source (CLS) for which he is Chair of the Board. He recently finished terms as a member of the boards of ArboraNano, a Business-led NCE, the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), and the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and as Chair of the Board of NSERC’s Strategic Network program BiopSys at the University of Toronto.

Professor Emeritus,
University of Alberta
David Rabuka
David Rabuka received a PhD in chemistry at the UC Berkeley as a Chevron Fellow in the lab of Carolyn Bertozzi. His research included developing and applying the SMARTagTM platform technology to cell surface modification. Prior to joining Bertozzi’s lab, David worked at the Burnham Institute synthesizing complex glycans followed by Optimer Pharmaceuticals, where he focused on the development of glycan and macrolide based antibiotics. He was CSO, President and co-founder of Redwood Bioscience where he continued to develop novel protein conjugation methods and biotherapeutic applications such as antibody-drug conjugates. 

Chief Executive Officer,
Acrigen Biosciences
Kirk Rockwell
Kirk is a project and operations manager with more than 15 years of experience managing technology and innovation initiatives, across a broad range of sectors in partnership with academia, all levels of government, and some of Canada’s largest companies. Within an arm’s length provincial government agency, he had responsibility for investment of public funds into research and innovation projects across multiple sectors and technologies including oil and gas, environment, agriculture, pipelines, forestry and health.

Chief Operating Officer,
Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute
Stewart Roth
Stewart is a successful Edmonton businessman with broad experience in the chemical industry. He is the past Chair of the Alberta Hospital Edmonton Foundation, Director of Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA), Chair of NCIA Education Committee, and a member of Synergy Networks in Edmonton.

President/CEO,
Guardian Chemicals Inc.
Norma Sebestyen
Norma has extensive experience over a 28-year career with Merck in Sales, Marketing, Strategic Planning, Corporate Affairs, Pharmacoeconomics, Health Education and Training, Government Relations, Operations and Policy and Patient Access. Most recently she was involved in developing and management of key partnerships for Merck in Health Information Technology, and Health Data Science along with Life Sciences Accelerators/Research collaborations.

Consultant,
Independent
Donald Sheppard
Donald is the Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at McGill University, and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology. He is the section head of the Medical Mycology laboratory and practices clinical infectious diseases at the McGill University Health Centre. He is the recipient of Clinician Scientist Awards from CIHR and the Fonds de Recherche Santé Quebec as well as a Career award in the Biomedical Sciences from the Burroughs Welcome Fund.

Director, Division of Infectious Diseases,
McGill University
Warren Wakarchuk Dr. Wakarchuk is a Professor from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. The Wakarchuk lab investigates the structure and function of the enzymes which make and degrade various glycoconjugates. This work has been enabling the chemo-enzymatic synthesis of bioactive glycoconjugates both in the laboratory and for industrial projects. The Wakarchuk lab has expertise with both mammalian and bacterial carbohydrate active enzymes for glycan remodelling applications.
Scientific Director, GlycoNet

Observer

Elizabeth Nanak Dr. Nanak is the Network’s Executive Director. Dr. Nanak was involved in the GlycoNet initiative since the Letter of Intent stage and served as the Associate Director, Business for the Alberta Glycomics Centre from 2007–2015. Prior to her position with the Centre, she worked as a manager of large-scale and multi-institutional projects with Genome Prairie. In addition to her PhD in biochemistry, Elizabeth has an MBA in biotechnology management.

Chief Executive Officer,
GlycoNet
Stewart Fast Dr. Fast is a Senior Program Manager at the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat. He is GlycoNet`s liaison to the tri-council funding agencies with the dual role of support and oversight on program rules. Prior to joining NCE, Stewart was Research Director at the University of Ottawa`s Institute for Science, Society and Policy. He holds a PhD in Human Geography.

Senior Program Manager,
Networks of Centres of Excellence

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