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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee facilitates the development and maintenance of collaborative partnerships within GlycoNet to achieve a community in which group members are represented and participate equitably at all levels. The Committee works to implement the Network’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion plan and raise awareness of inclusivity within GlycoNet.

The EDI Committee’s Terms of Reference was approved by the Board on July 8, 2020. Read the following message from the Chair of the EDI Committee:

Organizations that successfully embrace principles of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness (EDI) improve their creativity, productivity, and products. The Board of Directors of GlycoNet believes that, if we as a community support equity, diversity, and inclusiveness, we will improve the innovation and research outcomes within the network. Accordingly, the Board established the EDI Committee, which has representation from across the GlycoNet community and reports directly to the Board. Its mandate is broadly to recommend actions and programs that will enhance EDI throughout the network. Please read the Terms of Reference document and GlycoNet’s EDI Policy, and initiate discussions among your colleagues about what EDI means to you.


Nils O. Petersen,
Chair, EDI Committee
Vice-Chair, Board of Directors

Members of the Committee

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.

Dr. Bohlmann holds academic appointments in the Department of Botany, the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, and is an Associate of the UBC Wine Research Centre. He is co-director of the UBC Genome Science and Technology (GSAT) graduate program. His research deals with the molecular biochemistry and biology of plant secondary metabolites, genomics of conifers, grapevines, and various medicinal plants, and plant defense against insects.

With more than 20 years of international experience in both the academic and private sectors, Catalina Lopez-Correa’s deep understanding of genomics and innovation has inspired leaders in science and industry to collaborate toward solving some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Before taking on her role as Chief Scientific Officer in July 2021, she served as Executive Director of the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN).

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.

Dr. Sipione is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and in the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the University of Alberta. She is also a member of the Group on the Molecular and Cellular Biology of Lipids at the University of Alberta. Dr. Sipione is a biochemist and a neurobiologist with a long-standing interest in neurodegeneration, Huntington’s disease (HD) and the role of lipids in the brain.

Joshua Kofsky is a PhD candidate in the Capicciotti Lab at Queen’s University. He completed a BSc in Chemistry at Queen’s University in 2020 with an undergraduate thesis project on the chemical synthesis of O-glycans. His current research focuses on new ways to access defined O-glycan structures through chemoenzymatic synthesis and extraction of glycans from natural sources.

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.


Dr. Willis’ research group leverages glycobiology, microbiology, and immunology to address fundamental questions regarding the pivotal roles of glycans in human immune systems. Specifically, she is investigating how glycans are involved in population-specific autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Her research group also studies the function of bacterial protein glycosylation and its influence on cellular homeostasis and environmental sensing in the microbiome.


Elizabeth is the CEO of GlycoNet. She 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.

Terms of Reference

View Terms of Reference (PDF)

Updates from the Committee

November 2021

Canadian Glycomics Network
E5-33 Gunning/Lemieux Chemistry Centre
University of Alberta, T6G 2G2
Tel: 780-492-6204
Fax: 780-492-4147

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