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Research Management Committee

The Research Management Committee oversees the R&D portfolio and makes recommendations to the Board on funding for Clinical Partnerships and Collaborative Team grant applications. The Committee guides research directions based on the overall Board-approved strategic plan.

Members of the Committee

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,
Paul DeAngelis Dr. DeAngelis’s research has led to commercial applications, including the design of novel hybrid polysaccharide molecules for medical or industrial applications, the formation of biocompatible coatings and surfaces for use in sensors or other implanted devices, the synthesis of defined oligosaccharides that have potential for use as anticancer agents, anticoagulants, or immune system stimulators and the synthesis of sugar-based targeting drug delivery systems. Dr. DeAngelis is a founding scientist of four life science ventures: Hyalose, Heparinex, Choncept and Caisson Biotech.

Presidential Professor,
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Richard Furneaux
Ferrier Research Institute

Jennifer Kohler Research in the Kohler lab focuses on understanding the roles of glycoconjugates in a variety of biological systems.

Associate Professor,
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Mark Nitz Professor Nitz’s research program spans the areas of synthetic carbohydrate chemistry and chemical biology. Focusing on bacterial biofilm formation the Nitz lab has efficiently synthesized key carbohydrate adhesin’s that form the structure of the biofilm matrix. These compounds have served as substrates to elucidate the biochemistry and structure of the enzymes required for polysaccharide adhesin synthesis and biofilm formation.

University of Toronto
Obadiah Plante Dr. Plante is Senior Director of Bacterial Immunology at Moderna Therapeutics where he leads the discovery of novel mRNA-based vaccines and antibodies. Previously, Dr. Plante served as Director of Research at Visterra through their acquisition by Otsuka for $430M. At Visterra he led early stage research programs including a CARB-X funded program developing an innovative glycan-targeted antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.

Senior Director of Bacterial Immunology,
Moderna Therapeutics
Mariela Segura Dr. Segura’s laboratory applies multidisciplinary approaches, from biochemistry to cellular and molecular immunology, to dissect the role of bacterial capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) on the immunopathogenesis of the disease caused by pathogenic streptococci.

University of Montreal
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
Steven Xanthoudakis Dr. Xanthoudakis brings over 27 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, holding various positions at Merck in discovery research, in business development, and as Research Investigator in the Department of Neurogenetics at Hoffman La Roche (NJ, USA). He also served as the Chief Business Development Officer for the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) where he managed the execution of numerous R&D deals involving pharma, biotech, and academia.

Vice President Global Search & External Scientific Strategy,


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,
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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