EDMONTON, ALBERTA (May 13, 2020) – The Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet) announces today that Ms. Karimah Es Sabar has been appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors. Mr. Frank Gleeson, the inaugural GlycoNet Board Chair, will remain on the Board of Directors as Past Chair.
“I would like to thank Frank for his substantial contributions to GlycoNet over the past five years,” said Ms. Es Sabar. “Under his leadership, GlycoNet has gained a formidable reputation both nationally and internationally as a leader in glycomics research and development, and in the translation of those activities to tangible outcomes. I am honoured to be appointed as the Chair of the Board, and I look forward to working with the GlycoNet team, Board of Directors and stakeholders as we move to a new chapter of innovative development and commercialization to expand GlycoNet’s healthcare portfolio.”
“GlycoNet is so fortunate to have Karimah joining as Chair at this pivotal time of systemic change in the Network of Centres of Excellence program. Her impressive accomplishment in establishing and leading public-private collaborations, and building sustainable entities augur well for GlycoNet’s future. I am proud to have been played a role in GlycoNet’s achievements to date and wish Karimah and the entire team every success going forward,” said Mr. Gleeson, who served as the Chair of the Board of Directors at GlycoNet from 2015 to 2020.
“Karimah brings decades of experience in key areas critical to our future operations, such as global experience in pharmaceutical markets, strategic alliances with the biotechnology industry, business development and talent acquisition, and venture investment in the life sciences sector,” said Dr. Todd Lowary, Scientific Director, GlycoNet. “She will bring leadership and valuable insights to GlycoNet as we continue to execute our strategic objectives towards advancing new therapies as Canada’s leading glycomics network.”
Ms. Es Sabar is currently the CEO and Partner at Quark Venture LP, a venture investment firm focused on health sciences globally. In 2018, she chaired Canada’s Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table, an initiative by Government of Canada to lead the creation of Canada’s growth strategies in health and biosciences innovation. From 2009 to 2016, Ms. Es Sabar held several leadership positions at the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, including the position of President and CEO from 2012. In 2013, Ms. Es Sabar was appointed the Founding Chair of the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres, an association of international peer organizations dedicated to translating health research into new medicines. Prior to joining CDRD, Ms. Es Sabar took on the role of leading BC Biotech in 2005, re-engineering and rebranding the organization to LifeSciences BC. As the President & CEO, she led the organization to its greatest levels of success as a strong business development organization for the life science industry and the scientific research community. Ms. Es Sabar also served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Medsurge Medical Inc., a Vancouver medical devices company, and was the founder of two companies including SAL Healthcare Limited, a leading healthcare organization in Kenya specializing in pharmaceutical marketing, distribution and healthcare consulting services. Ms. Es Sabar currently serves on the Boards of a number of organizations including Triumf Innovations (Chair), Canary Medical, V-Wave, Sitka Biopharma and ARTMS.
Ms. Es Sabar holds a Joint Honours degree in Biochemistry/Chemistry from the University of Salford, Manchester, England, a MSc. degree in neurochemistry from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, England, and an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from MIT Sloan School of Management.
GlycoNet is advancing research, innovation, and training in glycomics to improve the quality of life of Canadians. GlycoNet is a one-stop global destination focused on developing new carbohydrate-based drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, in collaboration with academic and industry organizations to address areas of unmet need through applied glycomics research. Funded by the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program and a range of partners, the network includes over 150 researchers across Canada who focus on cancer, chronic diseases, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. This national platform supports translational research, protection of intellectual property, novel drug development, company formation and training.
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