Bringing wisdom and vision from the boardroom table to the laboratory bench.

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Didier Leconte
Vice-President, Life Science and Technology, Investissement Québec 

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Didier Leconte

Mr. Leconte is the Vice President, Life Science and Technology with Investissement Québec, which he joined in August, 2021. During his career he has held various managing positions, all related to innovation.

Mr. Leconte started his career in 1990 in France in the energy sector at the Engie (then Gaz de France) Research Division as project manager. In 1996, he joined the Canadian subsidiary of Engie and provided his expertise to Gaz Métro. In 1999, he joined the Natural Gas Technologies Centre as Commercial Director and afterwards, R&D Director. From 2004 to 2012, he was a major player in the Québec’s technology transfer arena. In 2004, he joined Gestion Univalor and then became CEO of MSBi Valorisation and in 2012, he arranged the merger with Valeo Management (now Aligo Innovation), of which he was the interim president.

Mr. Leconte holds a degree in materials engineering from Paris XIII University as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from UQAM-ESG. He also holds a university certification in Corporate Governance from Université Laval’s Collège des administrateurs de sociétés.

Bradley Popovich
Chief Scientific Officer, Genome British Columbia (retired)

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Bradley Popovich

Brad Popovich was the Chief Scientific Officer at Genome British Columbia in Vancouver, BC from January 2011 until he retired in July 2015. His involvement in the organization spans many years; Brad sat on the board of directors from 2006-2011; served as Chairman of the Science Committee and Vice-Board Chair at Genome British Columbia from 2008-2010. Brad continues to serve as Chairman, Genetic Information Management Systems; Chairman, Microbiome Insights; and Director, Interface Health.

Brad was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sirius Genomics from 2006-2009 where he helped build the foundation and financing necessary to move the company’s first product from the research bench and into clinical trials / FDA review. He served as Vice President of Operations at Xenon Pharmaceuticals (2001-2005). Previously, he was the Founder and Director to the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Oregon Health Sciences University where he was also the Director of Graduate Education and the Executive Director, Genetic Service Laboratories at the University Hospital (1992-2001). Brad was previously the Founder and Director of the DNA Diagnostic Laboratory at Children’s Hospital San Diego / University of California San Diego (1989-1992).

Previously Brad served as a Director for: Sirius Genomics (2006-2012); DNA Direct (2005-2010); Tm Bioscience (2003-2006); the American College of Medical Genetics (Director and VP Laboratory Genetics 1999-2005); and the American College of Medical Genetics Foundation (1999-2005). He additionally was Chairman of the Oregon Genetic Privacy Advisory Committee (1995-2001). He was co-author the first genetic privacy legislation passed into law in the US while at OHSU, and helped defend this bill in Oregon Senate and House and be enacted into law in 1995. He was a founding member of the Oregon DNA Forensic Experts Panel (1993-2001).

Brad’s professional training is in genetic counselling (MS, Sarah Lawrence College) biochemical genetics (MSc, McGill University), molecular genetics (PhD, McGill University), and postdoctoral training / clinical fellowship (University of Wisconsin, and University of North Carolina laboratory of Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies). He became board certified in clinical molecular genetics in 1993 by the American Board of Medical Specialists and the American Board of Medical Genetics.

Rod Budd
Partner & Leader, Life Sciences Practice, Ernst & Young (retired)

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Rod Budd

Mr. Rod Budd, CPA and CA, was an audit partner at Ernst and Young for 25 years, and the leader of their Canadian Life Sciences Practice for 10 years, until his retirement in 2010. He advised a number of private and public companies during this period, including assisting with over a dozen IPO’s.

Mr. Budd continues to advise a number of private life science companies and Chairs the audit committee of Klox Technologies Inc. He previously sat on the Board of Directors of Bioniche Life Sciences and Bedrocan Cannabis Corporation, and was the Chairman of the Board of Immunotec Inc.

Paul Buron
Former Executive Vice President, Government Mandate and Programs Management, Investissement Québec

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Paul Buron

Paul has more than 30 years’ experience in financial management, risk management and business strategies. Paul was The Executive Vice-President, Government Mandates and Programs Management from 2017 to 2019 at Investissement Québec. He coordinated the full range of mandates, financial programs and tax measures administered by Investissement Québec on behalf of the Government of Québec through the Economic Development Fund (EDF).

From 2006 to 2017, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Until 2016, he was also in charge of risk management for BDC. In 2011-2012, he held the post of Interim Executive Vice President, Financing and Consulting for one year in addition to his other responsibilities.

Before joining the BDC team, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of TVA Group from 2000 to 2006. In that capacity, he was in charge of television operations and regional stations, IT services, investor relations and human resources.

He is a member of the boards of directors of Oxfam-Québec, and the Association of Québec Women in Finance mentoring program.

Mr. Buron holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from HEC Montréal, and was a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (CPA) for more than 30 years.

Helen Burt
Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation, UBC

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Helen Burt

Dr. Helen Burt is Professor of Drug Delivery in the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and began her term as Associate Vice President, Research & International in 2011.

Dr. Burt’s major research efforts are supported by grants from CIHR and NSERC and involve the development of polymer-based drug delivery systems for controlled and localized drug delivery. She has published more than 140 peer-reviewed papers and holds eight patents.

She has been the recipient of several teaching prizes and research awards, including the UBC Killam Teaching Prize and Killam Faculty Research Prize, NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation, CSPS Award of Leadership in Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences and YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Science, Research and Technology.

Dr. Burt is a founding scientist in adMare (previously known as CDRD), a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and has served on the Board of Directors of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Dr. Helen Burt obtained her B. Pharm. (Hons) from the University of Bath and her PhD in Pharmaceutics from UBC.

Nancy Harrison
Venture Partner, Amplitude Venture Capital

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Nancy Harrison

Nancy Harrison is former co-founder and the past President of MSI Methylation Sciences, a private venture backed development company with a novel treatment of depression in Phase II development. She is a former Partner and Senior Vice President of Ventures West Management Inc.

During her tenure with Ventures West, the life sciences portfolio grew from 0% of the overall investment portfolio to approximately 30% of investments. The firm grew from about $90 million under management to about $750 million under management in 8 historical funds. Nancy participated in over 30 investments over her time at the firm and specialized in helping Canadian life sciences companies raise Series B rounds through accessing US venture capital funds. Some of these investments include companies such as Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., AnorMed, Inc, Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Celator Technologies Inc., Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., Salmedix Inc., Sembiosys Genetics Inc. and many other biotechnology firms while with Ventures West.

Nancy acts as a Board Member for Lifesciences BC, NRC IRAP, Presentation House as well as other not for profit boards. She has won The Canadian Caldwell Partners 40 under 40 Award for outstanding young business professionals and the Business in Vancouver’s top 40 under 40 award for young entrepreneurs, professionals, and executives.

She holds an MBA from McGill University and a BSc in Geophysical Engineering from Queen’s University.

Kathy L. Hudson
Former Deputy Director for Science, Outreach & Policy, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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Kathy L. Hudson

Kathy L. Hudson, Ph.D. is the former Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Hudson led the science policy, legislation, communications, and outreach efforts of the NIH and served as senior advisor to the NIH director. She directed the agency’s efforts to advance biomedical science through policy development and innovative projects and partnerships. Dr. Hudson created major new strategic and scientific initiatives including the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the BRAIN initiative, the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Cancer Moonshot. She led the development of major policies that enable science to advance more rapidly including enhancing clinical trials, data sharing, and participation of patients as partners in research. She was the key NIH architect responsible for modernizing the regulations governing research with human subjects.

Dr. Hudson’s professional experience includes serving as the Acting Deputy Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH; the NIH Chief of Staff; the Assistant Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH; and the founder and Director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at John Hopkins University. Also at Hopkins, Dr. Hudson was an Associate Professor in the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Institute of Genetic Medicine, and Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Hudson holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, an MS in Microbiology from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Biology from Carleton College.

Gordon C. McCauley
President & CEO, adMare BioInnovations

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Gordon C. McCauley

Gordon McCauley, BA, MBA, ICD.D was appointed President and CEO of adMare BioInnovations in 2016 after serving on the Board for four years. Mr. McCauley is an accomplished life science investor and executive.

He has served as President and CEO of Viable Healthworks Corp., a national healthcare service business; Allon Therapeutics Inc., a neuroscience biotechnology company that developed novel therapeutics from pre-clinical to global phase 3 studies before being sold; and as Co-Founder and Partner of NDI Capital, an institutionally backed life-science investment fund. Mr. McCauley has also been a senior executive of several successful healthcare enterprises, and a senior advisor to several prominent Canadian political leaders.

Mr. McCauley has served as a Director of a number of private and publicly traded companies. Currently, he is a Director of adMare (and a number of its portfolio and subsidiary companies), and Chairs the Board of both BIOTECanada, Canada’s national biotechnology industry organization, and CGEn, Canada’s national genomics enterprise, and is a Director of Montréal InVivo. Mr. McCauley has previously served as Chair of Life Sciences British Columbia, Acetech, The Toronto Rehab Foundation, and was a founding Director of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. In 2008, Mr. McCauley was the first Canadian appointed to the Board of The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington D.C., where he served in leadership positions until 2013.

Gordon earned a BA in Political Science from McMaster University, an MBA (with Honours) from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, and holds the ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.

Rémi Quirion
Chief Scientist of Québec

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Rémi Quirion

On September 1, 2011, Rémi Quirion, OC, CQ, PhD, FRSC, became Québec’s first chief scientist. As such, he chairs the boards of directors of the three Fonds de recherche du Québec and advises the Minister of Economic and Innovation on research and scientific development issues.

Until his appointment as chief scientist, Rémi Quirion was the vice-dean for science and strategic initiatives in the faculty of medicine at McGill University and senior university advisor on health sciences research. He was the scientific director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Research Centre, a full professor in the department of psychiatry at McGill University and the executive director of the International Collaborative Research Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Professor Quirion was the first scientific director of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), one of Canada’s 13 health research institutes.

His work helped to elucidate the roles of the cholinergic system in Alzheimer’s disease, of neuropeptide Y in depression and memory and of the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in pain and opiate tolerance. He has over 750 publications in prominent scientific journals and is one of the most extensively cited neuroscientists in the world. He has received several awards and honours, including the Ordre national du Québec (Chevalier du Québec, CQ) in 2003, the Prix Wilder-Penfield (Prix du Québec) in 2004 and the Order of Canada (OC) in 2007. Mr. Quirion is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and was also inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was appointed Officer in the Order of Academic Palms of the French Republic, a distinction awarded by the French government that recognizes its contribution to the development of French-Québec relations in research.

Rémi Quirion earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Université de Sherbrooke in 1980 and carried out his postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States in 1983.

Laurence Rulleau
Partner, CTI Life Sciences

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Laurence Rulleau

Laurence Terrisse Rulleau, PhD, served as a life sciences analyst covering the Canadian life sciences sector for more than 10 years. She worked at different firms including Desjardins securities, Yorkton securities and Blackmont securities. In her experience as an analyst, she researched over 100 life sciences companies with scientific due diligence on these companies as well as market analysis and competition assessment.

Dr. Rulleau was ranked the number one Canadian life sciences analyst by the Starmine survey (a Thomson Reuters Company) and number one independent analyst by Brendon Wood survey. She was involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions as well as IPOs. Dr. Rulleau was also CEO of HLA-G Technologies, a biotechnology start-up based in France, and more recently, she served as Vice-President Business Development of Univalor, the technology transfer office of Montreal’s university and affiliated schools. Under her responsibility at Univalor in the last three years, more than 40 licences with the industry were signed and eight companies started.

Dr. Rulleau has a Masters in Biology from The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a PhD from Montreal University executed at Montreal Clinical Research Institute.

Dr. Michelle Savoie
Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal, and President, Consilio Manuque Inc.

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Dr. Michelle Savoie

Dr. Savoie has over 25 years of experience in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sector. Michelle Savoie is an Associate professor, practical training at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal and CEO, Consilio Manuque. Until July 2015, she was also CEO of Montréal InVivo.

Dr. Savoie has held strategic positions at Schering Canada, Eli Lilly Canada and Bristol-Myers Squibb and participated in several boards including those of the Quebec Network for Personalized Healthcare (PHC), Montréal InVivo, Personalized Medicine Partnership for Cancer, International Congress on PHC and NEOMED. She was actively involved in the creation of the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery, the Quebec PHC Strategy, NEOMED and the early phase clinical research initiatives.

A biochemist by training, she also completed an MBA, a Masters in Public Health, a PhD in biomedical sciences, a Masters in Law and Health policy and the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors.