Vancouver, Canada: CDRD, Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Brad Popovich as Chair of its Board of Directors, Mr. Douglas Wilkes as Vice-Chair, and Dr. Laurence Rulleau as a new Director of the organization. Dr. Popovich succeeds Mr. Don Avison who has retired from the Board.

Dr. Popovich is a highly-respected and experienced life sciences executive and scientist. He is the former Chief Scientific Officer of Genome British Columbia, a position he held from 2011 until he retired in 2015. He has held additional senior executive roles with Sirius Genomics, Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Oregon University Hospital. He also was the Founder and Director of the DNA Diagnostic Laboratory at Children’s Hospital San Diego at the University of California. In addition to serving on CDRD’s Board, Dr. Popovich is Chair of the Board for Genetic Information Management Systems and Chair of the Board for Microbiome Insights.

“I am honoured to have been elected Chair of CDRD – a truly unique and global innovative drug research and commercialization centre,” Dr. Popovich. “As a Director for several years, I have seen first-hand the impact that CDRD is making in the life sciences ecosystem across Canada, and the incredibly talented team behind that work. I look forward to helping CDRD realize its vision as a catalyst for Canadian life sciences leading the world. I also want to acknowledge my predecessor, Mr. Don Avison and the tremendous contributions he made to the Board as a Director for four years and as Chair for the past two.”

Mr. Wilkes is a former executive with over 30 years of industry experience in all areas of finance, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, operational and strategic planning, and public company governance. He is a director on four company boards, chairs several audit committees and is Lead Director on one. During his career, he has held senior executive roles in several large private and public companies in the Canadian Resources sector. In addition to being a Chartered Accountant, Mr. Wilkes has received the designations of Chartered Director and Audit Committee Certified from the Directors’ College (a joint venture between McMaster University and the Conference Board of Canada).

Laurence Rulleau, PhD, is a Partner with CTI Life Sciences Fund in Montreal, a $245-million venture capital fund that invests in high quality life sciences companies in Canada and the U.S.  Dr. Rulleau has served previously as a life sciences analyst covering the Canadian life sciences sector for more than 10 years. She has held positions with several firms including Desjardins, Yorkton, and Blackmont Securities – roles in which she was involved in numerous life sciences mergers and acquisitions as well as IPOs. She was also CEO of HLA-G Technologies, a biotechnology start-up based in France, and more recently, served as Vice-President Business Development of Univalor, the technology transfer office of Montreal’s university and affiliated schools. Dr. Rulleau holds a Masters in Biology from The Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) and a PhD from Montreal University executed at Montreal Clinical Research Institute.

Gordon C. McCauley, President and CEO of CDRD remarked, “The entire CDRD team is very much looking forward to working more closely with each of these Directors. Individually they bring significant scientific, governance, and business experience that is essential for CDRD to deliver on our mandate. I also want to add my personal appreciation for the commitment and wise counsel Don Avison brought to our Board table and for the support he showed our team. CDRD and our partners across academia, industry, government and foundations owe him a debt of gratitude for his leadership.”

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About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD):
CDRD is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre working in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations. CDRD provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector — and ultimately into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

For additional information, please contact:
Julia White
Senior Manager, Communications
The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
Direct: 604.827.1226