Toronto, ON: Building off a highly successful inaugural year, CDRD, Canada’s life sciences venture, is proud to open applications to its 2019-2020 Executive Institute – a 10-month, highly-focused executive development program custom-designed to grow and nurture the management talent that the Canadian life sciences sector needs to lead the world.

Successfully scaling Canadian life sciences companies and growing them into strong, multi-product anchors, requires leaders to think in more complex, systematic, and strategic ways. To address this pressing need, CDRD created the Executive Institute program under the umbrella of the CDRD Academy last year with support from Pfizer Canada.

From Victoria to Halifax, from discovery research organizations to small and medium-size enterprises, and multi-national corporations, the 14 accomplished and talented inaugural Executive Institute participants formed a diverse and gender balanced cohort, representing the spectrum of the Canadian life sciences ecosystem. The program, delivered in partnership with one of the world’s top leadership development organizations, the not-for-profit Center for Creative Leadership, focuses on and is tailored to personalized needs, enabling participants to sharpen their individual skills to accelerate their company’s goals.

“As the first cohort of the Executive Institute graduates, we are excited to see the impact these leaders will have as they translate the knowledge and skills they developed during this program into their respective companies. We are now officially accepting the next set of applications, and would like to once again thank Pfizer Canada for their enabling contribution to the program – an investment that is indicative of their strong commitment to the Canadian life sciences ecosystem,” said Gordon C. McCauley, President and CEO, CDRD.

“We have been following the progress of the Executive Institute members since the beginning of the first session in September 2018, and are excited to recognize a diverse graduating class of leaders with critical business skills to grow their respective companies, and expand Canada’s innovation ecosystem,” said John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada. “This program also supports the Federal government’s priorities to improve gender balance and executive leadership in corporate Canada. We are proud to be a partner of the Executive Institute, and encouraged by the results of the program. We look forward to meeting the second cohort in September.”

This unique program, which is open annually to a maximum of 20 executive-level life sciences professionals, will begin its second session this September, and applications are now being accepted until June 15, 2019. The Program’s estimated market value is in excess of $18,000CDN per person, but thanks to the generous support of Pfizer Canada, The CDRD Academy is able to offer this program with NO FEE to participants. Details can be found at

Here is what some of the inaugural cohort members had to say about their experience:

“Participating in the CDRD Academy’s Executive Institute was one of the smartest moves that I have made lately. The program has helped me move out of my comfort zone which is an important quality to grow as an individual and as a leader.” – Deanna Dryhurst, Chief Scientific Officer, ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd., Victoria

Leadership is a continual learning process and The CDRD Executive Institute provided me the opportunity to enhance my skills as a future leader. It is also a great platform to meet new people of different backgrounds within the life sciences community, build a network and share knowledge and challenges. – Naveed Aziz – Chief Administrative and Scientific Officer, CGEN – Canada’s Genomic Enterprise, Toronto

CDRD is well-known in Canada for their work in moving drug development forward, and when I heard about The CDRD Executive Institute program helping to build Canadian life science executives, I knew I had to participate. The knowledge I have gained over the last 10 months has truly helped me to become a better leader, and I am excited to transfer what I have learned to my team members as well. – Allison Gaw, Senior Director, Corporate Development and Intellectual Property, Sierra Oncology, Vancouver

“Applying to the CDRD Executive Institute is the best investment you can make for your career and for your organization. You will learn new skills, meet incredible people and will be a much better leader at the end of the program.” – Frédéric Leduc, CEO and Co-Founder, Immune Biosolutions, Sherbrooke

“The CDRD Executive Institute provides a great platform to build the next generation of leaders in the biotech sector, which is really needed in Canada because it will prepare us for the onslaught of the great technologies that are coming to the market.” – Stephanie Michaud, President and CEO, BioCanRx, Ottawa

“The Executive Institute is a great program to find mentorship and to meet and learn from people from the life sciences industry who have walked the same development path that I’m at right now. I received valuable, tangible feedback and insight into things they would have done differently or they have learned through scars along the way.” – Alexander Graves, CEO, Symvivo, Vancouver

About CDRD:
CDRD is Canada’s national life sciences venture, powering the country’s life sciences industry by creating and growing companies of scale – while training the scientific and business talent needed to drive them to become leading global anchors for Canada. We do this by building collaborations with the very best partners from academia, industry, patient foundations, the investment community, and other Key Opinion Leaders, and providing 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. Find us on Twitter: @C_D_R_D and LinkedIn: cdrd

About the CDRD Academy:
The CDRD Academy was created to deliver on a critical part of the organization’s mission: To uniquely train the next generation of highly-qualified personnel to drive the development of innovation. The Academy currently encompasses three distinct streams: The Executive Institute, the Post-Graduate Institute and the Undergraduate Institute. Each provides a customized training program to the ensure that the Canadian life sciences sector has the scientific and management talent to lead the world. The Academy is firmly committed to addressing issues of gender disparity, and to supporting diversity in the Canadian life sciences sector.

For additional information, please contact:
Julia White
Senior Manager, Communications
604.827.1226 |