Photo of Mike Betts
UTEST Co-Director
Work Phone: 647-400-9529

Biographical Info

Michael (Mike) Betts is entrepreneur-in-residence at MaRS Innovation where he co-directs theUniversity of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program, which identifies and provides very early-stage investment, mentorship and working space to promising academic founding teams working in the software space and affiliated with U of T.

Michael is a recognized entrepreneur and technology executive with over 10 years of experience working with and managing rapid growth technology start-ups.

In addition to MI, Michael is the president of Castlegar Management Ltd., a boutique advisory services firm focused on providing strategic counsel to the CEOs of technology start-ups, and is the founder of The INC Society, a members only, corporate perks and benefits program for Canadian entrepreneurs.

Prior to these activities, Michael was the founder of Canada’s first web based, in-image ad network, and was responsible for all aspects of the company’s early growth, financing and strategy.

Return to top.
Photo of Judy Blumstock
Senior Director, Strategic Planning
Work Phone: 647-260-7863

Biographical Info

Judith provides financial strategy and in-depth portfolio reporting for MaRS Innovation and its technologies and companies under management. She also takes an active role in fundraising and investor relations, and leads a variety of special projects.

Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Judith was a principal with Genesys Capital Partners, one of the largest Canadian-based venture-capital firms focused on the life sciences industry. She is also a past director of Insception, Millenium Biologix Corp., Plexagen Diagnostics, and Zelos Therapeutics Inc. Previously, Judith was a partner with Royal Bank Capital Partners Life Sciences Fund and, prior to that, director of Bio/pharmaceutical Research at Drug Royalty Corporation.

Judith received her M.B.A. in finance from Columbia Business School and her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Toronto.

Return to top.
Photo of Mary Fournier-Park
Administrator, IP Processing
Work Phone: 647-260-7865

Biographical Info

Mary maintains MaRS Innovation’s main disclosure and Intellectual Property (IP) databases. Her role includes facilitating agreement execution, financial tracking and managing the IP portfolio.

Mary has more than a decade of experience spanning trademark and patent prosecution, including domestic and foreign jurisdiction filings, as well as general maintenance of trademark and patent applications. She also has extensive experience bridging communications between and amongst management committees, senior executives and external clients.

Most recently, Mary was the trademark and patent assistant for a large, full-service, Toronto-based law firm.

Return to top.
Photo of Phil Goldbach
Manager, Intellectual Property
Work Phone: 647-260-7830

Biographical Info

Phil manages intellectual property rights across all technologies within MaRS Innovation’s portfolio. He advises on various forms of intellectual property protection, assessing patentability and managing patent application filings and prosecution decisions.

Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Phil trained with an intellectual property boutique law firm in downtown Toronto as a member of the firm’s life sciences patent practice group, where he was exposed to a wide array of technologies including biologics, small molecules, medical devices, and information technologies. He has also acted as director of intellectual property for a biotechnology start-up company in Mississauga that specializes in developing antibody-based products for use in animal health and food safety.

Phil holds a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Toronto and a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Return to top.
Photo of Rafi Hofstein
President & CEO
Work Phone: 647-260-7868

Biographical Info

Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein joined MaRS Innovation as President and CEO in June 2009. He is currently member of the board of directors of Life Science Ontario and of Clinical Trials Ontario, as well as a member of the Organizing Committee of the Public Policy Forum on Venture Capital and Innovation (part of the Quebec City Conference) and part of the Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC).

Dr. Hofstein received his PhD and Master of Science degrees in Life Sciences and Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. His Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Physics is from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Awards he received while completing post-doctoral training and research at the Harvard Medical School in Boston in the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Neurobiology include the Hereditary Disease Foundation Fellowship in 1982-83, and the Chaim Weizmann Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1980-82.

During the 1980s, he held the roles of Scientific Director of Biotechnological Applications Ltd., and Manager R&D and Chief of Immunochemistry at the International Genetic Scientific Partnership, organizations that were pivotal in developing Israel’s world-leading biotechnology sector.

Dr. Hofstein was Scientific Director of the Israeli office of Ecogen Inc., a subsidiary of Monsanto, for over six years before assuming the role of Vice President, Business Development, for Ecogen in Langhorne, Pa.

From 1997 to 1999 Dr. Hofstein was President of Mindsense Biosystems Ltd., an Israeli company that develops neuropsychiatric immune assays, as well as Venture Partner at Medica Venture (a leading VC in Israel). From 1999 to 2009, he held the position of President and CEO of Hadasit Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. 

Dr. Hofstein was the founder and has served as Chair of Hadasit BioHolding Ltd., a publicly-traded holding company (10 start-ups under management) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) since 2005. Other directorships held on TASE publicly-traded companies include: Bioline RX (drug development); Exalenz (medical devices); and Evogene (agri-bio).

Dr. Hofstein also served as Chair of BIOMED, Israel’s annual biomedical conference, from 2005 to 2007. In addition, Dr. Hofstein is a Co-Founder and Board Member of ILSI, the Israeli Life Science Industry Organization, and a Co-Founder and Executive in Israel’s Tech Transfer Network (ITTN).

Return to top.
Photo of Stacey Ivanchuk
Director, Intellectual Property
Work Phone: 647-260-7867

Biographical Info

Stacey has over 10 years experience relating to intellectual property (IP) protection, management and strategy. She oversees and provides strategic advice for all projects in MaRS Innovation’s portfolio spanning diverse technical fields, working closely with the venture development teams to evaluate technologies and develop optimal IP protection strategies. In addition to her IP role, she is responsible for strategic oversight of all technologies originating from Baycrest, a MaRS Innovation member.

Prior to MaRS Innovation, Stacey was IP manager at Topigen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Montreal-based biotechnology company (acquired by Pharmaxis Ltd.) where she provided IP-related strategic guidance including portfolio management, budgeting and financial forecasting. She was also formerly IP consultant at Baycrest where she identified and assessed commercial opportunities arising from neurocognitive research. In her role as Scientific Advisor in the IP group of Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright), she gained experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications, focusing on life sciences/biotechnology patent protection.

Stacey received her B.Sc., Honours (Biology) and M.Sc. in cancer genetics from Queen’s University and her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Toronto.

Return to top.
Photo of Hassan Jaferi
Commercialization Manager
Work Phone: 647-531-4681

Biographical Info

As a commercialization manager at MaRS Innovation, Hassan divides his time between projects located in York University’s Innovation York office and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Technology Transfer office, located in the Sunnybrook Research Institute. He conducts due diligence on invention disclosures, aids in patent application preparation and prosecution, executes business development for early-stage technologies, helps to manage start-up companies, and pursues public and private funding to advance early-stage research projects.

Before joining MI, Hassan was a commercial development analyst with PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen’s University, where he managed the commercialization of early-stage technologies and helped managed a start-up company. He has also worked as a patent examiner with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Hassan holds a M.Sc. in space management from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, and a B.Sc. in computer engineering from the University of Ottawa.

Return to top.
Photo of Dominic Jaikaran
Director, Technology & Venture Development
Work Phone: 647-260-7898

Biographical Info

Dominic Jaikaran has over fifteen years of varied experience in biotechnology and finance, including venture capital, business development and research and development. He has been involved in sourcing new deals, performing due diligence for new and follow-investments and monitoring portfolio companies on the investment side and new company creation, project management, research and development and business development on the company side.

Prior to joining MaRS Innovation Dominic was a principal at BDC Venture Capital, focusing on early-stage life science investments. He was also a staff scientist at Diversa Corporation (now BASF), a NASDAQ-listed company in San Diego, where he focused on the discovery and evolution of enzymes for various industrial and pharmaceutical uses.

Dominic holds a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry and a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Biochemistry, both from the University of Toronto. He also holds an M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management, also located at the University of Toronto.

Return to top.
Photo of Timothy Key
Manager, Technology & Venture Development
Work Phone: 647-260-7843

Biographical Info

Tim manages projects in MI’s Life Sciences portfolio. He performs technical and market due diligence and evaluates the competitive positioning and advantages of new technologies to support and grow MI’s portfolio. He develops business, technical, strategic and financing plans to support new start-up ventures. He also actively markets technologies to support licensing, co-development and other commercialization transactions.

Prior to joining MI, Tim worked in Vancouver for the Centre for Drug Research and Development, another Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR), where he worked in small molecule/biologic drug discovery R&D and business development.

Tim holds a Ph.D in Microbiology and Immunology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, and a B.Sc in Biochemistry from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB.

Return to top.
Photo of Michael Midmer
Work Phone: 647-260-7878

Biographical Info

Michael has over 15 years of experience in the life science industry, fund management and corporate finance. Michael was formerly the Director of the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) at Genome Canada. The GAPP program funded partnerships between industry and academia including companies such as Xagenic, Vasomune, Assurex and Roche.

Before joining Genome Canada, Michael was a Director at Rosetta Capital, an international venture capital firm, where he managed a portfolio of over 30 companies in North America and Europe including company exits such as Enobia, Cytochroma, Ambit and Resonant.  Michael was also Business Development Manager at KS Biomedix and was Investor Relations Manager at Cardiome Pharma. In addition, Michael has been a board member for several companies and was the Chair of a not-for-profit board.

Michael has an MSc in molecular biology from the University of Toronto (Canada) and an MBA from Imperial College Business School (UK).  He has also completed the Canadian Securities Course.

Return to top.
Photo of Abu Nana
Accounting Specialist, New Ventures
Work Phone: 647-260-7864

Biographical Info

Abu conducts the day-to-day accounting and finance activities for several new ventures within MaRS Innovation, including Bedside Clinical Systems, Encycle Therapeutics, Kapplex, QD Solar, ScarX Therapeutics and Vasomune Therapeutics. He manages their financial reporting and compliance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).

Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Abu was an accountant at MaRS Discovery District, where he managed cash flow forecasting and assisted in reconciling internal company accounts. He also worked with management and co-workers to improve financial policies and procedures within the organization.

Abu holds a B. Com from Ryerson University and earned his Chartered Professional Accounting (CPA) designation while working at MaRS Discovery District.

Return to top.
Photo of Parimal Nathwani
Vice-President, Life Sciences
Work Phone: 647-260-7873

Biographical Info

Parimal Nathwani has over 15 years of experience in various aspects of the biotechnology industry, including corporate finance, business development, transactions, intellectual property management, technology development and operations. He has been actively involved in forming and managing start-ups, preparing and executing on business plans, raising early-stage capital, and in- and out-licensing activities.

Before joining MaRS Innovation, Parimal was a healthcare analyst with a boutique investment bank, where he conducted equity research on publicly-traded biotechnology companies in Canada and the U.S. He has also led commercialization activities out of BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital as part of his role at the University of British Columbia’s Industry Liaison Office, and was a research scientist at a start-up biotechnology company involved in drug discovery targeting ABC Transporters.

Parimal received his MBA from Simon Fraser University and his M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.  He currently sits on the board of ScarX Therapeutics (Chairman), Zucara Therapeutics, and is an observer on the boards of Encycle Therapeutics and Vasomune Therapeutics.

Return to top.
Photo of Ben Rogers
Director, Technology Transfer & Scouting
Work Phone: 647-260-7861

Biographical Info

Ben created and directs MaRS Innovation’s Technology Transfer & Scouting department, which provides on-site intellectual property identification, protection and commercialization services to several MaRS Innovation member institutions, including Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and York University.

Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Ben began his commercialization career with a dual internship at the Canadian Arthritis Network and Mount Sinai Hospital through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research‘s Commercialization Management program. He continued at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Office of Technology Transfer & Industrial Liaison as a business development manager, where he was responsible for business planning, marketing and license negotiation for a portfolio of therapeutics and diagnostics technologies.

Ben holds a B.Sc. in Science and Business and an MBET (Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology) from the University of Waterloo.

Return to top.
Photo of Samir Sahoo
Technology and Venture Development Manager
Work Phone: 647-260-7831

Biographical Info

Samir has been working in the Healthcare/Medical Device space for over 7 years and has worked with a number of start-up companies in Microfluidics, Diagnostics and Healthcare IT. He has been responsible for in-depth due diligence with Health businesses and startups.  More recently he has been working in the orthopaedics and musculoskeletal space in US and Canada, managing Spinal Implants, Orthobiologics products and Surgical Power Tool portfolios at Zimmer. He was responsible for managing the overall P/L for his portfolios and making end-to-end business decisions which included: new product launches, customer relationship management, achieving revenue and profitability targets, sales training, surgeon education, capital investment and inventory management.

Over the last 5 years at Zimmer, Samir managed a number of high-visibility projects including a global portfolio rationalization project and a number of new product launches.

Samir has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and an MBA from Purdue University, Indiana, U.S. During the MBA program, Samir held several leadership positions, one of which was the President of Net Impact Purdue Chapter. In this role, he created sustainable hybrid business opportunities and developed experiential learning projects in healthcare and commercialization of a number of healthcare and green energy technologies.

Return to top.
Photo of Fazila Seker
Director, Technology & Venture Development
Work Phone: 647-260-7852

Biographical Info

As director, technology & venture development for the physical sciences, Fazila develops strategies for bridging emerging technologies to market and monetizing assets, assesses the business potential, and project manages their commercial implementation with a focus on medical imaging and healthcare markets.

She brings ten years of experience leading technology development and commercialization for GE and Xerox in electronic devices, systems and related materials. Prior to joining MI, Fazila advised a leading Canadian venture capital firm in structuring a new high-tech fund. She has served as invited reviewer and panelist for leading professional organizations in the U.S. and Canada, including the U.S. National Science Foundation and Ontario Society for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Fazila holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.Sc. in Chemical Physics from the University of Toronto.

Return to top.
Photo of Susanne Staer
Manager, Corporate Affairs
Work Phone: 647-260-7869

Biographical Info

Susanne oversees the office of the CEO and is the general office manager.  In addition, she is in charge of corporate governance and administration of the Board of Directors and the Board’s various governing and advisory committees.

Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Susanne was administrative assistant to two senior partners in a nation-wide law firm, in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities, and general corporate matters. Susanne also trained new administrative staff and was instrumental in setting up various internal intranet functions as they pertained to training and staff.

Susanne has an international administrative background through her work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, whereby she was posted to the Royal Danish Embassies in Moscow,  (then) USSR and Accra, Ghana.

Return to top.
Photo of Jackie Terry
Program Administrator, EA to the Vice-Presidents
Work Phone: 647-260-7870

Biographical Info

Jackie administers all aspects of MaRS Innovation’s Proof of Principle program, including calling for Letters of Intent, receiving and collating applications, convening expert review panels, communicating with principal investigators and technology transfer officers with regards to outcomes, metrics submission, quarterly updates and the flowing of funds.

Prior to joining MI, Jackie collaborated on and managed projects in the polymer characterization department of an organization that specialized in contract and service-based research, development and testing. Her specialties were innovative techniques for preparing and analyzing materials using various disciplines of microscopy, particularly scanning electron microscopy, mainly in the fields of materials characterization and failure analysis.

Jackie received her B. Sc. in Chemistry from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Return to top.
Photo of Dr. Michael Apkon
MBA, MD, PhD, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Biographical Info

Dr. Michael Apkon, MBA, MD, PhD, was appointed President and CEO for The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on January 1, 2014.

Dr. Apkon has a BSc degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University as well as MD and PhD degrees from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Prior to coming to SickKids, Dr. Apkon was senior vice president for Medical Affairs and the chief medical officer for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania as well as a practicing paediatric intensive care specialist.

Dr. Apkon also served in leadership roles at Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Health System, including executive director for Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and as a faculty member for Yale School of Medicine and the Yale School of Management.

As a healthcare executive, Dr. Apkon has led systems development and improvement to drive high quality and safe care, improve clinical operations, and promote an integrated approach to healthcare across a continuum of services. His academic interests include using technology to enhance safety and the application of operations management tools to enhance performance.

Return to top.
Photo of Jessica Chutter
Managing Director, Chairman of Biotechnology Investment Banking, Morgan Stanley

Biographical Info

Jessica is the managing director and chairman of Biotechnology Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley. During Jessica’s 30-year career of building Morgan Stanley’s biotechnology franchise, she has been responsible for $30 billion of capital raising and $65B of strategic transactions. In 2017, transactions include leading financings for Axovant, Biohaven, Editas, Galapagos, RegenxBio and Syndax, aggregating $1Bn in proceeds.  Previous strategic transactions include advising Cubist on its $9.5Bn sale to Merck, Pharmasset on its $11Bn sale to Gilead and Elan on its $8.6Bn sale to Perrigo. She has also been involved in the creation of a new asset class involving royalty-backed debt (PhaRMA) where over $16 billion has been raised.

Jessica has a BA in Commerce/Honours Economics from McGill University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Return to top.
Photo of Denis Godin
Program Deputy DirectorNetworks of Centres of Excellence

Biographical Info

Denis Godin is currently Program Deputy Director with the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Secretariat, responsible for the Centres of Excellence and Commercialization of Research (CECR) and Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) programs.

Previously, over a span of 10 years within NSERC, his portfolio has included assignments in the Manufacturing, Communications and Technologies Division in Research Partnerships as well as the Corporate and Regional Development Division, supporting the deployment of NSERC’s Regional Offices.

Denis earned both a MSc and a PhD from Université Laval in Experimental Medicine and worked for three years for the joint Emory University – Georgia Tech Cardiology & Biomedical Engineering Program in Atlanta, GA. Leaving the medical world behind, Denis then pursued his career managing R&D and product development activities in the bio/chemical sensing and defense industries before joining NSERC.

Return to top.
Photo of Dr. Vivek Goel
PhD, Vice President, Research and Innovation, University of Toronto

Biographical Info

Professor Vivek Goel was appointed Vice President, Research and Innovation of the University of Toronto in December, 2014. Professor Goel is a distinguished scholar with an extensive background in teaching, research and university administration. He obtained his medical degree from McGill University and completed post-graduate medical training in Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Goel obtained an M.Sc. in Community Health from U of T and an M.Sc. in Biostatistics from Harvard University’s School of Public Health. His research has focussed on health services evaluation.   He was a founding scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), where he continues as an Adjunct Senior Scientist.

Professor Goel joined the University of Toronto in 1991 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics. He was chair of the Department of Health Administration in the Faculty of Medicine from 1999 until 2001, then served as Vice-Provost, Faculty and subsequently was the University’s Vice President and Provost from 2004 until 2008. He was founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario from 2008 until 2014, where he was highly successful in building an academic public health services agency that provided scientific and technical advice to front-line practitioners. Prior to rejoining U of T he served as Chief Academic Strategist with Coursera, a global platform that connects universities and learners with online courses.

Return to top.
Photo of Angus J. Grant PhD
Corporate Vice President, Business Development, Celgene Corporation

Biographical Info

Angus Grant joined Celgene as Vice President North American Regulatory Affairs in 2006, in the Summit NJ Headquarters.  In 2008, Angus moved to London as Head of Europe RA for 3 years. Angus returned to the Summit NJ Headquarters as VP, Business Development and Global Alliances, in 2011, where he has since completed multiple innovative deals and has in tandem built the Alliance Management function, which now manages over 50 collaborations and investments with pharmaceutical and biotech partners.

Prior to joining Celgene, Angus held positions as Executive Director for Alliance Management for Novartis Oncology, and positions of increasing responsibility in Regulatory Affairs for Merck KGaA/EMD, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals.  Prior to working in industry, Angus served as a Senior Staff  Fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics, and conducted his post-doctoral research in immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute. Angus received his Ph.D. in Anatomy & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia.

Return to top.
Photo of Douglas Heintzman
Consultant, Technology Strategist

Biographical Info

Douglas Heintzman is currently the practice lead for Blockchain technology at the Burnie Group, a management and technology consultancy firm. He is focused on driving digital health technologies, specifically automation and Blockchain into healthcare with the intent of delivering better patient outcomes more cost effectively. He has been in the IT industry for 28 years. He has been an entrepreneur in the Mobile Context Adaptive space and  was at IBM for 25 years, mostly as a headquarters world wide strategy executive.   He has deep experience in M&A and intellectual property management.

He also served as IBM’s chief open source officer, as the sponsorship executive of the ACM International Computer Programming Conference, and was chairman of the board of the SyncML initiative.

Douglas has been a consultant and advisor to companies all over the world, has been a policy advisor and expert witness for the European Community, and the US and Canadian governments.  He has been a frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences.

He has also been a researcher and author focusing on disruptive technologies and investment ecosystem development.

Return to top.
Photo of Dr. Robert Howard
MD, MBA, President and CEO, St. Michael’s Hospital

Biographical Info

Robert (Bob) Howard is the president and Chief Executive Officer of St. Michael’s Hospital, a teaching and research hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.  Affectionately known as the Urban Angel, St. Michael’s is renowned for providing exceptional care to homeless, disadvantaged and the province’s most critically ill patients.

Dr. Howard is a cardiologist with a passion for excellence in healthcare management and a vision for quality improvement and innovation.  He has made it a cornerstone of the hospital’s strategic plan and his work in this area is setting the benchmark across Ontario.

Under Dr. Howard’s leadership, St. Michael’s officially opened the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and the Keenan Research Centre. The hospital has also begun construction on a major transformation project, which will include the 17-storey Peter Gilgan patient care tower, and extensive renovations like the expanded state-of-the-art Slaight Family Emergency Department.  This revitalization of the hospital’s facilities will position it to be the premier critical care hospital in Canada.

Dr. Howard is also active in the broader healthcare community. Notable examples include his roles as chair of the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN) and executive member of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO).  He is also a board member for the Michener Institute of Technology, the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) and the Health Force Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency (HFO-MRA).

Dr. Howard has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto, a medical degree from McMaster University, and an executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. He is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Return to top.
Photo of Michael H. May
CEO, Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM)

Biographical Info


Michael May is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for
Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine
(CCRM) a Canadian, federally
incorporated, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the
development of foundational technologies that accelerate the
commercialization of stem cell – and biomaterials – based technologies.

Prior to CCRM, Michael was the president, and co-founder of Rimon
Therapeutics Ltd.
, a Toronto-based regenerative medicine company
developing novel medical polymers that possess drug-like activity.

Dr. May completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto in
1998 as an NSERC Scholar and was awarded the Martin Walmsley
Fellowship for Technological Entrepreneurship in recognition of company
creation from academic discovery.

Michael sits on a number of boards and advisory committees including: MaRS Innovation, 20/20 Vision, a centre of excellence for biomaterials in ophthalmology, the Biozone and Bioproducts + Enzymes from Environmental Metagenomes Commercialization Committee and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, at the University of Toronto.

Return to top.
Photo of Timothy H. Penner
Chair, Board of Directors. Retired President and CEO, Proctor & Gamble

Biographical Info

Tim Penner recently retired from his position as president and CEO of Proctor & Gamble Inc. after 33 years of service.

From 1993 to 1996, he was vice-president of Proctor & Gamble‘s health and beauty care business in the United Kingdom. From 1996 to 1999, Penner was vice-president of Proctor & Gamble’s North American tissue/towel business, which was based in the United States. He returned to Canada in 1999 as President of Proctor & Gamble Inc.

Throughout his career, Penner has served on various community, educational and professional committees. He currently serves as director of The Conference Board of Canada and of Intact Financial Corporation, and is a board member of the Youth Challenge Fund and YMCA of Greater Toronto. He was chair of the United Way of Greater Toronto 2007 campaign, and served as honorary chair for Career Bridge, an internship program that links professional-level immigrants with Canadian employers.

He is a member of the International Advisory Council, Schulich School of Business (York University) and of the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress at the Institute on Competitiveness and Prosperity.

Penner graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University; he joined the Hospital for Sick Children‘s Board of Trustees in 2012.

Return to top.
Photo of Mario Piccinin

Biographical Info

Mario is an Audit Partner and the Greater Toronto Area Life Science Leader at EY with 26 years of experience providing audit and business advisory services to private and public companies in a variety of industries.

His practice is focused on Life Science companies including Healthcare, Diagnostic, Med Tech, Pharma and Biotechnology companies.

Mario has had extensive hands on experience working with companies in all aspects of their life cycles, from start-up to mature organizations, helping them achieve their goals.

Professional Affiliations

Treasurer of Life Sciences Ontario

Board Member of St. Joseph’s Health Centre


Chartered Accountant, Ontario

Bachelor of Business Administration, York University (1988)

Masters of Business Administration, York University (1989)

Return to top.
Photo of Dr. Peter Pisters
President and CEOUniversity Health Network (UHN)

Biographical Info

Dr. Peter Pisters is the President and CEO of University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Ontario: Canada’s premier academic medical centre. UHN is an integrated health, research and education system that includes Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN.  UHN’s ten clinical programs, five research institutes, and nine educational centres of excellence are global resources for innovation, discovery, and learning across the spectrum of health care and life sciences.

Dr. Pisters is an internationally known health system leader and academic surgeon, and is currently a Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining UHN, he spent 20 years at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as a tenured faculty member in a number of clinical, administrative and leadership positions. Dr. Pisters served as a Vice-President with leadership over MD Anderson’s regional expansion strategy and multi-site metropolitan Houston operations.

A graduate of Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Dr. Pisters completed his internship and residency at New York University Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital.  He spent four years as a research and clinical fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.  Dr. Pisters holds a Master’s degree in Health Care Management from Harvard University and is a 2015 Executive Fellow in the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Return to top.
Photo of Salim Teja
President, Ventures – MaRS Discovery District

Biographical Info

Salim Teja is President, Venture Services, for MaRS Discovery District, where he leads the overall strategic direction of MaRS’ three venture services areas: Health, ICT and Cleantech. He is an experienced entrepreneur and active early-stage technology investor, with deep industry expertise in software and digital media.

Salim joined MaRS in May 2013, providing strategic direction and leadership for MaRS’ ICT venture services group, leading corporate and venture capital engagement, and overseeing MaRS’ expanding international collaborations in the ICT sector. In this role, he has also provided direction to MaRS’ JOLT accelerator, overseen entrepreneurship initiatives with academic partners in the ICT arena, and has been responsible for the MaRS Commons, an 8,500-square-foot co-working space for entrepreneurs in the ICT sector.

Salim joined MaRS from Indigo Books & Music, where, as Vice President of Corporate Development, he drove the formation of the company’s Digital Innovation Lab. Prior to Indigo, Salim held the position of Chief Operating Officer at CX Digital, a leading online ad network.

He has also held roles as Chief Operating Officer of b5media and Partner with early-stage VC firm Brightspark Ventures, where he was the driving force behind investments, including Radian6 (recently acquired by He was also Co-founder and Vice President of Sales and Business Development for San Francisco-based MobShop Inc., a pioneer in online group-buying funded by GE Capital, Visa International, Mayfield Fund and Marc Andreessen.

He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business.

Return to top.