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Governance

CellCAN is supported by a robust governance structure, including appropriate oversight of management, to ensure rigor, effectiveness and accountability in achieving its mission and strategic goals as a multi-centered and multi-disciplinary organization.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the principal governing body of CellCAN and its primary role is to provide overall strategic guidance. It provides high-level direction of the organization to ensure the achievement of its mission and objectives are in line with its values and beliefs. The Board is also responsible for ensuring the organization’s financials are managed according to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Industry Canada standards.

Members of the Board of Directors are prominent individuals in the field of governance, finance, law and communications. They are: 

William Brock

William Brock, Chair 

Mr. William Brock is a partner in the Litigation practice at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. In September 2004, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, seven years after his father’s death from the same diagnosis. Mr. Brock survived thanks to the skill and care of the doctors and nurses at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal and a bone marrow transplant from his brother. After his recovery, he helped establish The Fund for Education and Research into Blood Cancers. In the spring of 2010 he cycled across Europe to celebrate the five-year anniversary of his transplant and to raise money for the Fund. He has produced the book Portraits of Hope to support the Fund and to give hope to those suffering from blood cancers. In March 2015, he launched the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplants.

Fiona Fitzgerald, Vice-Chair

Fiona Fitzgerald is currently the National Zone Leader for GE Healthcare Canada, Life Science. She has accountability for all the commercial products in Canada across the Research, BioProcess, Cell Technology and Service portfolios. She has been employed with GE in Canada since 1995. She also worked in the UK and the US with GE. She has long been involved with Academic/Industrial partnerships since her first role technology transfer liaison for Cambridge University and GE. Along with a Bachelor degree in Applied Biochemical Sciences, she also has a post graduate Diploma in Management Sciences. She is also a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Fiona has sat on various Government of Canada Federal committees including NSERC`s CREATE program and several NSERC Centre of Excellence Evaluation committees. In 2014, she chaired the CREATE committee. She currently holds three board memberships in CIMTEC, MDCC and on the Advisory Board for the Centre of Bioengineering and Biotechnology in Waterloo University. For short-term, Fiona’s mission is to better develop the Life Sciences portfolio of GE in Canada. In order to achieve that goal, she is actively contributing to stem cell, monoclonal antibody development, inflammation and infectious diseases partnerships. She is also an active mentor of the GE Women’s group. As a mentor in GE, she helps junior level women in the organization find their career path.

Jean Picard

Jean Picard, Secretary-Treasurer

Jean Picard is a partner and co-founder of the Pluridis Group, a firm offering consulting and management services to businesses. His career in consulting extends over 30 years. His fields of specialty include performance management, planning and management control and governance. Among his achievements, he introduced and applied the methodology of value-for-money audits in the health sector; such projects were conducted in several hospitals in various regions in Quebec. He also directed many engagements relative to health and research management for different faculties and entities at McGill University, including the Office of Technology Transfer. In recent years, he has advised senior executives of non for profit organizations in strategic planning and development of action plan to achieve objectives. In his volunteer activities, he has been a member of Boards for several organizations. Mr. Picard holds a master’s degree in Commercial Sciences from HEC Montréal. He is a member of the Quebec Order of Certified Professional Accountants.

 Lambert Busque

Lambert Busque

Dr Lambert Busque is a practicing hematologist at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR), and serves as Chief of Molecular diagnostic and Chief of HMR's Diagnostic Program of Medical biology. He sits on several Quebec government regulatory committees such as the Institut National d'Excellence en Santé et Services Sociaux (INESSS). He is the co-founder of the Quebec CML Registry and a founder and current president of the non-for-profit organization GQR-LCM/NMP (Groupe québécois de recherche en leucémie myéloide chronique et en néoplasies myéloprolifératives) where he successfully built a network comprising 20 oncology centers in the province of Quebec. As Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of C3i, Lambert will bring a unique blend of expertise inscience, business, management, clinic, reimbursement, network building, and raising public and private funding. These aspects are essential to the successful implementation of clinically relevant solutions for cancer immunotherapy within the C3i program.

 

Annie Fréchette (newly elected)

 She is a commercial leader in the Pharmaceutical industry. She is currently the Director of the Cell Therapy Unit at Novartis Oncology. She is passionate about making a difference in the life of cancer patients by bringing breakthrough innovations to reality. She launched multiple cancer drugs in the past decade. Starting in May 2017, she orchestrated the introduction of transformative new therapy, tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah), the first CAR-T treatment every approved in Canada. She rapidly embraced the challenge of building a new commercial model and she helped prepare the path with the cross-functional extended team for launching this disruptive therapy in a responsible and sustainable manner into the Canadian health care environment. She is grateful and inspired every day by the solutions that the team is bringing and implementing to support the work of amazing health care teams who are saving lives.  She studied Business and marketing at the University of Sherbrooke and did completed recently an Advanced Management Program at IAE Business School in Buenos Aires in Argentina. 

Dr Armand Keating 

Armand Keating

Dr Armand Keating is Director of the Cell Therapy Program at the University Health Network in Toronto. He obtained his MD degree from the University of Ottawa, completed internal medicine and hematology training at the University of Toronto and a research fellowship at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr Keating's clinical and research interests focus on anti-cancer cell therapy, blood and marrow transplantation, leukemia, lymphoma and regenerative medicine. In 1986, he established the University of Toronto Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. Dr Keating has served on and chaired many research review panels, including for the US National Cancer Institute, the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dr Keating is on the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals. He is a founding member of CellCAN and Chair of CellCAN's Steering Committee.

 Michael May

Michael May

Michael May is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), a Canadian, not-for-profit that develops technologies and launches new companies by supporting both academic and industry activities in the field of regenerative medicine, including cell and gene therapy. Prior to CCRM, Michael was the President, and co-founder, of Rimon Therapeutics Ltd., a Toronto-based tissue engineering company developing novel medical polymers that possess drug-like activity.

Michael sits on a number of boards and advisory committees including: the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB); the Entrepreneurship Leadership Council at the University of Toronto; the TO Health! Human & Science Steering Committee; the Cell and Gene Therapy Insights, Editorial Advisory Board; the Industry Committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR); and the Executive Committee, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM). He is the Chairman of the start-up company: ExCellThera Ltd.

 

Eileen Raymond (newly elected)

Currently Business Advisor for the Human Health Therapeutics at NCR, she is an expert in strategic planning, technology transfer and successful innovation in the areas of biotechnology and new biologics medicines. She masters the art of establishing fruitful partnerships through active listening, win-win negotiation skills and creative out of the box solutions. Through the years, on the national scene, she co-led initiatives and consultations in biopharma and biomanufacturing. She still actively participates to multi-partners funding proposals in these areas. For strategic planning, using Technology Management knowledge, Eileen was involved in more than 50 technology-based business models and led critical business plans development for various NRC programs in life sciences (LS). Seven years ago, the Biologics program was first to be approved using new NRC industry-driven criteria. Recent audits and external evaluations ranked it very high for its impact in Canada.

In the last 20 years, always in that business mindset, for technology transfer, Eileen chaired multi-disciplinary intellectual property (IP) committees in biologics, cell and gene therapy, bioprocess and environment. She enabled increasing value of NRC’s assets portfolio and its relevance for Canadian biotech industry. Mid-way, the organization implemented this IP committee structure as a best practice for all its Research Centres. In addition, Eileen softly imposed her integrated early stage market assessment approach and marketing tactics. She wants to anchor on identified enduring needs and capitalize on distinctive core competencies positioning. It resulted in more selective protection efforts for assets and technology platforms leaving knowledge building publication material more freely disclosed. It also balanced successful technology transfer and innovation with a limited budget envelop management.

 

Dr Denis Claude Roy

Denis Claude Roy

Dr Denis Claude Roy is the Director of the Cellular Therapy Laboratory and the Scientific Director of the Centre de recherche Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, the Chief Executive Officer of CellCAN as well as a full professor at the Université de Montréal and an adjunct professor at McGill University. Dr Roy received his MD from the Université de Montréal and held a postdoctoral fellowship in tumor immunology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University. His research interests focus on the immunobiology of stem cell transplantation, and particularly on the treatment of stem cell grafts to eliminate risks of graft rejection and optimize their anti-cancer activity. He has published some 100 original articles and book chapters in prestigious journals and has trained more than fifty-five students, MSc, PhD and post-docs. He has also been on numerous scientific review panels. 

Three bodies support the Board in the fulfilment of its duties.

Management Team

The CEO is responsible for the management of CellCAN with the support of a Steering Committee and an International Scientific Advisory Committee. CellCAN’s organizational structure benefits from the synergies that exist between members and their respective collaborators. The management team provides operational and administrative leadership to ensure control and accountability on a day-to-day basis.

All operational activities are overseen and administered by a Management Team who will report to the CEO.

  • Dr Denis Claude Roy - Chief Executive Officer
  • Vanessa Laflamme - Chief Operating Officer
  • Craig Hasilo - Chief Scientific Officer
  • Marie-Christina Aon - Chief Business and Learning Officer
  • Leah Kesselman - Scientific Knowledge Manager
  • Fanny Laferrière - Accounting and Administrative Technician

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee advises the CEO on the elaboration and execution of strategies for attaining CellCAN's mission and vision.

The Committee is composed of the directors of the cell therapy centres as well as of the two core facilities, CellCAN's main Network Affiliates:

  • Armand Keating, Chairman of the Steering Committee, Director, Cell Therapy Program, University Health Network
  • Greg Korbutt, Scientific Director, Alberta Cell Therapy Manufacturing, University of Alberta
  • Gayle Piat, Project Manager, Alberta Cell Therapy Manufacturing, University of Alberta
  • Denis Claude Roy, Medical Director, Centre d’Excellence en Thérapie Cellulaire, CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
  • Martin Giroux, Director of Operations, Centre d’Excellence en Thérapie Cellulaire, CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
  • Bartha M. Knoppers, Director, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University
  • Erika Kleiderman, Academic Associate, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University
  • Lucie Germain, Scientific Director, Centre de recherche en organogénèse expérimentale de l’Université Laval / LOEX
  • Friederike Pfau, Project Manager, Centre de recherche en organogénèse expérimentale de l’Université Laval / LOEX
  • Duncan Stewart, CEO & Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • David Courtman, Director, Cell Manufacturing, Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • James Piret, Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia
  • Sowmya Viswanathan, Affiliate Scientist, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network

International Scientific Advisory Committee

The International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) is an external advisory panel established to assure the relevance and quality of the science used within CellCAN. The ISAC advises on emerging science and technology trends, challenges and opportunities in national and international contexts of cell and tissue therapies. The ISAC will advise the CEO on research orientation. It will also advise on scientific and business partnership opportunities and linkages; as well as the science underpinning specific issues brought before the ISAC.

This committee is composed of external renowned experts and researchers:

  • Jerome Ritz, Executive Director, Connell O’Reilly Cell Manipulation, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Adrian Gee, Director, Clinical Applications Lab, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Philippe Hénon, President and Scientific Director, CellProthera
  • Geoffrey Lomax, Senior Officer, CIRM Strategic Infrastructure 
Connect with a network of Canadian researchers, clinicians, regulatory experts and HQP from coast to coast, through our platforms, workshops and events.

13 NETWORK AFFILIATES. 25 PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS. 181 NETWORK COLLABORATORS.