P15: Student Entrepreneurs as a Knowledge Vehicle

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Ministry of Research and Innovation


President and CEO
Genome Canada

Pierre Meulien was appointed President and CEO of Genome Canada on October 18, 2010. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Meulien served as Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia from 2007 to 2010 where he promoted the organization's ongoing scientific strategy, focusing on the science of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics within the larger realm of biotechnology and life sciences. Facilitating the translation of genome based technologies into end user communities across many life science sectors was also a key responsibility.

From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Meulien served as the founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland) which linked the three medical schools and six teaching hospitals in Dublin to build a critical mass in molecular medicine and translational research. The Centre managed the Euro 45 Million "Program for Human Genomics" financed by the Irish government and was responsible for coordinating the successful application for the first Wellcome Trust funded Clinical Research Centre to be set up in Ireland.

For over 20 years, Dr. Meulien has managed expert research teams with a number of organizations, including Aventis Pasteur in Toronto (Senior Vice President of R&D), and in Lyon, France (Director of Research). He also spent seven years with the French biotechnology company Transgene in Strasbourg, France as a research scientist and part of the management team.

Dr. Meulien's academic credentials include a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and a post-doctoral appointment at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Academic Director and Senior Scientist
Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences

Dr. Jennifer Ryan is Academic Director and Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences. She holds cross-appointment positions as Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and is an Adjunct Scientist at St. John's Rehab. She holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory.

Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM)
Research, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Division serving the Ministry of Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

Bill Mantel is the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of the Research, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Division serving the Ministry of Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. In his role as ADM, Bill oversees the delivery of key ministry programs and initiatives focused on supporting Ontario’s research excellence, commercialization networks, and entrepreneurial expertise.

Previously, as Director of the ministry’s Commercialization Branch, Bill was responsible for implementing a wide range of strategies and programs that accelerate growth in Ontario’s knowledge-intensive industries; namely, harnessing and integrating Ontario’s public and private innovation capacity by creating a provincial innovation network that builds on provincial and regional strengths.

From 1999 to 2005, as Director of the Life Sciences and Technology Branch, Bill led the development and implementation of provincial initiatives in the bio-technology and health industries, including medical and assistive technologies. While in this role, he oversaw the establishment of key organizations such as the MaRS Discovery District and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR).

Since joining the Ontario Public Service in 1987, Bill has held a number of progressively responsible positions in Cabinet Office and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, focused on the development and implementation of key provincial policy and program initiatives. Significant accomplishments include supporting the Red Tape Review Commission, creation of an Ontario private-sector led farm finance policy designed to increase access to risk and operating capital, implementation of the province-wide restructuring of farm property taxation, and growth development of the Agricultural Commodity Corporation as a member of the Board.

Bill holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture and Business.

Ph.D. candidate

Interested in a career in biotechnology, Meghan Verstraete pursued her first two years of post-secondary education at the University of Victoria, then transferred to and completed her B.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia. During her undergraduate degree, Meghan immersed herself in the research environment completing two NSERC undergraduate summer research awards. Following graduation, Meghan began graduate studies in Dr. Michael Murphy’s lab at UBC where she received an NSERC CGS M award. She is currently studying iron acquisition by Staphylococcus aureus and learning techniques in protein crystallography. Recently, entrepreneurship has sparked Meghan's interest following participation in a genomics entrepreneurship workshop held by the genomics.entrepreneurship program at UBC. Meghan has also become involved in a start-up company focused on the biosynthetic production of pharmaceutical intermediates.

Ph.D. candidate
BEST in genomics! Université Laval

With no background in science before entering the university (she used to work in project management), Véronique Cloutier has quickly shown a great potential. Even as an undergrad newcomer in the field of biology, she was supported by two NSERC grants and involved in several research assistant positions. During that time, she also had the opportunity to present in several conferences, and even published a peer-reviewed paper as first author. She designed her doctoral project while she was completing her Bachelor degree. Due to her exceptional talents and potential, Mrs. Cloutier was allowed to directly enter the Ph.D. program after her undergraduate studies.

Meanwhile, Véronique has organized and lead several communications and research projects in the field, monitoring the work of various teams. Without a doubt, her swift progression in the last five years is an indicator of the successes to come, and she displays several of the attitudes and assets observed among successful academic entrepreneurs. Supported and coached by BEST in genomics! for less than one year, Mrs. Cloutier is a very promising young scientist, now involved in both fundamental and applied research on hypogeous fungi (which includes truffles). Her goal: prove us of the existence and commercial potential of the boreal truffle, growing in the Quebec wilderness.

Associate Professor
Université Laval

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Associate professor at Université Laval (Québec City), Dr. Garand is Associate Editor at “Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship - JSBE”. His research interests include HRM in SMEs (highly-qualified personnel), entrepreneurial vision, intent and strategies, cross-campus entrepreneurship education and coaching in UK, in Western Europe and North-America. From 2002 to 2007, he has created and implemented the Entrepreneurial Profile at Laval U., giving undergraduates enroled in 40 programs the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial competences and realistic project before they graduate. Until 2015, he will be leading a major innovative pilot study aiming to (1) raise awareness and promote entrepreneurship among life / health sciences academics and their graduate students, (2) support their socio-economic benefits applications and coach them towards potential commercialization of their discoveries. Funded (1.2M$) by Genome Canada, Genome Québec, several institutional and private partners, Boosting Entrepreneurial Skills & Training : BEST in genomics! promotes a coast-to-coast implementation of a more entrepreneurial culture among scientists

CEO and Co-Founder

Brennan McEachran is a recently graduate from the commerce program at Ryerson University and CEO and Co-Founder of SoapBox. SoapBox has recently been named “an emerging technology company to watch” by the City of Toronto. They operate out of the heart of Toronto at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone. Some of their clients include: Indigo Books & Music, RBC, Justin Trudeau, GlaxoSmithKline and Cisco.

Director of Research Innovation and Translation
Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences

Dr. Lisa Goos is the Director of Research Innovation and Translation at Baycrest. Lisa obtained her PhD in behavioural neuroscience from York University in 2004 and completed postdoctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Throughout her career, Lisa has worked to make scientific knowledge available and understandable to non-scientists, including teaching high school science, working with expert witnesses at the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto, and culminating in an authoritative manual on the use of DNA evidence in the judicial system. Since 2008, Lisa has worked to raise the profile of research and increase the application of innovation and inquiry within Baycrest's clinical and educational services. In 2012, she was seconded to the role of Director Strategic and Corporate Planning in order to support the creation of the new Baycrest strategic plan, in which research and innovation is a prime driver.

Vice President of Research and Innovation
Ryerson University

Dr. Wendy Cukier is Vice-President of Research and Innovation, Ryerson
University and founder of the Diversity Institute, Ryerson University.
Dr. Cukier has served as Associate Dean, Academic at Ryerson's Ted
Rogers Schoolof Management and currently teaches in the MBA in the
Management of Technology and Innovation (MTI). She is the coauthor of
the best seller Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to
Jurassic Park.

She holds a PhD in Management Science from York University (2002) and a
Masters degree in history and MBA from the University of Toronto as well
as honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia University. She was
named one of the "100 Alumni who shaped the Century" by the University
of Toronto . In 2011 she was named one of 25 Transformational Canadians
by the Globe and Mail/Lapresse/CTV. In 1999, she received the Governor
General's Meritorious Service Cross, one of Canada's highest Civilian