Executives & Officers
Jason Field, President & CEO
Dr. Jason Field is the President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario (LSO), the industry voice for the life sciences sector in Ontario. Jason obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and his undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo. Following graduate school, Jason returned to Ontario and worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a research scientist developing scalable manufacturing processes of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Mark Smithyes, Chair
Mark was recently appointed President of Labtician Théa, a newly established joint venture between Labtician Ophthalmics and Laboratoires Théa. Labtician is a Canadian leader in bringing innovation to practice for Canadian eye care professionals while Théa is Europe’s largest family-owned ophthalmology company and leader in the development of preservative-free eye care treatments. As President, Mark is building the joint venture to leverage the strengths of both organizations to create Canada’s new leader in the preservative-free management of glaucoma, dry eye disease and lid hygiene.
John Kelly, Vice-Chair
Dr. John Kelly is CEO at KeliRo Company, with an emphasis on innovation, business development and international trade for life sciences companies. He is formerly Executive Vice President and CEO of the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association. Dr. Kelly has a wealth of experience in the private and public sector and has held executive positions with start-ups and multinational companies.
Ed Dybka, Vice-Chair
Ed Dybka is the General Manager at Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Canada Inc.. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all of Ipsen’s operations across all therapeutic areas in Canada He is also a member of the Ipsen North America Leadership Team and the Ipsen Global Leadership Team.
Susan Marlin, Member of the Executive Committee
Susan Marlin is the President and CEO of Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO), an organization established by the Province of Ontario in 2012 to make Ontario a preferred location for global clinical trials. Previously, she spent a decade working in research administration at Queen`s University, most recently as Associate Vice-Principal of Research.
Alison Symington, Member of the Executive Committee
Dr. Alison Symington provides consultancy services to a variety of industry and academic clients in the area of Life Science strategy, including proposal development and particularly at the interface of academia and industry. Previously Alison was the Vice President, Research and Corporate Development at Ontario Genomics where she was responsible for the development and management of large scale genomics projects as well as external stakeholder engagement.
Mario Piccinin, Treasurer
Mario Piccinin is an Audit Partner at EY with 25 years of experience providing audit and business advisory services to private and public companies in a variety of industries including biotechnology, medical device, life science, health care and technology. Mario has had extensive hands on experience working with companies in all aspects of their life cycles, helping clients achieve their goals.
Deborah has held executive positions as both President and Executive Vice President in Canada, the U.S., and Australia, of leading multinational pharmaceutical companies. She now serves as both a consultant to academia and the healthcare industry.
A native of Montreal, Ms. Chan began her career in academic research before joining Schering-Plough in 1993 as a Clinical Research Associate. Since then, she has worked in various areas of the business, primarily in Regulatory Affairs, Specialty Services and Medical Affairs.
Jeffrey Graham is the Senior Vice President, Head of Legal and Regulatory affairs at SkyPower Global, a company leading the renewable resource industry with utility-scale solar energy projects. Previously he held a position as partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Canada’s largest national law firm.
Ms. Lauren Fischer is the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Eli Lilly Canada Inc. In this role she is responsible for all aspects of corporate affairs including federal and provincial government affairs, policy development, provincial and private reimbursement, pricing, health economics, advocacy relations, communications, strategic partnerships and public affairs. Ms. Fischer is also a member of the Senior Management Team of Eli Lilly Canada.
John Haslam’s career in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry spans 28 years. John obtained his B.Sc. in Microbiology from University of Toronto and his M.B.A. from McMaster DeGroote School of Business. He has worked in positions of increasing responsibility in Sales and Marketing at Bayer Healthcare, Hoffmann La-Roche and Biogen Idec.
Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein
Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein joined MaRS Innovation as President and CEO in June 2009.
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 from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Jason Locklin is Director, Global Value, Access & Policy for Alexion Pharma and a member of the Canadian management team. Alexion is an innovative biotech company that researches and develops treatments for ultra-rare, life threatening diseases.
Dr. Benjamin Rovinski has 27 years of investment, operational, managerial and research experience in the healthcare sector. Beni joined Lumira Ventures in 2001, where he is a Managing Director, with an investment focus on mid-to late-stage private and public life sciences companies.
Sabina Steinkellner is the Chief Commercial Officer of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, the Canadian vaccine division of Sanofi. With more than 14 years’ experience at Sanofi Pasteur, Sabina has contributed to the organization within multiple markets and roles.
Bernard is currently Chair of the Board of Ontario BioAuto Council, Co-Chair of the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, Co-Chair of the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technologies in the National Research Council of Canada.
John Wilkinson is the Senior Vice President, Sustainability for Greenfield Global, a specialty alcohol producer. Greenfield Global is the only Canadian producer of pharmaceutical grade alcohol serving the Life Sciences Sector in Canada, the US and the EU, is the largest ethanol biofuel producer in Canada, as well as producing industrial and food grade alcohol for clients in over 50 countries world-wide.
As Senior Vice President, Russell advises, shapes, develops, executes, and delivers on strategic priorities with regard to policy development, government relations, and advocacy. He proactively addresses local and nation-wide issues relevant to diabetes; creates networks and alliances; and builds positive relationships, both internally and externally, including government representatives, policy makers, and other stakeholders.
Anne Woods is managing director of the Life Science and Healthcare practice for Silicon Valley Bank in Toronto where she is responsible for leading the bank’s efforts in this sector across Canada. In this role, she focuses on strengthening the bank’s position with leading-edge companies in Canada’s life science field.
Rocky Swanson is an associate in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and a member of the Securities and Capital Markets and Public Companies Group. Rocky was an articling student at BLG before joining the Firm as an associate in 2017.
Andrea Palmer is the Founder and CEO of Awake Labs, a digital health company working to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live healthier and more independently. Awake Labs works in the areas of care coordination, mental health, and human-centred care. Andrea is passionate about addressing the gaps in mental health care for vulnerable and underserved populations.