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 is a transformational leader with over 25 years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries. His extensive career includes
numerous senior leadership positions in multinationals like Novartis and Alcon as well as founding, running, and exiting a successful life sciences start-up venture.
Alison Symington, Vice-Chair
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.
Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein, Member of the Executive Committee
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.
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.
Manoj Pundit, Secretary
Manoj is Partner of Securities and Captial at Borden Ladner Gervais, and primarily advises clients in tech and emerging growth sectors. He regularly serves as lead counsel on complex domestic and international transactions.
Laura Sluce is an Audit Partner at EY. Laura has over 15 years of experience providing audit and business advisory services to public and private companies in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and technology
Nicole DeKort is the Vice-President of Ontario & Marketing for Medtech Canada – the industry association representing Canada’s Medical Technology Companies – pursuing opportunities to demonstrate the value of innovative medical technology to government, stakeholders and key partners in the health care system.
Prior to joining Medtech Canada, Nicole has a 15-year background in politics and government in a diverse portfolio of roles which includes working in opposition, in government (in both the Premier’s office and in Minister’s offices), and for the Ontario Liberal Party as Executive Director.
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.
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.
Ingrid is an Investment Director with Finistere Ventures located in Toronto, Ontario. She has spent the last decade in agtech innovation and entrepreneurship holding roles in business development, strategic advisory, technology development, and venture capital. Ingrid is actively involved with Finistere’s investments in EnkoChem, Hi Fidelity Genetics, Radicle Seed, and is a board observer for ZeaKal and Biolumic. Within the firm, her focus is on the application life sciences technologies within agriculture and food. Additionally, Ingrid led the creation of Finistere’s annual AgTech Review and Future AgTech R&D initiatives.
John Haslam is currently the Vice President and General Manager of Horizon Pharma Canada and currently is building out the Canadian operations. John ’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.
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.
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.
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.
Alexis is the Director of Access and Government Relations for Pfizer Canada. She leads a team responsible for the public and private market access of Pfizer’s diverse pipeline of innovative medicines and vaccines in Ontario. In addition, Alexis regularly contributes to public policy discussions and consultations in key areas around innovation and the life sciences.
Emily Titus, Ph.D.
Emily Titus is Vice President, Process Sciences at Notch Therapeutics. Previously, she was Vice President, Technology Advancement at CCRM, where she built cell reprogramming, genome engineering, and pluripotent stem cell differentiation programs and led the formation of Notch Therapeutics as part of CCRM’s company incubation program. Emily earned a Ph.D. from the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she used a combination of laboratory and bioinformatics approaches to define and interpret gene regulatory networks controlling embryonic stem cell fate decisions.
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.
Bronwynne holds a PhD in Rural Studies, a Masters of Science in Rural Planning/Landscape Architecture, in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. She is the Principal and Lead Consultant at Wilton Consulting Group in Guelph, Ontario where she and her team take a systems approach to solving problems and finding innovative solutions for the agri-food sector.
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.