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 (now TIAP-Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners) as President and CEO in June 2009. Dr. Hofstein retired from that position in 2020 and since then functions as an independent Life-Science executive and consultant.

Dr. Hofstein received his Bachelor in chemistry and physics from the Hebrew Universirty, Jerusalem. His PhD is in Life Sciences and Chemistry received from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

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.

Anne Woods, Member of the Executive Committee 

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.

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, Treasurer

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

Nicole DeKort is the President & CEO 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.

Jeff Graham

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.

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Lauren Fischer

Lauren is the Lead, Government Affairs at AbbVie Canada. She is a biopharmaceutical leader with experience leading teams accountable to achieve access to new medicines for Canadians, by securing drug plan coverage and fostering public policy receptive to innovative medicines. She has expertise across several areas: health technology assessment; price negotiation; stakeholder relations; government affairs and communications.

Ingrid Fung

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

John Haslam is the President and Founder of HEARD Consulting International, specializing in assisting companies with Rare Disease Medicines build winning go to market strategies in order to bring their innovation to Canadian patients. As Canadian General Manager, John built and led the Canadian operations for 2 major Rare Disease companies (Alexion & Horizon Therapeutics) over the past 12 years generating combined annual sales of $150M annually.

Jason Locklin

Jason Locklin is head of market access and government affairs and a member of the commercial leadership team at Astellas Pharma Canada Inc. With over 20 years of experience in vaccines, specialty pharmaceuticals and rare disease, Jason is a passionate advocate for life sciences and common-sense solutions to provide innovative treatments to patients.

Andrea Palmer

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.

Benjamin Rovinski

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.

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Carrie McElroy

Carrie McElroy is the Country Head of Market Access & Public Affairs at Sanofi Canada. With 22 years at Sanofi, Carrie has contributed to the organization across many leadership roles with a specialty in external affairs and as interim General Manager and Country Lead for a period in 2021.

Alexis Sciuk

Alexis Sciuk is the Canadian Health Care Solutions Lead for Pfizer Canada.  Ms. Sciuk is responsible for Pfizer’s Life Science Sector strategy. Much of her work focuses on supporting a healthy and vibrant life science ecosystem in Canada through partnerships with academic and life science organizations. Ms. Sciuk was previously the Director of Access and Government Relations for Pfizer. Ms. Sciuk has an undergraduate degree in political science from Queen’s University and an advanced degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University.”

Emily Titus

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 West

Bernard West holds BSc and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Manchester – UMIST, where he also taught for 6 years. He was CEO of CANSOLV Technologies of Montreal, President and COO, Canada Colors and Chemicals Limited. Prior and to that, he had 30 years of experience in the chemical industry with Rhone-Poulenc, Imperial Oil [ Esso ] and Polymer Corporation.


John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson is a member of the Board of Directors for Greenfield Global, a specialty alcohol producer.  Greenfield Global is the only Canadian producer of USP pharmaceutical grade alcohol serving the Life Sciences Sector in both Canada, the US and the EU.  In addition, Greenfield is the largest ethanol biofuel producer in Canada.  John formerly served as their Senior Vice President, Sustainability and focused his efforts on reducing the carbon intensity of Greenfield Global products at their five bio-refineries and four packaging plants located throughout North America and the EU.

Russell Williams

Russell is Senior Vice President, Mission with Diabetes Canada. He  leads mission strategy, programs and initiatives . These include advocacy, policy, research , HCP( Health Care Professional) education and support, as well as patient knowledge and connection. The national organization advances improvements in the quality of life of people with Diabetes. Diabetes Canada has been successful in securing government commitment to a nation-wide comprehensive diabetes strategy.