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Life Sciences Ontario Announces Recipients of 2018 LSO Awards

TORONTO– LSO today announced the recipients of its 2018 LSO Awards, recognizing outstanding individuals and companies contributing to the success of Ontario’s life sciences sector. The awards will be presented during LSO’s Celebration of Success Awards Dinner at Toronto’s Liberty Grand, February 28, 2018.

The 2018 awardees are as follows:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ilse Treurnicht, Former CEO, MaRS Discovery District
  • Community Service Award: George Mallay, Past General Manager, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
  • Volunteer Award: Shanna Brisebois, Manager, Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
  • Life Science Company of the Year: Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The LSO Awards are an important part of the organization’s mandate to advocate for Ontario’s life sciences sector, by celebrating the individuals and companies behind its success.

“This year’s LSO Award recipients represent an outstanding group of Ontario life sciences innovators who have made an enormous impact on our sector,” says LSO President and CEO Jason Field. “Ontario’s life sciences sector holds the key to our economic and social prosperity – and it is fueled by the contributions of talented and hardworking individuals.”

To register for LSO’s 2018 Celebration of Success Awards Dinner, click here.

To explore sponsorship opportunities, contact:


Ilse Treurnicht, Former CEO, MaRS Discovery District

Lifetime Achievement Award

For the past 12 years, Ilse Treurnicht has overseen the development of the MaRS Centre, an innovation hub located in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District, as well as the launch and growth of MaRS’ broad suite of programs and partnerships. Today, the 1.5-million-sq.-ft. facility offers specialized infrastructure to leading research groups, startups and young scaling firms, multinational businesses and investors – drawing 6,000 people from 150+ organizations to work there every day.

MaRS supports innovators and entrepreneurs building high-impact growth businesses, providing connections to critical talent, capital, and customer networks. In addition, MaRS works with partners to accelerate the adoption and diffusion of innovation in regulated sectors, with a special focus on modernizing procurement, liberating data, and developing outcomes-based funding models in the health sector.

Ilse joined MaRS in 2005 from her role as CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund. She has been a research scientist and entrepreneur, with senior roles in a number of emerging technology companies. She was Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance in 2010 and served on the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), and is a member of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth. She chairs the board of Triphase Accelerator Corporation, a cancer drug development firm.

Ilse holds a DPhil in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

George Mallay, Past General Manager, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership

Community Service Award

George Mallay has more than 30 years’ experience in the economic development profession, including strategy, marketing, land and real estate development, venture financing, and entrepreneurship. He helped facilitate thousands of jobs and several billion dollars in new capital investment, and develop high tech/cluster support infrastructure for the Sarnia-Lambton hybrid chemistry cluster and Ottawa technology complex.

George recently retired after 21 years as General Manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership. He played a leading role in establishing the award-winning Western Sarnia-Lambton Research and Development Park. He has also been a Board member of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada since its inception, advocating for development of the hybrid chemistry complex, and was the catalyst behind the Sarnia-Lambton Industrial Alliance.

George is past co-chair of the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative and has served on the Lambton College Foundation Board, Bluewater Technology Access Center, RAIL, and the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce. In 2016 he also served as chair of the Ontario Cleantech Alliance. He holds degrees in economic geography and urban planning, as well as an MBA.

Shanna Brisebois, Manager, Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

Volunteer Award

Shanna Brisebois is Manager of Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. In this role, Shanna works with government, industry, and patient groups to strengthen Ontario’s life science ecosystem and ensure patients have access to the medication they need to improve their lives.

Prior to joining Novartis, Shanna led communications at de Souza Institute, a not-for-profit in oncology continuing education. While in government, Shanna held a number of senior positions in the ministries of Health Promotion, Municipal Affairs and Housing and Infrastructure. Shanna also worked as a public affairs consultant at Fleishman-Hillard as an Associate Vice-President representing the health and life sciences sectors.

Shanna is passionate about community engagement and building a strong Ontario. She was part of the team that successfully won the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid. Shanna was also part of the team in Ontario’s recent BIO bid. She is active in the community, sitting on various not-for-profit committees and groups, including United Way’s GenNext.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Life Sciences Company of the Year

Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company located in Hamilton, Ontario, focused on becoming the leader in the targeted alpha therapy field. Fusion, which is a spin out from McMaster University’s Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), exploits its unique expertise in linking medical isotopes to targeting molecules to create highly effective cancer therapeutics. In addition to its lead program, FPX-01, with a clinical trial planned for early 2018, Fusion is expanding its pipeline of products through a proprietary protein discovery platform, in-licensing targeting molecules and forming new strategic partnerships.

FPX-01 has been designed to deliver and internalize a lethal and highly localized radioactive payload into cancer cells. The precise targeting causes selective and extremely effective destruction of tumor cells at low doses. The recent marketing launch of Xofigo® (radium-223 dichloride), an alpha emitting agent for the treatment of bone metastases associated with mCRPC, has re-invigorated the radiopharmaceutical space and created demand for using alpha therapy for other cancers.

Fusion believes that FPX-01 will benefit from this positive market environment and defined regulatory pathway and, as FPX-01 has the capacity to treat a broad range of hard-to-treat cancers, it also has the potential to achieve significant commercial success.


Life Sciences Ontario is a member-driven organization that represents and promotes the province’s vibrant and diverse life sciences sector. LSO collaborates with governments, academia, industry, and other life science organizations in Ontario and across Canada to promote and encourage commercial success throughout the sector. Membership in Life Sciences Ontario includes individuals, students, emerging companies, investors, service providers, and companies with marketed products. The organization provides a wide range of networking and educational events, and operates a mentorship program that is helping to develop highly-skilled talent and build new business opportunities for the life sciences sector.LSO is an effective conduit for delivering policy options to governments, and is dedicated to promoting Ontario’s life sciences sector internationally.


Life Sciences Ontario
Melissa Hughes
Director, Marketing & Communications