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Life Sciences Ontario Announces Recipients of 2023 LSO Awards

TORONTO — LSO today announced the recipients of its 2023 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 Presentation on May 17th , 2023 at the Liberty
Grand, Exhibition Place, Toronto.

The 2023 awardees are as follows:

• Lifetime Achievement Award: Dave Smardon
• Community Service Award: Brian Bloom and Jolyon Burton
• Volunteer Award: Wanda Deschamps
• Life Science Company of the Year: DNAstack

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.

“A strong and resilient life sciences sector has never been more important,” said LSO President and CEO
Dr. Jason Field. “Every year, LSO’s awards recognize important contributions to the life sciences. This
year’s award recipients represent excellence in research, innovation, and leadership across the life
sciences sector.”

More information will be posted shortly on sponsorships and tickets (click here) or you can contact us at


Dave Smardon, President & CEO, BioEnterprise Canada
Lifetime Achievement Award

Dave Smardon is CEO of Canada’s leading agri-tech accelerator and the visionary behind Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine. Under his guidance, Bioenterprise has been navigating the shifting Canadian landscape of food, agriculture, and clean technologies for over 20 years and has been bringing deep impact locally and internationally by supporting high-growth scaling innovations. Dave’s background includes early years with Apple Computer Inc., and Texas Instruments, his own entrepreneurial pursuits of two successful start-ups and being an angel investor. He remains a strong advocate for the creation and growth of Canada’s venture capital community and acts as an advisor for government, family offices, and investment companies.

His experience has led him to build a reputation of dependability and expertise, as well as a team of like-minded industry leaders and partners, guiding the Canadian agri-tech ecosystem into the new era of digitization, automation, and emerging disruptive technologies. Dave takes every opportunity to speak on the potential of agri-tech to adopt and expand emerging technologies, the importance of continued support and growth in the sector, and how the ecosystem can work together, through gateways like Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, to place Canadian innovation at the forefront of global development.

Brian Bloom, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bloom Burton & Co.
Community Service Award

Brian Bloom is a co-founder of Bloom Burton & Co. and serves as the firm’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. By forging unique relationships with international healthcare-specialized investors, Brian raises capital for Canadian healthcare companies while helping investors realize returns. Brian serves on the Board of Directors of Triumvira Immunologics, Appili Therapeutics, Satellos Bioscience and Qing Bile Therapeutics. Brian was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Grey Wolf Animal Health, a member of tthe Life Sciences Advisory Board at the National Research Council of Canada, the Dean’s Advisory Board at McMaster University and on the Board of Directors of BIOTECanada and the Baycrest Foundation.

Before co-founding Bloom Burton in 2008, Brian spent six years at Dundee Securities in the healthcare and biotechnology institutional sales and equity research groups. Brian started his career at New York-based investment banking firms SCO Financial Group and Molecular Securities. Brian received an Honors Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McMaster University and subsequently studied at the Mount Sinai Graduate School for Biological Sciences of New York University, with a focus in molecular endocrinology and biophysics. Brian is the proud recipient of the McMaster University 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award in Science.

Jolyon Burton, Co-founder, President and Head of Investment Banking, Bloom Burton & Co.
Community Service Award

Jolyon Burton is a co-founder of Bloom Burton & Co. and serves as the firm’s President and Head of Investment Banking. As trusted advisors to boards of directors, management teams, and professional and strategic investors, Jolyon and his team help structure and execute financial and capital markets strategies, mergers and acquisitions or other partnering transactions. The team has been directly involved in financings of over $5 billion as well as mergers and acquisitions transactions valued at more than $2.5 billion.

In the role immediately preceding the co-founding of Bloom Burton, Jolyon served as the Head of Healthcare & Biotechnology Investment Banking at an independent investment dealer. Jolyon started his career in roles that
helped internationally focused growth companies, both at Export Development Canada and at Global Affairs Canada, before moving into an investment banking career in Montreal with a global, independently-owned investment bank.

Jolyon serves on the Board of Directors of NeuPath Health (TSXV:NPTH) and on the Board of Directors of
Altruition, a not-for-profit organization that helps students translate recognized volunteer work into
scholarships. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Applied
Studies, with a Major in Economics and Specializations in Finance and International Trade and received
the Department of Economics award for academic achievement among his graduating class.

Wanda Deschamps, Founder and Principal, Liberty Co
Volunteer Award

Wanda Deschamps is founder and principal of Liberty Co, a consultancy working to increase the participation level of the neurodiverse population in the workforce with a special emphasis on autism due to Wanda’s own diagnosis at midlife. Her approach is centered on the IDEA (Inclusion-Diversity-Equity-Accessibility) framework and focuses on inclusive leadership, entrepreneurial thinking and employee retention. Writing under the banner of the #InclusionRevolution, a worldwide movement launched in 2018 to spearhead broader thinking about disability, Wanda’s story of undiagnosed autism has been published in Broadview Magazine, Reader’s Digest Canada and Reader’s Digest US.

Wanda is also the catalyst behind the #Women4Women collective premised on women supporting other women. In recognition of this and other equity efforts, she was included in The Charity Report’s 2020 List of Exceptional Women. During a twenty-five-year career in the philanthropic sector, Wanda served as a consultant for a leading Canadian fundraising consultancy and as an institutional development leader. She consistently developed strategies across organizations leading to increased profile and support and was recognized as a trusted advisor and skilled resource. Now a solutions designer in building organizational capacity towards greater IDEA, she brings creativity and passion to every keynote presentation and session facilitation.  Outside of work she relishes time with family and friends, exercising, and reading biographies, as well as books about history and current affairs.

Wanda has been a volunteer on LSO’s Inclusion Diversity Equity Accessibility (IDEA) Committee sharing her knowledge to help build strong internal processes for LSO around the principles of IDEA. She also sits on the steering committee of the Building an Inclusive Life Sciences Future, a series of workshops aimed at developing a vision and action plan for inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) within Canada’s life sciences ecosystem.

Company of the Year Award

DNAstack is a Toronto-based company whose mission is to save and improve lives by unlocking the collective power of the world’s genomics and health data. DNAstack’s software platform enables a global community of stakeholders — including precision medicine initiatives, research consortiums, patient advocacy groups, hospitals, startups, funders, pharma companies, governments, and citizens — to connect and analyze distributed datasets without moving them. DNAstack played an important role supporting provincial and national responses to COVID, where it partnered with the Province of Ontario and Genome Canada to provide a solution called Viral AI to help identify, track, and model the spread of variants of concern. DNAstack is a global leader in the development of open, interoperable standards as part of the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health (GA4GH) and has led multiple collaborative technology innovation projects as part of the Digital Supercluster.

Life Sciences Ontario

350 Bay Street, Suite 700, Toronto, ON M5H 2S6
P: 416-426-7293 E:


Life Sciences Ontario (LSO) is a member-funded, not-for-profit organization with a legacy of more than 30 years advancing the success of Ontario’s life sciences sector. LSO collaborates with government, academia, industry, and other life sciences organizations in Ontario and across Canada to promote and encourage commercial success throughout the sector. 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. In addition, LSO launched the Life Sciences Ontario Scholarship Program, the program awards students’ financial benefits and an opportunity to connect with a professional from the life sciences sector. LSO is an effective conduit for delivering policy options to governments, and its dedicated to promoting Ontario’s life sciences sector internationally. For more information, please visit our website.

Jason Field, President & CEO
Life Sciences Ontario