Panel Discussion: Translating Research to Impact – Leveraging our Ecosystem

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Discussion Moderator: Allison Brown, Medicine by Design.

This panel discussion with regenerative medicine leaders from across Canada will discuss the following:

  • The journey of an academic serial entrepreneur
  • Getting started on a path towards commercialization
  • Innovative models for forming and scaling new ventures
  • What to expect working for a start-up

Panelist: Shana Kelley, University Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
Shana Kelley is a University Professor at the University of Toronto and a member of the departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering. The Kelley research group works in a variety of areas spanning biophysical/bioanalytical chemistry, chemical biology and nanotechnology, and has pioneered new methods for tracking molecular and cellular analytes with unprecedented sensitivity. Shana’s work has been recognized with a variety of distinctions, including being named one of “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” and a NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Fellow, and being awarded the 2011 Steacie Prize, and the 2016 NSERC Brockhouse Prize. She has also been recognized with the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, the Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award, a NSF CAREER Award, and a Dreyfus New Faculty Award, and was also named a “Top 100 Innovator” by MIT’s Technology Review. Shana is an inventor on over 50 patents issued worldwide. She is a founder of three molecular diagnostics companies, GeneOhm Sciences (acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2005), Xagenic Inc. (acquired by General Atomics in 2017), and Cellular Analytics. Shana is the Director of PRiME, an initiative focused on next-generation precision medicine that unites physical scientists, engineers, biologists and clinicians developing new therapeutics and diagnostics. Shana serves as a board director for the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT) and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She is an associate editor for ACS Sensors, and an editorial advisory board member for the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nano Letters, and ACS Nano.5

Panelist: Mara Lederman, Professor of Strategic Management, Rotman School of Management, and Academic Lead, Creative Destruction Lab Partners Program and CDL-Toronto Site Lead
Mara is a professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 2003 after completing a PhD in economics at MIT. Mara does research in the areas of industrial organization and organizational economics. At a broad level, she studies how companies compete for competitive advantage. She is best known for her research on loyalty programs and organizational design and has been invited to present her work on these topics at a variety of institutions including Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Mara is also the site lead for the Toronto site of the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). The CDL is a not-for-profit program running on five university campuses across Canada and at Oxford University in the UK. The program helps deep-science based start-ups transform into massively scalable and financeable businesses. As site lead for CDL-Toronto, she oversees key substantive components of CDL-Toronto’s sessions and operations, consults on strategic elements of the CDL model, leads faculty engagement and manages key external stakeholder relationships. She also serves as the academic lead for CDL-Global’s Partners Program, a nine-month offering that teaches organizations about the economic implications of emerging technologies through educational modules that are integrated with partners’ participation in the CDL program.

Panelist: Tamer Mohamed, President and CEO, Aspect Biosystems
A bioengineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, Tamer currently serves as President and CEO of Aspect Biosystems. The company is tackling some of the biggest challenges in medicine by enabling the 3D printing of living human tissues. Tamer co-founded Aspect in 2013 and has played a leading role in overall corporate, business, and technology development. As a leader and visionary in the field of regenerative medicine and 3D printing, he has been invited to speak on this topic at venues ranging from TEDx to industry, scientific and executive conferences. He was awarded with BC’s Top 30 under 30 award for demonstrating excellence in business, judgement, leadership, and community contribution. Tamer serves on the Board of Directors for ACETECH, a non-profit training and mentoring organization for CEOs of technology and life sciences companies, and on the Board of Directors for The Stem Cell Network, an organization focused on building Canada’s stem cell and regenerative medicine research sector.

Panelist: Michael Scott, Senior Vice-President, Product Development, BlueRock Therapeutics
Michael Scott joined BlueRock in 2017 to oversee the company’s product realization processes and Toronto operations. In this role, he is a key part of the team focused on cell therapy product development including cell processes, assay development and delivery devices for dopaminergic neurons to treat Parkinson’s disease and cardiomyocytes to treat congestive heart failure. Prior to joining BlueRock, Dr. Scott served as Chief Development Officer and Vice President of Research and Development at ViaCyte, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the treatment of type I diabetes with a stem cell-based therapy product. He received a PhD in medical biophysics from the University of Western Ontario, and masters and bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Waterloo.

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