12th Annual Career Day

Date: Friday May 4th, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Keynote Speech: FitzGerald Building Room 103
Panel A: Medical Sciences Building Room 2173
Panel B: Medical Sciences Building Room 4171
Panel C: Medical Sciences Building Room 4279
Spotlight Sessions: OISE Room 2214
Company Information Fair: OISE Room 2212

— To help you prepare, we recommend that you attend the LSCDS Getting the Most Out of Career Fairs seminar —


8:30 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 10:00 Keynote Speaker
10:00 – 12:30 Panel Discussion Session and Networking
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:30 Spotlight Sessions

  • 13:30 – 13:50 BenchSci
    13:50 – 14:10 Shift Health
    14:10 – 14:30 Amaris
    14:30 – 14:50 OBIO
    14:50 – 15:10 Neurescence Inc.
    15:10 – 15:30 Phenomic AI

14:30 – 16:30 Company Information Fair

NOTE: Registration will open Friday April 9th, 2018.

**LSCDS Career Day is free of charge to students and trainees at U of T. Please log in to access free tickets.

click to register

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sean Peel

Dr. Sean Peel leads program development at OBIO including the OBIO Health to Business Bridge™ (H2BB) program which helps innovative health science companies source, train and mentor early career talent.   H2BB draws candidates from various graduate and post-graduate level programs and places them in business development roles with health science companies, including market research, marketing and sales support, product commercialization, investor financing, and grant writing.

He also, provides management oversight to the OBIO Pre-Capital Access Advisory Program (Pre-CAAP) which helps early stage health science companies access capital required for product development and commercialization.

Sean has spent over 20 years’ in the health science industry, building and leading teams in clinical product development for both start-up and established companies. In 2008, Sean co-founded a regenerative medicine company which raised over $11.5 million. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Oral Biology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in tissue engineering.

Guest Information

NOTE: To learn more about a particular guest, scroll down to see his/her biography.

Panel Session A

Guest Position Company
Mark Findlay Vice President, CVMD Business Unit AstraZeneca
John Preece Sector Development Officer, Life Sciences City of Toronto
Tommy Tam Senior Methodologist Health Quality Ontario
Kaitlin Anstett Medical Science Liaison Novartis
Craig Daniels  Scientific Writer and Project Manager  The Hospital for Sick Children
Monique Deol Study Start-up Manager Roche
 Andrea Ng  Specialty Pharmacy Manager  Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network

Panel Session B

Guest Position Company
Blair Gordon Director of Development Edesa Biotech
Natasha Malik  Consultant Shift Health
Barb Brownlie Senior Policy Advisor Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
Shankar Menon  Regulatory Affairs Associate Apobiologix
Darlene Saks Project Manager PRA Health Sciences
Michael Marit Director of Drug Development PlantForm Corporation

Panel Session C

Guest Position Company
Bradford Brinton Business Development Manager Ontario Centres of Excellence
Stephen MacKinnon Director of R&D Cyclica
Philip Goldbach  IP Manager  MaRS Innovation
Taline Movsessian Medical Science Liaison Abbvie
Dave Comartin Research Programs Lead Ontario Brain Institute
 Natasha Pascoe  Scientific Business Analyst  Sixsense Strategy Group

Guest Biographies


Dr. Kaitlin Anstett is the Medical Science Liaison for Ontario-East at Novartis Pharmaceuticals for their Immunology and Dermatology franchise. She received her Honours B.Sc at the University of Toronto where she completed her 4th year thesis under the supervision of Dr Leah Cowen. Kaitlin received her PhD from the department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University in 2017 for her work with the late Dr Mark Wainberg on the mechanisms of HIV drug resistance. This position with Novartis Pharmaceuticals is her first full-time employment following graduation. In her spare time, Kaitlin loves to read, hike, snowboard, kick-box, travel, and babysit her two nephews.

Dr. Bradford T. Brinton is a Business Development Manager with the Ontario Centres of Excellence. In this role, Brad provides business, technical, grant and investment advisory support to STEM focused companies to accelerate corporate growth. Previously, Brad held business development, commercialization and senior scientist positions leading research teams involved in all aspects of drug discovery at several international pharmaceutical companies. Specializing in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors; Brad’s expertise gained through over 18 years evaluating, developing and commercializing STEM technologies provides a unique tactical and strategic perspective in support of start-up/scale-up company development.


Ms. Barb Brownlee is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science. She studied neuroscience at Carleton where she focused on models of Alzheimer Disease and Rett Syndrome. While working at CAMH in the Schizophrenia Unit of the Positron Emission Tomography Centre looking at D2 on/off states, she developed an allergy to rats so she had to figure out what to do next. Shifting her efforts to statistics and performance evaluation, she has worked on a variety of initiatives in the not for profit sector and government ranging from poverty reduction to reviewing the impact of provincial science funding. When not at work she enjoys going to see whichever show Dan Burke is promoting at the Garrison or Owls Club, or when she’s really lucky, she tries to go surfing somewhere warm.


Dr. Dave Comartin has an undergraduate degree with specialization in biochemistry from Queen’s and a Master’s degree in biochemistry from McMaster University. His PhD thesis involved using advanced optical microscopy to study the role of two proteins in human centriole/centrosome assembly, and he obtained his PhD in 2015 from the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. After his PhD, Dave briefly worked as a freelance scientific editor for Cactus Communications before joining the Ontario Brain Institute as a Research Program Lead. In his current role, Dave oversees two multi-site collaborative neuroscience research programs for OBI. This includes financial management and contract administration, as well as managing OBI’s relationships with the stakeholders involved in the programs.

Dr. Craig Daniels is currently a Scientific Writer and Project Manager at the Hospital for Sick Children. He has a BSc (Hon) and PhD in molecular microbiology and immunology from the University of Adelaide, South Australia and has spent time as a post-doctoral researcher in Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom. He considers himself a reformed scientist, and in his spare time runs a small business that makes and sells Eco-conscious clothing and accessories.


Monique Deol is a Study Start-Up Manager at Hoffmann-La Roche Canada Limited. She has worked in the pharmaceutical and clinical research industry for over 10 years. Monique has a Master of Science degree (Biochemistry) from the University of Toronto and Bachelor of Science degree (Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences) from McMaster University. In her free time Monique enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.


Mr. Mark Findlay is currently the VP of the Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Disease division at AstraZeneca Canada. Mark has a Honours BSc in Biochemistry from McMaster University. He has over 20-years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry having held numerous roles of increasing responsibility in Quality Control, Sales, Marketing, Market Access and Government Affairs. Mark recently returned from an international assignment to launch a new pharmaceutical product in the US market. Mark lives in Burlington with his wife and two children and outside of work enjoys playing soccer, running and coaching youth sports.


Dr. Phil Goldbach manages patents and other intellectual property rights across diverse technology types, as part of the MaRS Innovation (MI) team. MI is a member-based organization that specializes in commercializing technologies coming out of the major academic institutions in the GTA. Phil graduated with a PhD from the Department of Molecular Genetics in 2010 (lab of Dr. Julie Brill) and went on to attain his JD from Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to joining MI, Phil trained with an IP boutique law firm in downtown Toronto as a member of the firm’s life sciences patent practice group. He has also acted as Director of IP for a biotechnology startup company in Mississauga that specializes in developing antibody-based products for use in animal health and food safety. When not dealing with IP and commercialization, Phil enjoys cycling around town, enjoying various forms of culture, and trying to limit social media time.


Dr. Blair Gordon is responsible for the Clinical, Regulatory and CMC aspects of our drug development programs as the Director of Development at Edesa Biotech. His PhD thesis in Molecular Genetics involved characterizing a global transcriptional regulator of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.

Blair has experiences as Manager of Business Development at Cipher Pharmaceuticals and Manager of Medical Communications at ArcticDX.

Blair enjoys mountain biking, hunting and fishing, and bonsai.


Dr. Stephen Mackinnon received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, using structural bioinformatics to study systemic trends in protein structures to reveal new mechanistic insights. Stephen started at Cyclica in January 2014, where he designed and led the development of computational proteome screening technologies. As Director of Research and development, he now oversees the prototype stages of new scientific computing solutions and partnered research projects using predictive informatics. Stephen is also an avid photographer on evenings and weekends.


Dr. Natasha Malik is a Consultant at Shift Health where she is responsible for conducting and synthesizing primary and secondary research and producing high-level analytics for multi-faceted projects. During her time at Shift Health, Natasha has supported a wide variety of projects which include conducting an economic impact assessment of a major pharmaceutical company’s Canadian investments; supporting an international HIV vaccine public-private partnership in developing an access strategy; and developing an investment framework for a major Canadian funding agency. Prior to joining Shift Health, Natasha was member of the business development team of a management consulting firm where she identified opportunities for the firm, devised strategies and developed proposals for prospective Health Care and Not-for-Profit clients. Natasha graduated with a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto.


Dr. Michael Marit is the Director of Drug Development at PlantForm Corporation. Michael joined PlantForm in 2012, after completion of his PhD, at the initiation of a $1.6M project with the US agency DARPA. His research focus during the DARPA campaign has been the modification of the natural plant glycosylation system to more closely resemble that of mammalian cells. As Director Drug Development, Michael works to position PlantForm’s lead targets favourably leading up to pre-clinical analysis, write and execute development plans, manage CROs that conduct analytical and biological assays, and prepare and submit regulatory applications. Michael completed his undergraduate and PhD at the University of Toronto, studying genetics and cancer biology, respectively.


Shankar Menon is a Regulatory Affairs Associate at Apobiologix, a division of Apotex. He completed his Masters in Biochemical Engineering from University College London, UK in 2011 and began his career with Lonza Biologics Plc, as a Biotechnologist. After short stint at Lonza, Shankar joined PAREXEL Consulting as a Regulatory Associate and worked in the field of biosimilars before moving to Bangalore, India.

At Strides Arcolab, Bangalore, he joined marketing and worked in product management and portfolio expansion activities. He also worked with Clinton Health Foundation and UN for developing pharmaceutical products for low and middle-income countries.

In his current role at Apobiologix, he provides technical advice, support and services to Quality Control, Research and Development and Sales and Marketing. He also supports compilation, preparation and submission of regulatory dossiers for biosimilar products in international markets.

In his free time, he enjoys traveling, mentoring new graduates and has interests in the evolving field of pharmaceutical ecommerce and data analytics.

Ms. Taline Movsessian currently holds the position of Medical Science Liaison (MSL) Manager at AbbVie Corporation where she’s responsible for establishing strategy and direction for a team of MSLs in the therapeutic area of dermatology, and accountable for the attainment of clinical, medical, and brand team objectives at a national level. She analyzes business needs working in conjunction with the medical/clinical/commercial organizations to identify opportunities where MSL function enhances business results.
Taline joined AbbVie as a MSL and was later promoted to Senior MSL. Prior to that she’s held positions as Oncology MSL, Medical Sciences Manager, Product Specialist, Project Manager, and Clinical Data Manager at various companies. She has extensive experience and expertise in Medical Affairs, scientific research, project management, and sales; and has been published in several renowned medical journals including Molecular and Cellular Biology, The Journal of Rheumatology, and Arthritis and Rheumatology.
Taline holds an Honors Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology with high distinction, and a Master of Science degree in Immunology both from the University of Toronto. She also holds an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.
Outside of work, she’s busy with her young family, enjoys working out, travelling, classical music, and reading about novel approaches to treating chronic disease.

Dr. Andrea Ng currently holds the position as a Specialty Pharmacy Manager at Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network. After completing a Bachelors of Science and Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo in 2013, Andrea completed her internship at North York General Hospital. She then joined the Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network team as a Specialty Pharmacist in 2014 and decided to continue to pursue further education on the side. In 2016, Andrea moved into the role as the Specialty Pharmacy Manager and completed her Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo in 2017. Andrea commits her time in charitable events and has gone on a medical missions trip to Ndalani, Kenya in 2015 to provide primary care medical services for over 800 children in a children’s orphanage. On her spare time, Andrea enjoys being active in sports such as rock climbing, skating and slo-pitch softball.

Dr. Natasha Pascoe is a scientific business analyst at Sixsense Strategy Group, a boutique strategy consulting firm focused on Pharma and Biotech. Here Natasha has supported a variety of projects which includes the development of strategic and tactical plans for the commercial & medical divisions of major pharmaceutical companies. Natasha recently completed her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. In her spare time Natasha loves to go to barre classes, travel the world and drink good wine.


Dr. John Preece is the Sector Development Officer, Life Sciences at the City of Toronto. This is a public-facing economic development role focused on helping companies in the life sciences sector grow and add jobs. The core of the role is in getting to know companies, their science and their market strategies, and then referring them to resources, customers or potential partners.

John has a M. Sci. in chemistry from the University of Birmingham (UK) and a Ph. D. in chemical engineering from the same institution. At the undergraduate level, he focused on organic and analytical chemistry with a fourth-year research project in sulfoximine synthesis. He also spent a summer in Germany as a research assistant on carbohydrate synthesis. At the postgraduate level, he worked on liquid hydrocarbon fuels and anode carbon fouling for solid oxide fuel cells.

Prior to the City of Toronto, John was a science diplomat for the UK Government, based in Toronto. This role was largely focused on promoting academic research collaborations between British and Canadian university researchers, with other workstreams in global issues, science policy and innovation. Prior to this, John lectured in chemistry for science education at Ewha Womans University in the Republic of Korea.

Outside of work, John volunteers time and expertise as a librarian and curator for the Toronto Tool Library. He also focuses most weekends on family activities.


Ms. Darlene Saks currently works as a Senior Project Manager at PRA Health Sciences, a global Clinical Research Organization where she has managed clinical research trials in Oncology, Alzheimer’s and Gout. She holds a MSc in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto and is a certified Project Management Professional. She has previously worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Canadian Immunodeficiency Research Collaborative in Toronto. Darlene enjoys spending time with her family, travelling and is the co-chair of her daughter’s elementary school parent council.


Mr. Tommy Tam is a Senior Methodologist at Health Quality Ontario (HQO), the provincial advisor on the quality of health care in Ontario. He conducts quantitative and qualitative analyses of clinical, administrative or survey data to support the development of reports, studies and online reporting. In addition, he manages assigned and specific ad hoc requests for analysis (e.g. annual updates to analysis/indicators) in long-term care and assists with the preparation of technical notes/definitions, drafting written text for reports or analytic projects within agreed outlines. He is also heavily involved with the indicator selection and review process, prioritization and development in different sectors.

Prior to HQO, he completed an Honours Bachelors of Science (HBSc) at the University of Toronto in 2011, specializing in Human Biology: Health and Disease. During his undergraduate studies, he was an active student and member of the University of Toronto and surrounding communities by acting as a participant of the Reading Week of Service and a volunteer for hospitals and health-related charities. In his spare time, your host enjoys volunteering for health-related organizations (e.g., Heart and Stroke Foundation), playing basketball and tennis, and exploring the outdoors.

Company Information


Amaris is an independent, international Technologies and Management Consulting Group. Created in 2007, Amaris is already established in over 50 countries and supports more than 750 clients worldwide throughout their project’s lifecycle. Our expertise covers five areas of innovation: Business and Management, Information Technologies, Engineering and High Technologies, Telecommunications and Biotech and Pharma. With more than 65 offices across the world, the Group offers proximity support to its clients in all their locations and many opportunities of international careers for employees.

In 2018, Amaris aims to reach a turnover of 260 million euros, 5000 employees and to develop its workforces with the anticipation of a further 2000 new job openings. We expect to triple our workforce within the next few years and reach a leading international position in independent consulting.


Avana is a late-stage applicant to produce, process and market cannabis under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). In 2018, Avana is undertaking the construction of a 720,000 sq. ft. expansion facility, on over 200 acres of land, that will have the capacity to produce over 90,000 kg of premium cannabis flowers and oils for both domestic and international retail in the medicinal and recreational markets. Avana was founded in 2014, with operations commencing in St. Thomas, Ontario.


BenchSci is an open-access online platform that uses machine-learning to decode research papers and extract antibody usage data. Our goal is to help scientist find the best antibody for their experiments.


Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.

iamsick.ca provides health IT infrastructure to the various stakeholders of our healthcare system including patients from a wide and inclusive demographic spectrum who deserve equitable healthcare access, healthcare professionals looking for cost-saving measures, and healthcare authorities and government agencies in need of access to accurate and near-real-time information about healthcare resource availability. Our website, iOS/Android apps, white-labelled websites/apps, and backend infrastructure fills the needs of all of these stakeholders, and accomplishes it with a focus on optimizing user-experience. We are gaining traction among “hard-to-obtain” clients from both the public & private sectors across Canada. While we are laser focused on improving Canada’s health-care navigation system and growing our business, our team works on various projects simultaneously. These include our marketing and sales campaigns, improving user-experience through design thinking and software development, bidding on RFPs and RFQs, and expanding our cross-disciplinary partnership base.


LeungLaw is a business and intellectual property (IP) law firm that is simplifying the delivery of legal services for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Your Content Goes Here


Neurescence, the Toronto RESI Innovation Challenge Finalist, has developed and commercialized a miniature microscope initially targeted to the Neurology research market. Our Quartet™ system gets implanted in multiple regions of the brain and spine and follows the activities of 100s of neurons in each region for months while the subject freely moves around. Our hardware-software suite is the only technology that allows establishing a causal connection between the effect of the treatment, such as a drug, on both the neuronal micro-circuitry and the disease phenotype. This extremely powerful approach takes the process of discovering and developing treatments from a trial and error method to an intelligent design.


The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®) is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization engaged in building the health science economy in Ontario. OBIO member companies span all aspects of health science industry, from pharma, medical device and diagnostics to digital health, health IT, and consumer health). OBIO works with companies to improve their investability by developing access to capital through our OBIO CAAP® (Capital Access Advisory Program) and Pre-CAAP programs, and access to talent through the Health to Business Bridge Internship Program™ (H2BB™).

OBIO’s H2BB program
• Helps companies find great candidates – We pre-screen and provide candidates with the right educational background and skill set to the companies.
• Helps the intern get up to speed faster – The interns participate in series of workshops including market research, marketing, business strategy and financial planning. These are presented by experienced industry practitioners.
• Provide mentoring and coaching to the interns: Each intern is matched with a subject matter expert, who acts as an additional resource and mentor to the intern.


Targeting chemotherapy resistance with AI


Shift Health is a strategy consultancy devoted exclusively to healthcare and life sciences. We work globally with government, academia, industry, the not-for-profit sector and healthcare providers to amplify healthcare and research leadership, advance global health innovation and achieve eminence in healthcare markets worldwide. Our people have the unique ability to speak the language of science and apply it to the business of healthcare, thinking laterally and acting vertically to enrich our clients with insight, innovation and impact.

We are a boutique strategy consulting firm specializing in Pharma and Biotech. We work with the heads of medical, commercial and market access who need strategic plans.

The Canadian Science Policy Centre is a non-profit organization that supports the objective of broad stakeholder engagement by bringing together a pan-Canadian network of multi-sector expertise to discuss science and innovation policy issues in a neutral, non-partisan forum.

Over the last nine years, the Canadian Science Policy Centre has made significant contributions to a range of areas that include developing a national network and community of science policy stakeholders, building an online hub, including the community in an online forum, and raising the profile of science policy. The Centre is also connected to the mainstream media and the public at large, providing a gateway for the next generation of scientists and policymakers to the science policy arena. These accomplishments have contributed to a multifaceted and dynamic science and innovation policy dialogue across the country, leading Nature magazine to hail the conference as a “sign of hope for science policy in Canada.”

Therapure Biopharma Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on complex biological therapeutics and technologies. It is comprised of three divisions: Therapure Biomanufacturing which provides contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services to global clients; Therapure Innovations, focused on research and development of proprietary therapeutics and platform technologies in the areas of anaemia, liver disease and organ preservation; and Therapure Biologics dedicated to the development of plasma protein therapeutics through an innovative proprietary manufacturing technology.