Given the emphasis on Precision Medicine at this year’s Event, we have the opportunity to invite new speakers as well as those you may already have met at previous conferences. Please see below for bios and photos of our invited co-chairs and speakers!

Barry Stein

Mr. Barry D. Stein, B.Com., B.C.L., LL.B. - President of Colorectal Cancer Canada

Barry D.Stein, graduated from McGill University and has been a member of the Bar of Quebec since 1981. Barry has established a prominent position in the fields of commercial and corporate law with the law firm of GWBR, LLP in Montreal.A significant portion of his practice is also devoted to labour law as well as litigation in health and administrative law...

With an impressive knowledge in health systems across the country, Barry has been involved in leading cases for reimbursement of out of country in health care where he has represented the interests of patients seeking healthcare outside of Canada. Barry sits on the Board of Directors of several corporations, not-for-profit organizations and foundations including Colorectal Cancer Canada, Donald Berman Foundation, Exactis Innovation, Tikva Children’s Foundation and Anzie Accessories & Design Inc. Barry is the past president of the Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a founding member of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer National Colorectal Cancer Screening Network. Barry is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Personalized Healthcare Innovation Network (CPHIN). He is also the chair of the IQVIA Advisory Council for the Advancement of Health in Quebec and a member of the Board of Directors (Observer) of the Le Consortium de recherche en oncologie clinique du Québec (Q-CROC). As the president and CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC) he actively represents the interests of cancer patients and speaks regularly to medical professionals, industry, government, and patient groups across Canada and Internationally about colorectal cancer, Patient Values and Preferences in Health Technology Assessment, Clinical Trials and Real World Evidence, Young Adults with Colorectal Cancer, Personalized Medicine and Companion Diagnostics, Biosimilars, Colorectal Cancer Screening, Foods that Fight Cancer and other CCC programs and research projects. Under Barry’s stewardship, CCC has developed national awareness and educational programs, as well as support programs for patients and their families. Barry has been a key advocate for population based colorectal cancer screening initiatives, patient and physician education and multidisciplinary health professional consensus statements and guidelines both for primary prevention and equal and timely access to effective treatments to improve patient outcomes across Canada, many of which have led to the uptake of cancer prevention and treatment programs. As a survivor of metastatic colorectal cancer diagnosed in 1995, Barry was obliged to seek health care outside of Canada to fight his disease. His judgement, obtained in the Superior Court of Quebec in 1999, still serves as a leading precedent in Canada for the reimbursement of out of country health care.

Winson Cheung

Dr. Winson Y. Cheung, MD, MPH, FRCPC

A GI medical oncologist, a clinician-scientist, and a cancer health services researcher. From 2010 to 2016, Winson was a clinician-investigator at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. He was recruited to Alberta in 2017. He is currently a Full Professor in the Departments of Oncology, Medicine and Community... Health Sciences at the University of Calgary where he is also the Chair and Provincial Director of the Health Services Research Program at Cancer Control Alberta. He conducts comparative effectiveness and population-based outcomes studies across all tumor groups. He is also involved in a number of patient-centric, patient-oriented research projects. He has contributed significantly to building capacity and knowledge generation in the area of real world evidence in oncology.

In addition, Winson is the Co-Lead of the Health Systems, Services, and Policy research program at the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control and the Chair of the International Cancer Health Outcomes Research Database Consortium. Previously, he served as Leader for the Health Services Research Track at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. Recently, he founded the Alberta Cancer Outcomes Research Network.

Stephanie Michaud

Dr. Stephanie Michaud, PhD - President and CEO of BioCanRx

Dr. Stephanie Michaud is the President and CEO of BioCanRx, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to accelerate the delivery of innovative immunotherapies from the bench to the bedside. In this position, Stephanie is responsible for running all facets of the organization... She brings over 20 years of public, government and private sector experience in research and S&T innovation policy. She strives to create partnerships between government, not-for-profits, academia and industry to maximize the impact of research funded by the BioCanRx network on the lives of those affected by cancer. This includes the creations of new opportunities to include the patient voice as equal partner in the BioCanRx research program.

Prior to joining BioCanRx, Stephanie was Deputy Director of the flagship Government of Canada Network Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. She is a strong contributor to S&T policy, most notably in intellectual property.

Dr. Michaud earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry from McGill University. She is involved with a number of not-for-profit organizations including as Director of the Board of the StemCell Network.

Michael Duong

Dr. Michael Duong, PhD - Head of Personalized Healthcare for Hoffmann-La Roche Limited

Dr. Michael Duong is the Head of Personalized Healthcare for Hoffmann-La Roche Limited. In this role, Michael leads a team responsible for Roche's strategy to advance the personalization of healthcare in Canada. Prior to that, Michael led Health Economics at Roche in the Reimbursement... and Health Economics Department. In that role, Michael provided expertise and guidance over the health economic and outcomes research activities conducted at Roche Canada. Michael also sits on the board of the Canadian Personalized Healthcare Innovation Network (CPHIN), which is a not-for-profit consortium of members from both public and private sectors focused on the acceleration of personalized health care for Canada. Michael received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Pharmacology and a PhD in Medical Sciences with a specialization in Neuroscience, both from McMaster University.

Mr. Stephen Sundquist, Executive Director at the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN)

Mr. Stephen Sundquist is the Executive Director at the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN). Stephen has over 25 years of experience in clinical research and health programs' leadership experience. His research knowledge has been ... built from responsibilities in both Pharma and CRO settings for the conduct of Phase 1-3b drug, biologics and device trials for a wide range of therapeutic areas. Stephen's understanding of the importance of incorporating the patient voice was honed during his time as Director of Clinical Operations for Canada's largest diabetes network as well as Director for the Ontario Stroke Network's Hypertension Management Program. More recently, in his role as 3CTN's Executive Director, Stephen has been introduced to an organization with patient and public representation on all governance committees and operational working groups. 3CTN is presently also working with its participating Cancer Centres across Canada towards a goal of having lay representatives at each site to support patient awareness and understanding of clinical trials.

Dr. Mackenzie Wildman, PHD – Special Projects Lead at Evidation Health

Mackenzie is a former mathematician who found her calling running Special Projects at Evidation. By leveraging wearable technology, mobile devices, and most of all creative problem solving, she and her team aim to decrease the burden ... of participating in studies while increasing the quantity and quality of data collected. Mackenzie’s technical expertise, attentive project management, and passion for solving human-centric problems in healthcare led her to Evidation’s mission, where she is currently the co-investigator for studies focusing on pregnancy symptoms, stress related to Crohn’s disease, and more. Prior to joining Evidation, Mackenzie completed a PhD in Mathematics at Lehigh University and a Postdoc in the Probability and Statistics department at UCSB.

Ms. Melissa Hunt, Director of Therapeutic Products Directorate, Health Canada

Melissa Hunt joined Health Canada in 2005. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from Queen’s University and a Master of Science in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto. Prior to working at Health Canada, ... Melissa worked for several years within the pharmaceutical industry. At Health Canada she has worked as a Scientific Evaluator and a Manager in the Marketed Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau within the Marketed Health Product Directorate (MHPD), as acting Associate Director within the Bureau of Metabolism, Oncology and Reproductive Sciences (BMORS) in the Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD), as well as a member of the core team for the Health Products and Food Branch "Regulatory Review of Drugs and Devices" initiative. Since 2018, she has held the position of Director of BMORS within TPD.

Dr. Kam Kafi, MD, CM, Director of Clinical Strategy & Oncology, Imagia

Kam is an impact-driven physician entrepreneur focused on integrating artificial intelligence with system biology as Imagia’s Director of Clinical Strategy & Oncology.   ... Kam blends his medical degree and technology start-up background to ensure Imagia’s innovation infrastructure translates seamlessly into AI-driven clinical benefits . He oversees all research projects with industry partners and research institutions that leverage the company’s AI-platform, EVIDENS™. He focuses on growth strategy and product development, combining AI and digital therapeutics.   A former cancer immunology researcher, Kam’s work focused on immuno-modulation and development of targeted immunotherapies, where he spent five years at UCLA in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer center.

Mr. Murray Aitken, MBA, Executive Director, IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science

As head of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, Murray Aitken provides policy setters and decision makers in the global health sector with evidence, analysis, and insights that contribute to the advancement of Human Data Science to improve human health outcomes. ... Aitken is tasked with creating and managing a research agenda that leaders in global governments, payers, providers, academia and the life sciences industry use to accelerate the understanding of global trends in disease patterns, data science, and technology. This research is used to foster innovation critical to evidence-based decision-making and the advancement of human health. A renowned healthcare expert, Aitken addresses the challenges facing the global healthcare industry and prospects for improving patient outcomes, managing costs and maximizing access through the application of Human Data Science—an emerging discipline that combines insights from human science (disease biology, prevention, and treatment), data science (AI, Machine Learning, and predictive analytics), and human health (social, environmental, and behavioral). Throughout his 15+ year tenure at IQVIA, Aitken has served in various roles responsible for healthcare insights, corporate strategy, consulting, and services. Prior to IQVIA, Aitken was a partner at McKinsey & Company in the U.S. and in South Korea, covering a broad range of industries, including life sciences and consumer goods. He holds an MBA, with distinction, from Harvard University and a Master of Commerce from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. A frequent speaker on the international healthcare industry circuit, Aitken’s perspectives are widely covered in the business/financial press, including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Fortune, Time, The Associated Press, Bloomberg Business, Reuters, CNBC as well as in local market publications across Europe, Asia and Latin America. You can follow him on Twitter @Murray_Aitken.

Dr. Josep Tabernero, MD, Head of Medical Oncology Department Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Barcelona, Spain

Josep Tabernero holds MD and PhD degrees from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and he is currently Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and Professor of Medicine at UVic-UCC. ... He has been Principal Investigator of several Phase I pharmacodynamic studies and translational projects with tumor-directed targeted therapies and immune therapies. Based on the idea that each tumor has an independent genetic identity, his research aims at potentiating molecular therapies targeting specific oncoproteins and accelerating more effective personalized cancer medicines for patients displaying genetic lesions or pathway disregulation. One of his team ́s main objectives is to establish novel predictive markers of response to anti-cancer therapies and identify markers of primary resistance (de novo) and secondary treatment. At a preclinical level, the group he is leading is developing new xenograft models with explant tumors from patients in order to mimic the patient’s disease and study the tumor development in optimized research models. It also leads a program devoted to the study of circulating biomarkers (detection and genotyping of circulating free DNA). Dr. Tabernero serves on the Editorial Boards of various top tier journals including Annals of Oncology, ESMO Open, Cancer Discovery, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment Reviews and Nature Reviews in Clinical Oncology. He has (co) authored approximately 500 peer-reviewed papers. He was the President (2018 – 2019) and is currently the Past President (2020- 2021) of the European Society for Medical Oncology ́s (ESMO), and is also member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He has also been a member of the Educational and Scientific Committees of the ESMO, ECCO, ASCO, AACR, AACR/NCI/EORTC, ASCO Gastrointestinal, TAT and WCGIC meetings

Mr. Aaron Leibtag, CEO, PENTAVERE

Aaron Leibtag is the CEO of PENTAVERE and cofounded the company in response to a hard-hitting question. Why is it we have all the data we need for financial markets to make money but don’t have the information we need when it is needed to save lives? ... This question has never been clearer in light of what we are all going through with COVID 19.    PENTAVERE is one of Canada’s fasted growing healthcare technology companies, solving a big challenge affecting everyone in healthcare; good quality data is often unavailable and hard to find, when it’s needed most. Pentavere combines ground-breaking AI technology with expertise, to help healthcare stakeholders harness the full potential of their data and improve patient outcomes, by transforming how clinical data is organized and applied.

Dr. Margaret McCusker, MD, MS, Senior Medical Director at Flatiron Health

Margaret McCusker is a Senior Medical Director at Flatiron Health, where she leverages her training and experience to explore how real-world evidence can complement traditional evidence generation strategies in oncology. ... She earned both her MD and a Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and is board certified in Preventive Medicine. Prior to joining Flatiron, Dr. McCusker worked in both public health and in the life sciences industry, and focused on cancer epidemiology and oncology real-world evidence.

Dr. James Creeden, MD, PHD, Vice President and Global Medical Director for Foundation Medicine

Dr. Creeden is Vice President and Global Medical Director for Foundation Medicine since 2018. Formerly Medical Director for Roche China, ... where he was responsible for the Roche Pharma and Genentech portfolio in China, Dr. Creeden was Chief Medical Officer of Roche Professional Diagnostics from 2009-2014. He holds a PhD in molecular toxicology from Rutgers University and an MD from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 2018-present: Vice President Medical Affairs, Foundation Medicine, Inc. 2016-2018: APAC Regional Medical Director, Roche Foundation Medicine 2014-2016: Senior Director Medical Affairs, Roche Shanghai 2009-2014: Chief Medical Officer, Roche Professional Diagnostics 2007-2009: Global Head of Medical Marketing, Roche Diagnostics

Dr. Lillian L. Siu, MD, BMO Chair in Precision Genomics, Professor of Medicine, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Siu is a senior medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre since 1998, and has been a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto since 2009. ... She is the Director of the Phase I Program and Co-Director of the Bras and Family Drug Development Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and holds the BMO Chair in Precision Genomics (2016-2026). She is also the Clinical Lead for the Tumor Immunotherapy Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Dr. Siu served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for a four-year term (2012-2016). She also served as a member of the Nomination Committee for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (2014-2016) and on the AACR Board of Directors for a three-year term (2017-2020). Dr. Siu’s major research focus is in the area of new anticancer drug development, particularly with respect to phase I trials and head and neck malignancies. She is the Principal Investigator of a phase I cooperative agreement UM1 award sponsored by the United States National Cancer Institute. In addition to her active research in early phase clinical trials, she has been leading genomics initiatives and immuno-oncology trials at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Together, the three programs of drug development, cancer genomics and tumor immunotherapy form a triad of synergy that supports the institution’s core vision to deliver precision cancer medicine. Internationally, Dr. Siu was the recipient of the US NCI Michaele C. Christian Award in Oncology Drug Development in 2010. She has been awarded the TAT 2020 Honorary Award for contributions in the development of anticancer drugs. Locally, she was awarded the University of Toronto Department of Medicine Eaton Scholar Researcher in 2016. She was the ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Selection Committee Chair in 2009-10. She was Chairperson of the AACR Education Committee, Co-Chairperson of the Scientific Committee for the 2012 Annual Meeting and Co-Chairperson for the Clinical Trials Committee 2015-2017. Dr. Siu has published over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and she is currently a scientific editor for Cancer Discovery and is on the editorial board for JAMA Oncology, Cell and Cancer Cell.

Mr. Vatche Bartekian, President, Vantage BioTrials

Mr. Bartekian is President of Vantage BioTrials, an award-winning Canadian CRO specialized in clinical trial management services. He's contributed his strong drug development knowledge to the pharma, device and clinical research industry for over 22 years ... and has gained vast experience handling complicated trials across an array of therapeutic areas. Mr. Bartekian also contributes his knowledge as an Advisor to Global Affairs Canada’s Life Science division, and Colorectal Cancer Canada’s Scientific Advisory Board for the establishment of a Patient Group Pathway Model to Accessing Cancer Clinical Trials. Over the years, Vantage BioTrials has won several peer-recognition awards, such as “Emerging Pharma Leader 2011” by PharmaExec Magazine, “Life Science Entrepreneur of the Year 2015” by Ernst & Young, “Biotechnology CRO of the Year 2018” by Global Health & Pharma, “Most Valuable Clinical/Access Initiative Finalist 2019” by EyeForPharma, and “Canada’s Leading Clinical Research & Trial Management Organization 2020” by AI Magazine.

Ms. Martine Elias, MSc, Executive Director at Myeloma Canada

Martine Elias is the Executive Director at Myeloma Canada, the only patient-driven, grassroots organization bringing the Canadian myeloma community together and promoting a strong, unified national voice for people living with multiple myeloma.... In addition, Martine is Chair of the Collective Oncology Network for Exchange, Cancer Care Innovation, Treatment Access and Education (CONECTed), a Canadian based organisation. Martine started her career in clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry and has since dedicated her professional life to patient advocacy, empowering the patient voice, and helping patients gain access to essential medical treatments. She is passionate about ensuring that the patient voice is included in all aspects of health policy decisions. Previously, Martine was Director Access, Advocacy and Community Relations at Myeloma Canada where she developed, led and executed all advocacy strategies and programs. Prior, Martine held roles as National Patient Engagement Strategy at Janssen Inc., was part of an international working team to advance a global patient advocacy strategy, was National Director of Community Relations, and Market Access and Health Economics team leader. Martine and her husband live in Quebec Canada, have 3 children, 3 dogs, a cat and a horse!

Dr. Steven Lemery, Acting Director of, Division of Oncology 3, Office of Oncologic Diseases CDER/FDA

Dr. Lemery is the Acting Director of the Division of Oncology 3 (DO3) within the Office of Oncologic Diseases at CDER/FDA. In addition to duties regarding general drug development for patients with gastrointestinal malignancies (and other cancers), ... Dr. Lemery has also focused on tissue-agnostic development/precision medicine and biosimilar development. Prior to assuming the role of Acting Director of DO3, he served as Associate Division Director in the former Division of Oncology Products 2 (DOP2) and as the Team Leader (Lead Medical Officer) for the gastrointestinal malignancies team within DOP2. Dr. Lemery completed his clinical training in hematology and medical oncology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Lemery also graduated with a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research degree awarded by the Duke University School of Medicine (joint NIH/Duke program).

Dr. Michael Seewald, Head, Evidence for the Biopharmaceuticals unit, AstraZeneca.

A biochemist by education, Michael Seewald built expertise in analytical disciplines (biophysics, bioinformatics, chemoinformatics) during his academic career, and authored/co-authored publications in leading journals such as Nature and EMBO Journal. ... Michael began his industry career in the area of bioinformatics, then moved through a number of positions of increasing responsibility in Finance, Strategy, Marketing, and Development. In his current role, Michael is heading Evidence for the Biopharmaceuticals unit at AstraZeneca.

Ms.Anne Marie Wright, President, Elements Strategy Inc.

Anne Marie is a global business builder accomplished in growing and transforming healthcare organizations. With more than 25 years of Marketing, Sales and Business development experience in health technology start-ups, global pharmaceuticals, retail healthcare and CPG brand management, she is a champion of innovation, ... developing and leading healthcare solutions that drive multi-million-dollar revenue gains, “next level” growth and build business value. Driven by a strong desire to make a difference in the healthcare community, Anne Marie currently owns and operates two separate but integrated businesses. As President of Elements Strategy Inc., Anne Marie provides services to the healthcare industry where transformation through patient-centric innovation is critical to success. Additionally, she is a Co-Founder of YouAreUNLTD, a purpose driven publishing brand and network, created to inspire powerful, healthy aging. Educated in business management at Queen’s University, she has continued her education through Queen’s Executive Development programs, the Niagara Centre for Creative Leadership and the Ashridge School of Management in London England. An active volunteer in the healthcare field, Anne Marie has been a “Health Leader-in- Residence” at the World Health Innovation Network, a “Health Innovator- in- Residence” at the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation and the Past Chairman of the Council on Drug Abuse.

Dr.Christopher McCabe, BA (Hons), MSc, PhD; CEO and Executive Director, Institute of Health Economics

Dr. McCabe brings more than 25 years of experience as a health economist to his role with the organization. He trained and worked for 20 years in the UK before emigrating to Canada. During this time, he held Full Professorships at the Universities of Sheffield, Warwick and Leeds. ... He was more recently a Professor of Health Economics at the University of Alberta, where he was appointed Capital Health Endowed Research Chair at the University of Alberta, leading two Genome Canada research groups focused on the evaluation, adoption and implementation of Precision Medicine technologies. He also served on the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health Care (CADTH) Health Economics Working Group, which authored the 4th Edition of the CADTH Guidelines for the Economic Evaluation of Health Technologies in 2017. He was lead author of the addendum to the CADTH Guidelines focused on co-dependent therapies, published in 2019. More recently Dr. McCabe advised the Patented Medicines Price Review Board on the technical issues related to the revision of their regulations for setting the price of new drugs in Canada. He is currently Chair of the Royal Society of Canada COVID Task Force Working Group on the Economy.

Ms.Judy Needham, Chair of the Patient Representatives Committee, Canadian Cancer Trials Group

Judy is a seventeen year breast cancer survivor. Professionally, she is retired from a corporate marketing career as Director of Campaign Planning. She chose early retirement after her cancer journey and began volunteer work with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, ... introducing National Corporate Teams for the CBCF Run for the Cure, and developed patient-facing decision making material for newly diagnosed patients adopted by several Canadian provinces. Her work led to invitations to assist with CCS and CCSRI grant panels and Scientific Advisory Councils. Judy became involved with CCTG in 2012 as a member of the Breast Cancer Disease Site Committee. She became chair of the Patient Representative Committee in 2014 and has been instrumental in leading the redesign of the Patient Representative role at CCTG. Currently, In addition to her volunteer responsibilities with CCTG, Judy has volunteer responsibilities with 3CTN Scientific Portfolio Committee, BC Cancer Provincial Research Advisory Committee, and her local Abbotsford Cancer Centre. Judy was the first Canadian recipient of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance's Award for Exceptional Leadership in Patient Involvement in Cancer Research in 2017.

Dr.Nathalie Ross, Ph.D, MWC

Former research scientist, Nathalie Ross, Ph.D., MWC is a certified, freelance Medical and Regulatory Writer with over 15 years of experience. ... Her curriculum includes a Senior Manager position in Regulatory Affairs at CanReg (now ICON), where she managed drug and medical device applications for Health Canada and the FDA in a wide spectrum of therapeutic areas.  Nathalie developed R&D and teaching skills through her positions as a Research Scientist (Environment Canada) and as an Assistant Professor (Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Ottawa). She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), Canadian Association of Professional Regulatory Affairs (CAPRA), and Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec (ACS).

Ms.Leigh Funston, National Policy & Industry Affairs Lead, AstraZeneca Canada

Leigh Funston is the Lead, National Policy & Industry Affairs at AstraZeneca Canada. In this role she is responsible for leading proactive policy shaping plans ... that will result in favourable outcomes for patients and contribute to a healthy, sustainable life sciences sector in Canada.   With almost 20 years in the health care field, Leigh’s extensive experience in patient engagement, stakeholder relations, and corporate communications has enabled her to build effective stakeholder collaborations and high-impact communications programs that have resulted in elevating the patient voice in health care decision making.

Leigh is passionate about working for an organization that is devoted to patient-centered care and co-creating solutions with stakeholders to drive better health outcomes for Canadian patients and their families.