Karimah Es Sabar

Board Chair

Ms. Karimah Es Sabar has had a successful career spanning multi-national pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies, start-up companies, not-for-profit organizations and venture investment firms. She is the CEO of Quark Venture Inc., a life sciences venture investment firm (partnered with GF Securities, a leading investment bank in China). Ms. Es Sabar was previously CEO of The Centre for Drug Research and Development, Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre where she enabled new public and private sector funding in excess of $180M, multiple commercial transactions including 6 spin out companies and an M&A. She is also has held past roles as CEO of LifeSciences BC, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Pasteur Merieux Connaught [Sanofi Pasteur], VP & COO for a medical device company, Medsurge Medical Inc., and was the founder of two start-up life sciences companies in Kenya.  She has held board positions including: Chair of the Board of Trustees, Providence Healthcare Research Institute; Council Member, NRC; Board Member, Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet); Board Member, Vancouver Prostate Centre (a Vancouver General Hospital & UBC Centre of Excellence) and the Prostate Centre’s CECR (PC-TRIADD); Board Member, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; National Advisory Board Member, Industrial Research Assistance Program; Advisory Board Member, The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Michael Abrams


Dr. Michael Abrams has over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience focused on the discovery, development, and financing of new therapeutic and diagnostic imaging drugs.   Has proven ability to analyze interesting scientific and technological ideas and to assess the commercial viability of those technologies.  Dr. Abrams has practical experience in founding and building effective organizations, leading product and clinical development through Phase III trials and acquiring private financing for start-up ventures. Recent roles include: Executive VP and Managing Director of Arbutus Biopharma, Executive VP and Chief Discovery Officer of Tekmira Pharmaceutical Corp, Chief Innovation Officer CDRD and VP R&D of CDRD Ventures, President and CEO of Inimex Pharmaceuticals. He was also the Founding CEO for AnorMed, a Vancouver area biotech that was acquired by Genzyme for $580M in 2006 after a successful IPO and follow-on financings. He is also the co-inventor of initial patents for technetium isonitriles, the class of compounds from which Cardiolite, a major radiopharmaceutical with cumulative sales in the $ billions, was developed. Dr. Abrams has authored 62 scientific publications, is a named inventor on 26 patents, and was co-recipient of the Society of Nuclear Medicine Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer award, 2009.

Jonathan Bagger


Dr. Jonathan Bagger is Director of TRIUMF and Professor of Physics at the University of British Columbia.  Before moving to Canada, Bagger held a variety of positions at Johns Hopkins University, including Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  From 2012 to 2013, he served as the University’s Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Bagger’s board experience includes terms as a member of the BCNET Board of Directors, chair of the International Linear Collider Steering Committee, chair of the Space Telescope Institute Council, and vice chair of the U.S. DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel.  He also served as a member of the U.S. National Research Council’s Board on Physics and Astronomy, the Board of Directors of the U.S. National Space Biomedical Research Institute, the Fermilab Board of Overseers, and the SLAC Scientific Policy Committee.  Bagger is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Don Brooks


Dr. Don Brooks is a physical biochemist and Professor in the Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Chemistry at UBC. He served as UBC’s Associate VP Research & International (AVPRI) from 2001 to 2011 and as Founding Director of the SPARC Office. He holds US patents in the areas of polymeric protein substitutes, drug delivery and quantitative point of care diagnostics and his technology has been licenced by Response Biomedical and by Sitka Biopharma, a spin-off from UBC and CDRD. He currently sits on the Boards of the Provincial Health Services Authority, the BC Emergency Health Services, TRIUMF, AAPS, and the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF) Centre. He was recently appointed Executive Director of the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA).


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Kathryn Hayashi

President & CEO, Director

Kathryn Hayashi is President and CEO of TRIUMF Innovations, the business interface and commercialization arm, connecting TRIUMF, Canada's particle accelerator centre, to the private sector via industry partnerships, licensing, and company creation.

Ms. Hayashi is a Chartered Professional Accountant with more than 25 years of operational and strategic planning, finance and governance experience in not-for-profit organizations, public and private companies, start-ups, and commercialization accelerators/incubators.

Prior to TRIUMF Innovations, she was the Founding Chief Financial Officer of The Centre for Drug Research and Development, Canada’s national drug development and commercialization engine. In addition to her work establishing CDRD as a leader in pre-clinical translational research and commercialization, Ms. Hayashi presides as a Director and Audit Committee Chair of the Center for Commercialization and Cancer Immunotherapy at the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, as well as the Discovery Parks technology incubator, and has served on the boards of several spinoff companies.

Colin Jones


Dr. Colin Jones is Professor Emeritus at SFU following a 41-year teaching/research career at SFU in the area of radiochemistry. He served at SFU as Dean of Science 1989-99, Executive Director for International Relations 1999-2002 and as Assistant VP Research responsible for CFI applications 2002-2006. He served on the Science Council of BC and as a Board member of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and Science World. He also served as a TRIUMF Board member 1988-99 and as Chair of the TRIUMF Board 1995-2000. In the 1980's he established a small company to produce tellurium precursors for large-array mercury cadmium telluride infra-red detectors for the defence industry and for detecting cancers.

Sylvain Levésque


Since 2010, Dr. Sylvain Lévesque leads strategy at Bombardier Inc. as Vice President, Corporate Strategy. In this role, he heads the strategic planning process, evaluates the value creation potential of each business in Bombardier’s portfolio, and develops the strategy for capital allocation and evolution of the portfolio. He successfully engineered strategies to accelerate growth and realize the full potential of Bombardier’s fractional jet ownership program. He designed and launched several new innovative business jet services, which contributed strongly to Flexjet’s 20% annual order growth during his tenure.

Parimal Nathwani


Mr. Parimal Nathwani has over 15 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, including corporate finance, business development, transactions, intellectual property management, technology development and operations. He has been actively involved in forming and managing start-ups, preparing and executing on business plans, raising early-stage capital, and in- and out-licensing activities. Before joining MaRS Innovation, Mr. Nathwani was a healthcare analyst with a boutique investment bank, where he conducted equity research on publicly-traded biotechnology companies. He has also led commercialization activities out of BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital as part of his role at the UBC’s Industry Liaison Office. Mr. Nathwani received his MBA from Simon Fraser University and his M.Sc. from UBC.  He currently sits on the boards of ScarX Therapeutics (Chairman) and Zucara Therapeutics; and is an observer on the boards of Encycle Therapeutics and Vasomune Therapeutics.

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Karen Linder


Dr. Karen E. Linder is Associate Director, Clinical Science and Medical Affairs with Blue Earth Diagnostics Inc, where she runs the Investigator Initiated Trials program for the company. She is a quality-driven scientist with extensive technical experience in in vivo diagnostics drug development and skills in clinical science, alliance management, KOL development, radiochemistry and preclinical drug discovery. She has strong project management skills, honed by leadership of several local and international project teams focused on the development of new molecular imaging agents for PET, SPECT, optical imaging, radiotherapy and targeted MRI applications, and has knowledge of cGCP and FDA/ICH regulations/guidelines, gained via hands-on contributions to clinical trials and regulatory filings.

She has served as a member of the Organizing Committee for: the International Conf. on Technetium and Other Radiometals in Nuclear Medicine and International Conf. on Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry; has been a Radiochemistry Grant Reviewer for the US Department of Energy, Society of Nuclear Medicine  Meeting and International Conference on Radiopharmacology; Reviewer for Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Biology, Inorganic Chemistry, Bioconjugate Chemistry, Cancer Research; Membership to Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and Radiopharmaceutical Science Council (SNMMI).

She has authored 46 scientific articles and has >45 issued US patents.

Previous roles include positions at GE Healthcare and Bracco Research USA.