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This page will be updated regularly with our Speaking Faculty for CTP 2018.

Thank you for your patience!  If interested in joining our Speaking Faculty, please email us at info@canadatalkspharma.com.

Conference Chair & Host

Opportunities out of Obstacles: Overcoming Barriers in Clinical Trials

Vatche Bartekian

Vatche Bartekian

President, Vantage BioTrials

Mr. Bartekian is President and Founder of Vantage BioTrials, a privately-held Canadian CRO specialized in clinical trial management services. Prior to this venture, he held several management positions with companies such as Pfizer, Covance, PPD, LAB Pharma, and MDS Pharma. He's contributed his strong drug development knowledge to the pharma and clinical research industry for over 20 years and has gained vast experience handling complicated trials across an array of therapeutic areas. He's an expert in Clinical Operations, Project Management, Quality Assurance and Monitoring, and holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a M.Sc. Administration from Concordia University. Mr. Bartekian is also the Chairperson of the Clinical Research Association of Canada and has held this position for the past 6 years. He is an avid public speaker and an active member of SoCRA, CSPS (Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences), BioQuebec, Innovative Medicines Canada, the Society of Quality Assurance, and the Quebec Association of Clinical Research Nurses and Professionals. He recently got appointed as an Advisor to Global Affairs Canada's Life Science division.

Keynote Topics & Speakers

Keynote Slot to be confirmed soon

Keynote Speaker to be confirmed soon

Keynote Speaker to be confirmed soon

Job Position


Keynote Slot to be confirmed soon

Keynote Speaker to be confirmed soon

Keynote Speaker to be confirmed soon

Job Position

Session Topics & Speakers

Workshop: Examining Effective Strategies for Ensuring Data Integrity When Executing Risk-Based Management Approaches

Janet McDougall

Janet McDougall

President, McDougall Scientific

Janet founded McDougall Scientific in 1984, when CROs were in their infancy, the internet was emerging and government regulations for human research were developing. Trained as a statistician and having honed her skills within the academic research community as well as the J&J health care family, the ethos of plan, do and check became part of the company DNA. She guides the corporate strategy, establishes key partnerships, emphasizes training and compliance throughout the company, closely monitors the changing trends in applied statistical methods and the international regulations in drug development and acts as an executive statistical consultant. Janet obtained her BSc. from the University of Waterloo in 1971, MSc. from the University of Toronto in 1977, and has been accredited by both the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) and the American Statistical Association (ASA) as a Professional Statistician (PStat). She presented to both the Canadian (TPD) and American (FDA) regulatory authorities, has served on the SSC board, acted as a column editor for the SSC publication, participated in the DIA working group during the development of the eTMF Reference model, chaired the ASA/DIA Good Clinical Practices Working Group, and was recognized with the University of Waterloo 2016, Faculty of Science, Contributions to Science Alumni Award.

Betsy Fallen

Betsy Fallen

Principal, BAFallen Consulting, LLC

Ms. Fallen is an authority on the business processes and associated use of information technology in drug development with a focus on regulatory and clinical. A passionate advocate for moving life sciences business on-line, Betsy is an expert on regulatory and clinical operations and applies her Six Sigma Green Belt skills to process and SOP development and efficiency. Over the two decades of outstanding contributions at Merck, she was recognized for her leadership and excellent representation of the organization on internal transformational teams and in many industry initiatives. Now consulting, she continues to be recognized for her knowledge in technical innovation, process efficiency and ability to assess and assure compliance in documentation, execution and oversight. Trained as an RN, Betsy is dedicated to ensuring the voice of the patient is heard as the drug development process continues the progression towards innovation and efficiency.

Workshop: Expanding the Possibilities - The Institutional Authorization Approach

Alex Karabanow

Alex Karabanow

Manager, Clinical Research Support Systems, University Health Network

As Manager for Clinical Research Support Systems at UHN, Alex Karabanow brings extensive experience in research administration, Research Ethics Board (REB) operations as well as research ethics administration, education, process and systems improvement. He has been involved in the management of compliance, integrity, planning and communication activities both in healthcare and university environments. Alex is the Chair of the Accreditation Council at Orion Human Research Accreditation, Canada’s first and only accrediting body for human research. He is also an REB Operations Expert representative on the Clinical Trials Ontario College of Reviewers and has played a leadership role at the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards (CAREB) as President and on the Board of Directors. Alex currently serves as an active member on several committees including the N2 (Network of Networks) Education Committee/Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)-Canada Developers Group.

Workshop: Optimizing Adoption of Quality Standards through Training

Michael Voth

Michael Voth

Manager, Research Quality Integration, University Health Network

Michael provides leadership in the planning, conduct and reporting of internal quality audits for clinical research. He is a Certified Quality Auditor (American Society for Quality, ASQ) who has helped establish and build the audit program at UHN and its procedures since its inception, providing a collaborative approach to auditing and quality improvement and strong knowledge in the following areas: research ethics, Good Clinical Practice, international drug and device research regulations (Health Canada, U.S. FDA, and EMEA) and SOP development. Michael championed the development of the Quality Clinical Investigator Practices (QCIP) Foundations course, an in-class training program targeted to new Principal Investigators, Clinical Research Fellows, and Clinical Fellows who conduct research involving humans.

Anita Sengar

Anita Sengar

Manager, Research Ethics Services, University Health Network

Anita is the Manager, Operations, of the University Health Network (UHN) Research Ethics Board and offers sound knowledge and expertise from both the public and private sector. With her solid knowledge she has implemented metrics, systems and safeguards to ensure better compliance to global regulations. Anita obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of Calgary and holds certificates in SOP writing, GCP and Auditing

Workshop: Aligning Clinical Operations to ICH GCP E6 R2

Peggy J. Berry

Peggy J. Berry

President & CEO, Synergy Consulting LLC

Ms. Berry provides consulting services to companies in all aspects of drug development. She also provides group and one-on-one training in drug development, regulatory affairs and project management topics. Prior to founding Synergy Consulting in 2015, she was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Insmed where she was responsible for the development and implementation of global regulatory strategies and the management and oversight of the regulatory affairs department. Prior to Insmed, she was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality at Amarin. She has also held a variety of senior level positions at Dyax (now Shire), MGI Pharma (now Eisai), AstraZeneca, and Dey Pharma (now Mylan). She has also held Regulatory Affairs roles within two clinical contract research organizations (ILEX Oncology and Cato Research Ltd) and has worked in review divisions at the FDA. In addition, she consults for a number of companies in the regulatory and quality area, conducts a number of training courses, and is active in the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society. She is the editor of the 2010 book “Choosing the Right Regulatory Career” (RAPS, MD) and author of the 2011 book “Communication & Negotiation” (RAPS, MD).

Using AI to Maximize Patient Recruitment Opportunities

Wout Brusselaers

Wout Brusselaers

CEO & Co-Founder, Deep 6 AI

Wout Brusselaers is the CEO and co-founder of Deep 6 AI. Wout started his career as a diplomat in the Middle East before joining global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, serving a wide variety of industries across Asia. Next, Wout founded an extreme sports adventure company in Singapore and then spent five years in the high-stakes world of international security, growing and leading a 22,000-headcount organization across four continents into a $500M global player. Wout co-founded Deep 6 AI as a cutting-edge AI platform for the Intelligence Community, arguably the most complex data environment in the world. Since 2016, Deep 6 AI has focused exclusively on healthcare, working with industry leaders such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Deep 6 AI now uses its AI expertise to accelerate patient recruitment exponentially and get life-saving cures to people faster. Wout is a frequent speaker on artificial intelligence in healthcare and works closely with hospitals, pharma companies and research institutes on patient recruitment programs.

Out with the Old, In with E-Consent

Sabrina Ramkellawan

Sabrina Ramkellawan

Clinical Research Consultant

Sabrina Ramkellawan has 15+ years of experience in conducting clinical trials in a number of environments including overseeing CROs, and has worked for pharmaceutical companies and investigator sites (Physician Clinics). Sabrina has worked in various roles including Research Nurse, CRC, CRA and various management positions. Her previous positions have included various management positions at Apotex Inc. and she was the previous Director of Operations at Biopharma Services and INC Research. She is currently the Co-Founder of the Canadian Institute for Medical Advancement where she helps sites, research organizations and pharmaceutical companies with the conduct of clinical trials. During the last year and a half she has also worked in the area of medical cannabis research as well as managing a medical cannabis clinic. She has experience with utilizing technology in clinical trials including being the clinical lead in the implementation of an Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system at a CRO, implementing a new recruitment database to improve patient recruitment and has worked on three research studies that have utilized electronic consent

Using Machine Learning and Augmented Intelligence To Overcome Difficulties in Phase III Clinical Trials

Dr. Joseph Geraci, Ph.D

Dr. Joseph Geraci, Ph.D

President & Founder, NetraMark

Dr. Joseph Geraci is a mathematical physicist, medical scientist, and entrepreneur. He is currently the CEO of NetraMark Corp and an Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine at Queen’s University. His focus has been on novel algorithm development for quantum computation, machine learning, and biomarker discovery. Dr. Geraci developed a novel set of machine learning methods to help pharmaceutical companies who are having difficulties during their clinical trials. One of the methods involves setting up a simple to use environment where machine and human can collaborate on exploring patient populations. The goal: to create models that can either predict safety, placebo response, and/or predict sub-populations that respond well to a potential medication. He is currently working with several pharmaceutical companies.

Overcoming Obstacles In The Drug Approval Process in Canada

Susanne Picard

Susanne Picard

President, SPharm Inc.

Susanne Picard, is the founder and current president of SPharm Inc., a Regulatory/Product Development consulting firm servicing clients globally. She is a highly regarded expert trusted for over 26 years to be an “out of the box” strategic thinker with expertise in Drug Development activities in various therapeutic areas. Susanne’s work supports the growth of clients’ product portfolios through standard and innovative regulatory approaches; she has also successfully driven appeal processes on negative decisions by Health Canada, with positive/approval outcomes. Passionate about making a difference in the Health Product market access both on national and provincial levels, she and her team provide support during product lifecycle management and License maintenance activities including for innovative as well as generic & biosimilar products, in various therapeutic fields.

Augmented & Virtual Reality Applications in Clinical Trials: Are we Ready for the Future?

Dr. Keith Grimes, M.D.

Dr. Keith Grimes, M.D.

Founder, VR Doctors & Digital Health Consultant

Keith is a UK-based General Practitioner & Digital Health Consultant, with a special interest in Urgent Care, and a passion for Innovation and Technology. He has been involved in the creation and delivery of several award-winning services such as MyLittleOne, a neonatal camera & tablet system, and the Roving GP service in Brighton & Hove. Current projects include ‘See What I See’, an evaluation of the use of Google Glass for remote consultations, and “PREVENT-ICU-Delirium”, a study on the use of Virtual Reality to reduce Post-Operative Delirium. A self-professed Geek and a Gamer, he is the founder of ‘VR Doctors’, an online community dedicated to the exploration of Virtual & Augmented Reality in Healthcare, and the host of ‘The VR Doctor’ podcast. Dr Grimes has spoken internationally on Digital Health and the role of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Healthcare, and delivered the closing talk at the inaugural TEDxNHS 2016.

The Patient Group Pathway Model to Accessing Cancer Clinical Trials: a Canadian Initiative

Filomena Servidio-Italiano

Filomena Servidio-Italiano

Director of Education and Clinical Information, Colorectal Cancer Canada

Filomena is the Director of Education & Clinical Information at Colorectal Cancer Canada (‘CCC”), a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and education of colorectal cancer. She oversees the national patient support programs (which include the Cancer Coach Program and Information/Support Groups), all educational initiatives (including the Patient Values Program and Clinical Trials Initiative) HTA Submissions and management of clinical information. Her undergraduate and graduate work lie in the biological sciences and pedagogical studies, all of which were completed at the University of Toronto.
Filomena has been a strong patient advocate for equal and timely access to effective therapies to improve colorectal cancer patient outcomes, as she works tirelessly with health care professionals in Canada along the entire continuum of colorectal cancer care. As a caregiver to her father who was afflicted with metastatic cancer, her journey has served as the impetus for the development of CCC’s unique and highly successful patient support programs. Her previous experience (11 years) in Education has permitted the expansion of CCC’s educational initiatives for both the general public and health care professionals.

Precision Medicine: Challenges Leading to New Opportunities & Innovative Clinical Trials

Dr. Andreas Orfanos

Dr. Andreas Orfanos

Director, Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC)

Dr. Andreas Orfanos is the Director of the Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC), a full service clinical academic research organization, and division of the Montreal Heart Institute. He is also the CEO of Innovacor, responsible for the valorization and commercialization of products and technologies originating from the Montreal Heart Institute. Dr. Orfanos brings extensive global strategic, clinical development and operational expertise across pharma, biotech, biotech investment and healthcare/hospital management. He also established ORFANOS Global Healthcare Consulting Inc., which focuses on creating value for organizations through strategy development and advancement of medical products and technologies. Previously, Dr. Orfanos held senior executive positions at Thrasos Therapeutics, Neurochem, Picchio, Novartis, Sandoz and Lifecare. Dr.Orfanos obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBCh) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in South Africa, and has a Fellowship with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, Royal College of Physicians (FFPM) of the United Kingdom.

Better Patient Engagement leading to Lasting Relationships in Clinical Trials

Kim McDonald-Taylor

Kim McDonald-Taylor

Clinical Research Consultant

Kim McDonald-Taylor, MSc, CRPC operates a clinical consultancy, McDonald-Taylor Consulting, where her passion for her clients’ projects results in exceeded expectations for her training, project management, medical writing, teaching, meeting facilitation and strategic planning. Kim has worked in the clinical trials area for 30 years, including her 12-year tenure with Endpoint Research holding positions such as VP Operations and Managing Director of Canada. Kim has volunteered with the Clinical Research Association of Canada (CRAC) for the past 18 years. In her various roles, including President, Kim has provided leadership as CRAC went online, helped develop a certification program (CRPC) and continues to recommend quality speakers for the membership on topics of importance in Canadian clinical research. She is also on the Board of Directors for Brain Injury Canada where she volunteers as secretary and was named Volunteer of the Year for 2016. Kim earned her MSc in toxicology from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. She has presented and co-chaired sessions at DIA, DIA Canada, ACRP and other meetings over the past 15 years. In her spare time, Kim enjoys photography, birding, genealogy, music and downhill skiing.

From an Inspection with Canada Revenue Agency: Are Patient Compensations a Taxable Benefit or are they a Service Sold Under Contractual Agreement?

Pierre Gervais

Pierre Gervais

President, Q&T Research

Pierre Gervais is a registered pharmacist and a pharmacologist graduated from the University of Montreal. Pierre has 17 years of diversified R & D experience with drug companies as CRA, Clinical Scientist, Research Manager and Associate Medical Director. He was involved in the strategic planning and development of key compounds like Nicoderm, sucralfate and diltiazem. Pierre founded Q & T Research – Sherbrooke in 1996, a private research centre dedicated in clinical research with drug companies. Q & T is now a research group made of 27 employees, health professionals or consultants and is active in 11 therapeutic areas. As research director, Pierre is involved in establishing and maintaining the high quality standards supporting pivotal Phase II – III multi-therapeutic clinical research groups. Pierre is a founding member and ex-President of the Quebec Association of Clinical Research (AQRC) an association dedicated in promoting excellence in clinical research.

Getting Back on Track for Project Completion: Effective Strategies for Study Rescue

Vatche Bartekian

Vatche Bartekian

President, Vantage BioTrials

Mr. Bartekian is President and Founder of Vantage BioTrials, a privately-held Canadian CRO specialized in clinical trial management services. Prior to this venture, he held several management positions with companies such as Pfizer, Covance, PPD, LAB Pharma, and MDS Pharma. He's contributed his strong drug development knowledge to the pharma and clinical research industry for over 20 years and has gained vast experience handling complicated trials across an array of therapeutic areas. He's an expert in Clinical Operations, Project Management, Quality Assurance and Monitoring, and holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a M.Sc. Administration from Concordia University. Mr. Bartekian is also the Chairperson of the Clinical Research Association of Canada and has held this position for the past 6 years. He is an avid public speaker and an active member of SoCRA, CSPS (Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences), BioQuebec, Innovative Medicines Canada, the Society of Quality Assurance, and the Quebec Association of Clinical Research Nurses and Professionals. He recently got appointed as an Advisor to Global Affairs Canada's Life Science division.