CellCAN is supported by a robust governance structure, including appropriate oversight of management, to ensure rigor, effectiveness and accountability in achieving its mission and strategic goals as a multi-centered and multi-disciplinary organization.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the principal governing body of CellCAN and its primary role is to provide overall strategic guidance. It provides high-level direction of the organization to ensure the achievement of its mission and objectives are in line with its values and beliefs. The Board is also responsible for ensuring the organization’s financials are managed according to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Industry Canada standards.

Members of the Board of Directors are prominent individuals in the field of governance, finance, law and communications. They are: 

William Brock

William Brock, Chair (interim) 

Mr. William Brock is a partner in the Litigation practice at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. In September 2004, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, seven years after his father’s death from the same diagnosis. Mr. Brock survived thanks to the skill and care of the doctors and nurses at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal and a bone marrow transplant from his brother. After his recovery, he helped establish The Fund for Education and Research into Blood Cancers. In the spring of 2010 he cycled across Europe to celebrate the five-year anniversary of his transplant and to raise money for the Fund. He has produced the book Portraits of Hope to support the Fund and to give hope to those suffering from blood cancers. In March 2015, he launched the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplants.

David Dolphin

Dr David Dolphin

As Vice-President Technology Development at Quadra Logic Technologies (QLT), David Dolphin was the lead creator of Visudyne, a medication used in conjunction with laser treatment to address the wet form of macular degeneration. He holds more than 260 patents, is the author and editor of nineteen books and has published over 400 research papers. In 2002, he was co-awarded the Prix Galien. In 2004, he was designated a Hero of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. Before joining QLT, Mr. Dolphin was the Acting Dean of Science at UBC. He was the founding CEO of the British Columbia Innovation Council and has sat on many boards including those of The Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Genome BC, and Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions. He was a founding member and is the current Chair of the Center for Drug Research and Development.

Fiona Fitzgerald 

Fiona Fitzgerald is currently the National Zone Leader for GE Healthcare Canada, Life Science. She has accountability for all the commercial products in Canada across the Research, BioProcess, Cell Technology and Service portfolios. She has been employed with GE in Canada since 1995. She also worked in the UK and the US with GE. She has long been involved with Academic/Industrial partnerships since her first role technology transfer liaison for Cambridge University and GE. Along with a Bachelor degree in Applied Biochemical Sciences, she also has a post graduate Diploma in Management Sciences. She is also a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Fiona has sat on various Government of Canada Federal committees including NSERC`s CREATE program and several NSERC Centre of Excellence Evaluation committees. In 2014, she chaired the CREATE committee. She currently holds three board memberships in CIMTEC, MDCC and on the Advisory Board for the Centre of Bioengineering and Biotechnology in Waterloo University. For short-term, Fiona’s mission is to better develop the Life Sciences portfolio of GE in Canada. In order to achieve that goal, she is actively contributing to stem cell, monoclonal antibody development, inflammation and infectious diseases partnerships. She is also an active mentor of the GE Women’s group. As a mentor in GE, she helps junior level women in the organization find their career path.

 Jean Picard

Jean Picard, Treasurer

Jean Picard is a partner and co-founder of the Pluridis Group, a firm offering consulting and management services to businesses. His career in consulting extends over 30 years. His fields of specialty include performance management, planning and management control and governance. Among his achievements, he introduced and applied the methodology of value-for-money audits in the health sector; such projects were conducted in several hospitals in various regions in Quebec. He also directed many engagements relative to health and research management for different faculties and entities at McGill University, including the Office of Technology Transfer. In recent years, he has advised senior executives of non for profit organizations in strategic planning and development of action plan to achieve objectives. In his volunteer activities, he has been a member of Boards for several organizations. Mr. Picard holds a master’s degree in Commercial Sciences from HEC Montréal. He is a member of the Quebec Order of Certified Professional Accountants. 

Dr Armand Keating 

Dr Armand Keating

Dr Armand Keating is Director of the Cell Therapy Program at the University Health Network in Toronto. He obtained his MD degree from the University of Ottawa, completed internal medicine and hematology training at the University of Toronto and a research fellowship at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr Keating's clinical and research interests focus on anti-cancer cell therapy, blood and marrow transplantation, leukemia, lymphoma and regenerative medicine. In 1986, he established the University of Toronto Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. Dr Keating has served on and chaired many research review panels, including for the US National Cancer Institute, the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dr Keating is on the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals. He is a founding member of CellCAN and Chair of CellCAN's Steering Committee.

Dr David Phipps

Dr David Phipps

Dr Phipps is the Executive Director of Research & Innovation Services at York University where he manages all research grants and contracts including knowledge and technology transfer. In this capacity he leads York’s award winning Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides services to researchers, community organizations and government agencies who wish to maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts of university research. He also leads Research Impact – Réseau Impact Recherche, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network including 10 universities from across Canada. In 2011 and 2012, Dr Phipps was named the most influential knowledge mobilizer in Canada. Dr Phipps received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) and undertook post-doctoral studies in HIV research at the University Health Network (Toronto). In 2001, Dr Phipps completed his MBA from the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto).

Dr Denis Claude Roy

Dr Denis Claude Roy

Dr Denis Claude Roy is the Director of the Cellular Therapy Laboratory and the Scientific Director of the Centre de recherche Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, the Chief Executive Officer of CellCAN as well as a full professor at the Université de Montréal and an adjunct professor at McGill University. Dr Roy received his MD from the Université de Montréal and held a postdoctoral fellowship in tumor immunology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University. His research interests focus on the immunobiology of stem cell transplantation, and particularly on the treatment of stem cell grafts to eliminate risks of graft rejection and optimize their anti-cancer activity. He has published some 100 original articles and book chapters in prestigious journals and has trained more than fifty-five students, MSc, PhD and post-docs. He has also been on numerous scientific review panels. 

Philip Welford

Philip Welford, Secretary 

Philip Welford was until recently the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at Stem Cell Network. Prior to his role with the SCN, he was Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at JDRF Canada, a position he held for two and a half years. Philip also served as Chief of Staff in federal government agencies, including Chief of Staff to the Minister of State for Science and Technology, the Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and the Director of Parliamentary Affairs for Research and Pharmaceutical development, the industry association representing pharmaceutical researchers in Canada.

Three bodies support the Board in the fulfilment of its duties.

Management Team

The CEO is responsible for the management of CellCAN with the support of a Steering Committee and an International Scientific Advisory Committee. CellCAN’s organizational structure benefits from the synergies that exist between members and their respective collaborators. The management team provides operational and administrative leadership to ensure control and accountability on a day-to-day basis.

All operational activities are overseen and administered by a Management Team (project manager, administrative coordinator and a designated part-time operation manager at each facility for liaison) who will report to the CEO.

  • Dr Denis Claude Roy - Chief Executive Officer
  • Vanessa Laflamme - Chief Operating Officer
  • Craig Hasilo - Chief Scientific Officer
  • Marie-Ève Desormeaux - Project Manager and Communications Coordinator
  • Ruth Yafali - Administrative Assistant

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee advises the CEO on the elaboration and execution of strategies for funding requests and allocations, as well as the selection and distribution of projects among CellCAN partners. It also supports the CEO in seeking new and complementary funding.

The Committee is composed of the directors of the cell therapy centres as well as of the two core facilities:

  • Dr Armand Keating (Chair of the Committee, University of Toronto)
  • Dr Lucie Germain (Laval University)
  • Dr Bartha Knoppers (McGill University)
  • Dr Greg Korbutt (University of Alberta)
  • Dr James Piret (University of British Columbia)
  • Dr Denis Claude Roy (Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital)
  • Dr Duncan Stewart (OHRI)

International Scientific Advisory Committee

The International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) is an external advisory panel established to assure the relevance and quality of the science used within CellCAN. The ISAC advises on emerging science and technology trends, challenges and opportunities in national and international contexts of cell and tissue therapies. The ISAC will advise the CEO on research orientation. It will also advise on scientific and business partnership opportunities and linkages; as well as the science underpinning specific issues brought before the ISAC.

This committee is composed of external renowned experts and researchers:

  • Dr Adrian Gee, Ph. D. - Professor, Medicine and Pediatrics and Director, Clinical Applications Lab, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA
  • Dr Philippe Hénon, Ph. D. - Director, Haematology and Transplantation Research Institute in Mulhouse, France, Scientific director of CellProthera
  • Dr. Geoffrey Lomax, Ph. D.- Senior Officer, CIRM Strategic Infrastructure
  • Dr Jerome Ritz - Executive Director, Connell O'Reilly Cell Manipulation at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA





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There are many types of stem cells.