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Jury of the Academy

Science Jurors

The 2016 Jury of the Academy is comprised of international, provincal and local experts in science, innovation, healthcare, business, IP and marketing.

We are honoured to have their knowledge and expertise to adjudicate and determine the winning healthcare innovations from the 2016 competition.


Business Jurors

Dr. John Conly

John Conly, MD, is a physician trained in internal medicine and infectious disease, and is also a professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He is Board certified in both Canada and the United States. He is the past Chairman of the Department of Medicine, University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, past President of the Canadian Infectious Disease Society, past Board Chairman for the Canadian Committee on Antibiotic Resistance, and the inaugural Vice Chair for the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee. He is also the founding Co-Chair for the Canadian Hospital Epidemiology Committee, which in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada established the current Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program.

Dr. Conly is currently the Co-Director for the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the University of Calgary, the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of the Association of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, an Academic Editor for PLoS One, a WHO Technical member of the Group for the Global Infection Prevention and Control Network and a Consultant to the WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance.

Dr. Conly was the catalyst for the creation of W21C. His vision was to create a centre that enables health system innovation through a state-of-the-art clinical and research space. Since its inception almost 10 years ago, W21C has engaged interdisciplinary researchers to collaborate on exciting approaches to improve patient safety and quality of care. Dr. Conly’s focus on innovation and multidisciplinary networking has contributed significantly to W21C success to date. He has received numerous career honours including the Joe Doupe Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, an Award of Exellence form the Riverdale Hospital, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Infectious Diseases Society.

He has published over 300 papers and has received multiple career honours in teaching, research, mentorship, innovation and service. He was the recipient of the Ronald Christie Award in 2012 from the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine which is awarded to a former Chair of a Canadian Department of Medicine who has made outstanding contributions to academic medicine in Canada. He continues as an active consultant in clinical infectious diseases and his current interests focus on antimicrobial resistance, patient safety and innovations in healthcare.


Dr. Erica Conte

Erica is the Manager of Research Funding Opportunities at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. She originally completed a PhD at the University of Western Ontario in Physiology, and then worked as a Post-doc and Research Associate in Critical Care Medicine in Turin Italy for 6 years. She also spent a year in industry working for a Medical device company before moving back to Canada in 2013. In her position at St. Michael’s Hospital, she helps to foster research innovation, and has organized the Institute’s Translational Innovation Fund and Angel’s Den Event which has provided over $1.2 million in support over the past two years.

St. Michael's Hospital

Dr. Jamie Day

Jamie is Administrative Director of the O'Brien Institute for Public Health.  Trained as a biomedical researcher (PhD Neuroscience), her postdoctoral experiences at Universite de Bordeaux and McGill University developed strengths in scientific writing and research management.  With more than 15 years as a university research administrator, Jamie is experienced in innovation development, with expertise in strategic funding, budgeting, and reporting of research projects, teams, and programs. 

O'Brien Institute for Public Health

Dr. Trevor Day

Trevor holds a B.Sc. in Neuropsychology (University of Calgary) and a Ph.D. in Respiratory Neurobiology (University of Calgary). He is currently an Associate Professor of Physiology at Mount Royal University, where he teaches courses in basic and applied physiology. His research interests include the integration and interactions between the heart, lungs and brain in response to stressors (e.g., body position, high altitude, sedentary behaviour). Previously, he worked as a lifeguard, CPR and first aid instructor, emergency medical technician and outdoor adventure and drama teacher for kids at summer camps. Now that his teaching is limited largely to science in the university classroom, he is becoming increasingly interested in what people who aren’t taking science classes think about science. Trevor is also a musician, and has been combining his love of performing with his love of science, recently through developing live science-music productions with Jay Ingram and his band. Their most recent collaboration is a 3-D visual and musical spectacle called “The Giant Walk Through Brain”, which was the winner of the 2014 Canadian Science Writer’s Association “Science in Society” award.

Mount Royal University (MRU)

Dr. Francine Girard

Francine Girard, RN, PhD, last June completed her second mandate as Dean and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Nursing at the Université de Montréal, where she has been since June 2007.

Under her leadership, the Faculty implemented a primary care nurse practitioner program. Numerous research and nursing-training partnerships with several countries on the international scene have been initiated during her mandates.

Last year, Dr. Girard received the 2015 Prix Florence-Leadership award from the Order of Nurses of Quebec. She has also been a Member and Deputy-Chair of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation for Health Canada, 2014-2015.

In 2013, Dr. Girard was a member of the Quebec inter-ministerial committee on the future of nurses training. In 2012, she was a member of the Canadian Nurses Association's National Expert Commission. In the same year, she received the Award for Academic Administrative Excellence from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. Dr. Girard chaired the Quebec Task Force on Working Conditions of Nurses in 2007.

From 2000 to 2003, she was Vice-President and Chief Nursing Officer for the Calgary Health Region, then, Senior Vice-President for Professional Practice and Research, and Chief Nursing Officer until 2005. In 2006, she was vice president, Western Region, for Canada's Victorian Order of Nurses (VON).

Université de Montréal

Dr. Anwar Haq

Dr. Anwar Haq's educational background includes MSc, PhD in Molecular Biology, MBA and Public Policy. Dr. Haq’s over fifteen years of experience within higher education and healthcare setting has involved research, research facilitation, HR, financial, operational, and strategic planning and management, and practice on the design, implementation and evaluation of innovation policies.

Currently Dr Haq acting as a President for a management consulting and service company - Bioshelf. Bioshelf specializes in strategies, complexity management, organizational transformation, sustainability & risk, corporate social responsibilities (CSR), intellectual property (IP) and innovation management across the industries spectrum particularly in education, healthcare, pharmaceutical and environment. Healthcare practice areas particularly include innovation policies development and analysis, planning, developing and operating facilities, technology and new infrastructure. 

Prior to joining Bioshelf, Dr. Haq was serving one of the largest research institutes, the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. As an Executive Director, he provided strategic direction and facilitation to senior leadership on key strategic and tactical initiatives related to the Institute and ensured their strategic integration, relevance, and operational and fiscal sustainability.

Besides performing day-to-day operations, he was also a primary resource person for Institute’s operational and fiscal policies and procedures related to its stakeholders such as, the Cumming School of Medicine at University of Calgary, Provincial Government, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and its allies.

Currently, Dr. Haq is an Executive member of the Canadian College for Healthcare Leaders (CCHL– SAC), member of the Canadian Association for Management Consultants (CAMC), and National Business Innovation Association, USA (NBIA). Through NBIA, he has also completed his certification in Incubator Management.

Dr. Haq is an active community volunteer for science outreach, community engagement-focused organizations, Not-for-profit fund raising and social marketing. Currently he is also an elected Senator at the University of Calgary Senate where he had served on various committees such as, Senate Executive Committee, Community Engagement, Government Relations and Senate Development Committee.

Dr. Jane Lemaire

Dr Jane Lemaire is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair, Physician Wellness and Vitality, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary. She also practices within Alberta Health Services as an academic physician and consultant in General Internal Medicine.

Dr Lemaire's career focus includes medical education at the local, national, and international levels. She has served as member and chair of the Internal Medicine Specialty Committee, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr Lemaire is currently Vice-Director of a University of Calgary-Lao PDR partnership spanning over a decade directed at enhancing medical education in this developing country. This global health project’s focus includes a revision of the Lao PDR University of Health Sciences undergraduate medical education curriculum and the development, implementation, and ongoing support of a Family Medicine Specialist training program.

Dr Lemaire’s research incorporates elements of medical education, healthcare services delivery, and healthcare provider wellness with an emphasis on physicians. Dr Lemaire is Wellness Lead, W21C Research and Innovation Centre at the University of Calgary. In collaboration with sociologist Dr Jean Wallace, Dr Lemaire and the Wellness research team study healthcare provider well-being with a view to improve productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability for the work force. This program of research aims to identify the determinants of healthcare provider wellness, explore the links between this workforce’s wellness and effective healthcare systems, and educate all stakeholders of the importance of wellness. The knowledge gained through these enquiries is translated into programs to support and sustain the healthcare provider work force, ultimately enabling a more effective healthcare system.

Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary

Dr. Frank Maurer

Dr. Frank Maurer is a Special Advisor on Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the University of Calgary’s Office of the Vice-President (Research). Previously, he held an Associate Vice-President (Research) position from 2011 –2015.

Maurer received his Diplom (German Undergrad Degree) in 1989 and Doctorate (Dr. rer. Nat.) in Computer Science from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany in 1989. After eight years working as a Researcher at the University of Kaiserslautern, Maurer joined the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary in 1997. During his tenure he has held the roles of Associate Professor (1997-2003), Full Professor (2003-present), Software Engineering Director (2001-2004), Associate Head of Research and Planning (2004-2008), Acting Department Head (2008-2009), and Graduate Director (2010-2011).

Maurer’s research interests are agile software methodologies, application engineering for digital surfaces and big data analytics. Maurer is the Principle Investigator of the NSERC SurfNet Strategic Network (Digital Surface Software Application Network) and has received seven NSERC Engage grants for his work covering a broad spectrum of application areas including multi-surface systems for retail spaces and emergency control centres. He is head of the Agile Surface Engineering Group at the University of Calgary and founding member of the Calgary Agile Methods User Group.

Maurer is the Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee on Analytics and Visualization (ACAV) and the Advisory Committee on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI), and sits on the Advisory Committee on Knowledge Engagement (ACKE) and the Advisory Committee on New Earth Space Technology Committee (ACNEST) as Vice-President (Research) Representative. Maurer is also the Chief Technical Officer of VisworX (, and sits on the boards of Cybera, a not-for-profit technical agency, and the IBM Alberta Centre for Advanced Studies.

Vice-President (Research) Office, UCalgary

Dr. Alex Molassiotis

Professor Molassiotis is currently the Chair Professor of Nursing, Endowed Professor in Health & Longevity and Head of School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also the Director of WHO Collaborating centre at the Polytechnic University, the only centre with such focus in south east Asia. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Oncology Nursing. He has been a Bloomberg International Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Professor at the Australian Catholic University (Sydney), and the National University of Singapore. He is currently Visiting Professor at University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa; Fujian University of TCM, Zunyi Medical University, Zhuhai and Jiagnan University, Wuxi, China. He has over 200 international publications and several millions of dollars in research funding over the past few years. His research focus is on complex symptoms and the development of interventions to manage chemotherapy-related symptoms, currently focusing on cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, peripheral neuropathies and cough/breathlessness in lung cancer.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Dr. Didier Pittet

Prof. Didier Pittet is Director of the Infection Control Programme and WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine in Switzerland. He holds honorary professorships in London, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, China. He is Lead Adviser of the WHO Clean Care is Safer Care Programme. Prof Pittet is the recipient of several international honours incl. a CBE awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II for services to the prevention of healthcare-associated infection in the UK (2007).

The book “Clean Hands Save Lives” (by T. Crouzet, 2014) describes Didier Pittet medical odyssey to promote patient safety worldwide.

Prof. Pittet is co-author of more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 50 textbook chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals and is an editorial consultant of the Lancet. The experience of his team in engaging nations and healthcare settings worldwide in a universal commitment to patient safety is unique.

University Hospital of Geneva

Dr. Brent Scott

Dr. Scott has led the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health (ACHRI) since 2009, during which time he has worked with ACHRI’s partners and members to increase the range, quantity and quality of child health research in Alberta.

Under his tenure, the institute restructured its organization and operations and identified and developed three priority areas of research focus: behaviour and the developing brain, healthy outcomes and the molecular and genetic basis of health. To build the strength of the institute, Dr. Scott recruited new faculty in all three of its theme areas, established core platforms in clinical and basic research, and developed its strategic plan.  

ACHRI is a partnership of the University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. Its members are drawn from a diverse community of child health researchers from the faculties of Arts, Kinesiology, Medicine, Nursing, Science, Social Work, Veterinary Medicine and the Werklund School of Education.

Dr. Scott also worked collaboratively in Alberta, developing a strong relationship with colleagues in the Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) at the University of Alberta.

Nationally, Dr. Scott is a founding member of MICRYN, a network of 19 maternal infant child and youth research organizations in Canada, to which ACHRI belongs. Dr. Scott is also the recipient of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Paediatric Research and the inaugural holder of the Husky Energy Chair in Child and Maternal Health.

Dr. Scott came to the Faculty of medicine in 1982 as a practicing academic gastroenterologist with a research program studying the control of intestinal motor functions. Over the ensuing period, he has provided leadership to the faculty of medicine in myriad ways: he is past vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine and former Regional Head of the Department of Pediatrics with the former Calgary Health Region. Dr. Scott served as co-chair of the Child Health Advisory Council for the former Calgary Health Region and was an executive member of the Calgary Health Region Medical Advisory Board.  In 2016, he was the recipient of the Dr. Alan Ross Award for the top paediatrician in Canada.

Dr. Scott currently sits on the board of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, which has raised and directed significant funding toward child health care and research over the last forty years.

Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health (ACHRI)

Aurelia Weber

Aurélia studied Biology at the University of Geneva, where she obtained a Master degree in Microbiology awarded by the Arditi Prize. She then left the laboratory bench, working in the Pharma industry and Technology Transfer domain. Also specialized in project management and scientific communication, Aurélia is currently coordinator at the Innovation Office of the University Hospital of Geneva, whose mission is to support innovators in their projects and promote an innovative state of mind within the institution.

University Hospital of Geneva

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Jason Ding

In his role as an Executive-in-Residence at TEC Edmonton, as well as the Program Director of the TEC Health Accelerator, Jason is responsible for managing the activities of Alberta’s largest Health Accelerator with a particular focus on working with Alberta Health Services and relationships with multi-national strategic partners.  Jason Ding founded H2 Technology Consulting and is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Business Valuator.  Prior to working at TEC, he was the Deputy Biotechnology leader for Deloitte in Canada, a Vice President & Director in Deloitte’s corporate finance and valuation practice, and a financial auditor of public companies with KPMG.  Jason has also been an executive for a number of early stage companies to assist them with licensing, merger & acquisition, valuation and financing transactions. Prior to working in the financial industry, Jason worked as a science reporter for CBC radio and as an Ombudsman for the University of Alberta.

H2 Technology Consulting Inc. | TEC Edmondon & TEC Health Accelerator

Derrick Hunter

Derrick is the President of Bluesky Equities Ltd., an investment management company with interests in energy, real estate and alternative strategies.  Over the past two decades he has founded or co-founded several successful energy ventures, a publicly-traded technology company and a property-management firm.  He is an active member of the local Angel investment community.


Derrick currently sits on the boards of three software companies, a film finance company and a real estate investment corporation.  He is also Trustee of the Hunter Family Foundation.  In the not-for-profit sector he is active with the Management Advisory Council at the Haskayne School of Business, the Energy New Ventures Competition, the Beakerhead Creative Society, EO Global Banff University and The Next 36.  He was previously the Finance Chair of the Calgary Chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization and founding Treasurer of New Heights Early Learning Services Society.


Derrick is a graduate of Queen’s University and the University of Calgary.  He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta and the Entrepreneur’s Organization. 

Bluesky Equities Ltd.

David O'Brien

David O’Brien has had an extensive career in business and healthcare. He received his Bachelor of Economics degree from Concordia University in 1962, and subsequently obtained his degree in Law from McGill University in 1965. In 1978, Mr. O’Brien and his family moved to Calgary, where they have resided ever since.


Mr. O’Brien has held a variety of positions in both corporate and non-profit sectors. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) and is a member of the advisory board for the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.


Throughout his career, David O’Brien has been recognized for his contributions to industry. He is a member of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, as well as the Calgary Business Hall of Fame, and is a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 2008, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Gail O'Brien

Born in Montreal, and with a Bachelors Degree in English and Fine Arts from McGill University, Gail moved to Calgary with her husband David and 3 children in 1978. Her career in fashion spanned the next 25 years including 10 years as General Manager of Holt Renfrew Calgary.

During that time Gail began her deep commitment to community involvement serving on the boards of both the Y.W.C.A Board of Calgary, and as Vice-Chair of the Glenbow Museum. Since her retirement, she has devoted herself full time to the Not-for Profit sector focusing largely on Women, Medicine and the Arts in organizations across Canada. 

In 2005, the O’Brien Centre for the Bachelor of Health Sciences became a reality thanks to a foundational gift of $5 million from Gail and David O’Brien and in 2014, a second major gift for $12 million from the O’Briens named the O’Brien Institute of Public Health at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

Gail’s broad commitment to the NFP Sector has and continues to include many Board Governance roles. Current commitments include: The Hospital for Sick Children Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors; Co-Chair, Council for Canadian American Relations; Trustee of the National Arts Centre; Director of Business for the Arts; Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Cumming School of Medicine; Chair of the Southern Alberta Cancer Institute Advisory Board; and member of other Institute Advisory Boards at the CSM including the O’Brien Centre for the BHSc and the Obrien Institute of Public Health.

Past Board commitments include Chair of the National Arts Centre Foundation and Trustee of the Ontario Science Centre.

Gail received the Women of Distinction Award for Business and Entrepreneurs in the year 2000. In 2010, Gail received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Calgary as well as the Eric Harvey Award from the Glenbow Museum. In September 2011, Gail received the Alberta Medical Association Award of Honor (for a non medical person) for her contribution to Health Quality in Alberta. 

Ms O’Brien is married to David O’Brien. They have 3 children and 10 grandchildren all residing in Toronto.

Dr. Jacqueline Olich

Jacqueline M. Olich, PhD, is an administrator and educator with years of experience building partnerships and developing innovative interdisciplinary projects. She joined RTIInternational, one of the world’s leading independent non-profit research institutes, in 2014. As RTI’s first Director of University Collaborations, she leads RTI International's University Collaboration Office (UCO), which serves as a catalyst and hub for outreach at the university level, developing and managing partnerships with leading regional, national and international academic institutions. In her current role, she establishes networks to link ideas and people and oversees the RTI University Scholars Program and the Internship Program. Dr. Olich leadsRTI’s participation in the Duke University-RTI Funds Launching Alliances for Research Exploration (FLARE) and NC State University Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP) initiatives.


Prior to joining RTI, Dr. Olich was Director of Graduate Studies in Russian and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Associate Director of UNC’s Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies. Dr. Olich coordinated and oversaw programs for a Duke-UNC Title VI U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center (NRC), co-authored a successful $4.2 million operational grant and administered more than $1.5 million in student fellowships.


Prior to working for UNC, she co-founded Diba Industries, Durham, NC, and Danbury, CT, for which she provided leadership, management, and support for the medical diagnostics company, helping to grow annual revenues to $12M (FY 2003), launch two locations and successfully sell the company in 2004 to the multinational Halma Technology Group (LSE: HLMA).


Dr. Olich is an Adjunct Associate Professor, Public Health Leadership Program, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Fellow, UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies. She served as a judge for the 17th Annual Duke Startup Challenge and, recently, she was named to Duke University’s NEH Next Generation Humanities PhD Implementation GrantAdvisory Board.

RTI International

Samar Saneinejad

Samar Saneinejad is the Director of Strategic Projects in the Office of VP Research at St. Michael’s Hospital. She leads a team that supports the research community in securing funding and awards and she is responsible for intellectual property management and commercialization at the hospital. Prior to joining St. Michael's, Samar was a Senior Consultant at SHI Consulting (now, Shift Health), a boutique consulting firm focused exclusively on healthcare and life sciences. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she earned a Masters in Applied Science, in Biomedical Engineering.

St. Michael's Hospital

Bob Sartor

In 2012, Big Rock Brewery named CEO & President, Bob Sartor, to its Board.  Bob previously served as Chief Executive Officer of The Forzani Group Limited (“Forzani”) from 2003 until it was acquired by Canadian Tire Corporation in August 2011.  Prior to his role as CEO at Forzani, Bob served as that company’s President from 2000 to 2003 and its Chief Financial Officer from 1997 to 2000. Preceding his roles at Forzani, he held senior financial roles with Avenor Inc., the Oshawa Group and Kraft General Foods Canada.


While being mindful of the great traditions at Big Rock, Bob set about reinvigorating the Big Rock brand with a new mission, new packaging, new locations and a determination to brew the finest craft beers.

Big Rock Brewery

Jim Wilson

As Intellectual Property Manager, Health & Environmental Technology, Jim Wilson is responsible for managing a portfolio of new technologies and discoveries in the fields of environmental, medical and life sciences.

Prior to joining Innovate Calgary, Jim was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. His research on the electrical properties of cartilage cells was part of the province’s AHFMR Osteoarthritis Team. A former instructor for the Schulich School of Engineering, he was the recipient of the University’s 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. Jim also has previous experience as a Research Analyst in an aerospace manufacturing development group at Rolls-Royce in England.

Jim holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Calgary, an MSc in Computer Simulation from Coventry University in Coventry, United Kingdom

Innovate Calgary

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