Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board



           Dr. Jake Thiessen

Founding Director, Health Sciences Campus & School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
Professor Emeritus, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto

Dr. Jacob (Jake) J. Thiessen from Steinbach, Manitoba earned his B.Sc. (Pharm) degree from the University of Manitoba in 1965 and his M.Sc. in Pharmacy in 1969. He subsequently completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Francisco in Pharmaceutical Chemistry with specialization in analytics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Dr. Thiessen joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto in 1973. His academic responsibilities included an interval as Graduate Coordinator (1987- 1993), Associate Dean (1998-2005), member of the University Governing Council and Business Board (2003-2005), and Chair of the committee for the design and construction of the new Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy building (2000-2004).  Dr. Thiessen’s research and teaching encompassed pharmacokinetics & pharmacodynamics. His studies also included new approaches to cancer treatment, new molecules to treat patients with iron overload, and advanced technologies to diagnose and treat diseases.

In 2004, Dr. Thiessen launched a development plan for Ontario’s second academic Pharmacy program. This gave rise to the new University of Waterloo (UW) Pharmacy School, becoming the first pharmacy institution in Canada to offer a cooperative educational program. As the Hallman Founding Director for the school, Dr. Thiessen worked with a small team to craft the undergraduate program, recruit faculty members, and design the new facility, culminating in the arrival of the first pharmacy class in January 2008. In August of 2006, he was given the added role of Director of the new Health Sciences Campus, and charged with developing this new UW site in Kitchener, Ontario. During the 2004-2010 period at UW he also conducted collaborative research with engineers to create new applications of imaging and spectroscopy in the pharmaceutical and medical fields. This led to a start-up company that is publically traded (TSX Venture Exchange).





          Dr. Richard Bozzato

Senior Advisor, MaRS Discovery District
PhD and Honors B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto

Richard is an experienced pharmaceutical industry executive having led the development of innovative drugs, biologics, medical devices, and combination products in several therapeutic areas including metabolic diseases, regenerative medicine, bone repair and orthopaedics, haematology and nicotine addiction. He has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of product development process from basic research, preclinical safety and toxicology, clinical research (Phases I through IV), chemistry and manufacturing, and regulatory submissions in the United States, Canada and Europe, through to market launch.

Richard’s most recent position was as Chief Operating Officer of Nicogen Inc. where he was responsible for the general operations of the company, and overseeing the establishment and execution of the business and product development plans. He was a key participant in the Company’s financing and partnering efforts that have included the establishment of a spin-off company in the area of natural health products. Prior to joining Nicogen, he held the position of Chief Scientific Officer at ApoPharma Inc, and was responsible for the innovative drug development programs. He has also held senior management positions with Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc. Currently, Richard is a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry and Advisor to the Life Sciences Practice of the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

Dr. Bozzato holds an honours B.Sc. and doctoral degree in Biochemistry from University of Toronto, and has had training at the European Molecular Biology Laboratories in Heidelberg and the University of California, Irvine.




          Mark Lievonen

Principal of JML Advisory Services
Director of Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Director of Quest PharmaTech Inc

Mark Lievonen is the former President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited. Currently, he is a Director of Quest PharmaTech Inc., Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Biome Grow Inc., and the Gairdner Foundation. He is a past Chair of Rx&D, BIOTECanada, Ontario Genomics Institute, Vice-Chair of Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and a Director of the Public Policy Forum.

Mark is also a passionate advocate for public health access, education, and giving back to the community. He is a former Chair of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, and served as an ex-officio member on the Markham Stouffville Hospital Board. He also chaired the Healthcare Division of the United Way of Greater Toronto Cabinet. He is the founder of the Sanofi BioGenius Canada, a program that has fostered young scientists for more than 20 years – giving over 5,500 students a chance to pursue groundbreaking and career-defining projects in the field of biotechnology.

Mark’s contributions to the biopharma industry, economic development and the community have been widely recognized. Mark holds a BBA and a MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a Honourary Doctor of Laws degree from York University. He is a Chartered Accountant and received his designation while working with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2007.




          Allan Rock

Full Professor
B.A. (Ottawa); LL.B. (Ottawa); LL.D. (hon. Law Society of Upper Canada); Hon. Doc. (Windsor)

Allan Rock is President Emeritus of the University of Ottawa, and a Professor in its Faculty of Law, where he teaches International Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict in International Law.

He practiced in civil, administrative and commercial litigation for 20 years (1973-93) with a national law firm in Toronto, appearing as counsel in a wide variety of cases before courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was inducted in 1988 as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a former Treasurer (President) of the Law Society of Ontario.

Allan Rock was elected to the Canadian Parliament in 1993, and re-elected in 1997 and 2000. He served for that decade as a senior minister in the government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in both social and economic portfolios. He was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1993-97), Minister of Health (1997-2002) and Minister of Industry and Infrastructure (2002-03).

He was appointed in 2003 as Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) in New York during a period that involved responding to several complex regional conflicts, including those in Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur. He led the successful Canadian effort in New York to secure, at the 2005 World Summit, the unanimous adoption by UN member states of The Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing and other mass atrocities. He later served as a Special Envoy for UN investigating the unlawful use of child soldiers in Sri Lanka during its civil war.

In 2008, Allan Rock became the 29th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ottawa. He completed two terms as uOttawa President in 2016. Allan Rock was subsequently a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School, associated with the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict.





          Max Zive

President, Zipharm International Inc. 
B.Sc. Pharm. D.T.M

Max is a board member, former Chairman of PSG Annual Conference Committee, and past Acting Executive Director of the PSG. As a pharmacist and entrepreneur, he is president and founder of Genpharm Inc., a major Toronto generic pharmaceutical company; part of an international group of pharma companies located in England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Max has been involved in substantial humanitarian activities, providing medicines and related humanitarian donations to third-world countries in Africa, Europe and Asia, valued at approximately $60 million. These included sizable contributions to Red Cross in North and South Vietnam for four consecutive years. Furthermore, Max visited/inspected Red Cross clinics, hospitals and humanitarian organizations in Vietnam. Max is also president and founder of Zipharm International Inc. Toronto, which provides specialized consulting services to the pharma industry relating to regulatory, government, and business affairs.




          Laura Saward

SVP and Therapeutics Business Unit Head, Emergent BioSolutions.

With over 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical R&D, Dr. Saward has an in-depth knowledge of drug development from discovery to lead candidate selection as well as non-clinical and clinical development that has resulted in the successful licensure of several therapeutics. Her drug development expertise is focused on biologics development for infectious disease, cancer and hematological indications, including orphan drug/rare disease space and medical countermeasure development.

Dr. Saward joined Emergent BioSolutions in 2014 through the acquisition of Cangene Corporation where she held the position of Chief Scientific Officer and now serves as Senior Vice President, Therapeutics Business Unit lead since April 2017. As SVP, Therapeutics, Dr. Saward’s role focuses on leadership of one of Emergent’s 4 business units, whose strategy is to provide long-term growth for the company. Prior to this position, Dr. Saward held various leadership roles in Research & Development which provided her the opportunity to lead teams that encompassed Discovery, Process Development, Bio-Analytical Science, Preclinical and Clinical Research, Regulatory, Medical Affairs.

Throughout her career, Dr. Saward has led partnerships across government agencies such as BARDA, HHS, military organizations, NGOs, universities, and centers of excellence. One of her passions is innovation and building an entrepreneurial culture and she currently leads the Innovation strategy for Emergent.

Dr. Saward received her B.Sc. from the University of Guelph and Ph.D. from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. She completed her Post-doctoral Fellowship at Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario. Dr. Saward maintains strong ties to academia through her adjunct professor position at University of Manitoba, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and as a member of many key boards including Manitoba Medical Services Foundation and the Plasma Product Therapeutic Association (North America).