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Board of Directors

Avtar Dhillon, MD
Executive Chairman

 
Dr. Dhillon is a life sciences entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience. As a founder/co-founder or lead investor in dozens of life science companies, he has raised more than $1B in public and private financings. As President and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dr. Dhillon led a turnaround with multiple successful financings and licensing deals with Merck, Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Roche. Before joining Inovio, he was Vice President of MDS Capital Corp. (now Lumira Capital Corp.). Dr. Dhillon now serves as an active board member and chairman for multiple life science and investment companies and is Chairman of the Cannabis Canada Council. Prior to his business career, Dr. Dhillon practiced family medicine. He has a BSc (Honours) in Human Physiology and an MD from the University of British Columbia.
Chairman of the Board

Robert Rai, BSc
Director

 
Mr. Rai is CEO of Vancpharm, a leader in point-of-care testing and health technology, has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmacy industry. The operator of multiple Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy locations for more than 20 years Metro Vancouver, his pharmacies were the first in Canada to launch two new government funded pilot programs: a revolutionary point of care HIV testing package utilizing the INSTI test and a partnership program with the Kidney Foundation of Canada to develop a more efficient screening method for chronic kidney disease using HealthTab technology. He has a BSc in Biochemistry and a BSc in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of British Columbia.

Punit Dhillon, BA Hons.
Director

 
Mr. Dhillon is the co-founder and director of OncoSec Medical Incorporated, a leading biopharmaceutical company developing cancer immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors. Prior to OncoSec, he served as Vice President of Finance and Operations at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, where he raised more than $160 million through multiple financings and several licensing transactions. His management experience spans corporate finance, M&A integration, in-licensing of key intellectual property, strategy implementation, corporate transactions and collaborations with leading universities and key global opinion leaders. Mr. Dhillon also co-founded BeCancerPositive.org, an online community for cancer patients. In 2014, he was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” competition. Mr. Dhillon holds a BA (Honours) in political science and a minor in business administration from Simon Fraser University.

Jim Heppell, BSc, LLP
Director

 
Mr. Heppell is the co-founder, President and Director of BC Advantage Funds (VCC) Ltd., a venture fund that invests in and builds technology, life science and clean technology companies. His first fund, the Advantage Life Sciences I Fund, won the Canadian Venture Capital Deal of the Year Award in 2006. Early in his career, he practiced corporate securities law with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin and later served as President and CEO of Catalyst Corporate Finance Lawyers. Mr. Heppell has also helped to build a number of life science companies, including Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Galenica Ltd.), Immgenics (acquired by Amgen), Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and Sophiris Bio Inc. He earned a BSc in microbiology and a law degree from the University of British Columbia.

REBECCA WONG

Vice President, Quality and Regulatory Affairs

Ms. Wong has more than 25 years of managerial experience in quality assurance and quality control spanning preclinical, clinical, and commercial phases for pharmaceuticals, genetically engineered products and medical devices. Before joining Emerald, she was the Executive Director of Quality Assurance at Novelion Therapeutics (formerly QLT Inc.), where she led the strategy for quality assurance, equipment validation, compliance auditing, document management, and GxP training. Ms. Wong previously worked for life science companies including MDS Nordion, Cangene Corporation, and Biomira Inc. Specializing in microbiology, she earned a BSc from the University of Alberta.

JENN HEPBURN

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Hepburn brings over a decade of experience in accounting and finance to the team at Emerald Health Therapeutics. She is an experienced manager of privately and publicly traded manufacturing and mining businesses operating in Canada and the USA. Prior to joining Emerald, Ms. Hepburn was the Director of Finance and Administration at bioLytical Laboratories Inc., a medical diagnostics manufacturer. Before that, she held Controller positions at junior gold and silver mining companies Northern Vertex Mining Corp., Kootenay Silver Inc. and Theia Resources Ltd. Ms. Hepburn earned a BBA from Simon Fraser University and her certification from the Certified Management Accountants of British Columbia.

AVTAR DHILLON

Executive Chairman

Dr. Dhillon is a life sciences entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience. As a founder/co-founder or lead investor in dozens of life science companies, he has raised more than $1B in public and private financings. He is currently the Chairman, CEO and President of Emerald Health Sciences, a holding company with a portfolio broadly focused on the development of pharmaceutical, botanical, and nutraceutical products, including a controlling position in Emerald Health Therapeutics. As President and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dr. Dhillon led a turnaround with multiple successful financings and licensing deals with Merck, Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Roche. Before joining Inovio, he was Vice President of MDS Capital Corp. (now Lumira Capital Corp.). Dr. Dhillon now serves as an active board member and chairman for multiple life science and investment companies, and was previously Chairman of the Cannabis Canada Council. Prior to his business career, Dr. Dhillon practiced family medicine. He has a BSc (Honours) in Human Physiology and an MD from the University of British Columbia.

RIAZ BANDALI

President & Cheif Executive Officer

Mr. Bandali’s expertise in global operations, strategy development, driving innovation, M&A, and investment management has been developed over a 25-year career in the life sciences sector spanning contract clinical and research services, analytical instrumentation, lab services and venture capital.

He holds an Advanced Management Program Degree from Harvard Business School, a Master of Business Administration from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia. He is an innovative business leader who has built strategic and operating plans that have resulted in rapid growth and significant profitability enhancement. He has managed businesses and operations with a global footprint and has led teams of over 900 people.

Mr. Bandali previous experience includes serving as President, Early Phase Clinical Services and Translational Science, Syneos Health; President, Early Stage Development, as well as Chief Innovation Officer, inVentiv Health Clinical; Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, AB Sciex and Molecular Devices (part of Danaher Corporation); Senior Vice President, Strategy, Legal and Corporate Development, MDS Analytical Technologies; and, Vice President and General Manager, Global Early Stage Development, MDS Pharma Services. He was also Venture Partner and Vice President at MDS Capital and has served on the boards of private and public companies.

RIAZ BANDALI 

President & Chief Executive Officer 

Mr. Bandali’s expertise in global operations, strategy development, driving innovation, M&A, and investment management has been developed over a 25-year career in the life sciences sector spanning contract clinical and research services, analytical instrumentation, lab services and venture capital.

He holds an Advanced Management Program Degree from Harvard Business School, a Master of Business Administration from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia. He is an innovative business leader who has built strategic and operating plans that have resulted in rapid growth and significant profitability enhancement. He has managed businesses and operations with a global footprint and has led teams of over 900 people.

Mr. Bandali previous experience includes serving as President, Early Phase Clinical Services and Translational Science, Syneos Health; President, Early Stage Development, as well as Chief Innovation Officer, inVentiv Health Clinical; Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, AB Sciex and Molecular Devices (part of Danaher Corporation); Senior Vice President, Strategy, Legal and Corporate Development, MDS Analytical Technologies; and, Vice President and General Manager, Global Early Stage Development, MDS Pharma Services. He was also Venture Partner and Vice President at MDS Capital and has served on the boards of private and public companies.s