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Scientific Advisory Board

Gaetano Morello, ND
Chief Executive Officer, Emerald Health Naturals / Chairman of the Advisory Board

 
Dr. Morello serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Emerald Health Naturals, a Canadian subsidiary of Emerald Health Therapeutics He is an accomplished clinician with first-hand experience in the clinical and medical application of cannabinoids. Dr. Morello practices at the Complex Chronic Disease Program at Woman’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada and serves on the Quality Assurance Committee for the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia and other health and medical panels. The author of Cleanse: The Ultimate Inside Out Approach and The Fiber Miracle, he is also a contributing author to A Textbook of Natural Medicine, Alive Magazine, Viva Magazine and other publications. He has a BSc in cell biology/nutrition from the University of British Columbia and a Doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University.

Alasdair Barr, PhD


Dr. Barr is Professor at the University of British Columbia with a focus on mental health and addictions research, using multidisciplinary and translational approach that spans from laboratory to clinic. Dr. Barr maintains active programs in both clinical and preclinical research.

Eduardo Muñoz, MD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer / Chief Scientific Officer / Founder Emerald Health Naturals / Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals / Vivacell

 
Dr. Muñoz, a co-founder of two biotech companies, VivaCell Biotechnology (Spain) and Glactone Pharma AB (Sweden), is an expert in the mechanism of actions of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids as well as the development of cannabinoid-based new chemical entities. A Professor of Immunology in the Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology of the University of Córdoba (Spain), he is also the Director of the inflammation and cancer research group at the Institute Maimonides for Biomedical Research of Córdoba. Dr. Muñoz has more than 30 years of experience in biomedical research, and is the author of nearly 200 articles, patents, and book chapters with almost 5,000 citations. He received a PhD in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Córdoba and has been an associate researcher at Tufts University and the Institute Pasteur.

Giovanni Appendino PhD
Scientific Advisor / Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals / Vivacell

 
Dr. Appendino has studied cannabis and cannabinoids for more than 15 years and is regarded by the global scientific community as one of the world’s most influential thought leaders in cannabinoid research. He is the Director of Research and Development at Indena SpA and Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy. Dr. Appendino was the local coordinator of three European research programs, and his research on natural products chemistry focuses on medium-sized cyclic compounds, such as cannabinoids. He also serves as Editor in Chief of the scientific journal Fitoterapia, and belongs to the publishing advisory board of several journals for organic chemistry and natural products. Dr. Appendino authored more than 250 articles and 10 book chapters, and holds six patents (four related to cannabinoids).

James T. McCracken, MD

 
Dr. McCracken is the Joseph Campbell Professor of Child Psychiatry, and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. An active clinician who has been included in America’s Top Doctors, Best Doctors and SuperDoctors listings for more than a decade, Dr. McCracken is an expert in child psychiatry and serves on the editorial board of the journal Molecular Autism.

Jim DeMesa MD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer / Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals

 
Dr. DeMesa has 27 years of experience in biotech product development, clinical and regulatory management, and partnerships with pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies. He has raised more than $150 million to advance product development into clinical stage, regulatory approval, and commercialization. Dr. DeMesa is the former CEO of two public biotech companies: Migenix and GenSci Regeneration Sciences (now part of Integra LifeSciences), and currently serves as director for two biotech companies: OncoSec and Induce Biologics. Previously, he was Vice President, Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Biodynamics International (now part of RTI Surgical) and Bentley Pharmaceuticals (now part of Teva Pharmaceuticals). Dr. DeMesa received a BA in chemistry, MD, and an MBA from the University of South Florida.

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 research, preclinical, clinical, and commercial phases for pharmaceuticals, combination products, biologicals and medical devices. Before joining Emerald, she was the Executive Director of Quality Assurance at Novelion Therapeutics (formerly QLT Inc.), where she was the head of quality assurance, validation, compliance auditing, document management, and GxP training departments. 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 has over a decade of experience in accounting and finance and 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.

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’s 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.