I2 Fund Advisory Council
Chair: Tony Brooks, Ph.D., CPA, CA: Chief Financial Officer, Vice President, Research Programs, Genome BC
Dr. Tony Brooks is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA and CA), and also holds a Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of London, England.
Prior to joining Genome British Columbia, he was a Senior Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Vancouver Life Sciences group, where he was responsible for managing a portfolio of early stage private and later stage public clients. He has extensive experience in providing accounting and assurance services and advising companies on corporate governance, internal controls and general business matters. He is knowledgeable in US and Canadian GAAP and has worked on a number of public and private equity and debt offerings. Dr. Brooks joined PwC in 1995 and spent three years in their San Jose, California office.
Before coming to North America, Dr. Brooks articled in Glasgow, Scotland where he is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
David Christie, B.Sc., M.B.A.: President, Christie Consulting Services
David has broad and deep experience in the development and commercialization of life sciences technology. David works with early-stage and emerging technology entrepreneurs to help them create and execute sustainable business strategies that expand their business. As President, CEO and Director of a publicly-traded technology company, he more than doubled revenue in two years, expanded their asset base four fold and increased cash flow 12-fold. Early in his career David was Sales Manager of the Year for three consecutive years at Baxter Corporation. David has worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies but since 2000 has dedicated himself to local early-stage technology companies. David’s strengths are in implementing strategic change, delivering financial results and effectively commercializing technology. David has run a couple of companies in the life sciences industry and began his career in information technology sales.
Don M. Enns, B.Sc., M.B.A.: President and CEO, TRANSFERRA Nanosciences Inc.
Don Enns has been a leader in British Columbia's life sciences industry for over 25 years; most currently at TRANSFERRA Nanosciences Inc., a specialty contract manufacturing firm that has supported the pharmaceutical sector in over 50 countries. Prior to that, he served three years as President of Life Sciences BC, an industry organization that promotes trade, investment and development of the provincial life science community. For most the 1990s and well in to the 2000s, he led CANTEST Ltd., a BC-headquartered global organization providing professional analytical and clinical services for the environmental, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food safety industries. His contribution helped CANTEST earn a spot among the 50 Best Managed Companies in Canada and to be recognized as one of BC's 25 Best Employers. Enns is a director of numerous local for-profit companies as well as several non-profit organizations involved with national standardization, trade, education, community affairs and public health. He has overseen expansion into European and Southeast Asian markets; been responsible for merger and acquisition activity; and consulted for international agencies such as the UN Development Programme. He is currently co-Chair of Canada's National Research Council's Advisory Committee as well as a past director or committee advisor to Genome British Columbia, the World Wildlife Fund of Canada and two UBC faculties, among other organizations.
Nancy Harrison, P.Eng, MBA: President, MSI Methylation Sciences Inc.
Nancy Harrison has over 20 years financing and building companies in the biotech industry. Since the formation of MSI, Ms. Harrison has led the business efforts, focused on operations, business development, financial and the patents.
Prior to MSI, Ms. Harrison was a Partner of Ventures West Management Inc. building the company from $70 million under management to $850 million. As one of the most experienced life sciences investors in the Canadian venture capital industry she was instrumental in Ventures West’s involvement in the sector and with companies such as Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., AnorMed Inc., Xenon Pharmaceuticals,
Sembiosys Genetics Inc., Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Celator Technologies Inc., Alder Biopharmaceuticals and Oncogenex Technologies Inc. Ms Harrison has an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from McGill University.
Paul Hemsley, B.Sc., M.B.A.: Founder and President, Hemmera
Hemmera is an environmental consulting firm specializing in environmental planning and management, site assessment and remediation, and community engagement and social science services. Founded by Paul in 1994, the company has matured into a leading consultancy employing over 250 professionals, with offices in Burnaby, Victoria, Calgary, Whitehorse, and Toronto.
Paul is personally committed to establishing sound and sustainable business practices. He was a nominee for BC Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002, was recognized as a 40 Under 40 Achiever in BC, and holds an MBA from Dalhousie University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Queen’s University.
In addition to his business and leadership skills, Paul is recognized as an environmental assessment specialist with project leadership ranging from contaminated sites to First Nations land development. Paul’s project management experience includes significant marine port developments, as well as wind energy and infrastructure projects across western Canada.
Paul is fully conversant with the extensive provincial and federal regulatory framework related to projects being proposed in Canada, and is also experienced in land use management, having played an integral role in the evolution of public policy and planning since 1990.
Scott Phillips, B.A.Sc., Eng.: President, StarFish Medical
Scott holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia. Prior to starting StarFish, he worked in diverse areas such as lithium battery development and manufacturing, UV spectroscopy instrumentation and hi-fi audio speakers. Under his leadership StarFish has grown from being a highly motivated team working on one project at a time to a diverse professional organization with clients around the world and 100% focus on medical devices.
Tom Urban, B.A., M.B.A.: Founder, Agribusiness Advisors
Tom began his professional career in investment banking with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1988. He subsequently spent 14 years in the agricultural seeds business with Pioneer Hi-Bred and E.I. DuPont de Nemours primarily in Eastern and Western Europe. In 2004, Tom left DuPont to join the early-stage forestry genetics company, CellFor, Inc. and served as CellFor’s CEO until 2012 when the Company was sold to ArborGen, the market leader in forestry genetics. Tom founded Agribusiness Advisors in 2013 and is currently working with early-stage companies as an investor and advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors. The Agribusiness Advisors portfolio includes companies in traditional forestry, precision farming, bio-pesticides, insect protein, teak plantations, cocoa nurseries and industrial enzymes. Tom also serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of British Columbia. Tom received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Michael Albin, Ph.D.:
Following a Ph.D. in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University and postdoctoral research in biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, Michael worked at SYVA diagnostics followed by fifteen years at Applied Biosystems Inc. rising to the role of VP of Science and Technology, and then VP of Strategic Technologies of the parent company Applera Corp, an S&P 500 company.
As VP of Science and Technology at Applied Biosystems Inc. (now Life Technologies Inc.), Michael was responsible for R&D programs with a budget in excess of US$100 million and overseeing the development of the company’s product pipeline via internal development, investment and acquisition.
In recent years Michael has worked as a private consultant focusing on technical and strategic assessments and the positioning of a wide range of companies in the life sciences, molecular diagnostics, and personalized medicine. In addition he has been appointed to carry out due diligence for venture capital and other investment organizations worldwide.