Academic and industry leaders from Canada’s life sciences sector appointed to SCN’s Board of Directors and Research Management Committee

December 6, 2023 (Ottawa) – The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is pleased to announce new appointments to its Board of Directors and Research Management Committee.

Joining SCN’s Board of Directors are three new members who bring diverse expertise in the areas of strategic planning, finance, business process, and scientific excellence.

  • Ekat Kritikou, Ph.D. is Vice-Dean of Research and Development, Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. Dr. Kritikou also serves as Associate Director, Scientific Development at the Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine where she heads the medical center’s strategic planning process and has carried out several major philanthropic projects.
  • Rajat Sharma, MBA is COO and CFO of Mitacs where he is responsible for the financial health and operations of the organization. As a strategic and innovative leader, Mr. Sharma represents Mitacs with senior external partners in government, academia, and industry to build partnerships and foster growth for development of innovation ecosystems in Canada.
  • Molly Shoichet, Ph.D. is University Professor at the University of Toronto where her research is focused on drug and cell delivery strategies in the central nervous system and 3D hydrogel culture systems to model cancer. Dr. Shoichet served as Ontario’s first Chief Scientist in 2018 where she worked to enhance the culture of science. Dr. Shoichet co-founded four spin-off companies and is actively engaged in translational research and science outreach.

SCN would like to thank outgoing Board members Sharon Colle, Julie Fradette, and Janet Rossant for their support, strategic guidance, and commitment to the Network during their terms of service. SCN’s Board is comprised of 13 Canadian leaders representing research, industry, healthcare, and the not-for-profit sectors. SCN’s Board of Directors provides oversight for strategic planning, annual budgets, performance management, and risk mitigation.

In addition to its Board appointments, SCN is also pleased to announce three new members will join its Research Management Committee (RMC).

  • Maura Campbell, Ph.D. is the President and CEO of the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®). Dr. Campbell has more than 30 years of experience in all key areas of biotech, including private and public companies, universities and research institutes, and government-funded public-sector research organizations.
  • Corinne Hoesli, Ph.D. is the Head of the Stem Cell Bioprocessing Laboratory at McGill University, the co-director of the Quebec Cell, Tissue and Gene Therapy Network (ThéCell), and a member of the McGill Regenerative Medicine Network Executive Committee. She is a biochemical engineer with expertise in bioprocess development, stem cell culture optimization and encapsulation device engineering.
  • Nika Shakiba, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Shakiba has bridged experiment-to-theory by using genetic technologies to track single cell behaviours, using mathematical models to deconvolve complex datasets, and generating novel predictions.

Exiting SCN’s RMC are long-serving members, David Glass, Chantale Pambrun, Michael Parr, Cheryle Séguin, and Michael Underhill. SCN would like to thank each of these members for their insight, direction, and dedication to the Network and SCN’s research program. The RMC provides strategic research support in the implementation of SCN’s research programs through strategic and continual reviews of applications and funded projects. Importantly, the RMC also provides SCN’s Board of Directors with recommendations on which projects are the most meritorious and should be funded by SCN.


“On behalf of the Stem Cell Network, I am delighted to welcome the new members of SCN’s Board of Directors and Research Management Committee. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and I’m confident each of them will add tremendous value to the Network as we continue to work avidly to bring innovative therapies and treatments from the bench to the bedside. I would be remiss, of course, if I did not also extend a very big thank you to our outgoing Board and RMC members who have generously dedicated their time and effort over the years in guiding SCN and driving regenerative medicine research excellence in Canada. Thank you for all that you do.”

–  Cate Murray, President and CEO, Stem Cell Network

“The Stem Cell Network is pleased to welcome the new members joining the Board of Directors and Research Management Committee. They will provide strategic insight and guidance to the Network and I’m confident their contributions will serve SCN well into the future. I would also like to express my gratitude to the outgoing Board and RMC members for their unwavering dedication throughout their years of service.”

–  Declan Hamill, Chair, Board of Directors, Stem Cell Network



About the Stem Cell Network: The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is a Canadian not-for-profit that supports stem cell and regenerative medicine research; training the next generation of highly qualified personnel; and knowledge mobilization and transfer of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. From the lab to the clinic, SCN’s goal is to power life-saving therapies and technologies through regenerative medicine research for the benefit of all. Created in 2001, with support from the Government of Canada, the Network has grown from a few dozen labs to more than 270 world-class research groups, supporting over 250 research projects and 30 clinical trials. Since its inception, over 25 biotech companies have been catalyzed or enhanced and more than 6,400 highly qualified personnel have been trained. In 2021, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continuing trust and support in SCN with an investment of $45 million for the 2022–2025 period.