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CHEO Research Institute Board Members

Caroline Somers - Chairman of the Board and President
CO-CEO, Cassidy Bay Group Inc.
  Caroline Somers has over 30 years of experience in the high tech industry. She currently is Co-CEO of Cassidy Bay Group, which assists companies to be more effective organizations by building powerful teams and through coaching executives to be successful managers and leaders. She has a wealth of business and operational experience including co-founding a successful startup and angel investing in more than 2 dozen companies. Ms. Somers has served on a number of boards in the community including on the board of Granite Networks (acquired in 2013), Chairman of the board of the Capital Angel Networks, Chairman of DNA Genotek (acquired in 2011), board of Ontario Centres of Excellence, Parteq Innovations, on the advisory board of Amika Mobile, and ICT Advisory board for Department of Foreign Affairs and International trade. She has completed the Directors educations program at the Institute of Corporate Directors. She is very active in the community and on a number of not for profit boards including being a founding board member for a local organization encouraging networking for business women and is currently on Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Chair of Digital Opportunity Trust and on the Innovation council for Joule, a CMA company.


Nicole Jauvin - Vice President
photo of Nicole Jauvin

Nicole Jauvin retired in October 2011 after a 32 year career in the federal government. Since 2000, she was Deputy Minister in a number of other government departments, including the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the Canada Public Service Agency, Social Development Canada and Solicitor General of Canada. A lawyer by training, Ms. Jauvin holds a Licence in Civil Law and a Diploma of graduate studies in Law and was a member of the Quebec Bar throughout her career. She also holds a B.A. in Communications and a Diploma in International Cooperation from the University of Ottawa. She is a Director on a number of Boards, and also enjoys volunteering at The Ottawa Mission, a shelter for homeless people.


Lynn van der Linde - Secretary
Director of Marketing and Donor Relations, Canadian Blood Services

photo of Lynn van der Linde

Lynn van der Linde is a Director of Marketing and Donor Relations at Canadian Blood Services, where she creates awareness and action plans for Canadians to donote blood on a regular basis. Lynn has also held various executive Board of Director positions with Canadian charities, namely Fertile Future – an organization that helps young cancer patients understand their fertility options before undergoing cancer treatments that may render them infertile; as well as The IBD Foundation of Canada – which helps educate and empower youth and adults afflicted with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Lynn is also an accredited Sommelier, and provides wine reviews on behalf of Natalie MacLean. Her most important job though, is being the proud mother of two young boys. Her oldest son, Max was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in July 2012 where she has witnessed first-hand the physical, mental and emotional challenges that come with this disease. This understanding fuels her need to help children affected by IBD - and their parents - and ultimately find better treatments that will only come about through continued investment in research. She believes whole-heartedly in the mission of the CHEO Research Institute and looks forward to contributing to this important cause.

Martin Zablocki - Treasurer
President and CEO
Canadian Commercial Corporation

Martin Zablocki is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), a federal Crown corporation of the Government of Canada established for the purpose of assisting Canadian exporters to access business opportunities in international markets. CCC facilitates this access through government-to-government contracting. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Zablocki held various other senior-level executive positions within the Corporation, including Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) wherein Mr. Zablocki provided strategic advice and operational leadership on all aspects of CCC's business with particular focus on developing and executing strategies to generate business and sales in key markets. In addition, Mr. Zablocki has held the positions of Vice-President - Risk and Finance, and Chief Financial Officer, as well as Vice-President - Strategy and Organizational Development at CCC. Before joining CCC, Mr. Zablocki garnered 17 years of management experience with the Government of Canada, leading regional and national operations within the Canada Revenue Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Industry Canada. Mr. Zablocki holds two professional designations, Chartered Business Valuator and Certified Management Accountant, and has served on a variety of volunteer boards and committees.

Harry Atkins
Physician, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ottawa Hospital
Scientist, Centre for Innovative Cancer Research, OHRI;
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa

photo of Dr Atkins
Harold Atkins MD is a physician of the Ottawa Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, a scientist in the Center for Innovative Cancer Research and the medical director of the Regenerative Medicine Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He received his Bachelor of Medical Science degree and Medical Degree from the University of Ottawa followed by a rotating internship year at the Victoria General Hospital in Victoria BC. Specialty training in Internal Medicine was done at the University of Ottawa. Clinical and research fellowships in Hematology, Stem Cell Transplantation and Experimental Hematology followed at the University of Washington and at the Ontario Cancer Institute. He specializes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and has spearheaded the use of stem cell transplantation for immune repair to treat patients with severe autoimmune diseases of the nervous system focusing on Multiple Sclerosis. This work was published in the Lancet in 2016. He is running a clinical trial exploring the role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in preventing organ transplant rejection. His laboratory research includes a longstanding and fruitful collaboration with Dr. John Bell developing oncolytic viruses particularly for the treatment of hematological cancers as personalized cancer cell vaccines. He was awarded the OHRI’s Dr. Michel Chretien Researcher of the Year in 2016 and the Till and McCulloch Award from the Stem Cell Network in 2017.

Pam Aung-Thin
Assistant Deputy Minister, Consultations and Communications Finance Canada

photo of Pam Aung-Thin
Ms. Aung-Thin is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Consultations and Communications for Finance Canada. Ms. Aung-Thin joined the Department of Finance in 2014 as General Director, Consultations and Communications. With over 25 years of communications experience, she has held a number of positions in the private sector, public sector and not for profit. Prior to joining Finance Canada, she was National Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations for the Canadian Red Cross, one of the world’s most highly recognized humanitarian organizations. She also served as Vice President, Communications for the Royal Canadian Mint and was Senior Vice President and National Practice Leader, Technology for communications firm Hill & Knowlton Strategies. Since 2012, Pam has served as a Board Trustee for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Ms. Aung-Thin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Ottawa.


Sylvain Charbonneau
Vice-President, Research, University of Ottawa
 Sylvain Charbonneau was appointed Interim Vice-President, Research, at the University of Ottawa for a term starting July 1, 2017. He previously held the position of Associate Vice-President, Research at the University. Mr. Charbonneau received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in Photonics – Semiconductor Physics from Simon Fraser University, B.C. He joined the Institute for Microstructural Sciences at the National Research Council (NRC) in 1988. At the NRC, he led a number of research and development initiatives, including the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre and the Printable Electronics flagship program. In late 2000, he co-founded Optenia Inc., an NRC spinoff in the communications technology sector. Mr. Charbonneau has published over 180 papers and has 17 patents and licences in the fields of photonics, nanotechnology and ICT.

Christopher Dyrda
Corporate Director
 photo of Chris Dyrda board memberChris was born in rural Manitoba and after earning a Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba and am MBA from Queens, he enjoyed a 38 year career at TD Bank group, retiring as a member of the senior management team. He continues to serve as a Director for both for profit and non profit entities. Chris and his wife Karen have three sons and enjoy relaxing at their cottage on the lake near Perth.
Parm Gill
Serial Entrepreneur
 photo Parm GillMr. Parm Gill is a serial entrepreneur with a myriad of start-up experience having launched several technology businesses over his career. As Managing Partner of the Gill Group, he acts as a strategic advisor, mentor, investor, and connector for start-up companies. He brings with him the experience and expertise of guiding the growth and development of numerous startup companies, with a focus on strategic planning, business development, fundraising, and intellectual property development and commercialization.

His passion for entrepreneurship is equally matched by his passion for giving back to the community through active involvement with a number of charitable and non-profit organizations such as:

- Chair, Board of Directors – Venture For Canada,
- Board Member & Chair, Finance Assistance Committee – Angel Investors Ontario,
- Charter Member & Board Member – Ottawa chapter of TiE Global, and
- Board Member – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

You can find out more about him at, where he can also be contacted, and he can be found on Twitter @ParmSGill

Robert Hanlon
Retired, Chief Operating Officer, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)
 Robert Hanlon, retired as the Chief Operating Officer of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) in June 2017 after serving in this role since April 2001. From 1985 to 2001 Robert held various management positions at the Ottawa Civic Hospital including Chief Administrative Officer of the Loeb Health Research Institute (LHRI) from 1996 to 2001. He has played a key role in the spin out of various technologies from the LHRI and OHRI and is a recipient of the 2004 Ottawa Life Sciences Council Entrepreneurial Award. Robert was appointed by Treasury Board to serve as an external member of the Audit Committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research 2009-2016 and the Audit Committee for Correctional Services Canada 2016-2018. Robert served on the Finance and Audit committee of BioCanRx 2015-2017 and is the chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Canadian Stem Cell Network 2017-2019. Robert is a past president of the Canadian Society of Research Administrators, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Research Administrators. Robert earned a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biology in 1983 and a Master of Health Administration in 1985 from the University of Ottawa, achieving the designation of Certified Health Executive (CHE) from the Canadian College of Health Service Executives in 1988.
Don Husereau 
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Senior Scientist, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Hall in Tirol, Austria
Don Husereau is a Senior Associate with the Institute of Health Economics. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at The University of Ottawa and Senior Scientist at the University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Hall in Tirol, Austria. He is a former Director and Senior Advisor with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). Don's current research focuses on the value of health system innovation and the use of evidence and economics to inform health policy based on sound principles of social justice, epistemology, and judgment and decision-making. This includes work on science policy and mechanisms to value and manage innovation that benefits innovators, public policy makers/administrators and academics/researchers. He is currently Chair on an International Task Force that has developed consolidated health economic evaluation reporting standards (CHEERS) that is now endorsed by leading biomedical and health policy journals. Don formerly served on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and is currently an Editorial Advisor for their biomedical journal, Value in Health. He is also an Editorial advisor for the general interest journal BMC Medicine and serves on both the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) Expert Review Committee (pERC) and Ontario Committee to Evaluate Drugs. Don received both his BSc in Pharmacy (1993) and his MSc (2000) from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Kevin Keohane
President and CEO, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation

Kevin Keohane is the President and CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation. Kevin spent 20 years with the Ottawa Citizen prior to joining the CHEO Foundation as Vice President, Development & Corporate Relations in 2001. In 2011, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and was subsequently appointed as President and CEO at the end of 2012. Kevin is also a member of the Canadian Children's Hospital Foundation Executives (CCHFE) and the CHEO Foundation's lead representative with Children's Miracle Network (CMN). 

Alex Munter
President and CEO, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Mr. Alex Munter

Alex Munter is President and Chief Executive Officer, bringing to the role more than 20 years of leadership in health and social services and an incredible commitment to helping families in our community.

Martin Osmond
CEO and Scientific Director, CHEO Research Institute Inc.

Dr. Martin Osmond is the CEO and Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO RI) and Vice-President of Research at CHEO. His clinical work is as a pediatric emergency physician at CHEO. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa. After graduating from McGill University medical school in 1986, Dr. Osmond moved to Ottawa and completed a family medicine residency in 1988 and a pediatric residency in 1992 at the University of Ottawa. In 1994, he completed a pediatric emergency Fellowship at CHEO. Dr. Osmond has published more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, given more than 100 national and international presentations, and received over $2.5 million in grant support from several funding agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S. Dr. Osmond helped found and develop a research network of pediatric emergency physicians across Canada called PERC (Pediatric Emergency Research of Canada) and is past Chair of this organization. In 2007 he founded the Clinical Research Unit of the CHEO RI, which provides comprehensive research advice and consultation on research design and methods to CHEO investigators.


Lindy Samson 
Chief of Staff, Children's Hospital of Easter Ontario

Dr. Lindy Samson is the Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer at CHEO-OCTC. Appointed in April 2016, she is responsible for organizing the activities of the medical staff and for ensuring the quality of clinical care and patient safety. In addition, she is a staff physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases, she holds an academic appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine and is a Clinical investigator at the CHEO Research Institute. Her academic and research work is focused on pediatric HIV, the impact of social on the health of children and youth and teaching/evaluating the Health Advocate and Leadership Roles across the continuum of learners. She recently co-chaired an interdisciplinary initiative regarding the future health needs of children and youth in our region.

Mark Walker
Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
The Ottawa Hospital

photo of Dr Walker
Dr. Mark Walker earned his Medical Degree from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (1993). His Residency Training in OB/GYN was completed at the University of Ottawa, Ontario (1998); followed by this Fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Toronto. In 2003, Dr. Walker earned a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. He recently graduated from Harvard University with a Masters in Health Care Management. Dr. Mark Walker is a high risk Obstetrician and Clinical Epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa. He has published over 250 per reviewed articles and has made a significant impact in our understanding of folic acid in pregnancy, and thrombophilia in pregnancy. Dr. Walker is highly involved in public policy at the provincial and national levels advocating for women and children's health. Since joining TOH in 2000, Dr. Walker has held several positions including Fellowship Director for Maternal Fetal Medicine and working closely with the Department of Medicine for the promotion of medical disorders awareness in prenatal care. Dr. Walker's leadership roles include Chief and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Newborn Care at The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, the scientific Director and co-director of BORN (Better Outcomes Registry and Network), and the Medical Lead for Obstetrics and Gynecology for the Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program. He held a Tier 1 Chair from the University of Ottawa in Perinatal Research. He is co-founder of the OMNI Research Group (Obstetrics & Maternal Newborn Investigations) at The Ottawa Hospital.




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