About the symposium

 

Our symposium brings together BC’s clinical trials community to share knowledge and discuss how we can build a more robust clinical trials ecosystem that improves health and healthcare across the province. This year’s theme focuses on new approaches, technology, pathways and regulatory initiatives that make clinical trials more accessible for participants, trialists, clinical trial professionals and administrators, communities and other relevant parties.

 

Location

 

  • In-person: Jack Poole Hall – Robert H. Lee UBC Alumni Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Virtual: via Zoom

Symposium Program

 

Check out the final program.

Speakers

Aisling Quigley, Program Manager, REACH BC, Michael Smith Health Research BC

Aisling Quigley

Program Manager, REACH BC

Michael Smith Health Research BC

 

Aisling Quigley is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications. Her diverse background encompasses international charities, not-for-profits, television and radio, media, and the arts. As former marketing and communications specialist at REACH BC, she played a pivotal role in driving platform awareness through innovative activities and strategic implementations. Now as REACH BC’s program manager, Aisling harnesses her expertise to expand the platform’s presence throughout British Columbia. REACH BC, an initiative of Michael Smith Health Research BC, catalyzes health research in the province, working towards global recognition in health research excellence to benefit British Columbians, the healthcare system, and the economy.

Alison Orth, Director, Clinical Trials BC, Michael Smith Health Research BC

Alison Orth

Director, Clinical Trials BC

Michael Smith Health Research BC

 

Alison is a health research leader with over 25 years of experience leading multi-disciplinary teams and organizations in both the private and public sectors. She is currently the director of Clinical Trials BC at Michael Smith Health Research BC.

 

Alison recently led the development of a vision for clinical trials in British Columbia. She serves on several provincial and national committees dedicated to advancing clinical trials and improving the clinical trial experience for participants. She is a member and past chair of the N2 Clinical Trials Education and Awareness committee, member of the national CIHR-funded ACT consortium systems transformation committee, a member of the ACRP Partners Advancing the Clinical Research Workforce, and a leadership council member of the Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance.

Bernie Eigl, MD, FRCPC, Staff Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer; Clinical Associate Professor, UBC

Bernie Eigl, MD, FRCPC

Staff Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer

Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

 

Dr. Bernie Eigl is a staff medical oncologist at BC Cancer Vancouver Centre and a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia. He is the founding director of the Provincial Clinical Trials Office, and the deputy head of the department of clinical research at BC Cancer. The focus of his roles is to strengthen and further develop the clinical trial capabilities of all six BC Cancer centers and to improve access to clinical trials for those living with cancer across British Columbia. His research centers on genitourinary oncology clinical trials and biomarker research, with a special focus on bladder cancer.

Brittany Bingham, MPH, PhD, Director of Indigenous Research, Vancouver Coastal Health Indigenous Health

Brittany Bingham, MPH, PhD

Director of Indigenous Research, Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE)

Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

 

Dr. Brittany Bingham – (she/her/hers), is a proud member of the shíshálh (Sechelt) nation and holds an MPH and PhD in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University. Brittany is the director of Indigenous research at Vancouver Coastal Health Indigenous Health, the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) and an assistant professor in social medicine at UBC.

 

Brittany is currently leading Indigenous research strategy at VCH leading a team that conducts research with the primary aim of improving Indigenous experiences in healthcare and informing system transformation. She has worked in various capacities in research with Indigenous communities and policy for over 17 years. She is passionate about community-driven research, Indigenous health equity, implementation science, planetary health, health systems research and cultural safety & humility. Brittany has previously overseen Canadian Institutes of Health Research projects jointly led by First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and SFU examining co-decision making among key partners in the transformation of First Nations governance in B.C. She has also held several Indigenous advisory roles including policy analyst with the B.C. Ministry and led Indigenous research with Fraser Health teams and VCH Indigenous Health. Brittany has previously served as a board member for the Public Health Association of BC, Mom2Mom and the Combining our Strength Program Council at the Minerva Foundation and is currently a board member for the Society for Children and Youth of BC.

 

Currently, Brittany is PI of a CIHR grant investigating access to sexual and reproductive health care among Indigenous women and LGBTQ2S+ peoples in the context of COVID-19 and is Co-PI on an access to responsive justice project funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada.

Danielle Lavallee, PharmD, PhD, Vice President, Research Programs, Michael Smith Health Research BC

Danielle Lavallee, PharmD, PhD

Vice President, Research Programs,

Michael Smith Health Research BC

 

As vice president, research programs at Michael Smith Health Research BC, Danielle oversees the implementation of the organization’s strategy and funding programs to maximize British Columbia’s investments in health research.

 

Prior to joining Health Research BC, Danielle centred her work to advance methods that incorporate patient and stakeholder perspectives into both clinical care and research conduct. Her research includes assessing diverse stakeholder experiences with technology-enabled approaches to supporting care, integration and governance of patient generated health data into healthcare systems, and methods for supporting patient involvement in research conduct.

 

Danielle is an adjunct professor at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, and affiliate associate professor in the department of Health Systems and Population Health at the University of Washington.

Darby Thompson, PhD, Senior Vice President, Emmes

Darby Thompson, PhD

Senior Vice President, Emmes

 

Darby Thompson is a biostatistician and executive at Emmes, a global contract research organization, and an adjunct professor in the department of statistics and actuarial science at Simon Fraser University. With over 25 years of experience in the field, Darby has been deeply involved in the analysis and management of international clinical trials and research studies, covering diverse areas such as ophthalmology, vaccines and infectious diseases, oncology, and more.

His journey includes contributing to over 50 published articles, along with numerous posters and presentations. Darby brings a wealth of knowledge in the operational intricacies of global and local trial execution, coupled with expertise in the technical aspects of study construction. Always at the forefront of innovation, he employs cutting-edge statistical techniques to enhance the efficiency and simplicity of clinical trials, making them more efficient and accessible for everyone involved.

What drives Darby is a genuine passion for improving every study he’s a part of. His focus extends beyond the technicalities, aiming to enhance engagement within the population, yield meaningful results, and ultimately make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Elisabeth McClymont, Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Elisabeth McClymont

Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

 

Dr. Elisabeth McClymont is a postdoctoral fellow in the UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Money. Her current work focuses on reproductive infectious diseases in women, including HPV, HIV, and CMV. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Elisabeth was part of three national studies addressing COVID-19 in pregnancy, including disease surveillance and post-licensure vaccine evaluation.

Émilie Lévesque, Senior Clinical Quality Manager, AbCellera

Émilie Lévesque

Senior Clinical Quality Manager, AbCellera

 

Émilie Lévesque completed a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, a master’s degree in molecular biology and a specialized graduate diploma in drug development. She has over 19 years of experience in the clinical research industry including roles such as clinical research associate, clinical project manager, clinical operations manager and country clinical quality manager.

 

More recently, she joined the Vancouver-based company AbCellera as a senior clinical quality manager. Émilie considers herself very fortunate to be a lecturer at the University of Montreal in the drug development specialized graduate diploma. Émilie enjoys this role very much as it gives her the opportunity to share her passion for clinical research and give back to the program that introduced her to this field.

Gavin Stuart, MD, FRCSC, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UBC

Gavin Stuart, MD, FRCSC

Professor,  UBCDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology

 

Dr. Gavin Stuart is a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, University of British Columbia. He previously served as the dean of the faculty of medicine at that institution from September 2003 through to September 2015 and UBC’s vice-provost health from 2009 to 2016.

 

Gavin has previously been the chair of the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG); co-chair of the Gynecology Site Committee of the NCI Canada; and president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada. He has served on numerous education, research and policy committees in both Canada and the US. He is the past-chair of the board of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. He is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

 

His research has been funded by multiple peer-reviewed provincial and national agencies. He has led major international cooperative trials and published results in high impact journals. He has published books on cervical cancer prevention, clinical trials and most recently on the history of the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

 

Gavin remains as an active teacher, clinician and researcher at UBC. As an academic clinician, he works with the gynecologic oncology team at Vancouver General Hospital and BC Cancer. His research and publications are focused on clinical trials in the prevention and treatment of gynecologic cancers. For the past three years, he has served as the interim head of the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He sits on the board of a number of public entities including Genome BC and BC Women’s Hospital Foundation.

Gillian Corless, Senior Manager, Indigenous Partnerships, Michael Smith Health Research BC

Gillian Corless

Senior Manager, Indigenous Partnerships,

Michael Smith Health Research BC

 

Gillian Corless is committed to reconciliation through increasing Indigenous self-determination within organizations and systems. She holds an MA from McGill University in community-based policy and planning and has held key roles in Indigenous governance and community engagement in decision-making for 20+ years.

 

As senior advisor, research and ethics at the First Nations Health Authority for 6 years, she led the development of an Indigenous research ethics review process to reflect the needs and priorities of First Nations communities in BC in health and wellness research. In this role, Gillian had a partial secondment to Michael Smith Health Research BC, and developed training and resources for partner institutions to build capacity for cultural safety and humility in health research ethics review across the province.

 

In her previous role of core projects director with the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership, Gillian led the implementation and ethics for Indigenous data governance of two BC child and youth population health research studies. Through executive support and leadership, Gillian played a critical role in governance by the provincial Aboriginal Steering Committee, a committee comprised of Indigenous experts from the community, to oversee research knowledge exchange grounded in OCAP®. In her role for nine years at UBC, Gillian developed her expertise in advancing Indigenous community self-determination in institutions.

 

Working in the land claim territory of Nunavut, Gillian was the director of policy for the department of culture, language, elders and youth. In this role, she travelled across the Arctic extensively, engaging with Inuit families, elders and youth, with the goal of ensuring community perspective and priorities were reflected in government decision-making tables.

 

Gillian is a 7th generation settler with Scottish, English, Irish and German ancestry. She now lives with her family on Nex̱wlélex̱m / Bowen Island, in the unceded, ancestral territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation, and works in the traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Coast Salish peoples in BC.

Jacqui Whiteway, PhD, Senior Director, Centre for Paediatric Clinical Development, ICON

Jacqui Whiteway, PhD

Senior Director, Centre for Paediatric Clinical Development,

ICON

 

Dr. Jacqui Whiteway brings more than 18 years of scientific and leadership experience in the clinical research industry to her current role as senior director and head pediatric strategy liaison in the Centre for Paediatric Clinical Development (CPCD) at ICON, a leading global contract research organization (CRO). Her PhD in molecular biology and research experience gained at the BC Cancer Research Centre and in a startup biotech company inspired her to pursue the unique challenges of clinical trials. Her industry and leadership experience grew in the CRO environment through a variety of roles from biometrics to therapeutic expertise, including leading a global feasibility team before joining the CPCD. Jacqui has contributed to over 500 clinical studies for over 250 sponsors across all therapeutic areas, with a growing focus on those impacting children.

 

Driven by compassionate curiosity, Jacqui’s passion for clinical trial planning arises from the need to devise optimal and innovative approaches for conducting challenging studies so as to get safe medicines to people, especially children, sooner.

Jane Myles, Program Director, Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance (DTRA)

Jane Myles

Program Director, Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance (DTRA)

 

Jane Myles has over 25 years of experience improving clinical trials and patient experiences. She has focused on driving innovation in trial design and execution to accelerate getting medicines to patients. Jane transitioned from molecule focus to portfolio focus about 13 years ago, first concentrating on patient recruitment, then patient experience and input, followed by adoption of patient-facing technology. In her current role as program director for the Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance (DTRA), she merges these focus areas. She also serves as chairperson for Curebase’s Strategic Advisory Board, building decentralized clinical trial (DCT) technology and services to increase trial access and inclusion.

 

Most recently, Jane was vice president of innovation at Curebase from 2021-2023. Prior to that, she worked at Roche/Genentech for 17 years in various roles including operational program manager for hematology where she helped drive global implementation of patient-facing technology into trials. Jane has also held positions leading global trials at Lilly, Sanofi, small biotechs, and niche CROs. She’s a Canuck who loves San Francisco and the beach.

Jean Smart, PhD, Regulatory Affairs & Quality Officer, Clinical Trials BC; Privacy Officer, Michael Smith Health Research BC

Jean Smart, PhD

Regulatory Affairs & Quality Officer, Clinical Trials BC

Privacy Officer, Michael Smith Health Research BC

 

Dr. Jean Smart is the regulatory affairs and quality officer at Clinical Trials BC and the privacy officer at Michael Smith Health Research BC. She has participated in numerous global regulatory initiatives and is currently active on national and international project committees, teams and boards. Her education and specializations are in global health (research), and development studies in research policy and governance. Jean has an interest in research program development, training and growing a clinical trial research culture in advancing regions.

Jennifer Claydon, BSc, MSc, Manager, Clinical Research Support Unit, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Jennifer Claydon, BSc, MSc

Manager, Clinical Research Support Unit,

BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

 

Jennifer Claydon (she/her) is the manager of the Clinical Research Support Unit at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. She has been facilitating research for over 20 years, at both the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre and BC Children’s Hospital co-located at Oak Street. During her career she has been involved with the conceptualization, set-up and execution of a broad range of different types of clinical research studies, including clinical trials. In her current role, she is working to improve the quality of research undertaken at BC Children’s, by focusing on education and training, mentorship, and access to specialized support services, and helping to foster a positive research culture by leading new initiatives focused on improving participant’s experiences in participating in research and engagement of point-of-care staff. One of the projects she is leading, the Language Barriers Project aims to ensure that all families, regardless of cultural or linguistic background are provided the opportunity to participate in all types of child health research.

Jenny Williams, National Account Manager, LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

Jenny Williams

National Account Manager,

LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

 

Jenny Williams has worked for LifeLabs for 19 years, starting with BC Biomedical as a lab technician. She has worked in the clinical trial field for the past 10 years supporting industry partners in their research journey. Jenny is driven by the success and achievements of her trial partners, helping to build a healthier Canada.

Jim Mann, Living Experience Advocate

Jim Mann

Living Experience Advocate

 

Jim Mann is a researcher, author and volunteer. In 2020, Jim was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of British Columbia for his work “countering negative stereotypes and promoting an inclusive society in which persons with dementia can make an active and meaningful contribution.”

 

Jim was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s, February 2007, at the age of 58, and retired from business and consulting, and three years later began collaborating on research projects. Today he is co-principal investigator of research focused on reducing stigma of dementia, co-investigator of a robotic-assisted virtual care project, and collaborator, knowledge user on other projects. He has authored/co-authored 42 papers and continues to make presentations across the country.

 

As a community volunteer, Jim is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia, which developed and released a national dementia strategy entitled A Dementia Strategy for Canada ~ Together We Aspire, and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Advisory Board member for the Institute of Aging. Jim is also an Advisory Council member of Research Ethics BC, a peer reviewer for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Dementia Observatory (GDO) Knowledge Exchange Platform. He is also a mentor to early career researchers and students.

Kendall Ho, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS, Professor and Lead, Digital Emergency Medicine Unit, UBC Faculty of Medicine

Kendall Ho, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS

Professor and Lead, Digital Emergency Medicine Unit, UBC Faculty of Medicine;

Medical Director, BC Ministry of Health HealthLink BC 8-1-1 Virtual Physician Services

 

Dr. Kendall Ho is an emergency medicine specialist, a professor in the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, the lead at the Digital Emergency Medicine Unit, and the medical director of BC Ministry of Health 8-1-1 Virtual Physician Program. Kendall’s digital health research focuses on equity of access to high quality urgent care services via virtual care, sensors and artificial intelligence in emergency department triaging and patient monitoring and raising digital health literacy of patients and health professionals. Kendall collaborates with health policy and organizational partners in BC to establish the Real Time Virtual Support Network for peer-to-peer support, the 8-1-1 virtual physician service for direct patient care and a virtual care learning health system for continuous quality improvement. He actively engages in policy dialogues nationally and globally to advance essential digital health for the underserved. His work has received multiple provincial, national and international awards, including the BC Medal of Good Citizenship in 2022.

Lisa Elser, Patient Partner

Lisa Elser

Patient Partner

 

Lisa Elser is a retired IT professional and passionate advocate for haematological cancer research. She spent 25 years working for companies like Bell Laboratories, NCR and Sun Microsystems and consulted to some of the largest banks and insurance companies in the world. She is now one of the top gem cutters in North America and has her work in the Smithsonian.

 

When her husband was diagnosed with Myeloma in 2014, she got her introduction to blood cancers and wants to ensure that patients in BC have access to world-class research.

Maija Duffy, Executive Director, British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation

Maija Duffy

Executive Director,

British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation

 

Maija is an executive director with the British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. She leads the engagement, coordination, development and implementation of the B.C.’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy and related policy and initiatives. The strategy that was released in April 2023. Maija previously was the executive director responsible for overseeing the Ministry’s innovation and technology strategy and policy including science and research, life sciences and biotech, capacity building, intellectual property, Innovate BC, and transformative tech. Maija is a strong advocate of building partnerships between governments, academia, industry and communities in order to align interests, leverage expertise and address complex problems.

 

Maija has been with the BC Public Service since 2007, and in the economy sector for the past 14 years working on labour market programming, corporate planning and priorities, international strategy and business intelligence, investment capital, innovation and technology, and now biomanufacturing and life sciences.

 

Prior to arriving to Victoria, BC, Maija worked for the National Health Service in the UK. Maija holds a MSc in environmental management from University of Ulster and BSc (hons) in ecological sciences from University of North London.

Marilee Wilde, Pharma Solutions Manager, Product & Business Development, LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

Marilee Wilde

Pharma Solutions Manager, Product & Business Development,

LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

 

Marilee Wilde has 10 years of experience working with pharmaceutical manufacturers and industry partners. She is passionate about creating sustainable decentralized solutions to the challenges faced by our current system. Marilee supports the LifeLabs Clinical Trials segment with a focus on breaking down barriers to decentralized clinical trials execution and building partnerships to grow Canada’s presence on the national stage.

Munaza Jamil, Lead, Monitoring Program, Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network (MICYRN) & Faculty, Applied Clinical Research Program, McMaster University

Munaza Jamil

Lead, Monitoring Program, Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network (MICYRN);

Faculty, Applied Clinical Research Program, McMaster University

 

Munaza Jamil is a certified clinical research professional, with 22 years of experience in clinical research, mostly in the academic health care environment. Over the years, she has managed studies across multiple therapeutic areas, such as oncology, cardiovascular surgery and endocrinology. She has worked in both adult and pediatric settings, and has experience with all phases of clinical trials.

 

Munaza currently works at MICYRN, where she oversees the cross institutional monitoring program. Munaza’s work experience includes leadership roles at several excellent health care institutions, overseeing large complex teams facilitating the start-up, execution and close-out of clinical research projects. Munaza is on the faculty at McMaster University, where she teaches in the applied clinical research program. She is co-chair of the N2 Clinical Trials Education and Awareness Committee. She is a member of the executive board at ACRP Canada. She also sits on the Joint Task Force for Clinical Trials Competency at the MRCT Center of Brigham & Women’s and Harvard, which has defined the core competency framework for clinical research professionals globally.

Nathan Levens, Vice President of Product Strategy & Head of Quality Management, RealTime

Nathan Levens

Vice President of Product Strategy & Head of Quality Management,

RealTime

 

Nathan Levens has over 15 years of clinical research experience and helped build the quality assurance department for one of the largest multi-specialty, phase 1-4 research sites in the United States. Nathan has a deep understanding of research site processes and regulatory compliance challenges that shape our industry. He now teaches sites how to transition from paper-based processes to electronic solutions, to boost efficiency, drive compliance, and improve collaboration between sites and sponsors/CROs.

Nathan’s goal is to empower sites to adopt systems and processes that support decentralized and hybrid trials, while improving the study participant experience.

Stirling Bryan, PhD, FCAHS, Chief Scientific Officer, Michael Smith Health Research BC

Stirling Bryan, PhD, FCAHS

Chief Scientific Officer, Michael Smith Health Research BC

Professor, UBC’s School of Population and Public Health

Director, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation (C2E2)

 

Dr. Stirling Bryan, Health Research BC’s chief scientific officer, is a health economist with extensive experience of engagement with the health policy and decision-making worlds. He began his career in the United Kingdom with appointments at St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School and then Brunel University, before moving to the University of Birmingham in 1997.

 

His research track-record reveals a long-standing goal of informing health policy and practice, demonstrated, in part, through an extensive engagement with the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE). In 2005 he was awarded a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellowship and spent one year at Stanford University, researching health technology coverage decision making in US health care organizations.

 

Stirling immigrated to Canada in 2008, taking on the roles of professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, and director of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation (C2E2). He provided leadership for C2E2 through until 2018 and remains a senior scientist at the Centre where his research lab and team are located. Over recent years, he has become a strong advocate for, and practitioner of, patient-oriented research, and now partners with patients in all of his research activities.

 

In 2016, he was appointed scientific director for the BC SUPPORT Unit, a component part of BC’s Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN) focused on promoting patient-oriented research, and in January 2020 stepped into the leadership role as president for BC AHSN. He was in this role until September 2021, helping to navigate the course through to consolidation of BC AHSN with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

 

Stirling is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, president of the Canadian Association for Health Services & Policy Research, and a co-editor for the Wiley-published journal, Health Economics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Do you have questions about the event? Check out the frequently asked questions (FAQs) or contact Rishi Sahni – Education & Events Coordinator at rsahni@healthresearchbc.ca

About Clinical Trials BC

 

We are part of Michael Smith Health Research BC, BC’s health research agency. We are strengthening the provincial clinical trials ecosystem. Guided by the organization’s strategy, our work is aimed at enabling the clinical trials environment by: building talent and capacity; improving the provincial capability to conduct trials; and maximizing their economic benefit.

 

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