On this page

Dean’s Advisory Board Chair

Vivian Sullivan

Vivian Sullivan's career has been dedicated to supporting the needs of innovative small businesses, including new product development, management and business development. 

From 2004 to 2017, Sullivan oversaw the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) client services and program delivery to small and medium companies by IRAP’s technology advisory staff, both in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. For over 75 years, IRAP has been providing technology assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises at all stages of the innovation process, to build their capacity to develop and commercialize technologies. She has extensive experience in working to advance the technical capabilities of companies, having worked as an IRAP advisor to the agriculture and food industries in Manitoba from 1992 to 2004. From 2017 until her retirement in 2018, she established the initial phase of a new national internal training and development program and rolled it out to all the provinces and territories.

Prior to joining the National Research Council, she was employed by the former Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie in a variety of technical and management positions focused on supporting innovative agri-food firms. 
She has participated in a number of working groups and committees throughout her career, including serving as the chair of NSERC’s Prairies Regional Office Advisory Committee.

She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.

Dean’s Advisory Board Vice-Chair

Albert (Bert) D. Friesen, PhD

The founder, President, CEO and Chair of the Board of Medicure Inc., Friesen holds a PhD in protein chemistry from the University of Manitoba. Friesen played a key role in founding several health industry companies including the first employee and President of the Winnipeg Rh Institute for over 20 years, where he oversaw the development of WinRho (then acquired by Cangene Inc. and more recently by Emergent BioSolutions), ABI Biotechnology (acquired by Apotex Inc.), Viventia Biotech Inc., now Sesen Bio, Genesys Pharma Inc., DiaMedica Inc, Miraculins Inc., Mantex Inc., Kane Biotech Inc., Waverley Pharma Inc, CanAm Bioresearch Inc and GVI Clinical Development Solutions. Friesen has experience in the establishment of pharmaceutical production facilities and has also managed and initiated the research and clinical development of several pharmaceutical candidates. Friesen is a founder of the Industrial Biotechnology Association of Canada (IBAC), known as BIOTECanada and past Chairman of its board of directors and former member of the Industrial Advisory Committee to the Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal.

In addition to his role with Medicure Inc., Friesen, through the Bert and Lee Friesen Foundation is active in providing support and opportunity to a number of community organizations, such as the University of Manitoba, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada Human Rights Museum, Assiniboine Park Conservancy and organizations focused on alleviating poverty. A strong advocate for "Business Solutions to Poverty", Bert chaired the international board of MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates), an international economic development organization from 2014 to 2017. 

Friesen is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award, from the University of Manitoba – 2003; the Order of Manitoba – 2005; the Life Science Award – Individual Contribution to the Industry – Life Science Association of Manitoba – 2007; The Industry Leadership Gold Leaf Award by BIOTECanada – 2013; University of Manitoba  Faculty of Science Alumni Award – 2019.

Friesen served as Chair and CEO of Medicure Inc.

Dean's Advisory Board members

Tanya Boyaniwsky

Tanya Boyaniwsky is a versatile biotech leader with over 25 years of experience in the life science, translational, consumer and clinical genomics markets. Throughout her career, she has held prominent positions at renowned companies in the industry, including Stratagene, Invitrogen, Sequenom, Illumina and is currently serving at Pacific Biosciences.

Tanya's career journey has spanned global roles, both in the United States and Europe, providing her with a comprehensive understanding of the biotech landscape on an international scale. Her expertise lies in leading strategic-level projects, company integrations, corporate strategy, customer experience and marketing campaigns, including multiple successful product launches.

With a strong passion for science, Tanya has consistently demonstrated her core strengths in marketing and customer experience, earning her respect and recognition in the field. She is known for her exceptional leadership abilities, effective communication, problem-solving skills and analytical acumen. Tanya has a proven track record of delivering customer experiences that not only meet but exceed expectations, leaving a lasting impact on the industry.

As an experienced leader, Tanya has successfully led, engaged and inspired teams in complex international organizations. Her ability to influence at all levels has been instrumental in driving growth and achieving organizational objectives.

Tanya holds a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Biotechnology from the University of Manitoba. Her educational background, coupled with her extensive industry experience, has equipped her with a solid foundation to contribute significantly to the biotech and genomics sectors.

Doug Collier

Doug Collier is an early-stage investor in many companies from Chicago to London and beyond in industries including enterprise software, consumer and commercial technology, food or beverage and others. Doug is also a board director or advisory board member for several companies in the consumer products and technology industries. He is a member of the University of Manitoba’s Alumni Council and the Faculty of Science Board of Advisors, the University of Toronto Rotman School LEADS mentorship program and a mentor with Endeavor, a global community of high-impact entrepreneurs. 

Prior to his career as a board member and early-stage investor, Doug was an accomplished global executive whose most recent experience included 12 years at La-Z-Boy, a $1.7B home furnishings retailer and manufacturer, where he held the roles of SVP/Chief Commercial Officer and President International.

He graduated with a BSc from the University of Manitoba and an M.B.A. from the University of Toronto. He lives in St. Joseph, MI and Umbria, Italy with his wife Ronda.

Maury Donen

Maury K. Donen is a professional investor with more than twenty-five years of experience. He holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)™ and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) (CMA)™ designations and has expertise in evaluating and investing in life sciences and industrial public and private companies. He is currently a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee for Pivot/CPA Magazine, the Manitoba Multifaith Council (Jewish/Catholic Dialogue Working Group), CancerCare Manitoba Foundation (Projects Grants & Awards Committee), and St. Boniface Hospital Research Enterprise Committee. He has past involvement with numerous organizations, including CFA Winnipeg (President), and Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (Director). In 2019, he was the recipient of the CPA Manitoba Distinguished Service Award for outstanding community volunteerism in Manitoba.

Rodger Guinn

From 2019 Rodger served as the Chair of the External Advisory Committee for the University of Manitoba`s Faculty of Science "Data Science Nexus". Rodger currently serves on the Finance Committee for the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences PIMS.  

Prior to retirement in 2018, Rodger had a public sector executive career spanning over 30 years across Federal, Provincial, Municipal governments and Healthcare. His working career focused on Management reform initiatives as well as the implementation of enterprise systems (SAP and PeopleSoft). In the latter years, Rodger led business case developments surrounding the possibilities of Data Analytics.

In addition to his current Committee/Board role Rodger previously served as National Board President for the Financial Management Institute of Canada (FMI) and Manitoba provincial Chapter.

Kim Kline

Kim is the catalyst of the Bioscience Association Manitoba, an industry association that’s the hub and advocate for innovators, entrepreneurs, and established companies in Manitoba’s growing bioscience industry. BAM’s member companies belong to, often more than one of the three subsectors: Health Biotech, Ag Biotech, and Clean Biotech. Kim’s unrestrained passion for creating a strong bioscience industry in Manitoba has shaped the province in incalculable ways. With Kim in leadership, BAM is continually advocating for opportunities and innovation in Manitoba’s bioscience industry and her people-focused approach has reflected in an extensive expansion of the sector's workforce development.

Andrea McLandress

After spending the majority of her career in the private sector, Andrea joined Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2019 in the role of Regional Director in the Environmental Protection Operations Directorate. As a Métis Nation citizen, she has worked hard to strengthen relationships between Indigenous communities and mainstream organizations and looks forward to improving connections between the UM Faculty of Science and her directorate, especially relating to greater awareness of potential career opportunities for Indigenous science grads. 

Andrea is a proud graduate of the University of Manitoba (BA, MPA), and an even prouder parent of two current UM students. She is an AVID Bison Football fan! #WeAreAllBisons

R.J. Dwayne Miller, PhD

R. J. Dwayne Miller holds the Distinguished Faculty Research Chair in Chemical and Biological Physics and is a Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Toronto (1995-present). He was seconded to Germany for 10 years to take up a position as co-Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg Germany and Founder/Spokesperson for the Centre for Ultrafast Imaging in Hamburg Germany (2010-2020). He has published over 300 research articles, one book, and several reviews. He has pioneered the development of both coherent multidimensional spectroscopy methods, and ultrafast laser technology, and introduced the concept of using ultrabright electron sources to directly watch atomic motions during the defining moments of chemistry. This latter work accomplished one of the dream experiments in science, to bring the chemists’ collective gedanken experiment of chemistry to direct observation.  He also has a long-standing commitment to getting research into real-life applications, having started up 8 companies.  

His research accomplishments have been recognized with an A.P. Sloan Fellowship, Camille, Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Presidential Young Investigator Award (USA), Polanyi Award, Rutherford Medal in Chemistry, the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Medal, E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy of the American Chemical Society (2015), the Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2016), and numerous named lectureships. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the CIC, Fellow of the Optical Society of America, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Toronto. In 2018, he was honoured with the European Physics Society Award for Laser Science for Achieving the Fundamental Limit to Minimally Invasive Surgery with Complete Biodiagnostics for Surgical Guidance. He is also a strong advocate for science promotion earning the McNeil Medal from the Royal Society of Canada (2011) for founding Science Rendezvous, which is one of the largest celebrations of science (geographically at least) with over 350 events all across Canada with new initiatives in remote communities in the North, aimed to make science accessible to the general public with over 200,000 attendees annually - made possible by >6000 volunteers/researchers.

Joel Semeniuk

Joel is the Chief Strategy Officer at Communitech and established Canada’s largest and most successful open innovation programs: Future of Cities, Future of National Security, Future of Health, and Future of Retail. 

Joel is also the Founder of HORIZONthree, an organization dedicated to fueling organizational transformation through open innovation practices.

Co-author of four books, Joel has spent the last 28 years creating and growing tech-based ventures worldwide in manufacturing, healthcare, tech, and transportation. This journey involved Joel helping to establish startup accelerators in Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, the UK (United Kingdom) and the Vatican.

Joel was also the founder of Imaginet Ventures, one of Canada’s first enterprise-backed Venture Studios (2009 to 2017) that partnered with some of North America’s largest brands to launch several successful tech-based ventures in transportation, healthcare, collaboration, and tech.

Chris Sinclair, PhD

Sinclair is presently the Head of Global Preparedness for Emergent BioSolutions and is the Managing Director of Emergent BioSolutions Canada. Prior to his current position, Sinclair served in a variety of positions including Head of MCM Strategy, VP Global Commercial Operations, VP of Business Development and Corporate Strategic Planning. Additionally, earlier in his career, he was Manufacturing Site Head for two FDA-approved facilities and prior to that Head of Clinical Research and Medical Affairs. Prior to joining the industry, Sinclair was involved in academic research at the Universities of Manitoba and Washington, and at the National Research Council of Canada. His experience covers biopharmaceutical development from IND enabling through to market launch, including significant regulatory experience with Health Canada, the FDA and the European Medicines Agency. He has worked on more than a dozen medical development programs globally, including hematology, oncology, transplantation, and infectious diseases therapeutic areas. Within his current efforts, he has worked on more than ten stockpiled products with the US Government and has worked in more than twenty countries on their preparedness efforts. Sinclair has a PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from the University of Manitoba, an MBA specializing in Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Management from the University of Colorado and has completed executive development programs at Harvard Business School, Admare Executive Institute and holds an ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Heather Smart

Heather Smart, joined the National Research Council of Canada in the role of Director, Research and Development at NRC - Brookside in Winnipeg, MB in November 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba. 

For the first 15 years of her career, Heather worked as an engineer within the aerospace and manufacturing sectors. She then opted to pursue graduate studies and acquired her MSc. in metallurgy.  Having identified an interest in research, she took on a role within academia, working as an Applied Research Professional.  It was during this time that Heather developed an interest in the principles of Advanced Manufacturing.  Prior to joining the NRC, Heather was the Director of Engineering at a firm specializing in laser powder bed fusion metal additive manufacturing of medical devices.  Heather is an advocate of Women in STEM and also volunteers her time supporting multiple non-profit organizations.