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Genome Prairie Announces Appointment of President and CEO

SASKATOON – January 10, 2013 – Dr. Arnold Naimark, Chair of Genome Prairie’s Board of Directors today announced the following executive appointment:

Dr. Reno Pontarollo, the current Chief Scientific Officer of Genome Prairie, will succeed Dr. David Gauthier as President and Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2013. During the interim, as President and CEO designate, Dr. Pontarollo will work closely with Dr. Gauthier to lay the foundation of a long-term strategy that will focus on the implementation of new regional research initiatives and partnerships.

“As Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Pontarollo demonstrated strong leadership that has resulted in the successful development and management of a number of large-scale research initiatives across Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” said Dr. Naimark. “His commitment to the Prairie research community is well recognized and I am confident in his ability to lead the organization toward continued success”.

Dr. Pontarollo joined Genome Prairie in 2005. His credentials include a PhD in Veterinary Microbiology from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Business Administration from Athabasca University. His primary areas of research have been in genomics, molecular biology, vaccine development, and immunology. Previously, Dr. Pontarollo held research appointments at the Department of National Defense Medical Countermeasures Section and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac).

Prior to his role as Chief Scientific Officer at Genome Prairie, Dr. Pontarollo was the Director of Research for Pyxis Genomics where he led a program on innate immunity. He also has a strong background and interest in agriculture that was acquired in the family cattle business in the Southern Alberta community of Cardston.

“With Dr. Pontarollo’s appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer, Genome Prairie will be well positioned, as a leader and enabler of advanced applied bioscience projects and programs, to pursue strategic initiatives for the benefit of the prairie region and beyond and the further enhancement of Canada’s standing in this critical area of science and technology,” said Dr. Naimark.

“Dr. Gauthier provided foresight and stability to the organization as interim President and CEO in a time of rapid change and led a process of in-depth strategic analysis that will be an important frame of reference for future development. We are pleased that Genome Prairie will have the benefit of his exceptional expertise in his ongoing role as a member of the Board of Directors when his term as President and CEO is completed,” said Dr. Naimark.

Genome Prairie, a non-profit-organization, aligns partners and resources to develop and manage research projects addressing key regional priorities such as agriculture, human health, the environment, and many more. Communications and outreach activities also help strengthen the Prairie research community while building awareness of the significant impacts generated through investments in genomics. These efforts are playing a central role in building the region’s reputation as a location of choice for innovation and commercialization. For more information, visit


For additional information, contact:
Daniel Ramage
Director of Communications
Genome Prairie
Tel: (306) 668-3570

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