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Genome Prairie Board Elects New Chair and Vice-Chair

October 5, 2016

Genome Prairie is pleased to announce the election of Dr. David Gauthier as the new Chair of its Board of Directors.  Dr. Gauthier brings to the Chair position substantial experience and vision in areas such as research management, economic development, sector innovation, and government relations.  “As Chair, I look forward to continue working with our strong and dedicated Board and Management to advance genomics-based discoveries in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to benefit society,” said Dr. Gauthier.

“Dr. Gauthier brings to the Board a wealth of experience in the socioeconomic advancement of innovative biosciences,” said Dr. Reno Pontarollo, President and CEO, Genome Prairie.  “His business acumen and experience in venture capital investment will help to guide our organization in advancing genomics discoveries and knowledge to impact the economy of the prairie provinces and Canada.”

Dr. Gauthier is currently the Regional Director of Natural Products Canada, a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.  He graduated from Queen’s University prior to joining the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program as Regional Director.  Dr. Gauthier was formerly the Vice-President with Foragen Technologies Management Inc., which managed a national venture capital fund specialized in advanced agricultural technology investments.

From 2008 to 2011, he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Entrepreneurial Foundation of Saskatchewan and was also the Director of Business Development with Performance Plants Inc.  Since 2012 he has operated a private consulting firm focused on business investment and technology commercialization.  David has served on a number of boards for both profit and not-for-profit organizations and has contributed to numerous committees.

Dr. Gauthier takes the place of retiring Chair, Dr. Arnold Naimark, whose tenure as a director and Chair of Genome Prairie’s Board totalled 14 years.  Dr. Naimark is a distinguished medical researcher, educator and administrator.  He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the G. Malcolm Brown Award of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and Medical Research Council of Canada.  In 2013, he was inducted into the prestigious Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and has earned many other awards and distinctions related to his professional and civic service.  “Dr. Naimark’s steady hand and wisdom has left a legacy of professionalism and respect on the Genome Prairie team.  His service to the organization has been outstanding,” said Dr. Pontarollo.

The Genome Prairie Board of Directors has also elected Dr. Gerald L. Brown as its Vice-Chair.  Dr. Brown has served on the Board for many years and will continue to provide sound leadership and expertise in his new role.  Dr. Brown has over 30 years of experience in agricultural biology, agronomy, intellectual property protection, and the development and commercialization of new and innovative products.

“As Vice-Chair, I am particularly pleased with the increased recognition, both nationally and internationally, of Genome Prairie’s dedication and expertise in the development and application of genomic technologies in areas ranging from energy and natural resources to precision medicine generating benefit for all Canadians and the global community,” said Dr. Brown.

Dr. Brown joined the Saskatchewan Research Council in 1998 as the Director of its Business Development Branch and was subsequently Vice-President of its Agriculture & Biotechnology Division.  Most recently, Dr. Brown was the Director of Marketing and Commercialization with the Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise, a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research focused on the mid-stage development and commercialization of vaccines for infectious diseases.

About Genome Prairie:

Genome Prairie, a non-profit organization, with offices in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, aligns partners and resources to develop and manage genomics and bioscience research projects addressing key regional priorities including agriculture, human health, the environment, energy and mining. These efforts are playing a central role in building the region’s reputation as a location of choice for innovation and commercialization.

Media Contact:

Quyen Van

Communications Officer

Genome Prairie

Telephone: 204-269-0816

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