Building Biotech – Challenges of New Entrepreneurs in Biotechnology

September 28, 2016 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm Coast Coal Harbour Hotel (1180 W Hastings St, Vancouver)


The Discovery Foundation and the Student Biotechnology Network are delighted to kick off the 2016-2017 season with our annual Building Biotech Event. This year, with Building Biotech: Challenges of New Entrepreneurs in Biotechnology, we hope that the stories that are shared and ideas exchanged inspire you to continue to reach for the stars.

If the success of previous events is anything to go by, this evening is an excellent opportunity to re-connect with other enthusiastic students and industry professionals, while gaining insight and perspectives on the local life sciences industry over a delicious three course dinner.

Time Program Speaker
6:00-6:45 Registration & Networking Reception
**For the first time ever, this will include
a recruitment booth from STEMCELL Technologies Inc.!
6:45-8:15 Opening Remarks & Dinner Liz Jaluague
Student Biotechnology Network
8:15-9:15 Panel discussion:
Challenges of New Entrepreneurs in Biotechnology
Sherry Zhao
Director, Business Development
James Taylor
CEO & Co-Founder,
Precision NanoSystems Inc.Jennifer Kaufman-Shaw
VP Intellectual Property & Legal Affairs,
Zymeworks Inc.Anthony Marotta
Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder,
Augurex Life Science Corp.
9:15-10:00 Closing Reception

The SBN Building Biotech event is a business formal event at the beautiful Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the current state of the life sciences industry in BC and gain insights as to which areas within life sciences are growing and declining, as well as learn about what economic factors influence the local industry. Our expert panel of speakers will also give their outlook on the future of life sciences in BC.

The following organizations will be present at this year’s event:

Augurex Life Sciences Corp.
BCIT Biotechnology
Cannevert Therapeutics
CAPRA International Marketing
Contextual Genomics
Cross Pacific Capital Partners
Genome Sciences Centre, BCCA
Health Canada
Paladin Labs Inc.
Precision NanoSystems Inc.
Simon Fraser University
STEMCELL Technologies Inc.
Tait Labs
University of British Columbia
ZymeWorks Inc.


Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Place: Coast Coal Harbour Hotel (1180 W Hastings St, Vancouver)
Dress: Business


Moderator: Sherry Zhao
Dr Sherry Zhao obtained her PhD from UBC Chemistry in 2014 with a focus on Pharmaceutical Analysis. Prior to joining Mitacs, Sherry worked at Genentech, South San Francisco, developing new protein characterization methodologies. She also served as the Executive Coordinator at Let’s Talk Science for science outreach. She is now Director, Business Development at Mitacs, supporting industry-university collaborations.

Panelist: Jennifer Kaufman-Shaw

Dr. Kaufman-Shaw is Zymeworks’ Vice President, Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs, and brings with her over twenty years of intellectual property management, strategy, and execution experience to the management team. Dr. Kaufman-Shaw is responsible for Zymeworks’ IP portfolio and global patent strategy, as well as supporting therapeutics and platform licensing activities and general legal matters. Prior to joining Zymeworks, Dr. Kaufman-Shaw was a Co-Founder of ImStar>Therapeutics Inc. and also served as its Vice President, Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs. She also served as a Vice President at both Sirius Genomics Inc. and QLT Inc. where she was responsible for developing and executing intellectual property strategies. Dr. Kaufman-Shaw is admitted to both the Alberta and British Columbia Bars and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta. She is currently serving as a member of the MRM Proteomics Inc. board of directors.

Panelist: James Taylor

Dr. Taylor is a co-founder of PNI and has lead PNI’s technology and commercialization team since the technology’s invention. Dr. Taylor has a B.A.Sc. in engineering physics from UBC and a Ph.D. in genetics from the Institute for Systems Biology. James worked at the venture capital firm, Accelerator Corporation, and has nearly a decade of experience in microfluidics, nanotechnology and systems biology. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Board of Directors of Life Science British Columbia.

Panelist: Anthony Marotta

Dr. Anthony Marotta is the co-founder and the Chief Scientific Officer of Augurex Life Sciences Corp. He is a co-inventor of the 14-3-3η technology that encompasses both diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Dr. Marotta is a translational scientist that graduated with his Doctorate of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine from the University of British Columbia in 2002.  His PhD work centered on investigating the role of a novel kinase, ILK, in the development of hereditary and sporadic colorectal cancer. Prior to co-founding Augurex, Dr. Marotta served as the Director of Business Development with Stressgen, a Canadian based biotech company that specialized in the development and commercialization of research tools focused in the area of cellular stress. He serves as a business/scientific advisor for BC-based biotech start-ups, has been a lecturer of Anatomy and Physiology, is the Head Judge of the Sanofi-Biogenius Challenge for the province of BC where he is an active member of the Life Sciences Community, and is a peer reviewer of selected scientific journal publications. Dr. Marotta’s primary research focus is understanding how perturbations in cell signaling pathways leads to the development of autoimmune diseases to advance Augurex programs in the identification and investigation of disease relevant markers. Since his return to the laboratory in 2008, Dr. Marotta has published more than 50 research articles, has been responsible for establishing several strategic collaborations with leading investigators in the field of rheumatology and has received grant funding from a number of Canadian agencies including CIHR, GGI and NRC-IRAP.

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