Its mandate is to advise Praxis on how it can best leverage its strengths, while ensuring alignment with the Cure, Care and Consumer initiatives.
The Commercialization Committee guides the strategic direction of Praxis’ Commercialization activities.
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Shari Hughson (Chair)
COO of Wayfound Mental Health Group
Shari Hughson has led a unique and unconventional life. She has been a serial entrepreneur, intrapreneur, social innovator and extreme adventurer. She started her first business at the age of 25 and won CIBC Entrepreneur of the Year before the age of 30. Shari has been a founding member in four more companies, two great learning opportunities (aka failures) and two ongoing scaling tech and data-driven health businesses. Shari created a social innovation program in mental well-being that won a National Honour from the First Nations Health Authority of Canada. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Wayfound Mental Health Group.
Shari is a travel and adventure fanatic and has pushed her limits in the extreme adventure of living off the land with only the bare survival essentials for 7 years. Sustainable healthy living for people and the planet are her passions.
CEO, EDPM Canada, SNC-Lavalin
Ben joins SNC-Lavalin from Jacobs where he was the Regional Managing Director. Ben is a highly accomplished, results-oriented professional with a demonstrated background of effective, proactive leadership. Empowering and enabling teams to succeed, he drives accountability on commitment. Ben fosters excellence within interpersonal relations through liaison with executive teams and promotes and achieves high standards through strategic planning initiatives. He has overcome professional and personal challenges, including a life-changing accident in 2005 while proving himself as an inspirational leader with a strategic vision. Ben, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Manitoba, was the recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award.
Vice-President, Client Wealth Management, Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc.
As part of the Client Wealth Management team, Jeremy Abitbol focuses on client relationship management, portfolio and risk management, and business development of private and institutional clients. Prior to joining Gluskin Sheff in 2015, Jeremy was an Analyst at CI Financial and prior thereto, was part of the Client and Advisor Services group at CI Investments.
Director, Translational Pain Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Christine N. Sang, MD, MPH is Director, Translational Pain Research (TPR), Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School. She is a pediatric and adult anesthesiologist and acute post-operative/post-traumatic and chronic pain specialist. As director of TPR, she provides innovative clinical trial strategies for chronic pain indications on behalf of biopharmaceutical companies, NIH, and various foundations. Dr. Sang has served on numerous boards and committees for her institution, leading medical societies, government agencies (including Advisory Committees for the USFDA and the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee), patient advocacy groups, and the editorial boards of several journals including as co-editor of special issues and books. She consults widely with industry in various capacities.
Nava Swersky Sofer
Innovation & Commercialization Expert
Co-Chair, Directors Leading Change
Nava Swersky Sofer is a frequently-invited speaker in leading international forums on innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital and technology transfer, with over 25 years of international experience living and working in three continents. She is a member of the Board of Directors of IMI Systems – Israel Military Industries, the Board of Governors of the Ruppin Academic Centre and a mentor at the IBM Alfa Zone accelerator (Israel) and the Nanjing Microsoft Incubator (China). Most recently she was the founding Managing Director of IDC Beyond, IDC Herzliya’s presidential program to create innovative ventures that apply exponential technologies to solve 21st-century global challenges. She is often quoted on Israeli innovation models, including in the best-selling book “Start-Up Nation”.
In addition, she is President & Chairperson of the Toronto-based International Commercialization Alliance, Founder of NanoIsrael, the international nanotechnology conference & exhibition, an adviser to the Israeli government on innovation and international R&D collaborations and an adviser to the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on innovation. She is the Israeli delegate to OECD’s Business & Industry Advisory Council (BIAC) nanotechnology committee and development/innovation network and a board member of Rome-based INSME, the International Network of Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Brussels-based Knowledge Economy Network.
Ms. Swersky Sofer holds a law degree from Tel Aviv University, an MBA from IMD International in Lausanne, Switzerland and diplomas from the Sorbonne (Paris), the Goethe Institute (Munich) and the Instituto Trentino (Italy). She is a member of the Israel Bar Association, the youngest ever to have been admitted, and a retired Captain in the Israel Defence Forces.