Transforming Discovery into Opportunity


Gordon C. McCauley, Interim President and CEO

Gordon McCauley is Interim President and CEO of The Centre for Drug Research and Development as well as President, CEO, and a Director of Viable Healthworks Corp., a national healthcare service business. Operating through several healthcare service verticals, Viable partners with physicians in various disciplines to serve approximately 100,000 Canadians.

From 2004 – 2013, Gordon was President and CEO of Allon Therapeutics Inc., a neuroscience biotechnology company that developed novel therapeutics from pre-clinical to global phase 3 studies before being sold. Before joining Allon, Mr. McCauley co-founded NDI Capital where he continues as a Partner. NDI manages several institutionally backed funds through which it invests in biotechnology companies. The NDI team has a proven track record of helping build some of Canada’s pre-eminent biotechnology companies.

Prior to founding NDI, Gordon was a senior executive of several successful health care enterprises, a senior advisor to Ontario Premier David Peterson, and served in a staff capacity with the offices of Canadian Prime Ministers Trudeau and Turner.

Mr. McCauley is Chair of Hallmark Insurance, and a Director of Repurposed Therapeutics, Inc., and 3D Signatures Inc. He is a Director of LifeSciences British Columbia and served as its Chair from 2012 – 2015; BioteCanada; and is Vice-Chair of the Centre for Drug Research & Development, a national centre of excellence in drug development. In 2008 Mr. McCauley was the first Canadian appointed to the Board of The Biotechnology Industry Organization (Bio) in Washington D.C., where he served in leadership positions until 2013. He is Past Chair of Acetech, and was a founding Director of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Past Chair of the Toronto Rehab Foundation.

Kelly McNagny, Co-Scientific Director

Dr. Kelly McNagny is a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics, and Co-Director of the Biomedical Research Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

He obtained his PhD in Cellular Immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990. There he worked with Dr. Max D. Cooper (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Academy of Sciences) and his research focused on cell surface proteins expressed by preB cells that regulate B cell maturation and homing. His post-doctoral studies took him to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany where he joined Dr. Thomas Graf’s lab from 1991 to 1996. There his work focused on transcriptional control of hematopoietic stem cell maturation and cell fate. He performed some of the first studies to identify transcription factors that regulate the gene expression and differentiation of eosinophils, which are known to play a major role in allergic and asthmatic responses. In addition, he identified a number of novel hematopoietic stem cell surface proteins and began analyzing their function.  He continued his studies at the EMBL as a semi-independent, visiting scientist from 1996 to 1998 prior to starting his own laboratory at UBC’s Biomedical Research Centre.

Dr. McNagny has received a number of awards including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research scholarship, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Senior scholarship, and the 2002 Showell-Pfizer Junior Faculty Award from the American Association for Immunology. He is also an active member of the Canadian AllerGen and Stem Cell Network Centres of Excellence.

Michael Rudnicki, Co-Scientific Director

Dr. Michael Rudnicki is a Senior Scientist and the Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program and the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Rudnicki is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network and the International Regulome Consortium.

Dr. Rudnicki received his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa in 1988 with Dr. Michael McBurney where he examined the control of gene expression during embryonal carcinoma cell differentiation. Dr. Rudnicki trained at the post-doctoral level at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Whitehead Institute with Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch. His post-doctoral studies involved the genetic dissection of the function of the MyoD-family of transcription factors by gene targeting. Dr. Rudnicki was appointed Assistant Professor at McMaster University in 1992. In 2000, he moved to Ottawa to join the Ottawa Health Research Institute.

Dr. Rudnicki is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he holds the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics, and is an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is an Associate Editor of Journal of Cell Biology and Cell Stem Cell, and has organized international research conferences as one of the founding directors of the Society for Muscle Biology. He holds operating grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Kathryn Hayashi, Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Hayashi is a financial manager with extensive experience in both public and private companies.  Prior to joining CDRD, she was VP Finance at Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. (TSX:CHR) where she was instrumental in various equity financings as well as mergers and acquisitions of private companies with early stage therapeutics candidates. Her professional experience also includes roles with Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants and the Nettwerk Music Group.

A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, Ms. Hayashi holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of British Columbia.

Jason Crawford, Vice President, Scientific Operations

As the Vice President of Scientific Operations at The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s fully-integrated national drug development and commercialization centre, Dr. Crawford plays a key role in the evaluation of potential drug development projects to be incubated within CDRD, and holds responsibility for the successful execution of all subsequent project development plans, and thus the overall management of CDRD’s scientific resources. Prior to assuming this role, he was Head of Medicinal Chemistry at CDRD, having joined the organization in 2008.

Previously, from 1999-2007, he held a series of increasingly-senior positions at AnorMED Inc. – initially a Medicinal Chemist, and eventually the Manager of the Development Chemistry Group, leading the synthetic development of all lead and candidate compounds intended for use in pre-clinical and clinical trials.  Notably, for plerixafor, which now generates over $150 million annually in global sales as Mozobil, he oversaw the technical transfer of the development process to a contract research organization, the subsequent clinical manufacture, and the eventual validation of the manufacturing process for commercial use. He also acted concurrently as an interdisciplinary project team leader for a clinical-stage anti-HIV therapeutic. In addition to his experience at AnorMED, Dr. Crawford also developed novel antibacterial agents in his role of Senior Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry at Microcide Pharmaceuticals Inc. based in Mountain View, California.

Dr. Crawford received his B.Sc. in chemistry/biochemistry in 1991, and a PhD in organic chemistry in 1996 from the University of Victoria (Canada). He then conducted post-doctoral research in organic synthesis at the Ohio State University from 1996-1997.

Doug Erfle, Director, Project Management

Mr. Erfle is a certified project management professional (PMP) with over 12 years of industrial drug development experience. Previously he was director of project management at MIGENIX Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company primarily involved in the development of drugs for the treatment of infectious disease. In this role Mr. Erfle was responsible for development and implementation of corporate project management processes as well as for leading multidisciplinary project teams for products at various stages of development including discovery, pre-clinical, and clinical.  Mr. Erfle began his career at MIGENIX as a technician in the pre-clinical research group, eventually advancing to group leader of pharmacology. In this capacity he was responsible for development and execution of plans to evaluate the in-vivo efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of novel drug candidates.

Prior to MIGENIX Mr. Erfle worked in the Biomaterials Laboratory of the Cardiovascular Devices Division at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He has an undergraduate degree in applied chemistry from the University of Guelph and masters degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa, as well as a masters certificate in project management from the Schulich School of Business at the University of Victoria.

Barry Gee, Director, Communications

A seasoned professional with a broad background, Mr. Gee has more than 15 years experience in public, media, government and stakeholder relations; communications and marketing; project management; and not-for-profit operations.

Prior to joining CDRD, he spent 10 years as the Senior Director of Operations and Communications at LifeSciences BC, the not-for-profit industry association responsible for representing the province’s life sciences community, and for building the local, national and international partnerships it requires to flourish. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the successful implementation of all of LSBC’s communications activities as well as a broad suite of programs, events, and services for member organizations.

Mr. Gee completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Victoria in 1993, and began his career as a Communications Officer with the Canadian Forest Research Centre in Victoria. He subsequently joined the Science Council of British Columbia (now BCIC) administering their various funding programs for researchers and technology start-ups. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Vancouver Program, and From Lab to Leadership – Developing Scientific and Corporate Leaders. He has also been a Guest Lecturer with University of British Columbia’s Career Services; Industry Mentor for the Student Biotechnology Network; and has participated on numerous advisory committees including the Executive Committee of the High Tech Communicators’ Exchange, the BIO International Steering Committee, and as a Founding Member of the Global Bioscience Partnership.

Jon Jafari, Senior Director, Business Development

Prior to joining CDRD, Mr. Jafari spent seven years in progressive business development and strategic marketing roles at QLT Inc. with responsibilities for all new product planning and market research activities and was most recently, responsible for Retina therapeutic area licensing activities. He was also involved in the divestiture of Aczone to Allergan as well as the purchase of Foresight Laboratories. Prior to QLT, Mr. Jafari worked for Eli Lilly in the Business Development Market Assessment group and provided market evaluations for licensing and M&A opportunities. He evaluated over 60 different projects and was the commercial lead in the licensing of a novel EG5 Kinesin Spindle inhibitor from Kyowa Hakko and the acquisition of AME which was a novel antibody development company. Mr. Jafari also had research roles at Indiana University in molecular evolution and in tumor targeting at Genetic Therapy Inc., which was a gene therapy company that was acquired by Sandoz, now Novartis.

Mr. Jafari received his BS Biology and MBA from Indiana University and his MS Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. He has also been an invited speaker at various market research conferences and presented “Forecasting Orphan Drugs” at the 2012 PBIRG conference and the 2011 Canadian Pharma Market Research Conference.

Dave Rogers, Senior Director, Intellectual Property

Dr. Dave Rogers joined CDRD as its Intellectual Property Director in January 2011.  He has been involved in biotech patent law, particularly US patent law, since completion of his graduate research work in 1999.  In 2000, he joined the San Francisco law firm of Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert LLP, which was later acquired by Dorsey and Whitney LLP.  While working in San Francisco for Dorsey, he qualified as a patent agent before the US Patent and Trademark Office. In 2005, Dr. Rogers relocated to Dorsey’s Vancouver office, continuing to work closely with the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices to advise US and Canadian biotech clients on patent matters.

He has a background in biochemistry, chemistry, immunology, and neurobiology, and his IP experience includes patent drafting, patent prosecution, portfolio evaluation and development, patent analysis and opinion work (freedom to operate, invalidity, and non-infringement) and IP due diligence for licensing and financing. Dr. Rogers received a PhD from the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University in 1999, and a JD from the University of British Columbia in 2013.

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