To date, 192 trainees have completed the CDRD training program and overall 96% of alumni are gainfully employed in their chosen field. CDRD alumni successfully gone on to obtain employment with an array of 50 life sciences companies and research institutions including STEMCELL Technologies Inc., Xenon Pharmaceuticals, the BC Cancer Agency, Cardiome Pharma, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and MaRS Innovation. Our program is continuously evaluated by both trainees and prospective employers to ensure the program’s effectiveness in preparing researchers for careers in the biopharmaceutical industry and beyond.
Here are a few examples of CDRD Alumni:
Dr. Davy Baudelet
Davy was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in CDRD’s Medicinal Chemistry Division on an international scholarship from University of Lille 2, France and joined OmegaChem Inc as a Senior Research Scientist.
During his BSc in organic chemistry from the “Universite du Littoral Cote d’Opale”, Davy joined the “Laboratory of Organic Synthesis and Environment” of the “House Research in Environment and Industry of Dunkerque” (France) as a co-op student where he worked on the synthesis and the development of new crosslinked cyclodextrine polymers with VOC trapping properties. He then moved to Lille to complete an MRes in Drug Design at the University of Lille 2, France.
Dr. Annie Aftab
Annie was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in CDRD’s Screening Division and accepted a medical liaison position with Janzen Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Aftab is a passionate scientist with a strong scientific foundation through her years of education and work experience both in industry and academia. She completed her PhD in the Naus laboratory at the Life Sciences Institute (UBC) where she discovered that gap junction mediated intercellular communication influences glioma cell migration by affecting their migration pattern. She then briefly worked in the Loewen laboratory where she examined the effect of acid stress on the proliferation of cancer cells.
Dr. Devinder Sharma
Devinder was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in CDRD’s Pharmacology & Toxicology Division and accepted a full-time position as Medical Science Liaison at GSK.
Dr. Devinder Sharma began obtained his PhD from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at The University of British Columbia (UBC) with Dr. Thomas Chang. Devinder’s doctoral research focused on investigating how a group of anti-HIV drugs may cause clinical drug interactions. Results from his study associated these drugs with Pregnane X Receptor and Constitutive Androstane Receptor, transcription factors that regulate drug elimination processes in humans. Along with offering a rational basis for selection of anti-HIV therapy, his data provide novel therapeutic prospects for these drugs in other human diseases.
Before moving to Canada, Devinder acquired industrial research experience while working in the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics department of Bristol-Myers Squibb-Biocon R&D Center. At CDRD, he furthered his in multi-disciplinary research collaborations with an aim of finding novel therapeutics in various disease areas, and also explore other opportunities in the field of business development and project management. He is now fulfilling his long term goal is to have an exciting career in pharmaceutical industry and to be a part of teams transforming discoveries into sustainable businesses.
Dr. Anna von Rossum
Anna was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in CDRD’s Biologics and Immunotherapy Division and promoted to a full time Associate Scientists position.
Anna completed her undergraduate degree in microbiology/biochemistry at the University of Victoria (UVic) during which time she held co-op work terms at ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd., The Terry Fox Laboratory, and was involved in several research projects under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Cameron at UVic. Anna then went on to complete her PhD under Dr. Johnathan Choy at Simon Fraser University where she extensively studied the role of T cell death in solid organ transplantation. Her work was instrumental in identifying novel mechanisms by which activation-induced T cell death determines the outcome of chronic heart transplant rejection. Anna has extensive expertise in T cell biology, flow cytometry, and in vivo models of allotransplantation.
Dr. Jayakumar Surendradoss
Jay was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in CDRD’s Pharmacology and Toxicology Division and promoted to a full time Associate Scientist position.
Jayakumar obtained his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at The University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Chang and Dr. Frank Abbott. His doctoral dissertation research was focused on the biotransformation and toxicity of valproic acid in sandwich-cultured rat hepatocytes. Specifically, he investigated the toxicity of two in situ generated reactive metabolites of valproic acid and their role in the hepatocyte toxicity of the parent compound.
Dr. Kathleen Wee
Kathleen was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in CDRD’s Target Validation Division and promoted to a full time Associate Scientist position.
Since joining CDRD, Kathleen has been able to use her expertise in microbiology and immunology on several projects concerned with the development of antimicrobials using approaches focused on novel targets and/or novel mechanisms of action. She also utilizes her bioinformatics skills on several projects involved with identifying novel targets for drug therapy. Her long term goals include integrating –omics systems within the drug discovery and development industry.
Dr. Nazila Safaei Nikouei
Nazila joined CDRD in May 2015 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and was promoted to a full time Associate Scientist position.
She studied pharmacy at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran. After graduation she worked as a Formulation Scientist in the R&D department of two pharmaceutical companies in Iran. She received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar in June 2014. During her PhD program she synthetized tri block copolymer with pH sensitivity and thermos responsive behavior which led to three publications and one patent. She also developed nanocarrier for targeting cisplatin to EGFR overexpressing tumors which led to one publication.
Dr. Roxana Jayo
Roxana was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Analytical and Pre-Formulation Division at CDRD and promoted to a full time Associate Scientist position at CDRD.
She holds a BSc Honors degree in Chemistry from Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, followed by a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of British Columbia. Her doctoral research focused on the development of methodologies, based on a novel technology that provides a robust strategy for interfacing capillary electrophoresis-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (CE-ESI-MS), for the study of protein N-glycosylation in complex biological systems and therapeutic recombinant drugs. The analytical methodologies developed during her PhD demonstrated how modern bioanalytical techniques can be used to solve highly complex biotechnology and biomedical problems.
Dr. Erin Fenton
Erin began her postdoctoral fellowship with CDRD in January, 2015 and was promoted to a full time Associate Scientist position at CDRD.
As a member of Project Search and Evaluation, Erin is involved in identifying and evaluating innovative early-stage technologies across all therapeutic areas from academic partners in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. Erin also supports the development and commercialization of collaborative projects between academic investigators and CDRD and helps to leverage funds for such projects.
Dr. Kate MacDonald
Kate was Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biologics. Upon completing her term at CDRD, she accepted a full-time scientist position with Bristol-Myers Squibb.
After completing her BSc in Microbiology at the University of Victoria, she earned her PhD in Immunology from the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Megan Levings. Her graduate work focused on the role of T regulatory cells in autoimmune disease and transplant rejection. During her PhD, Kate made significant contributions to the field of Immunotherapy by developing and validating a novel chimeric antigen receptor for Treg cell therapy.