Scientific Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology (SAC-PSCP)

Membership List and Biographies

Core members

Jake Thiessen, Ph.D. (Chair)

Founding Director, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario
Professor Emeritus, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario


Jake Thiessen is the Founding Director of both the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Campus at the University of Waterloo and a former Professor and Associate Dean at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. He obtained his B.Sc. (Pharm) degree and M.Sc. at the University of Manitoba and Ph.D. at the University of California, San Francisco. His area of particular specialization is time-dependent processes defining drug fate in the body (pharmacokinetics) and drug response (pharmacodynamics). His varied research interests have included new approaches in cancer treatment and new molecules to treat patients with iron overload. Most recently, his studies have explored new applications of imaging and spectroscopy in the pharmaceutical and medical fields. His broader non-academic experience and expertise have come particularly from work with government agencies. Notable among these are the Drug Quality and Therapeutics Committee of the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) Pharmacy Council, and Health Canada's Scientific Advisory Committee on Bioavailability and Bioequivalence.

Kwok Chow, Ph.D.

Independent Consultant, Pharmaceutical Development
Toronto, Ontario


Kwok Chow is the Senior Director of Global PDS Technology and Alliances at Patheon Inc. from 2001 until May 2012. He was responsible for introducing pharmaceutical technologies, establishing alliances, advising on projects and designing formulation screening programs for poorly soluble drugs. Before joining Patheon in 2001, he worked for GlaxoSmithKline for 12 years where he played a CMC leadership role in developing formulations for global markets. He received his B.S. (Pharmacy) from the University of Minnesota, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. (Pharmaceutics) from the University of Toronto. He also taught formulation development at the University of Toronto, supervised graduate students and conducted research in quality-by-design, electrostatic powder coating, and bioavailability improvement.

Eugenia Palylyk-Colwell, B.Sc. Pharm., Ph.D.

Palylyk-Colwell Consulting
Sherwood Park, Alberta


Eugenia Palylyk-Colwell obtained her B.Sc. Pharm. and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacokinetics) from the University of Alberta. She has many years of experience with Canadian provincial drug review processes, having held scientific and senior management positions in the Alberta Ministry of Health and Wellness and Alberta Blue Cross. For over ten years, she served as the scientific advisor and led the review team for the Expert Committee on Drug Evaluation and Therapeutics. She has served on many committees, advisory panels and working groups including appointments as a core member of the Health Canada Scientific Advisory Committee on Bioavailability and Bioequivalence and the Scientific Advisory Panel on Bioequivalence Requirements for Modified-Release Dosage Forms. She currently works as an external clinical reviewer for government and not-for-profit government-funded agencies and as an independent consultant providing scientific, critical appraisal and biomedical communication services to clients in both the public and private sectors.

Murray P. Ducharme, Pharm.D., FCCP, FCP

President and CEO, Learn and Confirm Inc.
St-Laurent, Québec
Professeur Associé, Faculté de Pharmacie, University of Montreal
Montréal, Québec


Murray Ducharme is responsible for all operational aspects of Learn and Confirm Inc. He has more than 20 years of academic and industrial experience in the Drug Development field and in pharmacometrics, infectious diseases and drug metabolism. He has an undergraduate Pharmacy degree and a graduate diploma in Hospital Pharmacy from the University of Montreal, Canada, and a Pharm.D. from the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions of Wayne State University in Michigan, USA. He has presented more than 200 seminars and posters internationally and published more than 150 abstracts, manuscripts and book chapters in clinical pharmacology. He has been involved in thousands of Phase I clinical trials as a principal investigator (PI) or sub-PI, and has served as an expert consultant in the drug development field for dozens of pharmaceutical companies located in the USA, Europe or Canada. He has directed the work of 6 Ph.D. candidates, 5 post-doctoral fellows, and 11 M.Sc. candidates. He has trained more than a thousand pharmacy students in pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) and infectious diseases, and has given special workshops and training sessions to regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies in Canada, USA and Europe. He is a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

Robert Herman, M.D., FRCPC

Physician, Rockyview General Hospital, Foothill Medical Center and Peter Lougheed Centre
Calgary, Alberta
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta


Robert Herman obtained his M.D. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1977, and his license in Internal Medicine in 1981. He obtained a certificate in Clinical Pharmacology, from Vanderbilt Medical University, Nashville, Tennessee in 1983. He is currently a Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary. Prior to this appointment, he was a Professor in Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Saskatchewan. His interests include clinical pharmacology, drug metabolism and disposition, bioequivalence (Expert Advisory Committee to Health Canada), drug interactions, formulary review (current co-chair of ABC Drug Benefit List), hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, weight management, and smoking cessation. His current research is focused in the areas of hypertensive emergencies, preeclampsia/eclampsia and measurement and diagnosis of intracranial hypertension. However, his true passions are caring for sick patients with complex medical problems and teaching as he attends on the Medical Teams and Internal Medicine Consult services at all three Calgary adult, acute care hospitals.

Isadore Kanfer, B.Sc. (Pharm), Ph.D., FPS, MRPharmS

Emeritus Dean and Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University
Grahamstown, South Africa
Honorary Professor, KLE University
Karnataka, India


Isadore Kanfer received his Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutics and is Emeritus Dean and Professor of Pharmacy at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He was Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (1980) and also Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina's School of Pharmacy, Chapel Hill (1990). In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) and is currently Chair of the AAPS Bioequivalence Focus Group. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and a member of the Editorial Board of Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology. He has contributed to over 200 research publications and conference presentations and is co-editor of 4 books.

Mitchell A.H. Levine, B.Sc., M.Sc., M.D., FRCPC, FISPE

Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University
Director, Centre for Evaluation of Medicines, McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario


Mitchell Levine is a professor in the departments of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is also director of the Centre for Evaluation of Medicines at St. Joseph´s Healthcare Hamilton. He received his M.D. from the University of Calgary in 1979 and postgraduate training in Internal Medicine (FRCPC) and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Toronto (1981-1987). He received a M.Sc. degree in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University in 1988. He is a member and Vice-Chairperson of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. He acts, on an ad hoc basis, as a clinical pharmacology consultant to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology and an Associate Editor of the ACP Journal Club: Evidence-Based Medicine.

Raimar Löbenberg, Ph.D.

Director, Drug Development and Innovation Centre
Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta


Raimar Löbenberg holds a B.S. in pharmacy from the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in pharmaceutics from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt in 1996. He worked on the fundamentals of the Biopharmaceutics Drug Classification System (BCS) with Dr. J. Dressman in Frankfurt and Dr. G. Amidon in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He joined the University of Alberta in 2000 as an Assistant Professor. His research interests include dissolution testing to predict the oral performance of dosage forms and the application of nanotechnology to pulmonary delivery of drug-loaded nanoparticles to treat diseases such as lung cancer or tuberculosis. He is the founder and director of the Drug Development and Innovation Centre, Chair of the Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Senator at the University of Alberta. He represents the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy in Canada at the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) Convention and is a member of the USP Dietary Supplement Expert Committee. He is also a member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) Steering Committee for In Vitro Release and Dissolution and Vice Chair of the Specialty Committee of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Pharmaceutics of the World Foundation of Chinese Medicine Science.

Christopher Loomis, Ph.D.

Vice-President (Research), Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland


Christopher Loomis received his Ph.D. from Queen's University in 1983, where he served as assistant professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Anesthesia until 1987. He joined the School of Pharmacy of Memorial University as an associate professor in 1988, was appointed full professor in 1996, and became director of the School in 1998. He was appointed Vice-President (Research) of Memorial University in 2002, and renewed for a second term in 2007. He has also served as Vice-President (Academic) Pro Tempore, and President and Vice-Chancellor Pro Tempore of Memorial University. His program of research has focused on the spinal pharmacology of pain, opioid and non-opioid mechanisms of spinal analgesia, and central mechanisms of neuropathic pain early after nerve injury. He is the author of many papers and presentations on these subjects. He is currently a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and sits on the Board of Directors of Canarie (Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network). He is a former member and officer of several Medical Research Council/CIHR peer review committees, and served as Memorial's first MRC regional director. He is also a past member of the Advisory Council of Canada's Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies Health Research Foundation, and the Panel of Examiners of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. He twice received the Bristol Myers-Squibb Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Teaching, and the Dr. Albert R. Cox Research Award for outstanding research from Memorial University.

Elizabeth B. Vadas, Ph.D.

Integrated solutions to scientific and technical problems (InSciTech Inc.)
Montréal, Québec


Elizabeth B. Vadas received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from McGill University in Montreal. She obtained her undergraduate degree in colloid and surface chemistry in Budapest, Hungary. Following postdoctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill she joined Merck Frosst, the Canadian subsidiary of Merck & Co. in 1980 as a senior research scientist in the department of Pharmaceutical Research and Development.

Prior to her retirement from Merck, she was Executive Director of Pharmaceutical Research and Development at Merck Frosst where she led the development of products such as Singulair®, Vioxx® and ArcoxiaTM. Currently she works with over a dozen drug discovery companies in the US, Canada and the UK either in a consulting capacity through her own company, InSciTech Inc., or as a member of their Scientific or Development Advisory Board. Her main scientific interests are in the area of pharmaceutics, particularly in solid state chemistry and physics, drug excipient interactions and identifying appropriate means of delivering molecules of low solubility. She also has an interest in drug delivery systems including rapid dissolving oral formulations and aerosols. She has been an Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutics between 1995 and 2005 at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal. She also has lectured and published widely.

Ad hoc members

Allan Donner, Ph.D., FRSC

Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Director of Biometrics, Robarts Clinical Trials
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario


Allan Donner is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director of Biometrics, Robarts Clinical Trials, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba and obtained his Ph.D. in Statistics from Harvard University. His methodological research includes extensive contributions to the design and analysis of clinical trials including service on numerous Data Safety and Monitoring Committees for government and industry. He is co-author with Dr. Neil Klar of the text "Design and Analysis of Cluster Randomization Trials in Health Research" (Wiley, 2000). His interest in cluster randomization trials has led to his involvement as a co-investigator on several funded studies in perinatal epidemiology sponsored by the World Health Organization. He has also collaborated with the International Vaccine Institute on trials randomizing entire communities to vaccines designed to prevent typhoid and other infectious diseases in developing countries. Over the last ten years he has been a member of several Health Canada Committees.

Ping Lee, Ph.D.

Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario


Dr. Lee is Professor and GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, an endowed position he has held since July 2004. He is also Affiliated Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI). He received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1975. Since 1975 he has held research and management positions of increasing responsibilities in pharmaceutical Research and Development (R&D) and drug delivery at several major pharmaceutical companies: Ciba-Geigy, SmithKline and Schering-Plough. He also served as a full professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University at the University of Toronto from 1988 to 1993 where he conducted research funded by Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and industrial sources and trained graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Prior to returning to Toronto in July 2004 for the Endowed Chair, he was Senior Director of Pharmaceutical Research and Development at Schering-Plough Research Institute in Kenilworth, NJ responsible for its oral formulation development as well as discovery support and pharmaceutical chemistry departments. Dr. Lee's current research focuses on enhanced delivery of poorly soluble drugs, controlled release nitric oxide for diabetic wound healing, bioerodible systems for local drug delivery, modulated and programmable drug delivery systems, and modified-release dosage forms. He has over 75 scientific publications and 22 issued patents and is a former Editorial Board member of Journal of Controlled Release and European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Biopharmaceutics and Drug Disposition, Pharmaceutical Development and Technology as well as American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) PharmSci Tech. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), elected in 1996.

Gordon McKay, Ph.D.

Special Advisor to the Office of the Vice President of Research
Clinical and Biomedical Health, University of Saskatchewan
Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Gordon McKay received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. He was appointed as a research associate and adjunct professor of pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan and a principal investigator in the Drug Metabolism, Drug Disposition Research Group headed by Dr. Kamal K. Midha at this same institution. The research group focused on investigations towards the more efficacious use of antipsychotic drugs, for 11 years, and then did collaborative research with the pharmaceutical industry for 30 years. He was awarded fellowship in the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1994 and was one of the founding members and past President of the Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is a scientific organizer for numerous scientific meetings including the Bioanalytical Validation meetings, the Tandem Mass Spectrometry Workshops held annually for the last 24 years and BioInternational. He has served on the editorial board for the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and has been a member of the Pharmaceutical Sciences review committee for Medical Research Council (MRC) and has served on numerous University Boards and Committees. He has published more than 165 original scientific publications and authored more than 200 scientific presentations. He was Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Affairs and is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan. He is Chair of the University of Saskatchewan Biomedical Research Ethics Board and is President and co-owner of Pharmalytics, a for-profit corporate research laboratory. He is currently Special Advisor to the Office of the Vice President of Research in the areas of Clinical and Biomedical Health at the University of Saskatchewan.

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