Invention to Innovation: Demystifying Commercialization

Invention to Innovation: Demystifying Commercialization is the SickKids-exclusive commercialization education series presented by the Industry Partnerships & Commercialization (IP&C) office.

Throughout this series, attendees can expect to learn about the translation and commercialization path for innovations going from the Research & Development lab to patients.

Join us for presentations from industry experts and hear success stories from entrepreneurs in our own ecosystem.

Contact for more details.


Session 1 | From Research to Real World Impact: How to Innovate at SickKids

We are excited to be back in person on October 20 at the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning (PGCRL) Auditorium to kick off season 3 of the Invention to Innovation education series, presented by IP&C to discuss the path to commercialization for life science technologies from SickKids.

In the first session, Rahbar Rahimpour, Director of Technology Licensing & Industry Partnerships, with a panel of innovators will present the commercialization process and its benefits, discuss SickKids-specific policies and opportunities, and provide a deep dive on how IP&C works closely with inventors to ready their technologies for external partnerships that can help get novel diagnostics and therapies to patients.

Meet our panelists:

Rahbar Rahimpour, PhD, MBA | Moderator

  • Director, Technology Licensing & Industry Partnerships

Rahbar brings close to 20 years of life sciences experience spanning R&D, licensing and commercialization, business development, and entrepreneurship. He has successfully led significant revenue generation, developed a number of start-up companies, managed complex intellectual property portfolios, and led the negotiation and execution of multiple large-scale pharma/biotech/academic partnerships.

Previously, Rahbar led the business development/licensing activities of a Cambridge based biotechnology company (through to IPO) and ran a successful management consulting firm, providing strategic advice to a number of biotechnology companies. Rahbar has also led the successful execution of multi-stakeholder and complex change management projects at the Office of the Director at the US National Cancer Institute, and conducted biomedical research at the US National Institutes of Health.

Rahbar holds a PhD in Molecular Immunology and Inflammation from Western University and an Executive MBA from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Jean-Philippe Julien, PhD

  • Canada Research Chair in Structural Immunology
  • Member, College of the Royal Society of Canada
  • Senior Scientist, Program in Molecular Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
  • Associate Professor, Departments of Biochemistry and Immunology, University of Toronto

Jean-Philippe Julien received his B.Sc. from McGill University, obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute. In Fall 2014, he joined the Molecular Medicine Program at the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute and the Departments of Biochemistry and Immunology at the University of Toronto where he leads a team of multi-disciplinary researchers.

His laboratory focuses on the molecular characterization of antibodies by studies of their interactions with a variety of viral, bacterial, parasitic and cell-surface antigens, providing the atomic blueprints for the development of next-generation therapeutics and vaccines. Notably, he is a Canada Research Chair in Structural Immunology, a Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada and was named one of Canada’s Top40Under40 in 2021.

Jason Thomas Maynes, PhD/MD

  • Chief, Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
  • Curtis Joseph and Harold Groves Chair in Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
    Associate Chief of Perioperative Services, Research

Jason T Maynes, PhD/MD is the Chief of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and the Associate Chief of Perioperative Services (Research) at the Hospital for Sick Children. He is the holder of the Curtis Joseph and Harold Groves Chair in Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. He completed his graduate degree in Biophysics with doctoral and post-doctoral training at the University of Alberta, University of California Berkeley, Los Alamos National Weapons Lab and Washington University in St. Louis. His clinical training was completed at the University of Alberta, Stanford University and Washington University in St. Louis, moving from St. Louis to Toronto in 2012.

His research primarily involves finding new ways to quantify drug action, both therapeutic and toxic, including how to improve the clinical effect of anesthetics and pain medications. His lab has developed new therapies for heart failure, modeling cardiac function using stem-cell derived tissue, and has created platform technologies that measure cardiomyocyte function for the purposes of drug discovery. He holds patents and intellectual property around new therapies for heart failure, novel methods for quantifying cardiomyocyte function and for anti-viral small molecule therapies.

Roman Melnyk, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Biochemistry, University of Toronto
  • Program Head (Acting) and Senior Scientist in Molecular Medicine Program,
  • Co-director of SPARC Drug Discovery Core Facility

Dr. Melnyk is a Sr. Scientist and Acting Program Head in Molecular Medicine and co-directs the SPARC Drug Discovery facility at SickKids. Dr. Melnyk’s lab studies structure and function of microbial protein toxins that enter mammalian cells and cause the symptoms of many infectious diseases. His lab uses this information to develop novel anti-toxin therapeutics and also leverages the membrane-penetrating abilities of toxins to delivery therapeutic proteins into cells.

Before coming to SickKids, Dr. Melnyk spent 5-years at Merck & Co. as a Sr. Scientist where he led teams of biologists and chemists in the discovery and development of best-in-class therapeutics.

Stephanie Tammam, PhD

  • Business Development and Alliance Manager

Stephanie received her BSc. Honours (Biochemistry) and MSc. (Structural Biology) from the University of Calgary and has been at SickKids for 14 years. First as a Ph.D. student and then as Lab Manager for the Howell Lab in Molecular Medicine. She is very much looking forward to promoting research at SickKids both internally and externally with the end goal of helping researchers move their ideas from the bench into practice.

Session 2 | Research Translation: Leveraging local ecosystem partners to accelerate science

The Industry Partnerships & Commercialization (IP&C) office is pleased to present session two of its third season of the Invention to Innovation education series. Join us in person on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning (PGCRL) Gallery (2nd floor) from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This panel discussion for SickKids staff will feature a selection of speakers across the life sciences sector who will use their industry perspectives to break down the research to translation process, outline the role local ecosystem partners play in this process and provide insights on how to leverage commercialization opportunities.

To register for this session, please visit IP&C’s mySickKids site for more details (for internal SickKids staff only).

Meet our Panelists:

Allison Brown, PhD

  • Executive Director of Medicine by Design

Allison has 20 years of experience working at the intersection of advanced research, technology commercialization and business development, largely in the regenerative medicine space.

She is currently the Executive Director of Medicine by Design, a $100M regenerative medicine initiative that convenes and curate’s world-leading expertise at the University of Toronto (U of T) and its affiliated hospitals.

Prior to joining Medicine by Design, Allison served as the Director of Partnerships at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at U of T, where she forged partnerships some of the world’s leading technology companies to tackle bold research challenges.

Allison was part of the start-up leadership team at the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) and has also held roles in management consulting and in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Allison began her career at a U of T spin-off company. She holds PhD and BASc degrees in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry from U of T.

Helen Petropoulos, PhD

  • Senior Partnership Manager at Cyclica Inc.

Helen is a Senior Partnership Manager at Cyclica Inc. In this role, Helen helps build active collaborations with academics, industry and other partners across Canada and beyond to develop a pipeline of drug discovery programs.

Prior to joining Cyclica Inc., Helen supported the genomics community, including academics, industry and other partners, across various sectors by leading several programs and initiatives at Ontario Genomics. This included the Genomics Applied Partnership Program (GAPP) and an internal investment program directly supporting several startups across the province.

Helen holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Western University and completed an industry postdoctoral fellowship at Wyeth Research, which is now a part of Pfizer.

Parimal Nathwani, M.Sc., MBA

  • President and CEO of Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP)

Parimal Nathwani has over 15 years of experience in various aspects of the biotechnology industry including corporate finance, business development, transactions, intellectual property management, technology development and operations. He has been actively involved in forming and managing start-ups, preparing and executing on business plans, raising early-stage capital and in- and out-licensing activities.

Before joining Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners, Parimal was a healthcare analyst with a boutique investment bank, where he conducted equity research on publicly-traded biotechnology companies in Canada and the U.S. He has also led commercialization activities out of BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital as part of his role at the University of British Columbia’s Industry Liaison Office.

Parimal received his MBA from Simon Fraser University and his M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia. He currently sits on the boards of TRIUMF Innovations, Zucara Therapeutics, Cohesys Inc. and Vasomune Therapeutics and is an observer on the board of Encycle Therapeutics.

Session 3 | Topic: Start-up Company Development

Stay tuned for more details.

Session 4 | Topic: Investing in Life Sciences

Stay tuned for more details.