Academic and Industry Leaders Join OGI Board of Directors

Academic and Industry Leaders Join OGI Board of Directors

Toronto, January 27, 2010 - Dr. Mark Poznansky, Chair of the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the appointment of four new directors, all leading senior voices from the North American pharmaceutical industry and academic research communities.   The new board members are:


  • Mr. Paul Lucas, President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Inc. in Canada (Toronto);
  • Dr. Roderick R. McInnes, Director of Research of the Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (Montreal);
  • Mr. Gregg Szabo, Vice-President, Specialty Products at Merck Frosst Canada (Toronto); and
  • Dr. James Tiedje, Director of the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University (Lansing).

"We are very pleased to welcome such accomplished and distinguished representatives of the life sciences community to our board," commented Dr. Poznansky.  "These appointments broaden and strengthen our board, and speak to the breadth and depth of impact of genomics technology and science across the life sciences sector, spanning academic institutions and industry."

Paul Lucas has been President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline since 2000 and is responsible for all pharmaceutical operations in Canada. Prior to joining Glaxo Canada in 1986, he held management positions at Eli Lilly Canada and McNeil Pharmaceutical.  He served in the past as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), and sits on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Region Research Alliance and is a member of the Principal's Advisory Council of the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

In 2009, Rod McInnes was appointed Director of Research of the Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (Montreal) and Alva Chair in Human Genetics at McGill's Faculty of Medicine. He is also a professor in McGill's Medical Faculty in the departments of Human Genetics and Biochemistry.  Since 2000, he has been the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Genetics at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and for 2010, he is President of the American Society of Human Genetics.  Previously, he was University Professor and a Professor of Pediatrics and of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto, a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children and an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Dr. McInnes is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.  He has been appointed to the Order of Ontario (2008) and as a Member of the Order of Canada (2009).

Gregg Szabo has been with Merck Frosst Canada since 1990, and currently serves as Vice President, Specialty Products, in which role he oversees the HIV and Hepatitis C virus, drug addiction, fertility, mature products and ophthalmics businesses.  Szabo was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Biotechnology Council of Ontario, sits on the advisory committee of the Conference Board of Canada's Centre for the Advancement of Health Innovation and is Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Ivey MBA Health Sector Stream at the University of Western Ontario.

In addition to his role as Director of the Centre for Microbial Ecology, Jim Tiedje is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics as well as the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Michigan State University.  He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Editor of Microbial and Molecular Biology Reviews, and on the Board on Life Science of the Natural Research Council, for which organization he Co-Chaired the committee overseeing the New Science of Metagenomics report.  He was also previously the President of the American Society for Microbiology and of the International Society of Microbial Ecology, and was Chair of the Soil Biology Division of the International Union of Soil Science.  Dr. Tiedje is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Soil Science Society of America.  He is also   a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.  He shared the 1992 Finley Prize of UNESCO for research contributions in microbiology of international significance.

Dr. Poznansky noted:  "I am grateful also to our departing Director, Mr. Mark Lievonen, for his exemplary contributions as a member of the OGI Board since 2002, including his leadership as Chair from 2004 to 2008.  We wish him continued success as President of Sanofi Pasteur, a key member of Ontario's life science sector, and inaugural sponsor of the Genomics Industry Fellow as part of OGI's Summer Research Fellowship Program."


About OGI

The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) is a private, not-for-profit corporation focused on using world-class research to create strategic genomics resources and accelerate Ontario's development of a globally-competitive life sciences sector.  Through its relationship with Genome Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), and other private and public sector partners, OGI works to: identify, attract and support investment in Ontario-led genomics research; catalyze access to and the impact of genomics resources; and, raise the visibility of genomics as well as its impact and associated issues. 

For more information on OGI, please visit

OGI media enquiries:

Alastair Harris-Cartwright

Corporate Communications Manager

T: +1 (416) 673-6582.