Meet the nominees of McMaster’s Innovation Showcase awards
McMaster’s top innovators will be celebrated at this year’s Innovation Showcase, taking place Thursday, November 10th at McMaster Innovation Park. The nominees for Innovator of the Year award and Lifetime Innovator award have made outstanding contributions in their fields of research and have transformed their discoveries into start-ups and technologies with national and global impact.
Learn more about the nominees below and register for McMaster’s 12th annual Innovation Showcase to help us celebrate the nominees and winners!
Innovator of the Year
The Innovator of the Year award recognizes outstanding success in research innovation.
Gina Agarwal is the founder of CP@clinic – Canada’s leading evidence-based community paramedicine wellness program. CP@clinic is a chronic disease prevention, management and health promotion program that seeks to improve older adults’ health and quality of life by better connecting them with primary care and community resources.
Frances Lasowski is co-founder and CEO of 20|20 OptimEyes Technologies – a biotechnology start-up that has patented a mucoadhesive micelle technology for treatment of Glaucoma and dry eye disease. Lasowski is also Executive Director of the C20/20 Innovation Hub and an Innovation Coach with the MDG Health ICE program.
Jakob Magolan’s research paved the way for Naturally Synthetic – a biomedical start-up that’s using Magolan’s novel synthetic chemistry technology to develop new medicines. Magolan is also collaborating with Sheila Singh and adMare BioInnovations to develop a new targeted therapy for preventing metastases in patients with brain cancer.
Sandra Moll is the Principal Investigator of Beyond Silence – a collection of resources customized for healthcare workers that are designed to promote mental health support for healthcare workers and psychological health and safety in healthcare workplaces.
In collaboration with industry partner Nemak and the federal government’s CanmetMATERIALS Technology Laboratory, Sumanth Shankar is leading research and development on Nemalloy – a novel aluminum alloy that will reduce the weight of vehicles to save fuel, reduce costs, improve efficiency and contribute to a more sustainable automotive future.
Leyla Soleymani’s biomedical research has formed the basis of nine invention disclosures in the past two years. In collaboration with Tohid Didar, Soleymani has developed a pathogen-repellent technology that’s being brought to market through the start-up FendX Technologies Inc.
Boyang Zhang is co-founder of OrganoBiotech – a start-up based on Zhang’s IFlowPlate technology that is accelerating drug discovery. Academic scientists, research organizations and drug companies use the technology to produce a variety of complex preclinical models for high-throughputs precision drug screening.
The Lifetime Innovator award recognizes career-spanning achievements in research innovation.
Ali Emadi is founder, president and CEO of Enedym Inc. and MenloLab Inc. – two McMaster spin-off companies. Enedym is powering a new paradigm in the electric motor industry through novel switched reluctance motor (SRM) drive technologies and MenloLab is connecting engineers across the globe through secure Cloud data sharing.
Brian Lichty is co-founder of Turnstone Biologics – a start-up that’s translating Lichty’s novel viral vaccine immunotherapies to oncology. Lichty is also director of the Robert E. Fitzhenry Vector Lab at McMaster, where clinical grade viral vaccines are manufactured for human clinical trials.
Peter Rosenbaum is co-founder of the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research – a health system-linked research unit now recognized worldwide for its research and dissemination activities. Rosenbaum’s framework for child development has been adopted globally to teach clinicians and families the importance of a strengths-based approach to child development.
Heather Sheardown has an international reputation for her research on ophthalmic biomaterials, including her innovative work on the development of new materials for artificial cornea and ophthalmic drug delivery. She is the Scientific Director of C20/20 Innovation Hub and holds several patents, including 20/20 OptimEyes Technologies’ mucoadhesive micelle technology for the treatment of Glaucoma and dry eye disease.
Sheila Singh is a chief pediatric neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital and scientific founder of Empirica Therapeutics – a start-up brain cancer therapeutics company acquired by Century Therapeutics in 2020. Singh is currently working with Jakob Magolan and adMare BioInnovations to develop a targeted therapy for brain cancer that will form the basis of a new start-up company.
John Connolly is co-founder and Chief Science Officer of VoxNeuro – a start-up company that analyzes brain-based biomarkers to assess cognitive function and develop technologies that will advance brain health.