Bioconnect 2015

Revolutionizing Biotechnology:
Stimulating Innovation Through Collaboration
November 6,2015

Eventbrite - BioConnect 2015

The BioConnect team wants to thank everyone for their support and for joining us in our mission to bridge the gap between industry and academia. We hope you were able to learn about the new developments and research in the biotechnology industry, share your ideas, opinions and research and connect with experts from industry and academia. Make sure to join the new MScA McGill Biotechnology cohort for BioConnect 2016. Our goal is to make BioConnect bigger and better each year. BioConnect 2016 will be hold on November 18, 2016. For more details and registration please visit their website.

Photos from BioConnect 2015. We like to thank our photographer Raj Barua!

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About Us

BioConnect is an annual conference that aims to bring students and professionals together in order to network and learn about the current state and future direction of the biotechnology industry. Hosted by graduate students from McGill University’s renowned Masters of Applied Science in Biotechnology program, the conference serves as a valuable resource to connect highly qualified, skilled researchers and industry leaders.

Advances and applications of biotechnologies have had a significant impact in all areas of society. From consumer products, food production and environmental stewardship to medical diagnostics and treatment, the biotechnology industry has been a cornerstone in revolutionizing the world we live in. With great pressure to treat and care for our ever increasing population, meet growing food demands, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and combat climate change, the necessity for a strong biotechnology industry is more apparent than ever.

However, the biotechnology industry is complex and cannot be described as a solitary entity. Biotechnologies are the culmination and practical realization of basic and advanced research from all specializations including but not limited to: biology, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, biomedical engineering and medicine. In addition to the scientific nature of the industry there is also a significant business aspect. As with any successful product, one must have a strong business to bring it to market and the financial resources to do so. With this in mind we are pleased to bring you the fifth annual BioConnect Conference themed “Revolutionizing Biotechnology:Stimulating Innovation Through Collaboration.” BioConnect 2015 will focus on bringing speakers and guests from diverse professional backgrounds to discuss how advances and contributions from their respective fields will help in the development of new biotechnologies.

Attending BioConnect 2015 is an amazing opportunity to learn about new developments and the future direction of the biotechnology industry from industrial and academic leaders. A networking session over refreshments and light snacks will follow the keynote speeches where attendees will be able to mingle with students and other industry professionals. A number of posters will also be on display to showcase the research currently being conducted by graduate students of the MScA Biotechnology program.

Tickets for BioConnect 2015 are on sale now and space is limited! Purchase your tickets early to guarantee your spot at what is sure to be an exciting and valuable experience.

News Update

For more infromation and news updates signup for our mailing list at the bottom of the page!

BioConnect Team

Meet our talented Bioconnect Team. The conference is run by MScA McGill Biotecnhology program from the parasitology department. Our team is working hard to facilitate the interdisciplinary interaction between students, researchers and industry and institutions. Meet each of our hard working teams below.

Top row from left to right:
Cai Zhang, Sophie Viala, Marc Di Benedetto, Chris Lee, Oksana Nedostup, Jenna Ries (President of BioConnect)
Bottom row from left to right:
Michelle Scriver, Mansi Shah, Priya Aneja, Porangana Nayar
Sponsorship Team

From left to right:
Jenna Ries (Chair of Sponsorship), Marc Di Benedetto
Promotion Team

From left to right:
Sophie Viala, Chris Lee (Chair of Promotion Team),Porangana Nayar
Speaker Team

From left to right:
Oksana Nedostup (Chair of Speaker Team),Cai Zhang
Logistics Team

From left to right:
Priya Aneja (Chair of Logistics Team), Michelle Scriver, Mansi Shah


Bioconnect 2015 will be hold at McGill Univeristy New Residence Hall.
The conference will be from 1pm to 9pm.
Check out the map below for directions


Inocucor Technologies: Dr. Margaret Bywater- Ekegärd

Inocucor Technologies

Inocucor Technologies Inc. is a Montreal-based innovative company that specializes in sustainable biological products targeting the phyto-microbiome to improve crop yield and soil health. The company successfully introduced its first-generation microbial-based product, Garden Solution TM aimed at the quality improvement of the entire phyto-microbiome. Second- and third-generation solutions using cell-free biological systems in the pipeline by collaboration with both private industry and public academic sectors. Proven with high efficacy in field and lab tests, Garden Solution TM uses a proprietary fermentation process by multiple microorganisms to stimulate plant growth. Recently in 2015, Inocucor inaugurated its headquarters in the Saint-Laurent Technoparc and received a U.S. patent protecting Garden Solution TM ’s formulation. Inoculor was successfully funded in several venture capital rounds and is currently in the process of Series B equity financing.

Dr. Margaret Bywater- Ekegärd

Dr. Margaret Bywater-Ekegärd received her M.D. and Ph.D. degree in Molecular Pathology from Uppsala universitet in 1989. She subsequently entered the biotech industry and served on the senior management team of various life science companies: Pharmacia Biotech, OncorMed, Perkin Elmer Applied Biosystems/ GenScope, Nova Molecular, H3Pharma/DebioPharm. Dr. Bywater-Ekegärd contributed in various roles within companies, ranging from business development, financing, marketing& sales to R&D and manufacturing. During her 30-years career in the industry, Dr. Bywater-Ekegärd developed vast knowledge of intellectual property portfolio management and product development and manufacturing, contributing to her strong expertise in technology identification and commercialization. In 2007, Dr. Bywater-Ekegärd and Ananda Lynn Fitzsimmons, both believers of microbial solutions to global agriculture challenges, co-founded Inocucor Technologies Inc. Dr. Bywater-Ekegärd now serves as its Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology by directing the product industrialization process and overseeing its scientific and technical evaluations and decisions.

Dr. David Juncker

Personal biography

Prof. David Juncker received his diploma in Electronics-Physics at the Institute of Microtechnology of University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. After a traveling fellowship at the National Metrology Institute of Japan, Prof. Juncker completed his doctorate studies at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in 2002 and helped to set up the Micro- and Nanosystems lab of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 2005, Prof. Juncker began as principal investigator at McGill Department of Biomedical Engineering and was promoted with tenure to the rank of associate professor in 2011. Prof. Juncker has been Canada Research Chairholder in Micro- and Nanobioengineering since 2006. He was selected to be part of the IAP Young Scientist Programme 2012 and represented Canada at the World Economic Forum’s Summer Davos New Champions Meeting in China. More recently, Prof. Juncker was granted a fellowship from the German Cancer Research Centre as a visiting scientist.

Research interest

The emerging field of nanobiotechnology is of great interest to Prof. Juncker. In his Micro& Nano Bioengineering lab, several ongoing projects develop novel micro and nanotechnologies to manipulate, stimulate and investigate different biological targets such as oligonucleotides, proteins, cells and tissues. Prof. Juncker believes that the miniaturization, integration and large-scale parallelization of microelectronics are of great importance in biomedical sciences. The resulting early and low-cost diagnosis of infectious diseases, neuronal disorders and tumors from “lab-on-a-chip” will have far-reaching effects in the modern healthcare system. Prof. Juncker’s team is developing a revolutionary ground-breaking antibody co-localization microarray for protein biomarkers. By improving upon Multiplexed Sandwich Assay based on the principle of sandwich ELISA, this platform possesses higher sensitivity, selectivity and reliability in addition of being extremely scalable. It is being utilized to construct proteomic profiles in biological samples from breast cancer patients and health individuals in order to establish the molecular signatures of breast cancer. The end objective of this project is the production of a rapid, low-cost and non-invasive detection tool that can be standalone or used in conjunction with standard mammography for diagnostic or prognostic purpose.

enGene Inc: Dr. Anthony Cheung

enGene Inc

enGene Inc. is a Montréal-based private biotechnology company developing an innovative platform technology for delivering genes to cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. There is a high unmet medical need for effective delivery of therapeutic proteins to intestinal tissues. In many cases, localized or topical drug delivery is the preferred route of administration, as conventional delivery by needle injection does not provide sufficient drug levels in the intestine and often leads to unwanted systemic toxicities. enGene is applying its gene transfer technology to localize delivery of immune-modulating proteins to the gut mucosa for treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Furthermore, enGene has formulated its gut optimized gene delivery system into solid oral dosage form to achieve transient, but renewable, protein production in the gut for local or systemic distribution. This novel ‘gene pill’ platform holds tremendous potential as a platform to enable oral delivery of therapeutic proteins.

Dr. Anthony Cheung

Dr. Anthony Cheung co-founded enGene and served as the Chief Scientific Officer from 2004-2011. He was appointed as CEO of enGene in May 2011. Dr. Cheung received his doctorate degree in Physiology from the Tulane University School of Medicine (New Orleans, LA). Dr. Cheung has co-authored numerous book chapters, review articles and peer-reviewed journals on the topics of diabetes, gene therapy and autoimmune diseases. His research has been published in many prestigious scientific journals, including Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He has been invited to speak at many international scientific and biotechnology conferences - BIO, American Society for Gene & Cell Therapy, Diabetes Technology Meeting, Children with Diabetes - on topics related to gene therapy, diabetes and bio-entrepreneurism. He also serves as Board Member and Advisor for several biotechnology companies and professional organizations including Bio-Industry Liaison Committee of the American Society for Gene & Cell Therapy and Student Biotechnology Network of BC.

Madeleine Heroux

Madeleine Héroux has over six years of experience in the pharmaceutical R&D activities. Madame Héroux earned her doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Montreal, where she conducted studies on the assembly of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) under the supervision of Dr Michel Bouvier. She then pursued her career as a Scientist at Astra Zeneca Montreal, working on the development of novel assays for GPCRs and ion channels, for in vitro profiling purpose. In 2010, Dr. Héroux joined Addex Therapeutics in Geneva, Switzerland, as a Laboratory Head. She was in charge of the pharmacology for several drug discovery programs in therapeutic areas of inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Since October 2013, Dr. Héroux has been working at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, University of Montreal, where she continues to coordinate drug discovery research programs on GPCRs, in collaboration with multinational pharmaceutical companies. In addition to her hands-on experience in the laboratory R&D activities, Dr. Héroux has practical knowledge of the R&D project coordination as well as team management, both in industrial and academic environments.

Martin Bouillette

Personal biography

Prof. Martin Brouillette obtained his Bachelor of Engineering at McGill University in 1984. He completed his Master’s and Doctoral studies in Aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology in 1986 and 1989 and contributed to the testing of T5 hypervelocity shock tunnel at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory. In 1991, Prof. Brouillette returned to his native province and joined the Faculty of Engineering at Université de Sherbrooke as Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean of Strategic Planning. Prof. Brouillette is the representative of North and South Americas at the International Shock Waves Institute, a member of the Editorial Board of Shock Waves journal and chairholder at International Advisory Committee on Shock Waves of the International Symposium on Shock Waves.

Research interest

Prof. Brouillette’s team at Université de Sherbrooke’s Shock Waves Lab (LOCUS) develops many new technologies, works upon which 7 international patents have granted. Prof. Brouillete’s research focuses on compressible fluids microphysics, complex compressible flows, high-power miniaturized devices and biomedical devices development. As part of their collaboration with Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, Prof. Brouillette and his team are developing new diagnostic and therapeutic devices such as a novel Doppler echocardiography and needle-less syringes for vaccine delivery.

Gonzalo Cosa

Personal biography

Prof. Gonzalo Cosa completed his Licenciate studies in Chemistry at Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto in Argentina in 1996, during which he was recipient of the the Asociación Química Argentina Award. He went on to pursue his Ph.D in Physical Organic and Photochemistry at the University of Ottawa, studying the mechanisms of drug photodegradation. Upon completion of his degree in 2002, he was granted the Governor General’s Gold Medal Award and the IUPAC Young Chemists Award to the Best Ph.D. thesis in the Chemical Sciences. He subsequently entered Prof. Paul Barbara’s research group at the University of Texas at Austin as a postdoctoral fellow where he focused on single molecule fluorescence studies. In 2005, he joined McGill’s Department of Chemistry as Assistant Professor and was given tenure as Associate Professor in 2011. Presently, Prof. Cosa is Associate Editor for Photochemistry and Photobiology and Associate Advisory Board Member for Langmuir.

Research interest

Prof. Cosa’s group focuses on the design, synthesis and use of smart fluorescent probes for cell imaging, and the application of novel single molecule fluorescence technologies for macromolecules interaction studies. Their fluorescence-based research improves the visualization and the quantification of changes in chemical compositions, chemical interactions and intracellular macromolecular structures, which enables elucidation of cellular signaling and cellular function. His group is developing nanocomposite materials for biophotonic applications with unique optical properties. This liposome-based sensing system will enable the development of high-throughput microarray for membrane binding and recognition assays and facilitate protein-lipid membrane interaction studies.

Lallemand: Jacinthe Côté

Jacinthe Côté is curently a Scientific Advisor at Lallemand Bio-Ingredients. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science and a Master’s degree in Food Science from McGill University. In 2011, Dr. Côté completed her Ph.D. in Biology at the INRS Institute Armand – Frappier with a publication on the effects of juice processing on the recovery yield and preservation of cranberry bioactive compounds and properties. Dr. Côté has comprehensive experience in various areas of food biotechnology and nutrition. From 1998 to 2000, she served as a Research Project Coordinator and a Clinical Dietician at the Royal Victoria Hospital. During 2000, Dr. Côté held the postion of HACCP Coordinator at ATOKA Cranberries Inc. She joined Lallemand in 2004 as a Technical Support Manager and continued her carrer in the same position at ATOKA Cranberries from 2005 to 2010. For over two years, Dr. Côté worked as a Corporate Communication Manager at Lallemand and was responsible for corporate website launch and support to the company’s business units and sales teams. Since 2012, as a Scientifice Advisor, she has been managing R&D projects at Lallemand. Dr. Côté is currently the President of the Scientific Committee of the Professional Order of Dieticians of Quebec. Besides her extensive work experience, Dr. Côté is the author of the nutrition guide “Desobesité”, published in 2005. In addition, she had been writing weekly columns in “LaPresse” on numerous subjects related to food processing, biotechnology, functional food, nutraceuticals etc. for over twevle years.



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Tickets for BioConnect 2015 go on now on sale and space is limited!
Tickets cost $10.00 and are sold on Eventbrite
Purchase your tickets early to guarantee your spot
Purchase tickets by completing the form above or click on the top of the website and complete the purchase on Eventbrite
***Tickets sales end Novemeber 5, 2015 at midnight.


BioConnect 2015 would like to thank this year's sponsors for their generous support.

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Bioconnect 2015
3625 Av Du Parc
Montreal, QC H2X 3P8
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2015 McGill Biotechnology Symposium