About the Canadian Chapter
The Canadian Chapter of ACRP was founded in 1997 by a group of Canadian clinical research professionals looking for educational and networking opportunities with a distinctly Canadian flavour.
Since its inception, the chapter has grown to over 186 members across the country. We offer regional annual educational conferences/workshops and networking opportunities across the country and hold our Annual General meeting each year in conjunction with the ACRP Global Conference.
Consider membership in the Canadian Chapter to be involved in a great organization and take advantage of distinctly Canadian offerings and opportunities.
Liana Di Marco, CCRP, CCRT - President
Liana Di Marco has over 10 years’ experience in both the medical device and biologics industries. As a Clinical Research Specialist based in Toronto, Liana has worked with many global partners on the strategic development and implementation of pre- and post-market clinical studies incorporating health economic and outcomes research. As a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) and a Certified Clinical Research Trainer (CCRT), she also has been responsible for Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) creation, management and training. Liana has had the opportunity to work within the cardiovascular, endovascular, electrophysiological, orthopedic and andrology therapeutic areas. She completed the post-graduate Clinical Research program at Humber Institute for Technology & Advanced Learning and was then invited back as faculty to teach the Medical Devices in Clinical Research course. She has been a member of ACRP since 2008 and is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to volunteer with such an experienced and diverse group of clinical research professionals!
Patricia Jones, ART, RAC (CAN/US/EU) - Past President
Pat is a Quality Systems and Regulatory Compliance consultant. She is a Medical Laboratory Technologist with more than 44 years of experience in the health-care and pharmaceutical/biologics manufacturing and consulting industries, including over 25 years in Quality and Compliance. Before returning to private consulting, Pat was the Associate Director, Compliance, Clinical Services at CanReg Inc. Pat’s primary focus is compliance auditing, training, and project management in the areas of GLP, GCP, GMP, ISO (medical devices) and related Quality Systems. She has performed sponsor, clinical site, and manufacturing due diligence, supplier qualification, and general compliance audits in Canada, US, and Europe, and delivered training courses to public and company-specific audiences. Pat holds certifications from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) in Canadian, US, and European Regulatory Affairs, and acted as reviewer for the 2002 RAC Canada textbook. Pat is Past President of the Canadian Chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), past Member of the ACRP Global Membership Committee, and current Member of the Global Professional Development Committee. Pat is a regular speaker at ACRP, CRAC, and other professional meetings and conferences.
Amanda Carrera, RN - Secretary
Amanda Carrera is a RN with more than 17 years’ clinical research experience. Amanda is currently the Vice President at Stiris Research, an entrepreneurial Clinical Trial Management Company, providing comprehensive study management solutions for Phase I through Phase IV clinical research. Amanda is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Stiris clinical team and ensures the team operates in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and internal policies. Her objectives are to implement and manage programs to ensure Stiris Research remains an innovative and client focused organization. Amanda’s clinical research experience began as a CRC working in such areas as Dermatology, Cardiology, General Health, Respiratory and Oncology. After joining a mid-sized CRO as a CRA she progressed through Project Management, CRA Management and Resourcing and Operations. She has been a member of ACRP since 2009 and joined the ACRP Canadian Chapter Executive Committee in 2013.
Brigitte Robert, R.N., CCRA, - Treasurer
Brigitte Robert is a Senior Clinical Research Monitor at PAREXEL International, a Global CRO. Before that she was a Clinical Research Monitor at a Toronto Based CRO with Oncology expertise, and before that she was an Internal Clinical Research Auditor for the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). In the role of Auditor, she was responsible for internal auditing of clinical research activities, SOP development and maintenance, and training of clinical research staff. She began her career in clinical research in 1990 working for a Montreal’s Children’s Hospital (MCH) Infectious disease division, called the vaccine center, where numerous studies on pediatrics vaccines were performed and she was in the capacity of a part time Research Nurse. She also worked at MCH as a staff nurse for 10 years. Brigitte has worked for several Pharmaceutical companies and CRO’s as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) or commonly known as a study monitor. Brigitte’s combination of industry and clinical research experience has given her a strong background in the regulations that govern clinical research and the processes involved in conducting a successful clinical research study. In 2008 Brigitte Joined the ACRP as a regular member. In 2009 she became a volunteer for the ACRP Canadian Chapter and at the AGM she was appointed treasurer for the Canadian chapter. In this capacity she attends ACRP Canadian Chapter executive meetings and assists this group in other needed task as required.
Stephanie Sims, Education Committee Co-Chair
Stephanie is currently a Country Study Manager at Hoffmann-La Roche. Stephanie has over 13 years’ experience, within the clinical research industry Stephanie has impacted organizations in roles such as Technical and Corporate Trainer and Manager of Clinical Operations, drawing on her skills as a creative leader and her strong knowledge of human resource practices. Stephanie is also a part time faculty member at Seneca College, teaching in the Clinical Research Program. Recognized as a resource person, Stephanie has provided her expertise for developing technical standard operating procedures as well as policies and procedures for performance management and employee engagement programs. Stephanie was the 2009 recipient of the Paula Jones Wright Memorial Scholarship award from the Canadian Chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and is currently completing a Bachelors of Business Administration at York University.
Dory Sample, MSN/MPH, Education Committee Co-Chair
Dory is the Clinical Research Program Manager for the Women & Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI), at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. This challenging new role was established to better facilitate a more integrated and comprehensive approach for supporting research excellence. Dory has over 20 years of experience in the clinical research world, both in industry and academia, and has held positions such as research nurse, CRA, medical writer, project manager, and team lead prior to her current role. Dory strongly believes in the value of continuing education, and is happy to be a part of the ACRP education committee.
Carla Cockerline, MSc., CCRA, CCRC -Communications Lead
Carla is currently the Associate Director of Clinical Trials at Nutrasource Diagnostics Inc in Guelph, ON. Carla joined Nutrasource in 2007 after completing her Masters of Science degree in Human Health and Nutritional Science at the University of Guelph and the Certified Clinical Research Associate program from McMaster University. As the Associate Director of Clinical Trials, she is responsible for overseeing the conduct of clinical trials with nutraceuticals and natural health products according to GCPs and applicable regulatory requirements.
Jill Hastings, MSc., CCRA - Member at Large
Jill is currently working as a Clinical Operations Leader for PAREXEL International and has 14 years experience working for various academic, biotechnology, CRO and pharmaceutical companies. This is her 10th year working as a volunteer for the ACRP Canadian Chapter, was President in 2009 and has been a Certified CRA (CCRA) with ACRP Global since 2005. Jill got her start in clinical research after completing a Masters of Science at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and went to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri to work as a Clinical Research Assistant.
Franeli Yadao, M.Sc., B.A., CCRA - Member at Large
Franeli Yadao has worked for over 15 years in the field of clinical research and has held positions as a Clinical Research Associate, Clinical Project Manager and Clinical Operations Manager. She has a wide variety of experience in all phases of clinical development. Working within a small growing pharmaceutical company, Franeli has worn many hats from providing GCP oversight at a site level for clinical trials, representing her sponsor company at EMA and FDA inspections, writing portions of clinical study reports and CTDs, and developing departmental SOPs and workflows. Franeli is currently a Senior Manager in Clinical Operations at Emergent Biosolutions.
In addition to enabling the execution of clinical research studies, Franeli has been involved in the development of a post-secondary certificate program for clinical research associates. She is the Vice Chair of ACRP’s Editorial Advisory Board for the Monitor. Her passion is fostering the development of the clinical project managers and CRAs who work with her.
Dr. Deepen Patel - Member at Large
Dr. Deepen Patel has over 23 years of experience in family practice, clinical research, and general corporate administration. Dr. Patel is a co-founder and Managing Medical Director at Topstone Research, a unique CRO that provides both trial management services and has 8 of its own investigator sites. At Topstone, Dr. Patel practices family medicine and is the principal investigator at the Toronto research site. As Managing Medical Director, he assists in the management of Topstone’s investigator sites and multi-centre trial management services.
With more than 16 years of clinical trial experience, Dr. Patel brings expertise from being an investigator in over 650 Phase 1-4 clinical trials and as a medical monitor and advisor in several studies in many therapeutic fields. Dr. Patel is one of the most experienced clinical researchers in Canada and is one of the world leaders in allergy research, with numerous publications related to this work. Prior to Topstone Research, Dr. Patel was the Senior Medical Director and principal investigator at a Canadian early and late phase CRO as well as a part-time family physician, with experience in hospital and emergency department patient care.
Jovana Vojnovic, Member at Large
Jovana is currently a project manager at HealthDiary Inc., a leading technology partner for implementation of customized software solutions encompassing electronic data capture (EDC) and electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePROs). She works closely with clients including pharma, CROs and academic institutions to understand their specific data collection and study monitoring needs in order to ensure smooth transition to an electronic research platform. Ms. Vojnovic holds a M.Sc. Degree in Cardiovascular Physiology from York University and also has experience working as a teaching assistant, laboratory coordinator, research assistant, and speaking at scientific conferences.