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.

Biographies

Jovana Vojnovic – Co-President
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.

Liana Di Marco, CCRP, CCRT – Co-President
Liana is a Certified Clinical Research Professional and Trainer with 11 years of experience in corporate medical device, academia and laboratory/medical clinic settings. Throughout her career, 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. She completed the post-graduate clinical research program at Humber Institute for Technology & Advanced Learning and was invited back as faculty to teach the Medical Devices in Clinical Research course. She has been a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) since 2008 and is a volunteer as Co-President of the Canadian Chapter of ACRP.

Mehdi Al-Khalissi (BSc.) – Treasurer
Mehdi is currently a Clinical Research Associate at DOCS Global working within the Amgen FSP Team. He has 2 years of experience as a Clinical Research Associate previously working with a Toronto based Clinical Research and Regulatory firm. Areas of interest include conducting activities such as clinical monitoring, pharmacovigilance management and business development, among others. Mehdi holds a Clinical Research Associate Certification from Humber College as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biopharmaceutical Science with a specialization in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Ottawa.

Diane Fortin, M.Sc., CCRA, CCRP – Secretary
Diane has over 15 years of experience in both medical device and drug industries. She is currently working as a Principal Field Customer Specialist at Medtronic where she is responsible for the overall management of Eastern Canadian sites. Before that she was a Clinical Research Associate at Boehringer-Ingelheim, Amgen and Berlex. She has a broad experience in many therapeutic areas including Cardiology, Neurology, Oncology, Pulmonary and Microbiology. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical Research from the University of Montreal and a Specialized Graduate Diploma in Management from L'École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) de Montréal. Diane has been certified with ACRP since 2009.

Carla Cockerline, MSc., CCRA, CCRC – Membership & Communications Lead
Carla has over nine years of experience within the clinical research industry. Carla holds a Masters of Science degree in Human Health & Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph, has completed the Certified Clinical Research Associate program from McMaster University and has maintained certification with ACRP. She began her career in clinical research in the nutraceutical sector, where she was responsible for the strategic development and oversight of clinical research programs according to GCPs and applicable regulatory requirements. She has gone on to hold Clinical Project Management positions with global pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies where she is responsible for the management of operational activities related to planning, executing, and reporting of sponsored clinical trials in Canada.

Angela Besanger RD, CDE, CCRC, CCRA – Education Committee Chair
Angela is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator, Certified Clinical Research Associate, Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian with 14 years of experience in both the health-care and pharmaceutical industries. Currently, as the Clinical Research Manager for the CPDC, Angela is responsible for managing the operations of clinical trials from study feasibility to study closure, including study monitoring, Investigator selection and training, quality system development, and vendor oversight. Previously, Angela has held roles such as clinical research coordinator, research site manager and project/program manager in Canada and the USA. Angela has broad experience in many therapeutic areas including Diabetes, Cardiology, Obesity, Oncology, Nephrology, Neurology, and Ischemic Stroke. Angela has been ACRP certified since 2006.

Jill Hastings, MSc., CCRA – Member at Large
Jill is currently working as a Project Leader in Early Product Development for PAREXEL International and has 16 years of experience working for various academic, biotechnology, CRO and pharmaceutical companies. This is her 12th year working as a volunteer for the ACRP Canadian Chapter, was President in 2009, has been a Certified CRA (CCRA) since 2005 and is currently a member of the ACRP Meeting and Expo Planning Committee. 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, leading challenging programs in orphan indications, emergency use protocols, expanded access programs, and post-marketing registries. Over the years 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, developing departmental SOPs and workflows, participating in due diligence of acquired assets, and collaborating cross-functionally in global regulatory strategy. 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 and has served as an editorial advisory board member and guest editor for ACRP's journal, Clinical Researcher. Her passion is fostering the development of the clinical project managers and CRAs who work with her.

Amanda Carrera – Member at Large
Over the last 20 years Amanda Carrera's passion for clinical research has grown and developed. Every day she has the opportunity to learn and improve others' lives by translating science into proven medical treatments. Amanda is the Vice President of Stiris Research, an Entrepreneurial Clinical Trial Management Company. Amanda serves on the company's Executive Team, contributing to the planning and execution of corporate strategy. Amanda is a Registered Nurse. Her clinical research experience began as a CRC working in such areas as: Dermatology, Cardiology, General Medicine, Respiratory and Oncology. In 2001 Amanda joined a mid-sized CRO as a CRA. She was promoted into Project Management, CRA Management, and then into Global Resourcing and Operations. She has been an active member of ACRP since 2009, joined the ACRP Canadian Chapter Executive Committee in 2013, was elected Executive Committee Secretary in 2014 and now continues on as a Member at Large. Her true commitment lies in her devotion to her family and in her free time she enjoys the outdoors in Northern Ontario.

Dory Sample, MSN/MPH – Member at Large
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 25 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 Canadian Chapter of ACRP.

Patricia Jones, ART, RAC (CAN/US/EU) – Past President, Member at Large
Pat is a Medical Laboratory Technologist with more than 40 years of experience in the health-care and pharmaceutical/biologics manufacturing and consulting industries, including over 25 years in Quality and Compliance. She is currently employed at Therapeutic Products, Inc. (TPIreg), as Director, Clinical Quality and Compliance. Pat worked at CanReg, Inc. (now known as MAPI), from 1999 to 2008, most recently as Associate Director, Compliance, Clinical Services, then from 2008 to early 2014, as an independent Quality and Compliance consultant. 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. Pat is a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), and holds certifications in Canadian, US, and European Regulatory Affairs. Pat is Past President of the Canadian Chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), past Member of the ACRP Global Membership and ACRP Global Professional Development Committees. She is a member of the Clinical Research Association of Canada (CRAC), and the Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs (CAPRA). Pat is a regular speaker at meetings and conferences for ACRP, other professional organizations, and health-care companies and institutions.

Brigitte Robert, R.N., CCRA, – Member at Large
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 was appointed treasurer for the Canadian chapter in 2010 through 2016. Brigitte is currently a Member at Large with the executive committee and in this capacity she attends ACRP Canadian Chapter executive meetings and assists this group in other needed task as required.

Angelina Brathwaite – Member at Large
Angelina Brathwaite has over 10+ years experience in the staffing arena. She has focused on recruitment, leading and mentoring recruitment teams, business development, client management and engagement for permanent and contract solutions in the Life Science Sector with focus on patient centricity. In spite of working full time and spending time with family Angelina still manages to dedicate her time to serve on the Board of Directors for the Rexdale Community Health Centre. The Rexdale Community Health Centre supports and advocates for the physical, economic, social and mental wellbeing of its diverse community through primary health care, community social support, health promotion, collaborations and partnership, community development and social action. Angelina is looking forward to the opportunity to volunteer with an organization that recognizes Patient centricity and the relevance of clinical trials in the community.

Stephanie De Masi, BSc, CCRP, PMP – Member at Large
Stephanie De Masi has over 10 years of experience working in clinical research. She has managed clinical trials ranging from Phase I and Bioequivalence, to Phase II-IV single and multi-centre trials. As a global project manager she has represented international pharmaceutical clients to manage trials from acquisition and budgeting to closeout and archiving. She has also worked inspecting and standardizing hospital research laboratories, including the review of applications for biosafety certificates involving the use of biological agents in research. As a Clinical Research Specialist at the Applied Health Research Centre of St. Michael's Hospital, Stephanie partners with both academic and industry clients to deliver interventional clinical trials from feasibility to publication.

Tanya Bridges, BSc – Member at Large
Tanya Bridges is the Manager, Research Operations at LMC Diabetes & Manna Research. Tanya holds a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Genetics and is currently completing her Master of Business Administration through Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. Tanya has been working in the Clinical Research Field since 2010, where she has gained extensive experience in all facets of research project management, including data management, regulatory approval and research coordination. She now holds responsibility as Manager, Research Operations, ensuring that the organization's clinical research personnel conduct trials in accordance with established policies, SOPs, ICH/GCP, regulatory & protocol requirements. She is also responsible for supporting recruitment and retention of studies at LMC Diabetes & Manna Research. Tanya has been a member of ACRP since 2013.


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