Over 50 years of combined experience and expertise in bioinformatics, pharmaceutical research, and business strategy.
President and CEO
Naheed received his MBA from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. Prior to joining Cyclica, Naheed worked as an Associate Director at Bank of Montreal in Calgary where he was integral in multiple cross-border sponsor coverage deals.
An avid lover of travel, sports, jazz. Naheed waits impatiently for the collaboration between his two favourite artists: Miles Davis and Drake.
Dr. Andreas Windemuth, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer
Prior to joining Cyclica, Andreas served as Chief Information Officer at Firefly BioWorks, a biotechnology company started out of MIT, where he created all computational aspects of the company’s multiplexed assay technology. Andreas is a fellow of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (Stuttgart, Germany), and has done post-doctoral research on biomolecular modeling at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Columbia University. Andreas has coauthored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and is named inventor on 7 issued US patents.
Andreas will happily try any beer, so long as it's a German Weiss.
Dr. Andy Hope, Ph.D.
VP of Sales and Business Development
After obtaining his PhD in Chemistry from University College London (UCL), Andy spent his first ten years focused upon two pioneers in the field of Computer Aided Molecular Design: Chemical Design and Biosym Technologies (both companies eventually became part of Accelrys, now known as Biovia). After a further seven years at Aspen Technology he then assumed increasing levels of leadership responsibility at companies including Director of Business Development at GeneFormatics, Solutions Executive at IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences, Director of Business Development at GeneGo (Systems Biology), Director of Discovery and Translational Science at Thomson Reuters, and most recently Senior Director, Business Development and Strategic Alliances at Bio-ReferenceLabs/GeneDx.
Andy is an avid fan of "world" football who also enjoyed playing, refereeing and coaching. He currently manages his fantasy premier league team!
Dr. Shane Climie, Ph.D.
VP of Corporate Development
Prior to joining Cyclica, Shane has more than 25 years of R&D and business development experience in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. He has led research teams involved in all aspects of drug discovery and technology development, and has designed, negotiated and managed many R&D collaborations. He has extensive experience in technology evaluation, technology development and strategic planning. Shane has been a Principal at Popper and Company for 11 years where he has provided interim executive management services to early-stage biotechnology companies in the areas of diagnostics and drug discovery / drug development as well as support in the areas of business management, marketing strategy and technology or opportunity assessment. Prior to joining Popper and Company, Shane held several positions at Protana (formerly MDS Proteomics) including Senior Vice President of Science Strategy and Business Development, Senior Vice President of Research Collaborations, and Vice President of Proteomics and Business Development. Dr. Climie was also co-founder, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of MDS Ocata and was a Visiting Research Scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. Prior to that, Dr. Climie held several managerial positions at Allelix Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. including Principal Scientist. Dr. Climie completed postdoctoral work at the University of California at San Francisco and received a Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto.
Shane is an avid and talented wildlife photographer.
Chief of Staff
Prior to joining Cyclica, Gary spent considerable time undertaking independent management consulting projects mainly for start-up clients, as well as developing early stage investments in new ideas. His experience includes strategic planning and execution in IT, marketing and business development, and operations. Prior to this, Gary worked in wireless telecom as well as with consumer prepaid products in various marketing, operations, and planning roles. Gary’s well developed sense of planning, derived from years of cross-functional project success, and a just-do-it mentality, has been honed to help emerging companies find their footing and execute well. Gary is a graduate of the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management where he obtained an MBA, as well as Carleton University’s School of Computer Science where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.
Gary is one with the force, and the force is with him.
Everyone at Cyclica is passionate about delivering a high quality drug bioinformatics platform, and leading the way in computational drug discovery.
Sana Alwash, M.Sc.
TalentEdge Data Analytics Intern
Sana received her Master of Bioinformatics in 2017 from University of Guelph, where her thesis was centred on building predictive toxicology model using molecular docking and molecular similarity approaches. Prior to that, Sana gained her Honours Bachelor’s of Biology from University of Toronto in 2013. She also joined Dr. Tabori lab in SickKids Hospital in 2012 to work on investigating P53 activators and MEK inhibitor drugs potential senescence effects on low grade glioma cancer cells.
Among her friends, Sana’s nickname is The Lion King, referring to the hair.
Andrew Brereton, Ph.D.
Andrew first received his Honors B.Sc. from the University of Guelph in Molecular Biology and Genetics, then completed a Ph.D. at Oregon State University in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, under the supervision of Dr. Andy Karplus. During the course of his research, he took a data science approach to investigating features of protein structure: he explored the details of a high-energy conformational transition that occurs during protein folding, using residues stably trapped in ultra-high resolution crystal structures; he described the extent and reliability of non-planarity seen in protein residues; and he developed a tool called The Ensemblator, an open-source machine learning approach to comparing, analysing, and classifying large sets of protein structures. In addition to his academic pursuits, Andrew also maintains an abiding interest in presentation methods and data visualization, and has received a number of awards recognizing his efforts.
Andrew enjoys playing the ukulele, and is often writing new songs to play on it. Despite the happy instrument, he says he only enjoys making sad music.
Scott Campbell, B.Sc.
Scott studied musical performance and composition at York University, Toronto. Following his studies in the Arts, Scott pursued his interests in computer programming and began to apply these skills professionally as a web developer.
Scott is in a band. That is all the detail he was willing to provide.
James Crompton, B.Sc.
James received his B.Sc and MSci from University College London (UCL) in Physics. During his Master’s he worked in one of UCL’s Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Positron Physics (AMOPP) labs studying the applications Optical Whispering Gallery modes in super precise inertial sensing.
James once ate everything on the dollar menu from McDonald’s in one sitting. Yeah, we worry about him too.
Steven Huang, B.Sc.
Steven is a graduate from UBC with a bachelor’s in Computer Science and Microbiology. Prior to working at Cyclica Steven has worked on a number of projects in Bioinformatics involving pattern matching and search optimization, as well as having worked with website development using Python. Steven is excited to be a part of Cyclica during this time of rapid growth and development.
Steven has a plethora of useless skills, the foremost of which is being good at gaming. You can usually find him somewhere on this page
Marc Laforet, M.Sc.
Marc received his Honors B.Sc. from Western University in both biochemistry and cell biology. He found his passion while conducting research, focusing his efforts on writing software to analyze biological data. Continuing as a M.Sc. candidate, Marc continued to utilize computation to implement cutting edge statistical analysis on biological data.
Marc grew up competing in the swimming pool, he was untouchable in the 100m butterfly
Dr. Stephen MacKinnon, Ph.D.
Director of R&D
Stephen received his Honors, Co-op, B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo in Computational Biochemistry, with placements in biotechnology industry and prestigious academic labs. He then completed a Ph.D. through the University of Toronto’s Department of Biochemistry and the Hospital for Sick Children. Throughout his thesis research, he crafted several highly specialized algorithms and computational pipelines to systematically analyze protein-protein and protein-ligand molecular interactions in search of new biological insights.
After substantial time in Germany and Nova Scotia, Stephen is a connoisseur in donair and doner kebab.
Dr. Steven Molinski, M.Sc., Ph.D.
He received his Hon.B.Sc. (Toxicology) from the University of Toronto, and M.Sc. (Pharmacology) from Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Susan P.C. Cole at the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute. He then completed his Ph.D. (Biochemistry) at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Christine E. Bear at The Hospital for Sick Children. Steven’s research elucidated the molecular basis of disease for several rare Cystic Fibrosis mutations, as well as contributed to the development of novel high-throughput, cell-based screening methods to assist in drug discovery and precision medicine for individuals with this genetic disease. His graduate work has led to co-authorship on 11 peer-reviewed articles and one submitted patent application.
Steven has the largest collection of Boba Fett paraphernalia in Canada, and possibly the world.
Lenny studied Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. He maintains Cyclica's open source presence, as well as Styn, a Python build tool and fork of Pynt.
Lenny is learning to rock climb so he can assume his final form: Peter Parker.
Sonia Seto, M.Sc., M.Sc.BMC.
Sonia received her M.Sc. in Biomedical Communications from University of Toronto, specializing in interactive media used for developing engaging patient educational material. While in the program, she explored different ways to solve complex visual problems in science and medicine. Prior to that, she received her B.Sc. degree in Forensic Science from Trent University and her M.Sc. degree in Environmental & Life Sciences from Trent University. Her research focused on creating a DNA banking and database protocol for storing dry DNA samples at room temperature from endangered species.
Sonia is still patiently waiting for her letter from Hogwarts and wardrobe to Narnia.
Soroush Samadian, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Soroush previously completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer genomics at Princess Margaret Cancer Center, where he lead several projects focusing on developing methodologies to infer clonal evolution and tumor heterogeneity in cancer from Next Generation Sequencing(NGS) data. He also lead a project to systematically benchmark phylogenetic inference tools, by developing sophisticated simulations from whole exome sequencing data. Soroush did his PhD at UBC under supervision of Dr Bruce McManus and Dr Mark Wilkinson, where he combined Semantic Web technologies with Machine Learning, for data-driven hypothesis generation and validation for cardiovascular diseases.
Soroush loves poetry and literature, and enjoys learning different languages to expand his horizon. He’s also an avid tennis player and fan.
Joseph Christian Somody, M.Sc.
Joseph received his Master of Science in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics in 2015 from ETH Zürich, where his thesis was centred on an investigation into the effect of reduced amino-acid alphabets on the classification of protein interfaces. Prior to that, in 2012, Joseph was awarded his Honours Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology by the University of Toronto. After returning to Canada from Switzerland, Joseph joined the team of Dr. Paul C. Boutros at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research before starting at Cyclica Inc.
Joseph loves travelling, once cycled over 2000 kilometres from Budapest to Istanbul, and often brews his own beer.
Dr. Vijay Shahani, M.Sc.BMC., Ph.D.
Vijay received his Honors B.Sc from the University of Toronto in a joint biology and chemistry degree. He then completed a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Department of Chemistry with a focus in medicinal chemistry. During the course of his research, he explored the interruption of a homo-dimeric proto-oncoprotein using small, rationally-designed molecules and their potential for therapeutic benefit. Vijay went on to complete a Master’s degree in biomedical communications at one of four accredited programs in North America. While at the BMC program, Vijay learned design concepts critical for creating data visualizations that aid in exploratory research and conducted cognitive research studies on an e-learning platform he developed.
Vijay was recently asked if he was in Grade 8 by one of his fellow beginner speed skating classmates. His facial hair assures otherwise.
Simon Song, B.Sc.
Simon studied Computer Science at the University of Toronto, where he specialized in Web and Internet Technologies and Artificial Intelligence. He implements and optimizes the Ligand Express™ pipeline and is performing detailed testing.
Simon’s goal this year is to collect all movie tickets of those he watched in theatres. He is aiming to beat his previous movie attendance record from 2016, a.k.a The Year of Million Kernels
Geoff Woolard, M.Sc.
Geoffrey Woollard received his B.Sc. in the honours biophysics program and M.Sc. in Genome Science and Technology at the University of British Columbia. During his Master’s he trained in structural biology and bioinformatics at UBC’s Centre for High-throughput Biology and Michael Smith Laboratories where he studied the feasibility of switching the specificity of the N-end rule protein ClpS to act as an affinity reagent in a novel method of high-throughput protein sequencing.
Geoff loves to spend winter playing shinny at the rink and snowboarding on the slopes. One day they'll invent downhill shinny, and he'll have found the perfect sport.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Mostafa Analoui, Ph.D.
Prior to joining Cyclica, Dr. Analoui served as Head of Healthcare and Life Science at The Livingston Securities. He also served as the Senior Director and the Groton/New London Site Head for Global Clinical Technology of Pfizer Inc. Global Research and Development from 2001 to February 2008, where he led the platform technology mission for the clinical development and commercial division in areas including computational medicine. He is also an Adjunct Professor Biomedical Engineering and Entrepreneurship at University of Connecticut, Brown University and Northeastern University. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (known as Insert Therapeutics, Inc.), BPT Pharma, BEACON (Biomedical Engineering Alliance and CONsortium), and NanoBusiness Alliance. Providing industry leadership in the biomedical and technology fields, Dr. Analoui is actively involved in investment, management, and scientific/business development of nanotechnology, drug discovery/development, diagnostic imaging, and global strategies. Dr. Analoui has authored over 130 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports. He holds two patents in quantitative and clinical imaging. He has received his Ph.D. from Purdue University, followed by Post-Doctoral Fellowship at IBM TJ Watson Research Center in NY.
Michael T.R. List, J.D.
In the early 2000s, Michael co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of a multi-national computer hardware distributor. In the late 2000s, he was a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of a private Canadian currency exchange brokerage which was sold two and a half years after its inception. Michael is also currently a director and General Counsel of Smart Energy Instruments, an international fabless semi-conductor company. Michael has a B.A.H. from Queen’s University and an LL.B. from Queen’s University. Michael was called to the bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2000.
Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Shoshana Wodak, Ph.D.
Dr. Rick Panicucci, Ph.D.
Dr. Panicucci is currently the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development at WuXi AppTec responsible for providing scientific leadership in the areas of Developability, Formulation Development and GMP Manufacturing. Prior to WuXi he held the position of Global Head of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Profiling (CPP) at Novartis from 2004 to 2015, where he led the development and implementation of innovative dosage form designs and continuous manufacturing paradigms. He worked closely with Novartis BD&L and Venture Fund on many external deals such as Proteus Digital Health, MicroChips, 7th Sense Bio, West Pharma, Unilife, MIT and University of Toronto to mention a few. Dr. Panicucci currently holds the position of Adjunct Professor at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. His education includes two post-doctoral fellowships at University of California at Santa Barbara and the Ontario Cancer Institute. Dr. Panicucci received his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Toronto.
John F. Conway
Business and Strategic Advisors
Nathaniel Lipkus, J.D.
Nathaniel Lipkus’ practice at Osler LLP involves assisting clients in civil and intellectual property, litigation and policy matters, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical issues including drug intellectual property, pricing and reimbursement, biologics, and protection against counterfeit. Nathaniel has represented software and energy companies, brand name and generic drug manufacturers, and chemical suppliers in various aspects of patent proceedings in Canada. He has represented clients before the Federal Court of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal and Ontario Superior Court and Divisional Court. He has also advocated on behalf of clients before the Ontario Minister of Health and Competition Bureau in Canada, and the Food & Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Congress in the United States. Nathaniel graduated in 2006 receiving the Gold Medal in the JD/MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and the Rotman School of Management.
Dr. Jeremy Grushcow, Ph.D., J.D.
Dr. Jeremy Grushcow is the Chief Business Officer of Sequence Bio, a privately-held data driven drug discovery company based in St. John’s, NL. He has fifteen years’ experience with public and private companies, and venture capital and private equity firms, in the acquisition, financing, development, operation, licensing and sale of pharmaceutical and life sciences businesses. Prior to Sequence, Dr. Grushcow was the EVP, Strategic Development at Antibe Therapeutics, where he was a member of senior management team and was responsible for business development, legal functions, and risk management. Dr. Grushcow holds a B.Sc. (Human Biology) from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. (Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology) from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was awarded the John M. Olin Prize, given to the outstanding student in Law and Economics.