21 Jul

International Jury

Prof. John Conly, MD, University of Calgary, W21C Founder
John Conly, MD, is a physician trained in infectious disease, and is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Recently the Head for the Department of Medicine at U of C, Dr Conly was the catalyst for the creation of W21C. His vision was to create a centre that enables health system innovation through a state-of-the-art clinical and research space. Since its inception almost 10 years ago, W21C has engaged interdisciplinary researchers to collaborate on exciting approaches to improve patient safety and quality of care. His focus on innovation and multidisciplinary networking has contributed significantly to W21C success to date. Dr Conly was the founding Co-Chair of the Canadian Hospital Epidemiology Committee, past President of the Canadian Infectious Disease Society, past Chairman of the Board for the Canadian Committee on Antibiotic Resistance and a previous Vice Chair for the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee. He is currently a Board member for the Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the Editor-in-Chief for the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology. He has received numerous career honours including the Joe Doupe Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, an Award of Excellence from the Riverdale Hospital, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Infectious Diseases Society. With over 120 peer-reviewed publications in his career, and over $10 000 000 in funding secured in the last 5 years alone, Dr. Conly has achieved substantial results in furthering his research agenda focused on innovative infection control.

Dr. François Gilardoni

Dr. Mathieu Cynober, Entrepreneur, Healthcare Strategy, Partner at Tech2Market
Dr. Cynober has a dual engineering degree in the field of micro-technologies from ENSMM (France) and intelligent systems applied to healthcare from TDU (Japan). His engineering work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and he obtained various Japanese awards. He later gained an MSc in Innovation Management (France) to enter into business and attended courses in public health from US Universities to focus on high impact innovations. Mathieu currently leads the Healthcare Practices at Tech2Market, a European consultancy, where he advises research centers, providers, startups, larger companies and the public sector. He also lectures on bio-entrepreneurship and strategy at EMAUD, the European Market Access University Diploma for life sciences, and is a member of the strategic board of innovative healthcare startups. Besides his competences in strategy, engineering and management, Mathieu is also experienced medical device industrialization, healthcare delivery and medical entrepreneurship. He  currently leads a venture project, which aims to develop a new tool to fight surgical site infections. @cynoberstrategy

Dr. François Gilardoni

Dr. François Gilardoni, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, WID Co-founder
François Gilardoni is a venture capitalist, innovation expert and award-winning scientist educated in Switzerland and the USA with nearly two decades of international experience (EMEA, USA and Japan) in the high-tech and financial industries. He sits on the board of directors of several invested companies and advises IT, ICT, healthcare and cleantech companies. Building on the success of the first Innovation Day (ID) held in Geneva in 2007, in 2012 he partnered with Prof. Didier Pittet, ID founder and world renowned specialist in patient safety, to foster a global culture of innovation in Medical and Healthcare Science by promoting IDs around the world. In 2013, they launched the World Innovation Day (WID) global initiative. Francois has further launched the World Innovation Academy (WIA), an affiliate fund to guide entrepreneurs in bringing disruptive enabling technologies to a global market. These technologies are issued from and are deployed within WIA’s global collaborative development network. He is founder of Global Advisory Services (GlobAS), a boutique firm providing non-discretionary investment advisory services to clients seeking to expand their private equity portfolio in the high-tech industry and to ventures raising capital (debt or equity). Francois holds a PhD (cum laude) in Computational Chemistry, as well as advanced degrees in Environmental Science and Computing. He was awarded the prestigious Swiss Prix LATSIS for his achievements in computational chemistry and has authored numerous publications in highly ranked international journals. @GilardoniF

Prof. Karl-Heinz Krause, Geneva University Hospitals and Medical Faculty
Karl-Heinz Krause is professor at the Geneva University Hospitals and Medical Faculty. He is a trained specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases. His research is centered around molecular mechanisms of age-related diseases, with a specific focus on reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating NADPH oxidases, as well as stem cells and cell therapy. Karl-Heinz Krause is active in the biotechnology field. He is co-inventor on numerous patents. He is also co-founder of several start-up companies, including GENKYTOX (development of NADPH oxidase inhibitors), NEURIX (pluripotent stem cell-based development of neural cells and tissues for investigation of neuroactive and neurotoxic compounds) and TRANSCURE (stem cell-based humanized mouse models).

Dr. Marie Louise Michel,  Institut Pasteur
Marie Louise Michel is the Head of the Laboratory “Pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus” at Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. She is Director of Research at INSERM, National Institute for Health and Medical Research. She received her PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of Paris VII (France) in 1985. From 1985-2000 she worked in the laboratory of Professor P. Tiollais at Institut Pasteur on hepatitis B vaccine and is the co-inventor of a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine produced in CHO cells (GenHevac B, commercialized by Aventis Pasteur). For her work on the hepatitis B vaccine, she received awards from the National Academy of Medicine (Novartis-Pharma Award in 1997 and Gallet-Breton Award in 2000). Since 1993, Marie Louise performed pioneering studies on DNA vaccines for hepatitis B first in animal models and then during clinical trials. For this work, she received in 1996 the Saul Krugman Award on Viral Hepatitis. She moved then to the laboratory directed by Professor C. Bréchot at Necker Hospital to join efforts in designing novel therapeutic vaccines for patients with chronic active hepatitis B. Marie Louise Michel is on the board of several scientific committees in France, has been member and Chairwoman of the hepatitis section of the ANRS funding agency in France. She presently is on the scientific committee of various agencies for scientific evaluation of grants and permanent position applications. @aiderpasteur

Prof. Alex Molassiotis, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Professor Molassiotis is currently the Chair Professor of Nursing, Endowed Professor in Health & Longevity and Head of School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Oncology Nursing. He has been a Bloomberg International Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Professor at the Australian Catholic University (Sydney), and the National University of Singapore. He is currently Visiting Professor at a Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa and Jiagnan University, Wuxi, China. His research focus is on complex symptoms and the development of interventions to manage chemotherapy-related symptoms, currently focusing on cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, peripheral neuropathy and cough/breathlessness in lung cancer.

Prof. Didier Pittet

Prof. Didier Pittet, MD, MS, WID Co-founder
Dr. Didier Pittet is Professor of Medicine, Hospital Epidemiologist and Director of the Infection Control Programme and World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety at the University of Geneva Hospitals (HUG) and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland. He holds Honorary Professorships at Imperial College London, UK, Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Health and Social Sciences and at the Medical Center of Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Professor Pittet is Lead Advisor of the first WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge, “Clean Care is Safe Care”, and the African Partnerships for Patient Safety at WHO Headquarters. He is the recipient of several national and international honors, including a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II for services to the prevention of healthcare-associated infection in the UK (2007), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Lectureship for his contribution to infection control and healthcare epidemiology (2008), and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases’ Award for Excellence (2009). Professor Pittet is co-author of more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 50 textbook chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the American Journal of Infection Control, Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, and Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. He is also an editorial consultant at The Lancet. His current research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of healthcare-associated infections, methods for improving compliance with barrier precautions and hand hygiene practices, as well as innovative methods for improving the quality of patient care and patient safety. He is also involved in research on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, and public and global health issues. The experience of his team in engaging nations and healthcare facilities worldwide in a universal commitment to patient safety is unique. A leader in his field, Dr. Pittet launched the first Innovation Day at HUG in 2007 and is co-founder of WID. A novel about his pioneering work around hand hygiene, entitled Clean Hands Save Lives,  was released this year. @DidierPittet

Dr. Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, GM: Research, Development and Innovation, The Innovation Hub
Dr. Semete is the GM for R&D and Innovation at The Innovation Hub. She is responsible for setting the innovation strategy for The Innovation Hub across sectors and establishing sector specific cluster strategies. She supports biotechnology SME’s through the hub’s incubation model and fostering collaborations among biotechnology SME’s, academia and the industry. Dr Semete has a Ph.D. (Biochemistry). She also holds a certificate in Management Advancement from Wits Business School. She completed her postdoctoral research training on Nano drug delivery systems at the University of Nottingham and EPFL, Switzerland. She was with McKinsey & Company for 2 years as a McKinsey Leadership Fellow. Prior to that, between November 2006 and June 2011, she was at the CSIR’s Polymers and Composites Division as a Senior Researcher. Her research team focused on developing Nanotechnology drug delivery systems for TB, HIV and Malaria. She has published as a first author and co-author in original papers, review articles and book chapters. Boitumelo has also served as a guest lecturer in Nanotechnology at the University of Pretoria (June 2008 – June 2011), as well as a part-time lecturer in Immunology at the University of Pretoria (February 2007 – June 2007). @InnovHub

Denise Silber, President of Basil Strategies
Denise Silber, president of Basil Strategies digital health consultancy and organizer of Doctors 2.0 & You conferences, is an international digital health expert with a mission to improve life for patients. Denise created some of the earliest medical web sites and internet training courses in Europe. She participated in working groups regarding ethics and quality on several continents. Basil Strategies co-launched the first Health 2.0 conference outside the U.S. in Paris in 2010. A Smith College graduate and Harvard MBA, Denise was named to the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civil decoration, for her work in advancing international eHealth. Denise also teaches Digital Health at Essec Business School. Her publications are listed on Google Scholar and she is a Healthcare Social Media influencer. @health20Paris

Dr. Adam Swetloff, Technology Transfer Manager, EPFL
Dr. Adam Swetloff is a technology transfer manager specialized in life sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Adam graduated as a biochemist with experience as an R&D scientist at Abbott Diagnostics, and holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University College London followed by a post-doctoral position at the University of Geneva.  Before joining the EPFL Technology Transfer Office, Adam managed the revamp of the Journal of Hepatology published by Elsevier and worked for the EPFL Grants Office negotiating a large portfolio of research contracts.

Dr. Ralph E. Taylor-Smith, General Partner at Battelle Ventures
Ralph Taylor-Smith has a background in engineering, applied-science and technology development, finance and business management. He gained his academic training from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), receiving a PhD in Engineering (Chemical & Biological Engineering focus) and an MBA in Finance (Corporate Finance & Strategic Planning focus). He is currently a General Partner of Battelle Ventures, a private equity investment firm which manages $260Million in venture capital funds. At Battelle, Ralph is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and he covers all aspects of the venture investment business, including deal sourcing, due-diligence, deal negotiation and transaction closing, Board of Director duties, start-up company development and financial exits. Ralph has led ten (10) venture investments for Battelle and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for six (6) Companies. Prior to entering the venture capital industry, Ralph gained significant experience in investment banking, business development and technology R&D. He worked previously as an Investment Banker on Wall Street at GoldmanSachs and JPMorgan focusing on mergers/acquisitions and IPOs for technology industry companies. Earlier in his career, Ralph worked as a Senior Research Scientist and Engineer at Bell Labs and in Business Development at Lucent Technologies and AT&T. He holds twelve patents for innovations in semiconductor microelectronic devices, optical-fiber & photonics, fuel cells, flat panel displays, and nanotechnology systems. Ralph was selected as a Kauffman Fellow by the Center for Venture Capital Education & Entrepreneurial Leadership, affiliated with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He was also appointed a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow in Finance & Technology Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Business Management and appointed a PriceBabson SEE Fellow in Entrepreneurship Education & University Curriculum Development at Babson College Center for Entrepreneurship. In addition to his several for-profit Corporate Board Directorships, Ralph currently serves various non-profit educational organizations, academic colleges and universities as Advisory Board Member or Board of Trustees Member including Princeton University Engineering and the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) unit of NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration); he also works regularly with the US National Science Foundation (NSF) on SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs.

Mr. Colin Turner, MBA, Business Angel
After five years as an attorney in a leading corporate law firm, Colin obtained his MBA and entered the world of venture investing: 20 years later, he has now worked across 5 continents on over 200 investments, acquisitions, listings and divestments of companies operating in communications, high-technology, health-care and bio-technology. His expertise and experience covers critical areas in the development of early-stage companies, particularly in leading emerging markets: he has worked with numerous start-ups in his capacity as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, financial manager, fund-raiser and legal expert and will help the panel of judges select the most feasible, innovative and ground-breaking idea.

Prof. Francis Waldvogel, Chairman, Novartis Venture Funds
Prof. Francis A. Waldvogel, a Swiss citizen, graduated from the University of Geneva Medical School in 1964 and undertook postgraduate training in medicine, infectious diseases and clinical microbiology at Harvard from 1966-1970. He then joined the academic staff at the University Hospital of Geneva to head Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology until 1986. In 1982, he became full Professor of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief in internal medicine, and from 1990 to 2001 Chairman of the Department of Medicine. In 1995, after having served as Vice-President of the Swiss Science Council, he was elected by the Federal Government to become the President of the Swiss Polytechnic Institutes, a position he held until 2004. His scientific activities led to more than 150 publications, several books, numerous invited professorships and lectures, and elections into several Academies (Switzerland, Leopoldina-European Academy etc.). He is the founder of the World Knowledge Dialogue, aimed at a better dialogue between the human and natural sciences. He is President of several humanitarian Foundations, and Advisory Board Chairman of Novartis Venture Funds, investing in young start-up companies in the life sciences. He is also Chairman of Symbiotics Inc, a young start-up company active in the field of microfinance-sustainable finance in emerging countries.