(Adviser: Philosophy of Science)
Dr. Barseghyan is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. He originally studied computer science and philosophy at Yerevan State University in Armenia, and then completed a masters and Ph.D in the philosophy of science at the University of Toronto. This is where he developed his current active research program studying the Laws of Scientific Change, which was published by Springer in 2015. Other areas of interest include metaphysics and epistemology of science (determinism, reduction, irreversibility, scientific methods and theory evaluation). For more information see http://hps.utoronto.ca/staff/hakob-barseghyan/.
Brian Foster, Ph.D
(Science Adviser: Natural Health Products)
Dr. Foster obtained his PhD in medicinal chemistry with Professor RT Coutts, University of Alberta, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1982 and was a Senior Science Adviser and Research Scientist with the Therapeutic Products Directorate (the drug and medical device regulator) at Health Canada for 26 years when given the opportunity to explore new directions and challenges in July 2012. During his tenure at TPD he oversaw several areas including external scientific advisory groups on HIV/AIDS, natural health products and blood products as well as internal Health Canada groups on personalised medicine, pharmacogenetics, synthetic biology, drug interactions, hepatotoxicity, and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
He has been an Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa since 1999, and Head, Metabolomics Group, Centre for Research in Biopharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, University of Ottawa. Dr. Foster’s research is focused on drug disposition, particularly cytochrome P450-related metabolism, with an emphasis on drug-natural health product interactions, and pharmacogenetics.
Dr. Foster has been a long-time member of Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, and is a founding member of the Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada and the Chinese Medicines Research Society of Canada.
Christopher Jang, Ph.D.
(Science Adviser: Stop Nosodes, NHP Marketing)
Chris is a postdoctoral research fellow studying the biochemistry behind human circadian rhythms at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He was born and raised in Vancouver, and completed his bachelor’s in biochemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He then went back to British Columbia to complete his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral work was devoted to characterizing mechanisms that viruses use to take over host cells. Chris has also taught undergraduate biochemistry at both the University of British Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, and in his spare time, works with the Canadian Science Policy Centre.
Jason Locklin, B.Sc., M.A.
(Science Adviser: Investigation of Anti-WiFi Groups in Canada)
Jason is currently completing a Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience. His published research has included examination of visual-motor deficits resulting from concussion and stroke. He is currently working with stroke victims to understand how the brain utilizes tightly integrated vision and action systems to comprehend the spatial environment. He is interested in science and technology broadly, including electronics, radio-communication and Linux. More information on his research and academic history can be found here.
Paul A. Offit, M.D.
(Science Adviser: vaccination)
Paul A. Offit, MD is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Offit has published more than 150 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC; for this achievement Dr. Offit received the Luigi Mastroianni and William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Mérieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health.
Dr. Offit is also the author of six medical narratives: The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today’s Growing Vaccine Crisis (Yale University Press, 2005), Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases (HarperCollins, 2007), for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association, Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure (Columbia University Press, 2008), Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2011), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as one of the best non-fiction books of the year, Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (HarperCollins, 2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013, and Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine (Basic Books, 2015), selected by the New York Times Book Review as an “Editor’s Choice” book in April 2015. Dr. Offits more complete bio can be found at paul-offit.com.
Robert Tarzwell, MD, FRCPC
Robert is a Vancouver-based medical specialist who practices both psychiatry and nuclear medicine, with scholarly interests in psychotherapy outcomes research and functional brain-imaging in psychiatric disorders. He is also on the Clinical Faculty of the UBC School of Medicine. He has written and lectured publicly on the importance of vaccination and to counter the distortions of science made by anti-vaccine activists. He has also produced a number of articles with the intent of calming public anxiety about Fukushima radiation by directly tackling the gross misinformation that was spread by those hoping to profit from fear mongering. Robert’s motivation stems from his time in medical school when, for the first time in almost two generations, parents were bringing very sick children to hospital with Whooping Cough, a disease which had been stamped out by vaccination in the 1960’s. Vaccination refusal rates had been climbing due to local misinformation campaigns. This left a stark impression on him: bad science kills and maims. Prior to medical school, Robert was an air navigator in the Canadian Forces, with an operational tour on an anti-submarine warfare squadron and a staff tour at Air Command Headquarters.
Michael Wosnick, Ph.D.
In total, Michael has almost 35 years of experience encompassing the academic, biotechnology and not-for-profit sectors. He holds a B.Sc. degree from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. After his Ph.D. he did further training as a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Medical Research Council of Canada, working in the fields of molecular biology and gene expression at the University of Calgary Medical School. Michael retired in January, 2012 from the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) where he was the inaugural Vice-President, Research as well as the first Scientific Director of the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute where he was responsible for all the Society’s research programs. After leaving his position as of Director of Neuroscience Research at Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc. in 1992, he served for ten years as the National Cancer Institute of Canada’s (NCIC) Director of Research Programs followed by seven years as the NCIC’s Executive Director until its merger in 2009 with the CCS. Michael is a much-sought after public speaker, he has given nearly 100 talks about research in all parts of the country, and he has an extensive array of media engagements, including television, radio and all print media. Michael also writes the “Cancer Research 101” blog found at www.michaelwosnick.com.
Ken Milne, M.D., M.Sc.
(Science Adviser: evidence-based medicine)
Ken is a practicing physician at the South Huron Hospital in Exeter, Ontario where he is the Chief of Staff and Chief of Emergency Medicine. He is an expert in evidenced based medicine (EBM) and is a member of Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine (BEEM) group at McMaster University where he also teaches future physicians about EBM. Dr. Milne trained as an MD at the University of Calgary after graduating with a MSc. in physiology from the University of Western Ontario, where he is now an adjunct professor. Dr. Milne is also the recipient of a number of awards, including a recent fellowship at Oxford University studying the teaching of EBM and is a Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Dr. Milne is currently the vice-chair of the Ontario Medical Association’s Rural Section.
Daniel S. Parlow
Dan Parlow is a partner in the law firm Kornfeld LLP in Vancouver. His clients include investors, brokerage houses, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, estates, trusts, beneficiaries, realtors, lawyers, accountants, brokers, investment advisers, and telecom, oil and gas, and high-tech businesses. He has helped resolve claims by creditors and disputed investments, claims over business assets, shareholder and partnership interests and commercial property, disputed wills, trusts and related claims. Dan serves a leadership role on the boards of Operation Eyesight Universal – Canada and the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada. These highly efficient non-governmental organizations improve countless lives annually. An entrepreneur himself, in 2004, Dan co-founded a Vancouver-based e-commerce business at mytripjournal.com, in which he developed successful business relationships with companies in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Dan’s complete bio can be found here.