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NHN Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of NMIN’s Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Network (NHN) is comprised of NMIN HQP, and plays a leadership role in the planning and realization of NMIN’s HQP programs, activities and other opportunities.

The mandate of the NHN Executive Committee is to enhance research and professional networking opportunities for NMIN research trainees and new professionals by:

  • Fostering relationships through regular communications among and between NMIN trainees and new professionals.
  • Facilitating professional information exchange among trainees and new professionals and other Network participants and partner organizations.
  • Promoting excellence in research and professional skill development through capacity building events.

The NHN Executive Committee is comprised of up to 10 elected members, plus a past President. Members are nominated and elected by the NHN membership.

The NHN President is an observer on the NMIN Board of Directors. The NHN Vice-President is an observer on the Research Management Committee (RMC). The NHN Executive Committee meets four to five times per year by teleconference.

Members of the 2020-2021 NHN Executive Committee

2020-2021 NHN Executive Committee Members

Ka-Yee Grace Choi

Chair, President

University of British Columbia

Grace is a postdoctoral fellow supervised by NMIN researcher Dr. Robert Hancock. Her research focuses on the development of alternative/adjunctive treatments to protect against antibiotic resistant organisms.

Career aspiration: to become an expert in the field of immunology and microbiology, who can help advance our knowledge and to inspire next generation scientists.

Statement: NMIN provides a national platform that brings together experts among academic, industry and not-for-profit organizations across the nation, to provide great opportunities for networking, knowledge exchange and professional development. NMIN’s goal to advance research, innovation and provide training aligns with my career goals, which motivated me to serve on the Exec Committee.

Sams Sadat

Vice-President

University of Alberta

Sams is a PhD candidate supervised by NMIN researcher Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar. His research interests include pharmaceutics, drug delivery, and vaccine formulation using biomaterial-based nanoparticles.

Career aspiration: to become a pioneer formulation scientist in either research industry or academia.

Statement: NMIN is such a unique platform, consisting of top-notch academic and industry experts on nanomedicine from across Canada, which has motivated me to join the Executive team. It is indeed a great opportunity for capacity-building, networking, knowledge exchange, and professional skill development.

Morgan Alford

Communications Director

University of British Columbia

Morgan is a PhD candidate supervised by NMIN researcher Dr. Robert Hancock. Her research is focused on understanding bacterial pathogenesis and developing novel therapies for treatment of infections in the context of respiratory diseases.

Career aspiration: to pursue an academic career involving hands-on research and science communication.

Statement: I am very excited to develop my skills in communications, as well as internal and external relations, through participation on the NHN Executive Committee.

Quinn Matthews

Events Director

University of Toronto

Quinn is an MSc candidate supervised by NMIN researcher Dr. Keith Pardee. His current research focuses on using lipid nanoparticles to improve CAR T cell therapy, a recently adopted and extremely effective cancer therapy.

Career aspiration: to remain engaged in work that looks for new and creative applications of nanomedicine.

Statement: I joined the NHN executive committee because I truly believe that everyone—from the most esteemed researcher to the greenest trainee—can benefit from being a part of a passionate, professional, and supportive scientific network.

Wesley Walker

Regional Director – Ontario

University of Toronto

Wesley is an MSc candidate supervised by NMIN researcher Dr. Gang Zheng. He is primarily interested in the development of novel photosensitizer formulations for use in photodynamic therapy, with a secondary focus on developing medical imaging contrast agents. He believes that the intersection of these fields—theragnostic agents—may lead to personalized treatment regimes in the form of patient-specific dosimetry and treatment planning.

Career aspiration: to translate his expertise in the development of theragnostic agents towards a position in industrial R&D.

Statement: By serving on the Exec Committee, I hope to aid other trainees in forming a network of scientists dedicated to advancing the field of nanomedicine.

Jennyfer Zapata-Farfan

Regional Director – Quebec-Atlantic

Polytechnique Montréal

Jennyfer is a PhD candidate at Polytechnique Montreal, where she is supervised by NMIN researcher Dr. Michel Meunier, and at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her research expertise includes electronic instrumentation, biophotonics, optics, and nanoplasmonics applied in ocular gene therapy.

Career aspiration: to contribute to the development of non-invasive instruments for ocular nanosurgery to treat age-degenerative diseases.

Statement: I strongly believe that NMIN is the best platform for researchers involved in nanomedicine to share needs, interests, knowledge, and experiences. I am convinced that being part of the NHN is an unparalleled opportunity for networking in academia and industry, as well as for personal development: having the chance to work with experts in different areas that contribute importantly to the scientific and healthcare sectors in Canada.

For more information, contact Leah Graystone, HQP and Events Coordinator, at

leahgraystone@nanomedicines.ca