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Shawn Ritchie, PhD.
Chief Scientific Officer and Interim CEO
Dr. Ritchie is responsible for the scientific and strategic direction of Med-Life Discoveries. Dr. Ritchie obtained his BSc (honours) in Biochemistry (University of Saskatchewan), a degree in Technical Writing and Communications (Simon Fraser University), and a PhD in Biochemistry (University of Saskatchewan). Previously, Dr. Ritchie was responsible for overseeing the development and use of FTMS non-targeted metabolomic profiling technology at Phenomenome Discoveries Inc. This included over 15 years experience in high resolution spectral data management and processing, statistical analyses, chemometric and metabolic systems modelling, informatics, and method development.

Dr. Ritchie has worked alongside many top pharmaceutical companies using metabolomic approaches to discover and validate biomarkers across all stages of drug development. Dr. Ritchie is the inventor of the commercial Cologic and PanaSee metabolic blood tests for colorectal and pancreatic cancer risk, and has several patents and publications relating to the role of Gastric Tract Carboxylic fatty acids (GTAs) as risk factors for cancer. Dr. Ritchie has supervised PhD level students in the OMICS field, currently sits on the editorial boards of several peer-review journals, and is an industry representative for the Bioinformatics Program in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan.
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Seth Yakatan
VP Business Development
Seth Yakatan brings more than 20 years of experience as a corporate finance professional, actively supporting small cap and major companies in achieving corporate, financing and asset monetization objectives through the successful structuring and management of strategic transactions and investments totaling more than several billion dollars in value.

Prior to founding Katan Associates in 2001, Seth worked in merchant banking at the Union Bank of California, N.A., in the Specialized Lending Media and Telecommunications Group. During his six years there, he completed the placement of subordinated debt and private equity investments, exceeding $3 billion in transaction value. Seth is a recognized as an expert in the valuation of life sciences companies, stemming from industry experience and academia.

Seth currently serves as interim management at several of Katan’s Merchant Banking portfolio companies. Seth currently serves on the board of directors of FitLife Brands, Inc. (FLTF) and Kalytera Therapeutics, Inc. (TSXV:KALY). Seth holds an MBA in Finance from the University of California, Irvine and a BA in History and Public Affairs from the University of Denver.
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Tara Smith, PhD.
Senior Scientist and Team Leader, Therapeutics
Dr. Smith has a BSc and PhD in Pharmacy. She is responsible for overseeing the development of therapeutics portfolio for Med-Life Discoveries and was an employee at Phenomenome Discoveries since 2009. Since then, she has worked extensively on the pre-clinical development of plasmalogen precursors as therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata. Dr. Smith has several publications relating to the augmentation of plasmalogen lipids with various precursor compounds in model systems, and extensive experience in the organization and management of large preclinical and clinical research collaborations with numerous universities and collaborators. At Med-Life Discoveries, Dr. Smith is responsible for managing the plasmalogen replacement therapeutics program, including API and formulation, preclinical research and development, and preparation of investigational new drug (IND) applications.
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Gavin Preston, BSc, CFA
Managing Director
Gavin Preston started working in the investment management industry in 2005. In addition to his role with MLD, he is an Associate Vice President with Westcap Mgt. Ltd. His focus with Westcap is in sourcing, negotiating, and diligence relating to private equity and venture capital investments. In addition to MLD, he is also a Director for Golden Healthcare Inc., Prairie Meats, Western Building Centres, and Ecobain Gardens. Prior to Westcap, he worked for 6 years at Mawer Investment Management Ltd. in Calgary, where he advised high net worth private and institutional clients and played a key role to enhance operations. Gavin is personally an angel investor in start-up companies and a member of the Saskatchewan Capital Network. He received the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2008 and has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Calgary.
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Wei Jin, MSc.
Director, Laboratory Services
Wei Jin is Director of Laboratory Services at Med-Life Discoveries, and is responsible for the daily operation of the CLIA-certified medical laboratory, accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan and the College of American Pathologists. Wei has over ten years of experience managing and operating a quality-controlled clinical laboratory, including the development and validation of custom mass spectrometry methods that meet various regulatory standards. Wei has numerous publications relating to analytical method development, and is responsible for the global technology transfer and implementation of various diagnostic products developed at MLD. Wei has BSc (honours) and MSc degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Peking University, Beijing, China.
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Ravinderjit Batta
Quality Affairs Manager
Ravinderjit Batta is the Quality Affairs Manager at Med-Life Discoveries LP. She has a Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences with more than 15 years of experience in formulation development and quality assurance. She was QA technologist and co-ordinator, and since 2013, QA Manager at Phenomenome Discoveries Inc. where she was involved in external (BSI and CAP) and in-house audits. Ms. Batta worked as Manager, Formulation Development and Stability Studies co-ordinator at PharmaDerm Laboratories and Helix BioPharma Corp. from Nov 1999 to Oct 2012, where she developed topical formulations with biological and synthetic based therapeutic agents in a GMP environment, and was involved in several regulatory filings world-wide. Prior to joining Helix, she taught Pharmacology at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and University of Delhi (India) for more than 10 years.
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Michelle Gursky
Senior Legal Council
Michelle Gursky has a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan and is responsible for oversight and management of the legal affairs at Med-Life Discoveries. Michelle was the Director of Legal Affairs at Phenomenome since 2006, where she was responsible for corporate legal matters, maintenance of statutory corporate, securities and business filings, insurance policies, Board member communications, corporate finance, contract negotiations and the intellectual property portfolio. Michelle has an in-depth knowledge about MLD's product history, the regulatory environment pertaining to medical devices and labelling requirements, and its intellectual property.
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Dushmanthi Jayasinghe
Analytical Chemist
Dushmanthi Jayasinghe has a BSc in Chemistry (honors) from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a MSc in Chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. Dushmanthi is responsible for overseeing the development of tandem mass spectrometry methods and management of MLD's synthetic chemistry programs. Previously, Dushmanthi was employed as a metabolomics research specialist at Phenomenome Discoveries, where she was responsible for the curation of large metabolic databases, structural elucidation and isolation of novel metabolites, and development of lipidomics technologies. Dushmanthi has over 15 years experience in chromatographic separations, development of extraction technology, and bioanalytical method development and validation.
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Jinghui Shen
Manager, Manufacturing
Jinghui Shen is the Manager of the tandem mass spectrometry kit Manufacturing Department at Med-Life Discoveries, and also acts as the General Supervisor of the CLIA lab. Jinghui has a BSc in Chemical Engineering from East China University of Science and Technology. She previously worked at Phenomenome for four years as an Analytical Chemist in the manufacturing devision, and before that at PharmaDerm Laboratories and Helix Biopharma Corporation. Jinghui brings nearly 20 years of experience in quality control relating to pharmaceutical development, HPLC method development and validation, ISO13485 guidelines, stability studies relating to medical device products and analytical standards, and quality systems management.
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Jonathan Gallant
Analytical Technician
Jonathan Gallant has a BSc in Chemistry from University of Prince Edward Island and a MSc in Chemistry (Analytical Chemistry) from the University of Calgary where he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II major scholarship in science for two consecutive years. Jonathan brings with him extensive industry experience, having worked in Quality Control at BioVectra Inc in PEI, and at Gilead Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for characterizing and developing various analytical methods for novel APIs under a cGMP environment. Jonathan brings a vast knowledge of analytical methodologies including chromatography, NMR, FT-IR, and their use under various regulatory guidelines relating to pharmaceutical development. Jonathan also has industry experience in environmental toxicology and in the testing of hazardous materials prior to release or disposal. At Med-Life Discoveries, Jonathan is involved in pharmaceutical programs relating to the development of plasmalogen restoration compounds, as well as analytical method development relating to the next-generation versions of the Cologic, PanaSee and Alz-ID tests.
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John Amah
Laboratory Technician
John Amah has a BSc in Biochemistry and a MSc in Clinical Chemistry from the University of Calabar, Nigeria, and is a Member of the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science. Prior to joining Med-Life Discoveries, John worked at ALS Labs on a variety of projects and analytical instrumentation. Prior to ALS, John worked at the Federal Medical Centre in Owerri, Nigeria, where he was responsible for establishing and ensuring compliance with various regulatory agencies. He brings an extensive background relating to clinical chemistry and lab operations, quality assurance, and sample handling and processing. John's role at Med-Life Discoveries is to manage and prioritize incoming client samples, including inventory control, sample analysis, reporting and basic laboratory operations, and to ensure that all processes, data and results meet QAQC criteria.