Dr. R.E.W. (Bob) Hancock, OC, OBC, FRSC

Dr. Hancock is a UBC Killam Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, UBC, an Associate Faculty Member of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and a Canada Research Chair in Health and Genomics. His research interests include the systems biology of innate immunity, inflammatory diseases and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, small cationic peptides as novel antimicrobials and modulators of innate immunity, the development of novel treatments for antibiotic resistant infections, and antibiotic uptake and resistance. He has published more than 680 papers and reviews, has 55 patents awarded, and is one of the most highly cited authors in Microbiology and Immunology with more than 67,000 citations and an h-index of 134. He has won several awards including the Aventis Pharmaceuticals ICAAC Award, the leading award for research on antimicrobials, and Canada’s three top prizes for Health Research, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was a co-founder of Migenix, Inimex Pharmaceuticals, ABT Innovations, and the Centre for Drug Research and Development.

Olga Pena, PhD

Dr. Pena finished her PhD, from the University of British Columbia (UBC), in 2013, under the supervision of professor Robert Hancock, focusing on the pathogenesis of Sepsis. She contributed to a better understanding of this condition, by identifying mechanisms that lead to the dysregulation of the immune system and discovered new biomarkers that will assess this dysregulation at a very early stage. Dr. Pena’s work laid the research grounds for the creation of Sepset Biosciences to bring a first in-class diagnostic assay for the early and rapid diagnosis of sepsis to hospitals. Dr. Pena possesses more than 12 years of scientific and clinical research experience obtained at different hospitals and research institutions in Canada, Australia, United States and Colombia, working in sepsis, immunology, infectious diseases and medical genetics. She is well experienced at establishing collaborations across different teams including clinicians, nurses, pathologists and scientists and has led successfully multiple clinical projects. Dr. Pena is now in charge of managing Sepset’s international multicenter clinical study, support business development and the establishment of international partnerships.

Jonathon Jafari, MBA
Chief Business Officer & Interim Chief Executive Officer

Jonathon is the Senior Director of Business Development at adMare BioInnovations (formerly known as CDRD), where he was involved in many of CDRD’s startups, including Kairos Therapeutics (which was sold to Zymeworks) and Sitka Biopharma. Prior to joining CDRD, he spent seven years in progressive business development and strategic marketing roles at QLT Inc. Prior to QLT, Jonathon worked for Eli Lilly in the Business Development Market Assessment group and provided market evaluations for licensing and M&A opportunities, including diagnostics for sepsis, which would have been complementary to Lilly’s Xigris product. Jonathon also had research roles at Indiana University in molecular evolution and in tumor targeting at Genetic Therapy Inc., which was a gene therapy company that was acquired by Sandoz, now Novartis. Jonathon received his BSc Biology and MBA from Indiana University and his MSc Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.