Dr. Roohnikan is a Scientist at Avro, working on our R&D team to design and develop novel formulations and methods. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from McGill University. Previously, he has led projects on the development of microdevices and microneedles for monitoring heart-failure, and delivering drugs through the skin, as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montreal. Mahdi has authored 7 peer-reviewed articles on various subjects in physical chemistry, drug-delivery and nanoscience.
Joseph is a Senior Scientist at Avro, and leads our pipeline development, IP strategy, and regulatory strategy. He holds an MSc. and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toronto, where he developed and patented multifunctional organic building blocks for nanoparticles. He has published 3 first author papers in high impact factor journals, and previously served as a pharmaceutical consultant.
Dr. Shortall is a Scientist at Avro, and leads the development of our future formulation platforms. She holds a PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Waterloo, where she focused on the optimization of self-assembled gene delivery nanoparticles. Samantha has authored 3 peer-reviewed publications, and 2 book chapters on nanomedicine for gene therapy.
Shirley is a Research Associate at Avro, and works on our analytical chemistry team, turning the samples from our diffusion testing into actionable data and results. Shirley holds a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo, and is currently working towards her MSc in the Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry Lab of Dr. Nekkar Rao. Shirley has years of experience in chemical product development and topical/semi-solid formulation testing in academic and GMP labs at the University of Waterloo and Septodont.
Drew is a Research Associate at Avro, and works on our formulation development and analytical chemistry teams. He holds a MEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and spent 5 years working in the Gu Lab, developing nanostructured hydrogels for controlled release of agrochemicals. He holds 2 first author publications and 1 patent on his work, and has presented his research on bioencapsulation methodologies and more at conferences across Canada.
Andrew is a Research Associate at Avro, and works on our formulation development and diffusion testing teams. He holds a MEng in Biomedical Engineering from Ryerson University and a BASc in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He holds 3 publications in peer reviewed journals, and previously served as part of the early team at Qidni Labs, an early-stage materials science startup developing artificial kidneys.
Dr. LaRonde is Vice President of R&D at Avro, and oversees all research and development efforts. Frank leads our in-house method development, extended release R&D, polymer scaleup, and technology commercialization. He holds an MD-PhD from the Ross School of Medicine and McMaster University respectively. He previously served as the lead scientist and inventor for Interface Biologics, a leading Canadian drug-eluting polymer company. Frank has authored 11 peer-reviewed publications and 6 patents.
Keean is the COO of Avro Life Science and oversees day-to-day operations, strategy, and intellectual property at Avro. He was 1 of 25 students accepted to UWaterloo's prestigious accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program, and has years of experience working in healthcare, spanning clinical hospital pharmacy to primary care. Sarani previously engaged in epidemiology research at the Hospital for Sick Children, and currently sits on the City of Kitchener Economic Development Advisory Committee. Keean is an alumnus of Y-Combinator (W18), the Creative Destruction Lab and the Bayer Grants4Apps program.
Shak is the CEO of Avro Life Science. He studied nanotechnology engineering at the University of Waterloo, and previously published his research on biomaterial-based devices for personal cancer treatment at the University of Toronto. He went on to work under Dr. Frank Gu, the Canada Research Chair in controlled drug delivery, and now leads business development, strategy, and scientific direction at Avro. Lakhani is an alumnus of Y-Combinator (W18), the Creative Destruction Lab and the Bayer Grants4Apps program. Shak was also 1 of 20 people named into the Thiel Fellowship class of 2018.
Dr. Al-Duyami is a Scientist at Avro, working on the design and development of our novel cutaneous drug and gene delivery platforms. She obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. Mays is the author of 7 peer-reviewed research articles, a methodology book chapter, and 40+ poster and oral presentations. Her research findings were acclaimed by the scientific community, including awarding her the prestigious AAPS Award in Drug Discovery and Development. Mays is currently serving as the Chair of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist Lipid-Based Drug Delivery Systems Community.
Dr. Siu is a Scientist at Avro, and contributes to the development of our dermal delivery platform for multiple new modalities. He holds a PhD in Pathology from Western University, where he focused on siRNA delivery including liposome and polymer functionalized carbon nanotubes. Leo has 8 peer-reviewed publications, and 1 book chapter on siRNA delivery methods. Leo’s thesis work focused on siRNAs for the treatment of melanoma, and was validated in functional disease models.
Dr. Cow is a Senior Chemist at Avro, tasked with designing novel ionic liquids as vehicles for transdermal and topical drug delivery. Chris has an extensive background in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, including 14 years as a research scientist at GNF (Novartis) in San Diego, where he developed structure-activity relationships on a variety of early drug discovery programs in areas including diabetes, cancer, and immune suppression. While there, he helped advance several of these projects to preclinical stages with at least one advancing into human clinical trials. Prior to this, Chris also worked for Biovectra DCL in Prince Edward Island, a custom chemistry company that specializes in medium to large scale synthesis under cGMP conditions. Chris obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from McMaster University and went on to complete a postdoc at the University of Manitoba before embarking on his career in industry. Chris is a co-author on over a dozen scientific papers and 19 patents.
Jacob is a Research Associate at Avro. He holds a BSc in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, where he worked with the Taylor Research Group on the synthesis of calcium-dependent lipopeptide antibiotics. Jacob has years of experience in applying synthetic and analytical chemistry to support product development at pharmaceutical companies and SMEs.
Isabelle is a chemist at Avro, working on the design and synthesis of small molecules to be used for transdermal drug and nucleic acid delivery. She obtained her MSc in organic chemistry from York University while working on the enantioselective allylation of pyridines using palladium catalysis. Her research was funded by Hoffman La-Roche, giving her the opportunity to speak at a conference at the Roche headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. She completed her BSc at the University of Toronto double majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She also spent a semester playing hockey on an NCAA scholarship at the State University of New York Plattsburgh.