Team Biography

Bartha Maria Knoppers, Ph.D

Bartha Maria Knoppers, PhD (Comparative Medical Law), is a Full Professor, Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. She was the Chair of the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (2009-2017). She is currently Chair of the Ethics Advisory Panel of WADA (2015- ), and was the Co-Chair of the Regulatory and Ethics Workstream of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (2013-2019). In 2015-2016, she was a member of the Drafting Group for the Recommendation of the OECD Council on Health Data Governance and gave the Galton Lecture in November 2017. She holds four Doctorates Honoris Causa and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Hastings Center (bioethics), the Canadian Academy Health Sciences (CAHS), and the Royal Society of Canada. She is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and of Quebec, and was awarded the 2019 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, the Till and McCulloch Award for science policy (2020) and, was appointed to the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing.

Governance, Genomic Medicine, Human Rights, Paediatrics, Stem Cell Research, Biomedical Ethics, Privacy, Medical Law, Comparative Medical Law and Policy

Yann Jolly, Ph.D. (DCL), FCAHS, Ad.E.
Research Director

Yann Joly, Ph.D. (DCL), FCAHS, Ad.E. is the Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP). He is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics cross-appointed at the Bioethics Unit, at McGill University. He was named advocatus emeritus by the Quebec Bar in 2012 and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2017.
Prof. Joly is a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU) Sectoral Commission for Natural, Social and Human Sciences. He is the current Chair of the Bioethics Workgroup of the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) and Co-Lead the regulatory and ethics work stream of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). He was Chair (2017-2019) of the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). He is also a member of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) Committee on Ethics, Law and Society (CELS).
Prof. Joly’s research interests lie at the interface of the fields of scientific knowledge, health law (biotechnology and other emerging health technologies) and bioethics. He created the first international genetic discrimination observatory- GDO in 2018. He has published his findings in over 150 peer-reviewed articles featured in top legal, ethical and scientific journals. He served as a legal advisor on multiple research ethics committees in the public and private sectors. Prof. Joly also sits on editorial committees and acts as a reviewer for a wide range of publications in his field. In 2012, he received the Quebec Bar Award of Merit (Innovation) for his work on the right to privacy in the biomedical field.

East-Asian Bioethics & Policy Studies, Genetic Tests, Identity and Equity, Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Human Rights Law, Social Sciences Research Methods

Ma’N H. Zawati, LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D. (DCL)
Executive Director

Ma’n H. Zawati (LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D. (DCL)) is an Assistant Professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and the Executive Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy in theDepartment of Human Genetics. He is also an Associate Member of the Biomedical Ethics Unit and the Division of Experimental Medicine at McGill University. His research concentrates on the legal, ethical and policy dimensions of health research and clinical care, with a special focus on biobanking, data sharing, professional liability, and the use of novel technologies (e.g. mhealth apps, WGS, WES) in both the clinical and research settings. Prof. Zawati is funded by Fonds de Recherche du Québec, Genome Quebec and Genome Canada. His work is interdisciplinary, drawing together perspectives from law, ethics, bioinformatics, genomics, and policy. He’s also a frequent presenter on a variety of the most critical and topical issues in healthcare and the biosciences. He has appeared at 150+ international conferences, symposia, meetings, and has shared his expertise with universities, research ethics boards and law firms. Prof. Zawati has published 17 book chapters and 64+ peer reviewed articles in leading publications such as Nature Reviews Genetics, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. In 2015, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (stay at Oxford University) and was named a Royal Society of Canada Delegate for the IAP Young Scientists of the Year international symposium. In 2021, Prof. Zawati received his J1 FRQS Career Award.

Biobanking, Health Law, International Comparative Law, mHealth and Digital Technologies, Paediatrics, Precision Medicine, Research Ethics

Michael Beauvais, M.Sc.
Academic Associate

Michael Beauvais, BA (McGill), BA (Oxf), BCL/JD (McGill), MSc (UCL) is an academic associate at the Centre. He is currently pursuing a doctorate (SJD) at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. He obtained his law degrees from Oxford University and McGill University. In a former life, he studied human geography and Italian literature at McGill University and urban planning at University College London. These experiences continue to inform his perspectives on law and ethics.
At the Centre, Michael specializes in the governance of genomic, neuro, and health-related data in Canada and Europe. He is particularly interested in science policy and its relation to international human rights law. Comparative biomedical research regulation and its interface with contemporary big data research also interest him. Michael’s interest in ethico-legal issues surrounding research with children and adolescents further present him with difficult practical issues with rich theoretical implications.

Data governance, Privacy, Research regulation, Open Science, Science policy, Law, Biomedical ethics, Paediatrics

Alexander Bernier
Academic Associate

Alexander Bernier is a student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. At the Centre of Genomics and Policy, his research is primarily concerned with medical ethics, research ethics and international privacy law in the field of genomics. He previously served as director of Innocence McGill, and has a strong interest in the use of forensics in criminal law.

Marie Cosquer, M.Sc.
Academic Associate

Marie Cosquer (M.Sc) is an Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP) at McGill University. She obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science from Université de Montréal and holds degrees in Geography and environmental projects management (B.Sc. M.Sc. Université Montpellier III, M.Sc. Université Paris VII). She is also the co-coordinator of the journal Possibles.
At the CGP, she contributes to different projects by doing qualitative research and works under the supervision of Profs. Ma’n Zawati and Yann Joly. She is currently involved in research projects about personalized therapy for individuals with cystic fibrosis and, interrogating and implementing omics for precision medicine in acute myeloid leukemia.

Gratien Dalpé

Gratien Dalpé completed his undergraduate and master studies (B.Sc/M.Sc) in biochemistry at the University of Sherbrooke. He holds a doctorate (Ph.D.) in molecular biology from the University of Montreal. He later worked as a post-doctoral fellow and research associate at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto. During his career, he uncovered new molecular signalling networks that regulate the nervous system’s development and degeneration. He later obtained his LL.B. in civil law at the University of Montreal and joined the Centre of Genomics and Policy as an academic associate with an interest in law and bioethics, specifically genomic medicine and genetic discrimination. He is also the Coordinator of the Centre and a regular guest lecturer in HGEN 400 and INDS 302 at Mcgill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dementia research, Food safety policy, Genetic discrimination, Epigenetics, Genomic medicine, return of genomic research findings, Qualitative methodology.

Hortense Gallois
Academic Associate

Hortense holds a Master of Laws from the University of Lille 2 (France) and the Universidad de Murcia (Spain), specialising in new technology and health law. She obtained her Master’s degree in Bioethics from the Université de Montréal in 2019. Her main interests are the ethical and legal implications of genetic and genomic research as well as the ethics of reproduction. Since 2018, she has been involved in Genome Canada’s Pegasus 2 project, which studies the ethical and social acceptability of the implementation of non-invasive prenatal testing (FNITP) in Canada.

Palmira Granados Moreno, LL.M., Ph.D. (D.C.L.)
Academic Associate

Palmira Granados (LL.M., Ph.D. (D.C.L.) is a Mexican lawyer and Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy of McGill University specialized in intellectual property and life sciences and bioethics. She recently obtained her PhD (Doctor of Civil Law) from the Faculty of Law at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Richard Gold.

Her work focuses on the ethical and legal aspects of research and development involving biomedicine and genomics, as well as the legal and implementation issues around open science. She has published and presented her work in international fora on the interface between intellectual property and biomedicine and information technologies, commercialization, genetic discrimination and immigration, legal issues associated with open science and open source in biomedicine and information technologies, and bioethics, to name some. She is also a guest lecturer in the graduate class of Genetics and Bioethics at McGill University and in the graduate class of Global Health Ethics at the University of Southern California, San Diego. She is currently a member of the International Expert Group of the Genetic Discrimination Observatory and the Centre for Intellectual Property and Policy of McGill University.

Prior to working at the Centre of Genomics and Policy, she was a member of the International Expert Group of the Innovation Partnership, of the New Researchers Group of VALGEN. She obtained her law degree from la Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico and her LL.M from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. She practiced law with a Mexican leading law firm in the area of intellectual property and information technology and was responsible for teaching the course Law and Public Policy at the Faculty of Law at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico. She has also been closely involved with the Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons Mexico.
Research Areas: intellectual property and biomedicine, intellectual property and information technologies, open science and open source, genetic discrimination, medical devices regulation, bioethics

Emily Kirby
Academic Associate

Emily is a lawyer and Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP), McGill University. She holds degrees in biology (B.Sc. McGill University), a Master’s in Environmental Project Management (M. Env., Université de Sherbrooke), and a Civil Law degree (LL. B., Université de Montréal). She has been a member of the Québec Bar since 2011. Prior to joining the CGP, Emily was a project coordinator at the Public Population Project in Genomics and Society (P3G).
She currently works on the development of ethical and legal documents and tools used to facilitate policy interoperability and data sharing in the context of data-intensive research (-omics, clinical data, etc.). Emily has been involved in examining ethical, legal and policy issues in a number of Canadian and international data sharing initiatives (e.g. MSSNG database, Care4Rare-SOLVE, Terry-Fox PROFYLE, International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) for medicine, Human Cell Atlas, Global Alliance for Genomics and Health task forces, Transforming Autism Care Consortium’s Q1K project, etc.). She is currently the Academic Coordinator of the Ethics Working Group of the Human Cell Atlas HCA

Omics Data Sharing; Biobanking; Data Governance; Open Science; Biomedical Ethics; Data Privacy; Research Ethics Tools.

Michael Lang
Academic Associate

Michael is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law (BCL/LLB, 2018) and of the University of Alberta (BA, 2014). During law school, he wrote an honours paper on the history of the tort of wrongful life, was executive editor of the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law, and was co-convenor of a student-initiated seminar on fertility law. His research focuses on the ways that technology is changing healthcare, with a particular focus on mobile health applications, artificial intelligence, and professional responsibility. Michael is broadly interested in the ways that technology affect the relationship between physicians and their patients, how the law understands personhood, and how humans interact with the natural environment.

mobile health applications, artificial intelligence, algorithmic clinical decision-making, professional responsibility.

Erica Monteferrante
Academic Associate

Erica is an academic associate of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University. She holds degrees from Université de Montréal (MA, Bioethics) and McGill University (BA, Western Religions). Her graduate research explored the concept of moral distress, as it relates to decision-making. Erica’s other areas of focus include moral deliberation, research ethics, artificial intelligence, and the ethical, legal, and policy implications of health research and health governance. She joins Prof. Ma’n Zawati’s team on projects involving (1) responsible biobanking policies and (2) health policy guidelines for smartphone applications.

Minh Thu Nguyen
Academic Associate

Minh Thu Nguyen holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Health Law and Policy from the University of Toronto, a Civil Law (LL.B.) degree from the Université de Montréal, and a B.Sc. degree in Physical Therapy from McGill University. She was a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Health Research – Health Law and Policy Program (2009) and coordinator of the P3G International Paediatric Research Programme (2012- 2013). She has managed the ELSI Platform for the ThéCell Network and has been involved in several Canadian Stem Cell Network funded projects dealing with the regulation of cell and tissue therapies in Canada. She has worked on the development of model consent and information forms for rare disease research projects such as FORGE and CARE for RARE (pan-Canadian) and PRISMES (Quebec). Her work focuses on the socio-ethical and legal aspects of paediatric genetic research, rare disease research, cell/tissue therapy and regenerative medicine. She also has an interest in reproductive health law, particularly issues surrounding emerging reproductive technologies, such as prenatal diagnosis and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

Comparative Medical Law and Policy, Genomic Medicine, Rare Disease Research, Reproductive Law, Stem Cell Research, Paediatrics

Nicole Palmour, Ph.D
Academic Associate

Nicole Palmour is an academic associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University, with a background in biology, psychology (BA), forensic psychology (MA), and human genetics with a bioethics specialization (PhD). Her research interests are situated at the interface of the fields of bioethics, scientific knowledge, neurodiversity and health law.

Dimitri Patrinos
Academic Associate

Dimitri is a lawyer and an Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP) at McGill University. He is a graduate of the civil law (LL.B.) and common law (J.D.) programs at Université de Montréal, Faculty of Law. He also holds a B.Sc. in Biology from Concordia University. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2020. At the CGP, Dimitri conducts research on the issues associated with the legal recognition of genetic counsellors in Canada. He is also involved in a number of other projects related to data sharing, biobanking, and governance.

Lingqiao Song
Academic Associate

Ms. Lingqiao Song acquired a B.Sc in Biology and Master Degree of Civil Law at the Chinese Academy of Social Science in China. In 2015, she completed her second master degree of international business law at University of Montreal and awarded “Dean’s Award: Best Overall Academic Achievement”. In 2016, she was admitted as Chinese Lawyer and working as a legal consultant for Anran Law firm China. She is also a member of Institutional Review Board of Faculty of Medicine, McGill University and assistant to the Data Access Officer of ICGC. At the Centre of Genomics and Policy, Lingqiao is working with Prof. Yann Joly and Ms Ida Ngueng Feze focusing on Ethical, Legal, Social Issues (ELSI) of gene technology, such as intellectual property law of biotechnology, misusage of genetic information outside of therapeutic context, policy approaches to address genetic discrimination, global data sharing of biobank and regulatory framework of microbiological genetic test.

Chinese Regulatory Framework of Gene-Related Technology, Genetic Discrimination, Genetic Privacy, Genomic Data Sharing

Denise Avard
Scientific Consultant

Denise Avard is the Research Director for the Centre of Genomics and Policy and associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. Her research interests are in the areas of genetic testing and screening relevant to newborn, children, adolescents and persons with disabilities. She has an added interest in knowledge transfer and genetic epidemiology. She obtained her doctorate in social epidemiology from the University of Cambridge, England, and a Master’s degree in sociology and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining the Centre of Genomics and Policy she was researcher in the Centre de la recherche en droit public at the Université de Montreal, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Child Health and assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

Claude Laberge
Scientific Consultant

Claude M Laberge was born and educated in Quebec. He obtained his M.D. from Laval University in 1962, did his residency training in Pediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto from 1962 to 1964 and trained for a Ph.D. in Human Genetics under Professor Victor A. McKusick at Johns Hopkins University which he obtained in 1968 for his thesis on “Genetics Studies in French-Canadians”. He passed the exams in Pediatrics for Fellowship in The Royal Collège of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Quebec’s Collège des Médecins in 1967-1968. He founded the Clinical Service of Genetic Medicine in the Department of Medicine of Laval University Medical Centre (CHUL), which he headed until 1994. He was Chief of Medicine at CHUL from 1975 to 1980. In 1969, with Professors Charles R. Scriver of McGill University and Didier Dufour of Laval University as well as Ms Carol Clow of McGill’s Montreal Children’s Hospital, he founded the Quebec Network of Genetic Medicine. He was President of this organization until its dissolution by the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec in 1994. This Network bas been responsible for systematic neonatal screening, on both blood and urine samples on filter paper. From 1993 to 2004, he was the President of the Network of Applied Genetic Medicine of the Quebec Health Research Funds(FRSQ). He also founded the Cartagene project in the year 2000.

Claude M. Laberge is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine of Laval University in Quebec City. His scientific interests and publications are in the fields of genetic screening, genetic epidemiology and policy, founder effects in demographic genetics especially with regards to hereditary tyrosinemia type l and myotonic dystrophy. He is an associate researcher at the Public Law Research Centre (CRDP) of the Université de Montréal where he is a collaborator with Professor Bartha Maria Knoppers’s team on research projects involving consent to DNA sampling and various ethical and sociological issues of genetic epidemiology.

Eugene Bereza
Associate Member


Eugene Bereza is currently Director of the Centre for Applied Ethics at the McGill University Health Centre as well as Chair of the Research Ethics Board. Dr. Bereza teaches the Bioethics Practicum course in the Bioethics Master’s Program at McGill, one of the two core courses in that program. He also teaches ethics in a number of the Faculty of Medicine’s Residency Programs including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Fellowship Program in Reproductive Technologies.
Dr. Bereza completed his bioethics studies and his clinical ethics training as a post-doctoral Fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine. His academic interests include the assessment of minimal risk in social science research as it relates to community health care, the comparative assessment of innovative care versus clinical research with respect to developing proportionate standards of informed consent, reproductive technologies, end-of-life care, and physician assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Richard Gold
Associate Member

Richard Gold is an expert in innovation, patent law and policy, and is also a professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Law where he was founding Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy. Richard frequently provides advice to international organizations (WHO, UNITAID, WIPO, OECD), governments and institutions on the strategic use of intellectual property rights. Richard also has substantial practical experience in technology and corporate law at a top tier Toronto law firm where he worked prior to entering academia. All in all, he brings a rich blend of practical, policy and academic experience to innovation strategy.

Jonathan Kimmelman
Associate Member

Jonathan Kimmelman is an Associate Professor at the Biomedical Ethics Unit / Social Studies of Medicine. He has cross appointments in Experimental Medicine, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health and Human Genetics. Dr. Kimmelman holds a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. Thereafter, he joined McGill in 2005. His research revolves around the ethical, social and policy dimensions of translational research. He received the Institute of Genetics Maud Menten New Investigator Prize, a CIHR New Investigator Award (2008) and a Friedrich Bessel-Humboldt Award (2014). Dr. Kimmelman chaired the ethics committee of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (2008-2010) and currently chairs the ethics committee of the International Society of Stem Cell Research.
Dr. Kimmelman’s research centers on the ethical, social and policy challenges in testing novel medical technologies in human beings (“translational clinical research”). Current projects are investigating risk, prediction, validity and knowledge value across the trajectory of drug development. Dr. Kimmelman directs the Group Studies of Translation, Ethics and Medicine- STREAM

Mei-Chen Chang
Research Assistant

Mei-Chen Chang holds a bachelor degree in Social Science from the Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University in Japan and is currently pursuing a Professional Development Certificate in Project Management at McGill University. At the Centre, she is a casual research assistant to professor Yann Joly.

Marilou Charron
Research Assistant

Marilou first joined the CGP for an internship as a part of her B.Sc. in Biology at McGill under the supervision of Dr. Yann Joly. She was then hired as a research assistant to pursue the research projects she had started as an intern. Her research focuses on improving communication between healthcare practitioners and the intersex community in Canada and interrogating the ethical, legal and social implications of the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) anti-doping measures. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Bioethics at Université de Montreal.

Katherine Cheung
Research Assistant

Katherine is currently completing an undergraduate degree in International Development at McGill University, with a minor in Health Geography and Physiology. At the Centre, she is a research assistant working under the supervision of Profs. Ma’n Zawati and Yann Joly.

Alanna Crouse
Research Assistant

Alanna holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Queen’s University and a Master’s in Human Genetics from McGill University. She is currently a student at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Alanna’s interests including bioethics, health law, and equality rights. As a research assistant at the CGP, Alanna explores the legal and ethical issues surrounding data sharing and consent in both research and health care settings. Alanna works under the supervision of Emily Kirby on genetic registries.

Aurélie Dauge
Research Assistant

Aurélie Dauge holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Law School of Aix en Provence in France and is currently pursuing a second Bachelor of Laws at the University of Montreal. While she completed her undergraduate studies, Aurélie also studied abroad for a year at the University of Exeter Law School.
She is interested in the interaction of law and bioethics in the context of human genetics, genetic discrimination, health law, comparative law and equality rights. At the CGP, Aurélie is a research assistant under the supervision of Prof. Yann Joly. She works on the D-path project and the responsible use of Polygenic Risk Scores in medicine.

Sina Faraji
Research Assistant

Sina is a recent graduate of the Faculty of Law of Université de Montréal where he completed a Bachelor of Civil Law (LL.B.) and a Juris Doctor (J.D.). Despite always aspiring to become a lawyer, he began his academic journey by obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Sociology from McGill University.
Curious by nature, Sina likes to be challenged within the fields he explores and is interested in many facets of the legal world, notably through his courses, his professional experiences as well as his implications. Given his diverse interests, Sina works under the supervision of Dr. Yann Joly on a variety of projects in the field of genomics and social acceptance.

Katherine Huerne
Research Assistant

Katherine Huerne (B.Sc., B.A.) is currently a M.Sc. student at McGill University, studying experimental medicine, clinical translation and bioethics. She completed a B.A. at McGill in Philosophy with First-Class Honours and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry on the Dean’s Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research List. She has received several awards for her research in biochemistry, such as the Canderel Rising Star Award. Her philosophy thesis (in the philosophy of science) focused on epistemological, metaphysical and ethical issues of novel molecular technologies and its relation to emerging scientific paradigms in the field of life science. Katherine’s Masters thesis looks at demographic equity in clinical trial design in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. She examines a blend of epistemic and ethical issues in science, taking a feminist or social approach of analysis. At the CGP, she works under the supervision of Prof. Yann Joly.

Kristina Kékesi-Lafrance
Research Assistant

Kristina is a lawyer and LLM candidate in Bioethics at the McGill Faculty of Law. While she completed her undergraduate studies at Sherbrooke University Law Faculty, Kristina also studied abroad for a semester at the Law Faculty of Université Libre de Bruxelles.
After successfully passing her bar exams, Kristina was called to the Quebec Bar in July 2018. She practiced as a lawyer in a national firm for a year before joining the CGP as a research assistant. Kristina assists Adrian Thorogood in his role as manager of the Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). She is interested in how law and ethics interact in the context of human genetics.

Terese Knoppers
Research Assistant

Terese is a research assistant at the CGP with a background in qualitative methodologies. They were brought on board Fall 2019 and currently assist with projects in two areas: the improvement of healthcare communication practices with intersex people in Canada and the ethical, legal, and social implications of epigenetics. Terese holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and is in the process of completing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Simon Fraser University

Kristen Laguia
Research Assistant

Kristen Laguia is currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Concordia University. She has been working at the Centre of Genomics and Policy from June 2015 – present, assisting Executive Director, Ma’n H. Zawati, as well as others.

Robyn McDougall
Research Assistant

Robyn holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Physiology from the University of Calgary. She is currently a law student at McGill with interests in data privacy, AI regulation in the medical field, and equitable access to healthcare. At the CGP, Robyn assists Prof. Bartha Maria Knoppers in examining ethical, legal, and policy issues in human genomics.

Elena Olvera
Research Assistant

Elena Olvera holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the Autonomous University of Querétaro in Mexico, and has a diploma from Concordia University in Communications. Furthermore, she has a background in multidisciplinary studies from her past and on-going time as a student at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has been working as a graphic designer in Montreal since 2008, and has been working at the Centre of Genomics & Policy at McGill University since 2012, where she develops graphics and layouts for scientific posters and presentations.

Natalie Keller

Natalie is in her final year of the joint JD/BCL program at the McGill Faculty of Law. At the CGP, she works as a McGill Legal Clinic Course intern under the supervision of Prof. Ma’n Zawati.

Dena Kia

Dena holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, with an Honours in International Development and a Double Minor in Science and Indigenous Studies. She is currently a student in her third-year at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Dena’s interests include technology, scientific innovation and intellectual property law. As a McGill Legal Clinic Course intern at the CGP, she will be working under the supervision of Professor Yann Joly.

Rim Metina-Belknap

Rim is currently in her final year, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at McGill University. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Anthropology. Her interests include bioethics, biopiracy, and genetic discrimination. At the CGP, Rim is working as HGEN 396 intern under the supervision of Prof. Yann Joly.

Derek So
Ph.D Student

Derek received his B.Sc from McGill in 2012, majoring in Biology and minoring in English Literature. He then joined the CGP as a Master’s student under the supervision of Profs. Yann Joly and Rob Sladek, returning for his PhD in Human Genetics in 2015. Derek’s thesis examines the ethical discourse around germline gene editing and the conceptual frameworks we use when imagining nonexistent people – particularly the idea of the “modular’ human, in which different unitary characteristics are recombined like building blocks. His project is funded by a CIHR Doctoral Award.

Ana Bonilha

Master’s Student

Ana holds a bachelor degree in Biomedical Sciences from McGill University, where she completed a research project on stress and neuroeconomics. At the CGP, Ana works as an administrator of the Data Access Compliance Office (DACO) of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). She also works as an executive assistant to Prof. Ma’n Zawati.

Jacqueline Bradbury-Jost
Master’s Student

Jacqueline is a Master of Science student in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Ma’n Zawati. She is also pursuing a Master’s Specialization in Bioethics through McGill’s Biomedical Ethics Unit. Prior to beginning her studies at McGill, Jacqueline completed undergraduate studies in humanities and biology with particular interests in philosophy, political science, and genetics. In her fourth year, she undertook directed studies projects in genetics, with a focus on anti-angiogenesis cancer therapy, as well as in philosophy, looking at moral agency in Spinoza’s Ethics. She received a Bachelor of Humanities and Biology (Combined Honours) with High Distinction from Carleton University in 2019.

Jacqueline’s research at the Centre of Genomics and Policy focuses on the ethical and legal implications of novel health technologies and is funded by a CIHR Master’s award.

Emily Doerksen
Master’s Student

Emily is currently pursuing a Master of Science at the Department of Human Genetics and the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University. She holds a Bachelor of Humanities with a combined Honours in Biology from Carleton University, a B.A. in Philosophy from KU Leuven (Belgium), and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa. Her undergraduate and graduate educations inform her interdisciplinary interests in public health and bioethical issues relating to human genetics and research ethics. At the CGP, Emily is working under the supervision of Prof. Ma’n Zawati, researching the landscape of pandemic ethics, informed consent laws, and biobanking networks/data collection.

Cassandra Haley
Master’s Student

Cassandra Haley is a Master of Science student from the Department of Experimental Medicine and the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Zawati. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario, where she pursued an honours specialization in genetics and a major from the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities. Cassandra’s undergraduate thesis was on the genotoxicity of microplastics, and through her humanities courses she worked closely with local Indigenous communities to research the Indigenous experience of WWI. Cassandra has also written extensively on the sociological and cultural history of music for an internship through the Faculty of Music. This interdisciplinary background motivated Cassandra to pursue genetics and bioethics at the graduate level, where she will be researching how Canadian genetic counsellors can respond to the rise of direct-to-consumer genetic tests.

Hanshi Liu
Master’s Student

Hanshi is pursuing a master’s degree in Human Genetics with a concentration in Bioethics, being supervised by Professor Yann Joly. He is interested in new legal and ethical challenges raised by the development of recent medical and scientific advances in the fields of Health. At the CGP, his primary research focuses on data sharing in the omic sciences, and the privacy/ethical issues associated with it. Hanshi has been involved in numerous projects at the Centre from the Canadian COVID Genomics Consortium (CanCOGeN), D-PATH, to various Data Access Committees.

Pascal Borry

Invited Scholar

Pascal Borry is associate professor of bioethics at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (University of Leuven, Belgium). His main research activities are concentrated on the ethical, legal and social implications of innovative technologies. He published among other issues on topics such as direct to consumer genetic testing, public health genomics, biobanking, research on human tissue, genetic testing, preconceptional and prenatal screening, neonatal screening, and anti-doping. He published more than 150 publications in international peer reviewed journals. He is programme director of the Master of Bioethics and teaches medical ethics to medical students. He is member of the Flemish Commission on neonatal screening (2012-now), member of the Belgian Consultative Committee on Bioethics (2014-2018) and expert of the Belgian Superior Health Council (2014-2020). Within the European Society of Human Genetics he was member of the Professional and Public Policy Committee (2009-2016) and elected member of the board (2012-2017). He is member of the Research Ethics Committee of UZ/KU Leuven (2018-2021). Since 2016 he is member of the Ethics Panel of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

He received various prizes. In 2006 he received the triennal prize for biomedical ethics ‘Professor Roger Borghgraef’. In 2014 he also received the Innovation Prize of the Dutch Association for Community Genetics and Public Health Genomics, and in 2015 the prize of the Dutch Society for Bioethics. In 2015 he also received the Science Communication Award of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. He was a visiting scholar at the Case Western Reserve University, the Université de Montréal, and the VU Medical Center Amsterdam .
Since 2009 he is Invited Scholar at the Center for Genomics and Policy of Mc Gill University and collaborates on various joint publications in the field of biobanking, direct-to-consumer genetic testing in children, and anti-doping.

Rosario Isasi
Invited Scholar

Rosario Isasi, J.D., M.P.H., is a Research Assistant Professor at the Miller School of Medicine with appointments in the Dr. J. T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, the Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, and the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute. Her expertise is in the area of comparative law and ethics regarding genomics and regenerative medicine. Ethics Advisor of the European Commission’s European Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry (hPSCREG), member of the American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) Task Force on “Gene Editing,” Academic Secretary of the International Stem Cell Forum Ethics Working Party, and leader of the Governance Working Group of the International Stem Cell Banking Initiative (ISCBI). She contributed to the development of harmonized ELSI and educational tools for Canadian Blood Services’ National Public Cord Blood Bank, the Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), and the Bioethics Education Project of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. With the CGP, she continues to collaborate in four projects related to stem cell research and regenerative cell therapy.

Amalia Issa
Invited Scholar

Amalia M. Issa is an internationally renowned scientist in the field of personalized genomic medicine (precision medicine). Dr. Issa was one of the first scientists to develop a unique area of translational research focused on precision medicine applications, and how they will be translated and integrated into clinical practice and health systems. She undertook some of the earliest studies of the societal and policy implications of pharmacogenomics, and continues to be engaged in leading a multidisciplinary collaborative effort to investigate and address important questions to build and develop the science of personalized genomic healthcare delivery. Dr. Issa founded the Personalized Medicine & Targeted TherapeuticsTM Center in 2001, as one of the very first centers focused on pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. The mission of the center is to develop the evidence base for, inform decision-making about and accelerate knowledge translation of personalized medicine applications into meaningful health outcomes. She is also currently a Full Professor at the University of the Health Sciences in Health Policy and Public Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Issa holds leadership positions in several professional associations and national and international scientific advisory committees, and has received many awards and honours for her work. She is excited to be collaborating on several projects of mutual interest at the CGP, as well as with the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health.

Eric Meslin
Invited Scholar

Eric M. Meslin is President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies, founding Director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, Professor of Medicine, of Medical & Molecular Genetics, of Bioethics and Law, of Public Health, and of Philosophy. He is also an Invited Scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and at the Centre of Genomics and Policy.
Prior to Indiana, he was Bioethics Research Director of the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) program at the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, and then Executive Director of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission appointed by then President Bill Clinton. In 2015 he was appointed Vice-Chair of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council. Among his honours, Dr. Meslin is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Chevalier de L’Ordre Nationale du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit) for his contributions to French bioethics policy. His work as an Invited Scholar in the CGP focuses on projects related to regenerative medicine.

Rose-Marie Hozyan

Rose-Marie Hozyan is HR Administrator and Executive Assistant to Prof. Bartha Maria Knoppers’ at the Centre of Genomics and Policy (2006 – present). In 2006, she joined Prof. Knoppers and her team at the Centre de recherche en droit public, Université de Montréal as a Coordinator. In 2009, she came over to McGill with Prof. Knoppers and her team to assist in her new Centre of Genomics and Policy. Now as an Administrator in the fast growing Centre, Rose-Marie is responsible for the coordination of the Prof. Knoppers’ agenda, travel arrangements, events, human resources and human relations.
She is a graduate of Legal Secretarial Program at O’Sullivan College, where she taught the evening legal secretarial course from 1995-1997. From 1982 – 2006, she was a Legal Assistant in the fields of litigation, matrimonial, corporate and commercial law at Baron Abrams and Stein & Stein. From 1987 – 2006 she worked for Alex K. Paterson at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP where she assisted him in an administrative capacity in his malpractice cases, in his various work on Boards such as the MUHC Foundation, Chair of McGill and Chancellor of Bishops, and many corporate fundraising events such as Pedal for Kids, Centraide, BLG Reads to Kids and the CIBC Run for Cancer.

Nadine Thorsen

Nadine Thorsen has been working as a financial administrator at the Centre of Genomics and Policy since 2012.