Leadership Team

John Valliant, PhD, CEO

John played an integral role in conceptualizing and establishing CPDC and continues to drive the growth and success of the centre’s R&D and commercialization programs. In addition to his roles at CPDC, John is an Associate Professor in the department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, at McMaster University. He has an exceptional track record of securing funding for basic and translational research particularly as part of collaborative grants. Most recently, in partnership with the Cross Cancer Institute, John led a successful grant application to create a major training grant to educate the next generation of radiopharmaceutical scientists in Canada. He has also helped to secure funding for a prototype breast imaging camera which is being evaluated in Hamilton as part of a collaborative trial.

John is internationally recognized for his work in radiopharmaceutical chemistry, where his current research focuses on developing new radiolabeling methods and compound discovery strategies to create clinically relevant molecular imaging probes and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals. In recognition of his work and the emergence of the CPDC, John was asked to give the plenary lecture at the 2009 Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting. He was also selected as one of Canada’s 2009 Top 40 Under 40, a distinction that recognizes his exceptional work at CPDC and McMaster University to advance molecular probe technology, improve patient care and spur on economic growth. The award also acknowledges his commitment to education and training at McMaster and within the imaging industry.

John has published more than 75 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and has been invited to speak at scientific conferences and leading research centres the world over. He currently has six patents or patent applications under review.

John completed his PhD at McMaster University, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship under the joint supervision of professors Alun G. Jones (Harvard) and Alan Davison (MIT).


Frank Gleeson, Chief Commercial Operations

As CCO, Frank is responsible for direction and oversight of all commercial activities at the CPDC including spearheading strategic and financing activities, and driving the growth of CPDC’s products and services revenues. Mr. Gleeson has over 30 years of leadership and business building experience as an operating executive, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. His experience includes roles as CEO of a professional services firm, as founding CEO of MDS Proteomics Inc., and as a senior vice president and VC partner at MDS Capital Corp. where he founded a dozen companies and completed more than $300 million in financing and partnering transactions. Prior to MDS, he had a 16-year career with Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI), a global chemicals and advanced materials company, during which he was involved in technology commercialization in numerous fields. Mr. Gleeson is past chair of the board of the Stem Cell Network of Canada and in 2003 was recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. He has served on numerous private and public company boards and is currently Chair of GlycoNet, a National Centre of Excellence in the field of glycomics research. Mr. Gleeson holds BBA and MBA degrees from York University in Toronto.


Eric S. Burak, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

As Chief Scientific Officer at the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), Eric Burak is responsible for the creation and successful development of new molecular imaging probes and therapeutics and for advancing the company’s existing portfolio of intellectual property.

Dr. Burak has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical research and development experience in both biotech and large pharmaceutical companies. Before joining CPDC, he was Vice President of Development at Theracos Inc., where he was responsible for all research, clinical development and manufacturing activities for a company developing drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes. Previous positions include Vice President of Preclinical and Early Clinical Development at Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a venture-funded antibiotic company, and Director of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Burak’s research experience has focused on the application of drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics and mathematical modeling to discovery and development of therapeutics. He has submitted 13 Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) and 1 New Drug Application (NDA) across multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, cardiovascular, antibiotics, diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, anesthesia/sedation, diabetes, and wound healing.

Dr. Burak holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Temple University and a BSc in Chemistry from Drexel University.


Anne Goodbody, PhD, Chief Regulatory Officer

Anne has extensive experience in translating scientific discovery into product development with over 20 years of research and development experience in the pharmaceutical industry. After receiving a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge (UK), she held positions of increasing responsibility in a number of biotechnology companies in Canada and the U.S. She has led the development of radiopharmaceuticals, managing teams responsible for manufacturing, clinical and regulatory affairs. She has published extensively, presented research at international conferences and is a named inventor on 15 issued patents.


Lynn Wick, CPA, CGA, Executive Director, Operations

As the Executive Director of Operations, Lynn is responsible for overseeing the finance, IT, HR and administrative functions for CPDC. Ms. Wick has over 20 years’ experience in financial accounting, reporting and control activities within manufacturing, distribution, public accounting and not-for-profit organizations. Lynn previously served as VP Finance for a Canadian not-for-profit organization that provides aid to impoverished nations, and as Corporate Controller for a North American textiles manufacturer.


Board of Directors

CPDC is governed by an independent Board of Directors. Board members represent all key sectors associated with the CPDC. The Board of Directors work with the Centre’s Scientific Director, Executive Director and Centre Management Committee to guide CPDC’s future direction.

  • Bob Sutherland Chair, Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization
  • John Valliant CEO, CPDC
  • Armand Balboni Managing Director, Bloom Burton
  • Damian Lamb Managing Director, Genesys Capital
  • Mark Lundie Director Research & Development, Head Strategic Research Partnerships, Ontario, Pfizer Inc.
  • Nick Markettos Associate Vice President, Research & International Affairs, McMaster University
  • Nicole Onetto Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
  • John Thornback Managing Director, Apta Biosciences Pte Ltd
  • Annick Van den Abbeele Chief, Department of Imaging, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute