Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Xia Zhang, MD, PhD

  • Professor of Medicine at University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR)
  • Professor at the departments of Psychiatry and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, at the University of Ottawa
  • World leader in the research areas specifying brain mechanisms contributing to drug abuse and how these and new therapeutics related to mental illness, especially anxiety and mood disorders

Dr. Neil Solomons, MD, FRCA

  • Chief Medical Officer and co-founder, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Victoria BC
  • VP-R&D Vifor Pharma, formerly Aspreva Pharmaceuticals and has developed CellCept® for rare diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris and myasthenia gravis (both industry firsts), and the successful landmark Aspreva Lupus Management Study (ALMS)
  • Clinical Leader at Roche for transplantation, virology, and auto-immune diseases, where he successfully managed implementation of post-marketing studies for CellCept® and Zenapax® and Cytovene
  • Board Certified anesthesiologist and Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (London UK) with research interest in sepsis and chronic pain

Dr. Gerald Zamponi, PhD

  • Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Cumming School of Medicine, University  of Calgary
  • Expert in molecular physiology and pharmacology of ion channels and receptors and the role they play in pain signaling
  • Author of more than 260 peer reviewed articles and has given over 200 invited presentations
  • Canada Research Chair in Molecular Neuroscience
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences 

Dr. William Panenka, MD

  • Assistant Professor – Neurology at UBC Mental Health & Addictions Research Institute
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in Neurology and Psychiatry
  • Leading medical practitioner and clinical scientist with expertise in the areas of mental health and addictions related to controlled substances.
  • His area of expertise includes the study of traumatic brain injury.
  • Using BC Neuropsychiatry program, he has recently started the “Neuropsychiatry Concussion Clinic” to treat head trauma, related pain, and anxiety. 

Dr. Alasdair Barr, PhD

  • Associate Professor – Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics at UBC Mental Health & Addictions Research Institute
  • Research focus is on mental health and addictions, with a particular emphasis on psychosis and the medications used in its treatment
  • His health research program is based on a multidisciplinary and translational approach that spans from “bench to bedside,” as he maintains strong and highly productive research programs in both clinical and related preclinical research.