Executive Management

J. Roderick Matheson
Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mr. Matheson has spent over 35 years of his career in the investment and capital markets industries and is an experienced and seasoned senior executive in diverse areas of finance, capital markets, entrepreneurship and investing. Among his accomplishments are multiple financings in excess of one billion dollars of both public and private companies in the biotechnology, technology, mining, oil and gas industries as well as numerous venture start-ups. Mr. Matheson began his career at Wood Gundy in 1983 becoming Vice President and Director. He left Wood Gundy in 1995 to spearhead the Calgary operations of Canaccord Capital Corporation and after several years moved to Bolder Investment Partners, starting up their Calgary operations. In 2010 Bolder merged and Mr. Matheson and his colleagues moved to other independent investment firms concluding with Aligned Capital Partners Inc. until late 2019. A significant amount of Mr. Matheson‘s career has been spent in capital markets advisory and risk management services to companies and industries that require his expertise.

Mr. Matheson‘s career has been spent in capital markets advisory and risk management services to companies and industries that require his expertise. Mr. Matheson is the Executive Chairman of Renaissance Mercantile Corp., a privately-owned merchant bank.

Dr. Mark Williams
President, Chief Science Officer and Director

Dr. Williams is Chief Scientific Officer of Marvel and has 15 years of experience in drug and medical device development having repurposed three drugs from preclinical studies directly to positive phase II data including manufacturing and toxicology. Dr. Williams is the author of more than 12 patents and an inventor of DM199 (a recombinant protein) in phase II trials for stroke and kidney disease. Dr. Williams is also involved in the financing and collaboration/ partnership side of life science companies, having assisted to secure arrangements with drug foundations, pharma companies and various government agencies including Health Canada and US FDA.

Dr. Williams has a Master‘s in Business Administration from the University of Manitoba and a PhD from the University of Alberta.

Harry Nijjar
Chief Financial Officer, CPA, CMA

Harry joined Malaspina Consultants in 2011 and has progressed through the firm to the role of Managing Director in August 2018. Over that time Harry has worked extensively with public companies across various industries, helping them navigate the regulatory and financial reporting environment. This experience allows him to quickly adapt to new clients and industries and develop the appropriate accounting systems to create an efficient finance department. Additionally, Harry focuses on learning about the business his clients are engaged in to be able to provide better analysis and support for the decisions impacting the client.

Harry has worked with clients in various industries including both revenue and non-revenue generating clients. Over this time he has worked with multi-subsidiary and multi-currency clients and helped navigate complex scenarios such as multiple business combinations, valuation exercises, spin- out transactions and implementation of new accounting systems including complex revenue recognition models. In addition to work with his clients, Harry has recently led a Malaspina initiative adopting new accounting software to allow the Company to better service its clients.

Jacqueline Groot
Corporate Secretary

Jackie is an integral part of Marvel Biosciences’ operations as Corporate Secretary. 

Independent Directors and Audit Committee

Neil A. Johnson, Director

Mr. Johnson has over 30 years of experience in investment banking, merchant banking and research analysis in both the Canadian and UK capital markets.

Mr. Johnson is presently, and has been since June 2015, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Duke Royalty Ltd. (AIM: DUKE), a royalty investment company, with responsibility for the overall strategic direction and performance of the group. Previously, Mr. Johnson worked for Canaccord Genuity rising to the positions of Head of Corporate Finance (Europe), Global Head of Technology, and a member of the Global Executive Committee. During his tenure, Canaccord Genuity became the leading broker on AIM and raised over $7 billion of equity for Canadian-domiciled companies.

Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University in London, Ontario and holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Babak Pedram, Director

Mr. Pedram brings a vast degree of business, capital markets and scientific experience to Marvel’s Board of Directors.  He is a seasoned capital market professional with over 15 years of experience as an investment banker, investor relations, and capital markets advisor to numerous biotech, healthcare and technology companies based in Canada, the United States and Sweden.  Mr. Pedram is the founder and president of Virtus Advisory Group, a Toronto-based capital markets advisory firm. He is the co-founder of several successful start-ups, including two publicly traded companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.  Mr. Pedram has both Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees from Queen’s University.

Randall Smallbone, Director

Mr. S. Randall Smallbone is the President, CEO and a Director of Astron Connect Inc. In addition, Mr. Smallbone is the Chair of the Board of Directors of both The Burlington Economic Development Corporation and Joseph Brant Hospital. He is also a Board member of Entourage Health Corp., Hanwei Energy Services Corp. and on the Advisory Board of Pneu-Hyd Industries Inc. Mr. Smallbone has been the CFO of three Public Companies, Migao Corporation, KCP Income Fund and Decoma International Inc (Magna International Inc.). He was also on the Board of Norcast Income Fund and numerous other private and NFP Boards.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. David Blum

Dr. Blum adds crucial depth to the scientific board for his highly relevant research in the A2A receptor antagonists in cognition, brain lesions, and tau pathology for applications in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Dr. Blum is a Senior Investigator and a Research Director of the Alzheimer & Tauopathies team at Lille Neuroscience & Cognition Inserm center in Lille. Dr. Blum is an expert in neuropathological studies on Tau (and its link to metabolism & neuroinflammation) and purine (and the role of purinergic signalling in neurodegeneration). One of Dr. Blum’s current projects is to provide novel insights into the impact of neuro-glial A2A signalling on cognition and brain lesions in transgenic AD models. This work emphasizes that A2A receptor dysfunction is instrumentally involved in the loss of neuronal synapses driven by Tau pathology in AD and Tauopathies.

Dr. Jared Young, Ph.D.

Dr. Young is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and brings significant expertise to the scientific board as a leader in translational models to validate drugs developed for neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Young investigates the molecular biology and neural circuitry underlying behavioral abnormalities in major neuropsychiatric disorders (using reverse-translated paradigms). Debilitating forms of mental illness are prevalent, but treatment options for these disorders remain limited. One major roadblock for treatment development has been the scarcity of effective cross-species models. However, Dr. Young has refined new and effective cross-species models. Dr. Young uses cutting-edge neuroscience to develop novel and sophisticated cross-species models to identify targetable mechanisms to treat mental illnesses (i.e., using the human 5-choice continuous performance task, initially created for use in mice). 

Professor Bruce N. Cronstein, MD

Dr. Cronstein is a Professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine (for the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Pathology). Prof. Cronstein is considered the world expert on adenosine, and has led adenosine research for over 38 years, publishing a monumental 365 peer-reviewed articles. The Cronstein laboratory has explored the role of adenosine across multiple thematic areas (including studying its application in neutrophils, inflammation, methotrexate treatments, and since the early 2000s, the adenosine A2A receptor). Prof. Cronstein has led the research of A2A receptor functions, including its roles in dermal fibrosis and scarring, hepatic fibrosis and fatty liver, bone healing, and more recently, chondrocyte metabolism and cartilage matrix maintenance. Prof. Cronstein’s discoveries have led to novel therapeutics and treatments now considered best practice.

Professor Frank Schweizer

Dr. Schweizer is a Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba. Prof. Schweizer has published > 130 papers on Medicinal- and Carbohydrate Chemistry and holds over ten patents. Prof. Schweizer is a leader in translational medical treatments, and his research focuses on preclinical drug discovery and development. Currently, Prof. Schweizer is working on applications to overcome drug resistance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and chemotherapy-resistant cancers.