Our People

Our People

MHL Board Members and Management

Board Members & Management

Jack Gauldie, CM, PhD, DSc, FRSC
Chair of the Board

Distinguished University Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

Jack, recently retired as Vice President Research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, is a world-renowned scientist, a former Canadian Olympian and recently earned Canada’s highest honour as a Member of the Order of Canada (CM), which recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to a community, and service to the nation. 

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Jack is recognized worldwide for his outstanding research in inflammation, immunology, cancer, and chronic fibrosis. This work increased the world’s understanding of how people respond to acute and chronic infections, autoimmune diseases and other chronic conditions – including cancer – at the molecular level. 

Jack’s work on pulmonary fibrosis over the past 30 years contributed to the development of several new drug therapies for this lethal chronic pulmonary disease.

Gail Martin, PhD
Strategic Partnerships Director

Assistant Professor (part-time), Department of Medicine, McMaster University

Gail completed her undergraduate Honours BSc in Microbiology at the University of Glasgow, UK, in 1998, her Ph.D. in Cell Biology at the University of Manchester, UK, in 2003 and her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Regenerative Medicine (CIHR funded) in 2007, at McMaster University.

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Dr. Martin transferred to Business Development and Administration in 2007 in the McMaster Industry Liaison Office, and later at McGill University. Protecting intellectual property and moving technologies from academia to society, engaging industry partners to maximize the social and economic impact of university technologies from a broad range of sectors including biotech, aerospace, natural resources, and pharma.

As Executive Director of The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton, Gail supervised the research administration team providing full services, including: financial oversight, contract review, lab management, IT support services, and research marketing and public relations efforts to researchers, the Research Institute and other stakeholders.

As an Assistant Professor (PT) within the Dept. of Medicine at McMaster University, Gail is within the Division of Education and Innovation, and serves as a mentor within The Clinic programs at McMaster. Gail is a co-founder of McMaster HealthLabs and serves as the Strategic Partnerships Director.

David Bulir, MD, PhD
Research Director

Assistant Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicine, McMaster University
Scientist, The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton

David completed his undergraduate degree at McMaster University in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program and then completed a combined MD/Ph.D. degree also at McMaster. He is presently registered as a Resident in the University of Toronto Dermatology program. 

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David’s research interests are focused around molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases and implementation of this work in clinical laboratories. 

David and his fantastic team have been instrumental in developing innovative approaches to COVID-19 testing. He created McMaster Molecular Medium, a sample transport fluid capable of inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, which has allowed for a significant increase in testing capacity and volume throughput by reducing a significant number of manual pre-processing steps. 

David also helped develop polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests that are used for routine COVID-19 testing in several Ontario clinical laboratories.

Marek Smieja, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Scientific Director

Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician
Chief of Laboratory Medicine, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences
Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicine, McMaster University

Marek’s primary research interests are in respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, and the role of chronic infections in respiratory and cardiovascular disease.  This includes developing and evaluating accurate, convenient, and cost-effective diagnostic tests for SARS-Coronavirus, influenza, and rhinovirus. He developed the mid-turbinate swab for self-collection of respiratory viruses, and led a randomized clinical trial of vitamin D for preventing respiratory infections. 

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Marek is a physician, professor and researcher. He trained at the University of Western Ontario (MD 1987), Dalhousie University (1988), the University of London, and McMaster University (1991-2002), including Royal College certification in Internal Medicine (1995), Infectious Diseases (1998), and Medical Microbiology (1998). He obtained his PhD in 2002 in Health Research Methodology. 

Marek is a Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician based at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, where he also serves as Medical Co-Director for Infection Prevention and Control. He provides patient care in infectious diseases and HIV. 

As a laboratory physician, Marek provides leadership for the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program as Interim Chief and Medical Director since May 2019. He has also had leadership roles in Virology, Parasitology, and Microbiology over the past 20 years. As a McMaster University faculty member since 2001, he has taught clinical epidemiology and diagnostic research methods, and trained over 40 microbiologists and infectious diseases physicians. 

Marek has over 350 publications, abstracts, and book chapters, and served as co-editor for BMJ Books “Evidence-Based Infectious Diseases.”

Karen Mossman, PhD

Vice President Research and Professor, Department of Medicine, McMaster University

Karen received her undergraduate Honours BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Guelph. Karen completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and her Post-doctoral Fellowship in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Mossman has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has contributed as author and editor to numerous books, including virology textbooks. 

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Dr. Mossman joined McMaster University in 2001, with a research focus on virus/host interactions in healthy cells and in cancer cells, with a goal of developing therapies for emerging viral infections and cancer. 

This research led to translational studies of oncolytic viruses for cancer immunotherapy, which are currently under clinical development. Karen’s group recently helped isolate SARS-CoV-2 from Canadian patients and is actively working on COVID-related studies. 

As Vice President Research, Dr. Mossman oversees research administration, university research centres and institutes, the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, international research partnerships, research commercialization & innovation, industry partnerships, and the McMaster strategic research plan. She is the Chair of the Board of the McMaster Innovation Park.

Zain Chagla, MD, MSc

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, McMaster University

As an infectious disease specialist, Dr. Chagla has given media interviews on the COVID-19 pandemic and published several op-eds on testing, disease elimination, and public health interventions.

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During the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Zain Chagla has contributed to local, provincial, and federal policy planning, and to several clinical trials on COVID-19 therapies. He has published works on COVID-19 research, epidemiology, testing, and infection control. 

Dr. Chagla is an associate professor at McMaster University, co-medical director of infection control at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and a consultant in infection control at Woodstock General Hospital. Dr. Chagla is also a teacher at McMaster University where he won a clinician teaching award in internal medicine and a young investigator grant for his work in supporting undergraduate medical education at the University of Namibia. 

Dr. Chagla has a Bachelor of Science and an M.D. from Queen’s University, completed a residency in internal medicine at Western University, and an infectious diseases fellowship at McMaster University. He also has a Master of Science in infectious diseases and a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 

Brian Lichty, PhD

Associate Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicine, McMaster University

Dr. Brian Lichty has extensive expertise in the use of viruses and related immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and vaccination against infectious disease.

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He has been an associate professor in the Department of Medicine and the McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) at McMaster University since 2004.  In 2015 he co-founded Turnstone Biologics to advance the clinical testing of oncolytic viral vaccines developed with collaborators at McMaster and Ottawa.  During his five-year term with Turnstone he served as a board member, Chief Technical Officer and Senior Vice President, Basic Research.

Dr. Lichty’s expertise includes influence research in the identification of strategies to leverage oncolytic viruses to harness the patient’s immune system in a sustainable manner, including vaccine design and engineering to directly engage the adaptive immune system tumour-specific and/or to enhance combinations with other immunotherapies. 

He is also director of the Robert E. Fitzhenry vector lab at McMaster where clinical grade viral vaccines are manufactured for human clinical trials. Dr. Brian Lichty received his PhD from the University of Toronto and holds a BSc from the University of Guelph.

Jodi Gilchrist, MSc, CCRP
Clinical Research Manager

Jodi Gilchrist, MSc, CCRP, is an accomplished Clinical Research Manager with 15+ years of experience in clinical trial management, complex research protocol design, development and conduct.

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Jodi holds an Honours BSc in Biochemistry from Queen’s University (2007) and a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences from McMaster University (2009). She is a registered member of the Society of Clinical Research Professionals (SOCRA) and is a lecturer in Clinical Trials and Biotechnology at Mohawk College.

She is the Clinical Research Manager for the Disease, Diagnostics, and Development (D3) Group, an innovative and interdisciplinary team of McMaster University researchers based at The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton. 

Jodi has an extensive breadth and depth of experience working with industry sponsors and regulatory bodies to develop and validate assays targeting detection of sexually transmitted infections and respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens, for both laboratory-based and patient facing clinical trials of all phases.

As Clinical Research Manager for McMaster HealthLabs, Jodi supervises the daily operations of the clinical research studies and the clinical research personnel.

Brian Lukian, CPA, CA
CFO

After his formal training as a CPA and CA with Ernst & Young, Brian refined his financial, analytical, and administrative expertise in a broad range of organizations across North America and internationally. 

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Having worked for years in two of the most regulated industries – pharmaceuticals and aviation – Brian understands and respects compliance and adherence to regulatory requirements. 

Over more than 25 years of international experience in industrialized and emerging nations, Brian became adept at adapting to different corporate cultures. Brian has expertise working within government regulations. In starting new businesses in emerging nations, he satisfied all environmental, immigration, finance, health and safety, customs, and civil aviation requirements. 

Brian has been a CFO/COO and board member for publicly traded Biotech companies reporting in Canada and in the USA. He has held key executive positions in several start-ups, including biotechs, and serves as the CFO in a full-service clinical research organization conducting clinical trials from Phase 1 to BE/BA.