About Sirona Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Denis Richard, Ph.D.

Dr. Denis Richard earned his Ph.D. in Physiology at Laval University and received further postdoctoral training in nutrition and physiology at the Dunn Nutrition Unit at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England.
Dr. Richard is a full professor at the Department of Medicine at Université Laval. Together with serving as director of the Research Centre of the Institut de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec, and director of the Groupe Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur l’Obésité de l’Université Laval, he is the recipient of the Merck Frosst / CIHR Research Chair in Obesity, the first Chair devoted to obesity research in Canada. He is active with several societies and associations and is a member of: The Canadian Obesity Network, The American Physiological Society, The Society for Neuroscience, The Endocrine Society, and The Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.
Dr. Richard is a well-established scientist with regard to the study of (i) neurosystems involved in the control and regulation of food intake, thermogenesis, and energy balance, (ii) the mechanisms whereby the gastrointestinal hormones influence energy balance regulation, (iii) the relationship between stress and obesity, (iv) the role of the sympathetic nervous system in controlling uncoupling protein 1 in brown adipose tissue, and (v) the role of uncoupling protein 2 in energy metabolism, oxidative stress and neuroprotection. He lists over 200 publications in his career.

Dr. Bruce Verchere, Ph.D.

Dr. Bruce Verchere is a Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC).  He is also head of the Diabetes Research Program at the Child & Family Research Institute, and holds the Irving K Barber Chair in Diabetes Research.  Dr. Verchere’s research aims to understand the function of pancreatic islet beta cells and their relevance in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with a goal of developing therapeutic approaches for enhancing beta cell survival and function. He has published more than 90 manuscripts in the field of islet biology and diabetes and has been invited to present his research worldwide. Dr. Verchere was a Senior Scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) and was awarded the UBC Outstanding Young Alumnus award in 2000 and the Canadian Diabetes Association Young Scientist award in 2006. He is currently chair of the CIHR Diabetes Obesity Lipid and Lipoprotein Disorders panel, Chair of the National Research Council of the Canadian Diabetes Association, and Chair of the MSFHR Research Advisory Council. He currently sits on the editorial board of the publications Diabetes and Canadian Journal of Diabetes.

Dr. Michael Walker, Ph.D.

Dr. Michael Walker has been a director and CEO of Verona Pharma since September 2006. He is an Emeritus Professor at the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Canada and has founded and managed various biotech companies in Canada and the UK. His research interests are wide including many aspects of general pharmacology (from basic to clinical studies), marine toxins and respiratory and cardiac pharmacology.
Dr. Walker was the founder of Rhythm Search Developments (RSD) Ltd., which company evolved into Nortran Pharmaceuticals Inc. and subsequently Cardiome Pharma Corp. (TSX:COM, NASDAQ: CRME) whose drug, RSD1235, for the acute termination of atrial fibrillation (a disorder of heart beating), is currently the subject of a New Drug Application filed with the US Food and Drug Administration.

dr.caiganduDr. Caigan Du

Dr. Caigan Du is a scientist at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia. He received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry in UK and postdoctoral training in Immunology in USA. He is interested in the pathogenesis of kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury and transplant rejection, and molecular control of urinary malignancies. He has been studying the impact of kidney donor-derived factors on renal allograft rejection, and the molecular pathways of kidney injury and regeneration in experimental models.

He is also interested in developing medical solution including drugs made from natural compounds for all kinds of health problems, including immune disorders, organ preservation, kidney failure and urinary cancer. He is the PI of many grant supports from the Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.