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Shawn Ritchie, PhD.
CEO and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Ritchie is responsible for the scientific and strategic direction of Med-Life Discoveries. Dr. Ritchie obtained his BSc (honours) in Biochemistry (University of Saskatchewan), a degree in Technical Writing and Communications (Simon Fraser University), and a PhD in Biochemistry (University of Saskatchewan). Previously, Dr. Ritchie was responsible for overseeing the development and use of FTMS non-targeted metabolomic profiling technology at Phenomenome Discoveries Inc. including over 15 years of experience in high resolution spectral data management and processing, statistical analyses, chemometric and metabolic systems modelling, informatics, and method development.

Dr. Ritchie has worked alongside many top pharmaceutical companies using metabolomic approaches to discover and validate biomarkers across all stages of drug development. Dr. Ritchie is the inventor of the commercial Cologic and PanaSee metabolic blood tests for colorectal and pancreatic cancer risk, and has several patents and publications relating to the role of Gastric Tract Carboxylic fatty acids (GTAs) as risk factors for cancer. Dr. Ritchie has supervised PhD level students in the OMICS field, currently sits on the editorial boards of several peer-review journals, and is an industry representative for the Bioinformatics Program in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan.
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Tara Smith, PhD.
VP, Therapeutics
Dr. Smith earned her BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Regina and PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Smith has worked for the last 9 years on the pre-clinical development of plasmalogen precursors as therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.  In addition, she is dedicated to developing and bringing to the clinic a custom plasmalogen precursor for individuals with the ultra-rare inborn error of metabolism, Rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata (RCDP). Dr. Smith has several publications relating to the augmentation of plasmalogen lipids with precursor compounds, and the functional effects thereof, in a variety of model systems.  Dr. Smith also has extensive experience in the organization and management of large preclinical and clinical research collaborations, and is responsible for the preclinical and clinical development programs of MLD's plasmalogen replacement compounds.
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Seth Yakatan
Executive VP, Business Growth and Relationships
Seth Yakatan brings more than 20 years of experience as a corporate finance professional, actively supporting small cap and major companies in achieving corporate, financing and asset monetization objectives through the successful structuring and management of strategic transactions and investments totaling more than several billion dollars in value.

Prior to founding Katan Associates in 2001, Seth worked in merchant banking at the Union Bank of California, N.A., in the Specialized Lending Media and Telecommunications Group. During his six years there, he completed the placement of subordinated debt and private equity investments, exceeding $3 billion in transaction value. Seth is a recognized as an expert in the valuation of life sciences companies, stemming from industry experience and academia.

Seth currently serves as interim management at several of Katan’s Merchant Banking portfolio companies. Seth currently serves on the board of directors of FitLife Brands, Inc. (FLTF) and Kalytera Therapeutics, Inc. (TSXV:KALY). Seth holds an MBA in Finance from the University of California, Irvine and a BA in History and Public Affairs from the University of Denver.
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Wei Jin, MSc.
Director, Laboratory Services
Wei Jin is Director of Laboratory Services at Med-Life Discoveries, and is responsible for the daily operation of the CLIA-certified medical laboratory, accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan and the College of American Pathologists. Wei has over ten years of experience managing and operating a quality-controlled clinical laboratory, including the development and validation of custom mass spectrometry methods that meet various regulatory standards. Wei has numerous publications relating to analytical method development, and is responsible for the global technology transfer and implementation of various diagnostic products developed at MLD. Wei has BSc (honours) and MSc degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Peking University, Beijing, China.
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Dushmanthi Jayasinghe
Senior Analytical Chemist
Dushmanthi Jayasinghe has a BSc in Chemistry (honors) from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a MSc in Chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. Dushmanthi is responsible for overseeing the development of tandem mass spectrometry methods and management of MLD's synthetic chemistry programs. Previously, Dushmanthi was employed as a metabolomics research specialist at Phenomenome Discoveries, where she was responsible for the curation of large metabolic databases, structural elucidation and isolation of novel metabolites, and development of lipidomics technologies. Dushmanthi has over 15 years experience in chromatographic separations, development of extraction technology, and bioanalytical method development and validation.
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Vinod Kumar
Quality Assurance Associate
Med-Life Discoveries would like to welcome Mr. Vinod Kumar to its team as Quality Assurance Associate. Vinod brings decades of experience implementing and overseeing quality programs in GMP pharmaceutical manufacturing. He has held senior executive positions at several large pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, and has been responsible for implementation of quality systems and regulatory compliance for all stages of pharmaceutical manufacturing, from the synthesis of raw active ingredients to finished drug product.
Vinod will be responsible for overseeing and ensuring that the ongoing GMP manufacturing of PPI-1040 meets all FDA regulatory standards.
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Jinghui Shen
Manager, Manufacturing
Jinghui Shen is the Manager of the tandem mass spectrometry kit Manufacturing Department at Med-Life Discoveries, and also acts as the General Supervisor of the CLIA lab. Jinghui has a BSc in Chemical Engineering from East China University of Science and Technology. She previously worked at Phenomenome for four years as an Analytical Chemist in the manufacturing devision, and before that at PharmaDerm Laboratories and Helix Biopharma Corporation. Jinghui brings nearly 20 years of experience in quality control relating to pharmaceutical development, HPLC method development and validation, ISO13485 guidelines, stability studies relating to medical device products and analytical standards, and quality systems management.
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Meenu Sharma
Meenu Sharma is our resident biostatistician, and brings with her an extensive knowledge base relating to the analysis of large and complex clinical datasets. Some of Meenu's previous projects included application of advanced statistical techniques such as multiple linear and logistic regression, analysis of variance, generalized estimating equation approach, survival analysis, and computation of sensitivity and specificity to the analysis of health-related and epidemiological datasets. She has previous experience with the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA) where she worked on the Saskatchewan Rural Health Study (SRHS), the First Nations Lung Health Project (FNLHP), and the Sleep Laboratory Project. She has also worked at the Saskatchewan Network for Health Services and the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Saskatchewan, where she was involved with the randomized controlled trial designs, ethics applications, clinical trial oversight, recruitment, and Telehealth programs. At MLD, Meenu is responsible for clinical biomarker analyses and the development and validation of advanced disease prediction algorithms.
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Jonathan Gallant
Analytical Technician
Jonathan Gallant has a BSc in Chemistry from University of Prince Edward Island and a MSc in Chemistry (Analytical Chemistry) from the University of Calgary where he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II major scholarship in science for two consecutive years. Jonathan brings with him extensive industry experience, having worked in Quality Control at BioVectra Inc in PEI, and at Gilead Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for characterizing and developing various analytical methods for novel APIs under a cGMP environment. Jonathan brings a vast knowledge of analytical methodologies including chromatography, NMR, FT-IR, and their use under various regulatory guidelines relating to pharmaceutical development. Jonathan also has industry experience in environmental toxicology and in the testing of hazardous materials prior to release or disposal. At Med-Life Discoveries, Jonathan is involved in pharmaceutical programs relating to the development of plasmalogen restoration compounds, as well as analytical method development relating to the next-generation versions of the Cologic, PanaSee and Alz-ID tests.