The Toronto Area Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) presents our next educational session:


Save the Date!
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
8:00 - 10:45 am


Innovation Meets Personalization: Pharmacogenetics & Financial Technologies in Group Health and Retirement


Join the Toronto Chapter ISCEBS, at the Grand Banking Hall at One King West, for our biennial Keynote Speaker
Series for a Hot Breakfast and Two Lively Sessions:


A Discussion of FinTech + Retirement led by Simon Chan


Simon is currently Managing Partner at Fintech Growth Syndicate, a boutique consulting firm which helps fintechs with sales expansion and corporations with innovation and fintech market engagement. He is also involved in a number of leadership roles in the Kitchener Waterloo tech ecosystem where he is an advisor at the Accelerator Centre and a leadership coach at Communitech. With 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Simon was most recently the Assistant Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for Manulife Financial’s Retail business. He was responsible for strategic planning and development for the Insurance and Investment businesses as well as leading the digital solutions, advisor experience and regulatory and public affairs teams. He holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and BA (Hons.) in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, as well as CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and PMP (Project Management Professional) designations.


Followed by a Panel Discussion Centering on Pharmacogenetics, featuring:


Moderator: Maria Vandenhurk, CEO, Banyan Work Health Solutions Inc. Banyan Work Health Solutions launched in 1995, offering bilingual, full-spectrum solutions for disability and workers’ compensation claims to insurers and employers across North America. In addition to her leadership role at Banyan, Maria is a globally-recognized speaker and coach who is driven by her passion for lending visionary insights to influence positive change in the field of disability management. She has been published in leading industry magazines such as Canadian Underwriter and Benefits Canada. Maria holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Therapeutic Counseling from the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy in Toronto. In 2010, the Royal Bank of Canada recognized Maria as Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year when she was honoured as a winner of the RBC Momentum Award (Central Region).



James L. Kennedy, M.D., FRCP(C), FRSC, Director, Molecular Brain Science and Head of Neurogenetics Section, CAMH,  Head of the Tanenbaum Centre for Pharmacogenetics, Co-Director, Division of Brain and Therapeutics, Dept. of Psychiatry, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Kennedy has training in three major areas: neuroscience, clinical psychiatry, and molecular genetics. His main research interest over the past 20 years has been the identification of susceptibility genes for psychiatric disorders. Major current projects led by Dr. Kennedy include the IMPACT study examining a large sample (N=10,000) of patients to discover new pharmacogenetic markers, and determine the usefulness and cost-benefit of genetic testing applied to choice and dosage of psychiatric medications in clinical care. He is leading a large randomized controlled clinical trial of pharmacogenomic tests in 1,200 depression and schizophrenia patients, funded by Genome Canada. He has published pioneering findings relating gene variants in the dopamine, serotonin, and neurodevelopment systems to psychiatric disorders, neuroimaging (PET and MRI) and to treatment response. Dr. Kennedy has published more than 650 peer-reviewed scientific articles with over 25,000 citations, and h-index of 83. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, the highest academic recognition in Canada. His current interests include integrating genetics, pharmacogenetics, brain imaging, and electrophysiology into the design of clinical trials.


Veronika Litinski leads Growth at GeneYouIn, a Canadian personalized medicine company whose flagship product, Pillcheck, helps personal response to oral medications using intelligent software and the science of Pharmacogenetic testing. Veronika previously piloted the launch and development of Cogniciti, a digital health product designed to provide earlier assessment, diagnosis and treatment for adults with memory concerns. She was Practice Lead for Health Care and Life Sciences during the initial growth years at MaRS Discovery District, managed international Venture Finance Partnerships at GATX Capital in San Francisco, and has worked in cancer research at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Berkeley. Veronika is a graduate of Moscow State University and the University of San Francisco.


Michael Prouse, PhD, is Director of Operations at Personalized Prescribing Inc., a Canadian personalized medicine company. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in genetics, publishing several scientific papers on eukaryotic gene expression. Michael finished at the top of his PhD class in 2013 and was the recipient of the Alexander Graham Bell Award. Michael brought his expertise in genetics to Personalized Prescribing in 2012 when he became a founding member of the company and employee number one.