ISURA Scientific Advisory Committee
The Scientific Advisory Committee provides ISURA with expert scientific advice on the full spectrum of topics relating to testing protocols.
The Committee is comprised of prominent scientists from a variety of disciplines. All members have dedicated their professional lives to the science and research of natural health products. Their combined experience within the academic and industry sectors assists the Board of Directors in the following:
- Evaluate associated scientific matters and provide expert opinion on the operation of ISURA
- Review research grant proposals and give advice on focus areas for research funding
- Make recommendations on policies that have scientific implications and guide the future priorities of ISURA
- Assess educational materials and offer input on the science of test protocols and related topics
- Advance the objectives and promote the mandate of ISURA
Dr. Robert O’Brien, Chair, PhD, Kelowna, BC
Dr. O’Brien serves as ISURA’s Senior Executive for Scientific Affairs and is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr. O’Brien has over 25 years of experience in Analytical Chemistry with a focus on mass spectroscopy based approaches. Rob’s experience includes working in commercial, government and university service laboratories. He also has over a decade of experience in teaching, developing advanced university courses and directed a leading academic research laboratory.
Dr. O’Brien holds an adjunct professor position at Thompson Rivers University. He is also the founder and President of Supra Research and Development, a research and development company. Rob is actively pursuing research into new ionization sources for mass spectrometry and innovative sample introduction techniques that promise to radically improve testing protocols for food and natural health products.
Dr. O’Brien is a graduate of Carleton University and completed his Ph.D. research under the direction of K.W.M. Siu and Roger Guevremont at the Chemical Metrology Group of NRC’s Institute for National Measurement Science.
For more information, check out Dr. O’Brien’s Linkedin profile: http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/rob-o-brien/1b/1a0/a41
Michael Smith, BPharm, Adjunct Professor, National Center for Natural Product Research, University of Mississippi; Adjunct Fellow, National Institute of Complementary Medicine; Senior Fellow, Samueli Institute, Stratford, Ontario
With over 20 years of experience in the natural health product/ complementary medicine sector, Michael Smith is trained both as a pharmacist and a licensed naturopathic doctor. In 2001, he joined Health Canada and held a number of positions at the Natural Health Products Directorate including the Director of the Bureau of the Partnerships, Outreach and International Affairs. His responsibilities there included establishing and implementing the Natural Health Products Research Program (NHPRP); co-ordination of the Directorate’s international responsibilities; and directed the outreach activities with stakeholders and the creation of strategic partnerships with organisations and partners both within and outside of government.
Michael has actively worked on the international stage working with overseas governments and international organisations. From May 2009 to Feb 2011, Michael was Head of the Office of Complementary Medicine at the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia. In this role, he was responsible for the Australian pre-market regulatory framework for complementary medicines. He has also participated in a number of World Health Organisations led initiatives, notably the development of the current WHO Strategy for Traditional Medicines 2014-2023 where he acted as one of the principal technical advisors on the project.
Michael has also been very active in Natural Health Product and Complementary and Alternative Health Care research. His research work particularly focused on drug interactions and herbal medicines as well as education programs aimed both at members of the conventional and complementary health care teams. He has written two books and is an author and co-author of numerous papers and articles. Currently, Michael works as a consultant with organisations in both the private and not for profit sectors in North America and overseas. He also sits on a number of advisory boards.
Michael was honoured by the Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada as the recipient of the 2017 Neil Towers Award honouring those who have made “significant contributions to natural products research, regulation and commercialization in Canada and worldwide.”
For more information, visit Michael Smith’s Linkedin profile: http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/michael-smith/47/9/50a
Dr. Mary Hardy, MD, Founder/Director, Wellness Works; Faculty, Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine—Fellowship in Integrative Health & Medicine, California, United States
Dr. Mary Hardy is recognized as an authority on integrative medicine and natural products by organisations such as the US Office of Dietary Supplements, the California Medical Board, the Canadian government, the United States Pharmacopia, American Medical Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, National Geographic, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel and the Los Angeles Times.
Dr. Hardy has actively combined complementary and alternative therapies with traditional Western medicine for over thirty years in both her clinical practice and research projects. After completing her undergraduate studies at Vassar College, she attended medical school at Louisiana State University in New Orleans and completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston. In 1998, Dr. Hardy founded the Integrative Medicine Clinic at Cedars-Sinai. She has extensive experience in evaluating the evidence base for the efficacy and safety of complementary medicine as part of her work as a research associate at the Evidence Based Practice Center at RAND Corporation. Dr. Hardy is a published author, an accomplished and sought-after presenter on the topics of integrative health and medicine and complementary medicine and has more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific research articles including clinical trial research.
She has served on several United States Pharmacopia (USP) expert committees examining the safety of selected dietary supplements and recently chaired a USP committee, Dietary Supplements Safety Modeling Expert Panel. She has also served on the External Advisory Council for the Natural Product Directorate for the Canadian Ministry of Health and has been the Associate Director of the UCLA Botanical Research Center, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS).
Dr. Hardy’s current research interests include reviewing the evidence for the safety and efficacy of natural therapies, especially botanicals, as well as conducting clinical trials of dietary supplements and lifestyle choices to support conventional cancer treatment.
Dr. John Thor Arnason, Professor of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
Dr. John Thor Arnason is Professor of Biology at the University of Ottawa and past director of the Biopharmaceutical Sciences program. Arnason’s laboratory is a major Canadian facility with advanced metabolomic tools, which specializes in the phytochemistry and biological activity of medicinal, and nutraceutical plants. His lab has studied unique North American medicinal germplasm such as Ontario ginseng, Nunavik Rhodiola, endemic Echinacea species and boreal Vacciniums. In collaboration with Costa Rican and University of Ottawa partners, he has developed a novel anxiolytic and cortisol lowering Natural Health Product which has been released to market. As part of a team grant on Aboriginal medicine, his group has undertaken studies on the efficacy and safety of Northern Cree traditional medicines used for type 2 diabetes. The laboratory has a long history in the ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology of Maya medicinal plants used for inflammation, anxiety, and dementia. He has served as an advisor on the scientific board of natural health product companies, American Botanical Council and Health Canada’s expert advisory board on Natural Health Products. He is currently a director of the Natural Health Product Research Society, and a member of the editorial board of Planta Medica and Recent Advances in Phytochemistry.
Rudolf Bauer studied Pharmacy at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich where he also obtained his PhD and wrote his habilitation. From 1993 until 2002 he was Professor at the University of Dusseldorf in Germany, before moving to Austria, where he is now Head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Graz. His research focuses on Traditional Chinese Medicine, inflammation processes, plant metabolomics, screening and structure elucidation of plant active ingredients, quality control for herbal medicine, and activity and phytochemistry of Echinacea species. He has published more than 370 research papers and several books. He has been awarded, among others, the Egon-Stahl-Award of the Society for Medicinal Plant Research, the International Award of the Belgian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award of the American Botanical Council.
Dr. Kingsley Donkor, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC
Dr. Kingsley Donkor obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Alberta. Dr. Donkor’s research program focuses on developing rapid and sensitive analytical methods in capillary electrophoresis, chromatography, and mass spectrometry for the characterization of antimicrobial peptides (lantibiotics), food and agricultural products and environmental samples. Dr. Donkor has experience using analytical chemistry instrumentations such as capillary electrophoresis, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-mass spectrometry and also has working knowledge of Chemometrics.
Dr. Lamers joined The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2010 as Canada Research Chair in Human Nutrition and Vitamin Metabolism. Since then, she has established an internationally recognized nutritional biomarker laboratory that mainly uses liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for targeted metabolomics.
Her research focuses on the development of novel biomarker assays and population-based screening tools. Dr. Lamers’ overall goal is to address nutrient inadequacy, understand underlying mechanisms between nutrient-disease relationships, and contribute to the evaluation of biomarker sensitivity. Her work also includes the use of stable isotope tracer protocols to quantify intermediary pathways linked to cell growth and DNA metabolism.
For more information, visit Dr. Lamer’s UBC profile at http://www.landfood.ubc.ca/person/yvonne-lamers/
Dr. Liang Li Professor of Chemistry, Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Analytical Chemistry, Edmonton, AB
Dr. Li obtained his PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1989 and joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta in July 1989. Dr. Li’s research interest is in the area of developing analytical mass spectrometry for biomolecule measurement. He is active in developing new methods for quantitative and comprehensive metabolome and metabolome profiling of bio-systems for biological studies and discovery of disease biomarkers. He has published 201 papers and given over 228 invited lectures. He holds 4 US patents. Dr. Li has served on editorial boards of several journals and is an editor of Analytica Chimica Acta since 2005.
Dr. Jonathan Van Hamme, PhD, Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC
Dr. Van Hamme received his Ph.D. in environmental microbiology at the University of Waterloo focussing on the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbon wastes in industrial bioreactors. Since that time he has continued his work with bacteria and fungi capable of degrading a range of organic contaminants, and has also been working on mine reclamation and food safety projects, in addition to projects with the cattle industry aimed at reducing green house gas emissions from ruminants. Dr. Van Hamme has experience with microbiology, fermentation, molecular biology and biochemistry, including the use of proteomics and next-generation sequencing technologies.