Funding Optimization Project
Tracy Clinch

ResearchNB Chair, CEO, Masitek Instrument Inc.

Brennan Sisk

Co-Founder, Mycodev Group

Greg MacFarlane

Business Owner, Pharmacist

Dr. Stephen Lewis

Scientific Director, Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

Dr. Susan Brien

Vice President Medical, Academic and Research Affairs

Brigitte Sonier Ferguson

Acting Executive Director - Research and Training ,Vitalité Health Network

Pat Whalen
ResearchNB Vice-Chair, CEO, LuminUltra Technologies

Pat Whalen serves as the vice chairperson of our board.  Pat is also the CEO and Chair of LuminUltra, the global leader in applied molecular diagnostics products and services headquartered in Fredericton, NB with operations in 6 countries.  Having been with the company since its inception in 1995, Pat brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience in strategy formation and operational execution in all facets of the business but in particular the fields of research, innovation and business development.


Pat is a proudly born, raised and educated New Brunswicker, practicing as a Professional Engineer and having received a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick.  He currently resides in Fredericton with his wife Jill and their two young children, Jackson and Amelia.

Jeff Beairsto
ResearchNB Treasurer, Director of Quality Solutions, Populus Global Solutions

Jeff Beairsto serves as our board treasurer, bringing with him over two decades of experience at Populus Global Solutions, a distinguished Fredericton firm specializing in health informatics. Throughout his career, Jeff has focused on designing and implementing health informatics systems that efficiently capture clinical, operational, and logistical data. Notably, he played a significant role in the development and nationwide deployment of an electronic health record system in four CARICOM countries.

Jeff is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick and currently resides in Fredericton with his wife and two young children. When he’s not immersed in his professional endeavours, Jeff indulges in his passions for alpine skiing, sailing, photography, and astrophotography. He finds joy in spending quality time with friends and family, whether it’s hitting the slopes, sailing the open waters, or stargazing under the night sky.

Kurtis Sisk
CEO, New Brunswick Heart & Stroke Foundation

Known as a passionate leader in the non-profit sector, Kurtis Sisk has worked his way up the corporate ladder at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick to the position of CEO in 2014. Since obtaining the role of CEO, he has grown his team from 20 employees to 35, and revenues from $2 million to over $5 million.

Kurtis was proud to have been named Top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada in 2022, and again in 2023, and to have Heart & Stroke NB named one of the Best Places to Work in Atlantic Canada, by Atlantic Business Magazine.

Kurtis has a strong record of creating sustained growth and a history of building high-performing teams. He is an innovative thinker who takes measured risks in the pursuit of cutting-edge health promotion, research, and fund development programming.

Mr. Sisk has a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Fredericton and a Public Relations Diploma from Durham College. He is also currently working on obtaining the Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D).

Kurtis has been a part of many provincial and national committees and Boards including; serving as Vice-Chair of the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, member at large on the NBCC Board of Governors, Ex officio on the Heart & Stroke NB Board of Directors, co-chair of the national Relay for Life committee, chairperson of the national Heart and Stroke Foundation Fund Development committee, chairperson of the Provincial HealthPartners committee and member of the national Heart Healthy Children and Youth Working Group.

Kurtis is a dedicated community volunteer, a passionate leader, and family man.

Dr. David I. MaGee
Vice-President (Research), University of New Brunswick

A native New Brunswicker, received his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from UNB in 1987 under the direction of Professor Zdenek Valenta. Following a two-year NSERC post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Robert K. Boeckman, Jr. at the University of Rochester, began my tenure at UNB as anAssistant in the department of Chemistry. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 1995 and to full professor in 2000. While at UNB my administrative service included Chair of the Department of Chemistry (1999-2007), Dean of Science (2008-2017) and VicePresident Research  (2017-present). In my current role as Vice-President Research I provide leadership and vision in shaping UNB’s strategic research direction and agenda. As Vice-President (Research) I serve on a number of Boards, both regionally and nationally, including but not limited to, New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization, SpringBoard Atlantic, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, BioNB, Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities, Huntsman Marine Centre and AceNet.

My area of research is mainly in the development of new and/or simpler ways to make biologically-interesting and structurally-challenging natural products. In recent years I have had a number of research collaborations with academic (Dalhousie, Acadia, Shahid Beheshti University Tehran) government (Canadian Forestry Services, Newfoundland Department of Natural Resources) and private (JDI-Ltd, Sylvar, Agrifor, Forest Protection Limited) organizations. Over my career I have published 47 peer-reviewed research papers in a number of prestigious national and international journals, and I have 5 patents. I have presented over 66 papers at various national and international conferences, and been an invited speaker on 17 other occasions. I have also served as an external examiner for numerous PhD theses and refereed over 170 papers for 34 different journals and 38 grant proposals for national and international granting organizations.

Dr. Francis LeBlanc
Associate Vice-President of Research and Dean of Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, Université de Moncton

Francis LeBlanc is Associate Vice-President for Research and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the Université de Moncton since 2017. Previously, he was Director of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the same university.

Mr. LeBlanc holds a doctorate in physics from the Université de Montréal and is an active researcher in astrophysics. His research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) since 1998. He has been an Associate Professor or Visiting Research Associate at four renowned academic institutions (Université Laval, Université de Paris VII, Université de Toulouse and Observatoire de Paris-Meudon). In 2010, he published a book at the prestigious Wiley publishing house entitled ‘An Introduction to Stellar Astrophysics’. This book has been used as a textbook in more than 100 universities including Harvard, Caltech, Berkeley, Stanford and Cambridge.

He is a member of several boards of directors: Research New Brunswick, Atlantic Cancer Research Institute and New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, Springboard Atlantic, and represents the Univeristé de Moncton at several national funding councils and organizations.

Dr. Paul Atkinson
Emergency Physician and Site Director for Emergency Medicine Research, Saint John Regional Hospital | Assistant Dean, Research, Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick

Dr. Paul Atkinson is a Professor in Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie University and Clinical Academic Head for Emergency Medicine, Horizon Health Network, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. He is also Chief Medical Consultant for WorkSafeNB; Deputy editor of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine; and is Assistant Dean, Research at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick. His international training began at the Queen’s University of Belfast, followed by postgraduate programs in internal medicine in Belfast and emergency medicine in Cambridge, UK. He completed a fellowship at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

He has over 140 peer-reviewed publications, as well as being the lead editor on three textbooks, Emergency Medicine an Illustrated Colour Text, 2010; Point of Care Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine and Resuscitation, 2019; and Emergency Ultrasound Made Easy, 2021.

Awards include the inaugural “Best in Class” undergraduate teaching award from Dalhousie University in 2012, and the national Grant Innes Award for Emergency Medicine research in 2014, and the Ian Stiell Researcher of the Year Award from the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, 2019. He has a strong interest in injury prevention and system improvements.

Paul is married to Julie, and together they have three young adult offspring, Jordyn, Lucy and Jack. Paul enjoys cycling and hiking in the wide-open spaces of NewBrunswick.

Hemant Kumar
Director, Opportunities New Brunswick

Hemant Kumar is Director, Strategic Priorities with Opportunities NB, the province’s lead economic development agency. Before joining ONB in 2020, he held various economic development-related roles within the Government of New Brunswick, as well as regional and federal government positions throughout a 15-year period.

He has a wide range of strategy and leadership experience and a passion for identifying and pursuing economic development opportunities, with a focus on policy and capacity development.

Hemant is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University and resides in Rothesay, NB with his family.

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