Board of Directors

Richard Pilnik has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2009. Mr. Pilnik serves as our Chairman of the Board. 

Mr. Pilnik has served as the President and member of the board of directors of Vigor Medical Services, Inc. since May 2017.  From December 2015 to November 2017, Mr. Pilnik served as a member of the board of directors of Chiltern International Limited, a private leading mid-tier Clinical Research Organization, and was Chairman of the Board from April 2016 to November 2017.  Mr. Pilnik has a 30-year career in healthcare at Eli Lilly and Company and Quintiles Transnational Corp., a global pioneer in pharmaceutical services.  From April 2009 to June 2014, Mr. Pilnik served as Executive Vice President and President of Quintiles Commercial Solutions, an outsourcing business to over 70 pharma and biotech companies.  Prior to that, he spent 25 years at Eli Lilly and Company where he held several leadership positions, most recently as Group Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from May 2006 to July 2008.  Mr. Pilnik was directly responsible for commercial strategy, market research, new product planning and the medical marketing interaction.  From December 2000 to May 2006, Mr. Pilnik served as President of Eli Lilly Europe, Middle East and Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, a regional organization of former Soviet Republics, and oversaw 50 countries and positioned Eli Lilly as the fastest growing pharmaceutical company in the region.  Mr. Pilnik also held several marketing and sales management positions in the United States, Europe and Latin America.  

Mr. Pilnik currently serves on the board of directors of Vigor Medical Systems, Inc., NuSirt, an early-stage biopharma, and the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.  Mr. Pilnik previously served on the board of directors of Elan Pharmaceuticals, Chiltern International, the largest mid-size Clinical Research Organization, and Certara, L.P., a private biotech company focused on drug development modeling and biosimulation.  Mr. Pilnik holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Michael Giuffre, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since August 2010. 

Since July 2009, Dr. Giuffre has served as a Clinical Professor of Cardiac Sciences and Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and has had an extensive portfolio of clinical practice, cardiovascular research and university teaching. Dr. Giuffre is actively involved in health care delivery, medical leadership and in the biotechnology business sector. Since 2012, Dr. Giuffre has served as the Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the board of directors of FoodChek Systems Inc. and in November 2017, he became Chairman of the Board. Dr. Giuffre also serves as President of FoodChek Laboratories Inc. Dr. Giuffre previously served on the board of directors of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Unicef Canada, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), Can-Cal Resources Ltd, Vacci-Test Corporation, IC2E International Inc., MedMira Inc. and Brightsquid Dental Inc.

Dr. Giuffre has received a Certified and Registered Appointment and a Distinguished Fellow appointment by the American Academy of Cardiology (FACC). In 2005, he was awarded Physician of the Year by the Calgary Medical Society and in 2017 was "Mentor of the Year" for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Giuffre was also a former President of the AMA and the Calgary and Area Physicians Association and also a past representative to the board of the Calgary Health Region.

Dr. Giuffre holds a Bachelor of Science in cellular and microbial biology, a Ph.D. candidacy in molecular virology, an M.D. and an M.B.A. He is Canadian Royal College board certified in specialties that include Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology and has a subspecialty in Pediatric Cardiac Electrophysiology. Dr. Giuffre is a member of the board of directors of Avenue Living, a private real estate company in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and its affiliates, Avondale Real Estate Capital Ltd. and AgriSelect Land Capital, Ltd. both private real estate companies in Calgary, Alberta Canada. 

James Parsons has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2015. 

Previously, Mr. Parsons served as our Vice President of Finance from October 2010 until May 2014.  Since August 2011, Mr. Parsons has served as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of Trillium Therapeutics Inc., a Nasdaq-listed immune-oncology company.  Mr. Parsons serves as a member of the board of directors and audit committee chair of Sernova Corp., which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.  Mr. Parsons has been a Chief Financial Officer in the life sciences industry since 2000 with experience in therapeutics, diagnostics and devices. Mr. Parsons has a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Waterloo and is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant.

Rick Pauls was appointed our President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2009.  Mr. Pauls has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2005 and the Chairman of the Board from April 2008 to July 2014.  

Prior to joining DiaMedica, Mr. Pauls was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of CentreStone Ventures Inc., an early stage life sciences venture capital fund, from February 2002 until January 2010.  Mr. Pauls was an analyst for Centara Corporation, another early stage venture capital fund, from January 2000 until January 2002.  From June 1997 until November 1999, Mr. Pauls worked for General Motors Acceptation Corporation specializing in asset-backed securitization and structured finance.  Mr. Pauls previously served as an independent member of the board of directors of LED Medical Diagnostics, Inc.  Mr. Pauls received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Manitoba and his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of North Dakota.

Zhenyu Xiao, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2016.

Dr. Xiao has been the CEO of Hermed Equity Investment Management (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.  From June 2008 to November 2014, Dr. Xiao was the Associate General Manager of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group where he was the deputy chief of the IPO team for the Fosun Pharma Listing in Hong Kong Exchange and the deputy director of Fosun Pharmaceutical Technological Center in charge of evaluating new technology and R&D and investment.  Dr. Xiao has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and conducted his postdoctoral research at University of Rochester (NY), co-founding a pharmaceutical company with Dr. Paul Okunieff and winning Small Business Technology Transfer support, a U.S. Small Business Administration program to facilitate joint venture opportunities between small businesses and non-profit research institutions.