Chairman of the Board
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.
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.
Ms. Lewis currently serves as the Chief Development Operations Officer at Replimune Group, Inc. where she has oversight for development of an integrated clinical, regulatory and CMC strategy for the successful registration of the company’s compounds. Ms. Lewis joined the executive management team at Replimune in May 2021 after serving on Replimune’s board of directors since November 2020.
Prior to her officer position with Replimune, Tanya was Executive Vice President, Chief Regulatory Strategy and Strategic Operations at Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company (Nasdaq: KPTI), where she navigated the approval of XPOVIO®. Prior to joining Karyopharm, Ms. Lewis held leadership positions at several companies, including Tesaro and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where she developed approval strategies and led interactions with U.S. and European regulators for registration trial designs and approvals. Ms. Lewis started her career at Genzyme Corporation in regulatory affairs. Ms. Lewis’s past accomplishments include the successful negotiations for registration trial designs, approval, and/or commercialization of VELCADE®, VARUBI®, INTEGRILIN® and ZEJULA®.
Ms. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Northeastern University and a Master of Science degree in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences.
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.
President & CEO
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 as the Chairman of the Board from April 2008 to July 2014.
Before joining DiaMedica, Mr. Pauls was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of CentreStone Ventures, an early-stage life sciences venture capital fund, from February 2002 until January 2010. Mr. Pauls was an analyst for Centara Corporation, an 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. Additionally, Mr. Pauls has served on the board of directors of several public and private companies. Mr. Pauls received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Manitoba and his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of North Dakota.
Charles Semba, M.D.
Charles Semba, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since July 2021.
Dr. Semba has over 20 years of drug-development experience in public and venture-funded biotechnology companies. Since June 2020, Dr. Semba has served as the Chief Medical Officer of Eluminex Biosciences, an ophthalmology-focused biotechnology company. From June 2016 to March 2020, Dr. Semba served as the Chief Medical Officer of Graybug Vision, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases of the retina and optic nerve, and from June 2014 to June 2016, Dr. Semba served as the Chief Medical Officer of ForSight VISION5 (acquired by Allergan), a company focused on developing non-invasive products that replace eye drops and provide sustained therapy for major eye diseases, including glaucoma, dry eye, and allergy. Prior to his work at ForSight VISION5, Dr. Semba held senior positions at biopharmaceutical companies including Genentech (a Roche company) and Shire (acquired by Takeda). Additionally, since 1992, Dr. Semba has served as an adjunct professor of vascular and interventional radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Semba holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Carleton College and an M.D. from the University of Minnesota Medical School and is a recognized expert in endovascular therapy, thrombolysis, mechanical thrombectomy, and endovascular surgery.