AphioTx

Introducing
the AphioTx Team

About Us

Leading with Research Excellence

AphioTx is a dynamic team of three scientists, a clinical trial neurologist, and business experts passionate about driving the development of these potentially-life changing treatments for patients across the globe.  

Leadership Team

Dr. Tuan Trang

PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Roger Thompson

PhD

Vice President, Neuroscience

Dr. Darren Derksen

PhD

Vice President, Chemistry

Dr. Lawrence Korngut

MD, MSC, FRCPC

Chief Medical Officer

Gord Anderson

B.ADMIN, TEP, ICD.D, FEA, CFA

Corporate Advisor

Mark Starratt

ICD.D, FEA, BCOMM

Corporate Advisor

Janet Petrillo

MSC

Director, Clinical Development

Christian Idicula

MBA, MA

Director, Operations

Ryan Wallace

BCOMM

Director, Stakeholder Relations

Working together
To Fight the Opioid Crisis

Interested in working together to fight the opioid crisis? Contact us to learn more about opportunities with AphioTx. 

Dr. Tuan Trang

PHD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Trang is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary and scientist at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. He obtained a PhD in pharmacology at Queen’s University and completed a fellowship at SickKids Hospital. He and his team are unlocking the causes of chronic pain at the level of genes, cells, and circuits. They are working to advance discoveries into new, effective pain therapies. An area of focus is on understanding how opioids impact the nervous system and improving the safety of these medications. This research has been recognized by several national and international awards. Dr. Trang leads the Alberta Pain Research Network, and the Brain and Mental Health Spinal Cord, Nerve Injury, and Pain team at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Roger Thompson

PHD

Vice President, Neuroscience

Dr. Thompson is a Professor at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary.  He is an internationally recognized leader in pannexin biology as it relates to stroke, cognitive decline and physiological brain functions. He has Bachelors (Queen’s University), PhD (McMaster University) and postdoctoral (University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, University of British Columbia) experience and has been actively researching brain pathologies for over 20 years. His active research program focusses on identifying new molecular pathways and designing custom molecules to protect brain cells during disease.  Dr. Thompson and his team have published in the world’s leading research journals. In addition to his thriving research program, he is co-lead of the Brain and Mental Health Cognitive Disorders and Vascular Dementia team at the University of Calgary.  

Dr. Darren Derksen

PHD

Vice President, Chemistry

Dr. Derksen obtained his undergraduate Honours Chemistry degree at the University of Alberta. He then completed his PhD in the lab of Professor John C. Vederas at the same institution working on the synthesis and evaluation of bioactive peptides and new synthetic methods. Dr. Derksen then completed an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Professor Ian Paterson working on the total synthesis of peloruside A. The Derksen research group is focused on the development of protein modulators using small molecules, particularly in the areas of pain and cancer.

Dr. Lawrence Korngut

MD, MSC, FRCPC

Chief Medical Officer

Lawrence is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of AazeinTx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing an oral small molecule therapeutic targeting a novel neural-mediated airway reflex pathway to rapidly reverse asthmatic bronchoconstriction.

Lawrence is also the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Dataffinity Health Inc, a successful digital health company focusing on the end-to-end development and operation of data platforms (registries) that facilitate the collection of patient data through clinician networks to provide insights into disease natural history and effects of therapies. Dataffinity is currently managing national and multi-national projects in 7 countries through partnerships with multiple research networks and major pharmaceutical companies.

Lawrence is a neurologist with extensive experience in the design of clinical development programs and the design and conduct clinical trials of new therapies for different muscle and nerve diseases. He has published over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has advised a multitude of pharmaceutical companies in the clinical development process from pre-clinical through to regulatory and health technology assessment.

Lawrence is a Neuromuscular Neurologist specializing in diseases of the muscles and nerves. He is the Director of the Calgary Neuromuscular Program and the Calgary ALS and Motor Neuron Disease Clinic. He serves as Director, Innovation and Commercialization, at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary and as Scientist at Creative Destruction Labs – Rockies.

Gord Anderson

B.ADMIN, TEP, ICD.D, FEA, CFA

Corporate Advisor

Gord has over 30 years financial services experience with his last role as President of Cidel Trust Company, a national trust company and asset management firm. Other senior positions with CIBC and RBC included senior leadership, corporate strategy, corporate services, governance, sales management, investment management, fiduciary services, philanthropic planning, cross border structuring, risk management, and training and development.

As President of Cidel Trust, Gord led the creation of a national trust company, was responsible for institutional asset management for Western Canada and also created a national indigenous strategy as well as building out strategic relationships with ATB and Richardson GMP. At RBC, Gord’s last role was Joint Head of the Caribbean (Barbados, Cayman and the Bahamas) for RBC International Wealth Management responsible for discretionary asset management, RBC Dominion Securities, global custody, captive insurance, and fund administration, as well as trust and corporate services based out of Barbados.

Gord serves on several for profit and not for profit boards and is currently Chapter Chair for YPO Gold Alberta. Gord is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA),  Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP),  Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA), and Corporate Director (ICD.D).

Gord is the Founder and CEO of Anchor Wealth Advisory, a consulting firm that focuses on governance and strategy for successful families. Gord also has a deep passion for Indigenous Economic Development.

Mark Starratt

ICD.D, FEA, BCOMM

Corporate Advisor

After 25 years in the financial services industry, Mark retired from the wealth management industry in December 2018.  Prior to that he had worked as a Partner, Director Wealth Management and Portfolio Manager with Richardson GMP Ltd. and was First Vice President with a major bank-owned brokerage firm for more than a decade.  He and his brother Scott were business partners for more than 21 years.

Outside of his vocation, Mark served on the Board of Governors at the University of Calgary and was Vice Chair of the Investment Committee and member of the Executive Committee.  Mark is a passionate Rotarian and became one of the youngest District Governors in 2008/09 in the Rotary world when he served District 5360, representing Southern Alberta and Western Saskatchewan.  

Mark recently completed a 4-year term as a Director of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada and currently sits on both the Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation and the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Cumming School of Medicine. In April 2013, Mark and his wife Jennifer formed The Starratt Family Foundation to advance neuromuscular disease education and research and to help improve accessibility for those with disabilities. Mark serves on several private company boards and leads a Single Family Office based in Alberta.

Janet Petrillo

MSC

Director, Clinical Development

Janet Petrillo has more than 16 years of experience leading site clinical trials resulting in over 130 clinical trials conducted, 16 of which include supervision and project management. For the last 11 years she has led Neuromuscular Research activities.

Previously Janet was responsible for HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials. In her past role she led the transition from a small number and scope of studies to the development of a successful Phase 1, 2, and 3 Research Unit. She established a consistent and noteworthy track record leading global recruitment and achieving maximum site metrics, becoming a Top Performer Globally in multiple diseases.

Her experience in all levels of Clinical Research Administration, knowledge of Health Canada processes, and Ethics requirements has been a valuable resource in her roles and also as a national leader within the clinical research community. 

Christian Idicula

MBA, MA

Director, Operations

Over the past 20 years, Christian has built a career in finance, operations, and marketing. He has worked with some of the world’s most recognized companies, building and advising from the ground up.  

Christian’s career started out at Critical Mass during the early days of digital marketing, and rapid rise of e-commerce and mobile advertising, working on innovative and award-winning campaigns with iconic global brands in both automotive and consumer technology. Following his MBA, Christian expanded his career into finance joining the UBS equity research team, and later working with Deloitte’s financial advisory services team where he focused on technology and life sciences clients.  

Following his time in finance, Christian worked with a software and services startup, leading the marketing and finance operations functions, and then took his experience into help small businesses and non-profits. Most recently, Christian was with PwC’s operations consulting team, working with public sector clients on operations strategy, service transformations, and procurement.  

Christian holds an MBA in finance and economics from the Schulich School of Business, an MA from Athabasca University in Global Change, a BSc in Psychology from the University of Alberta, and a certificate in Corporate Sustainability Management from the Yale School of Management.  

Ryan Wallace

BCOMM

Director, Stakeholder Relations

Ryan has worked to accelerate small and medium-sized companies in the Digital Health, Banking, Post-Secondary, Energy, and Financial Services industries. Most recently, Ryan was the Director, Marketing & Operations for Lumiio Inc. Lumiio, has built a collaboration platform for Health Communities to grow together that has proven to advance the treatment discovery process.

Ryan is a graduate of the Bachelor of Commerce program at the Haskayne School of Business. During his time at the University of Calgary, he held numerous leadership positions, including the President of the Haskayne Students’ Association, and the Vice President, Operations & Finance for the Students’ Union. The University of Calgary, Students’ Union, is an ~$18 Million non-profit that represents students to University leaders and multiple levels of government. During his term with the Students’ Union, Ryan played an instrumental role in settling a decade-long legal dispute with the University of Calgary.