Judges 2023-2024


NADINE AFARI, MSc, is Manager of Research Programs at Children's Hospital Orange County (CHOC) and the University of California, Irvine. She works closely with CHOC's Chief Scientific Officer and the Vice Dean for Research, Pediatrics at UCI. She is also an R&D Associate with The West Coast Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics (CTIP), an FDA-funded pediatric medtech accelerator based in Southern California. She also serves on the leadership team for the Pediatric Medical Devices Design Phase led by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), a non-profit organization that creates and manages alliances with public and private institutions in support of the NIH mission. NIH, FDA and BARDA will provide scientific and regulatory insight and expertise for this effort. Ms. Afari's career in research, medical devices and engineering has spanned 20 years, including a teaching position at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto where she was a three-time recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award. She was lecturer with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering from 2010 to 2020. She has 10 years of medical device R&D experience at increasing levels of responsibility in academic, corporate and hospital environments. She has experience at the engineering, functional management, program management and executive levels spanning the full spectrum of medical device development. She supports the translation of basic research into new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that positively impact the lives of people, she aims to move basic science discoveries more quickly and efficiently into practice, remove barriers that can hinder productivity and the rapid translation of research into new health care innovations.


STEVEN ARLESS, BSc’71(Chemistry), is a prominent McGill alumnus who returned to his alma mater in the fall of 2016 as Professor of Practice in the Faculty of Medicine (now Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) in the Department of Surgery’s cutting-edge Surgical Innovation Program. More recently, he joined one of Canada’s fastest growing medical technology accelerators, Centech, as Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

After graduating from McGill, Mr. Arless worked for 17 years at Smith & Nephew Inc., serving as President for close to five years. His experience includes extensive involvement in technology transfer and strategic acquisition projects across the United States and Canada. His innovative talent led him to CryoCath Technologies Inc., a catheter-based cryoablation technology for the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation, which he nurtured from a startup to commercial success, serving as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1996 to 2006, ultimately selling this to Medtronic Inc. for $400 million. Mr. Arless completed an MBA at Concordia University in 2008. He maintained his interest in the diagnosis of and minimally invasive therapies for rhythm disorders of the heart, assuming the position of CEO of Cleveland-based CardioInsight, from 2009 to 2012, with the Company ultimately being sold to Medtronic for over $100 million.

Mr. Arless is the Co-Founder and past CEO and Chairman of the Board (2015-2019) of Soundbite Medical, a Montreal-based shockwave technology company, also in the field of cardiovascular disease therapy. Most recently, Mr Arless co-Founded and is CEO of ViTAA Medical Solutions Inc., a precision medicine, AI-powered software company for the better management of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) disease.

His most notable award was Ernst & Young’s 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year in the life science category.


RAYMOND HAKIM, MDCM’76, is Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the division of nephrology and hypertension at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He received a Master of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and worked in Montreal as a research engineer for Hydro-Québec. He then attended medical school at McGill University and performed his residency in internal medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital of the MUHC. He carried out his renal fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. From 1980 to 1987, he served on the faculty of Harvard University and was Associate Professor of Medicine and attending nephrologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

In 1995, Dr. Hakim was one of the founders and the Chief Medical Officer of the Renal Care Group, a provider of outpatient dialysis services with excellent patient outcomes. The group merged with Fresenius Medical Care in 2007, and Dr. Hakim became the Chief Medical Officer, serving from 2008 to 2012. He has published extensively (200+) on clinical and basic research in chronic kidney disease, dialysis and plasmapheresis, and has contributed more than 35 chapters to medical books.

Dr. Hakim is the recipient of numerous awards, including being listed among the “Best Doctors in America” and “America’s TOP Physicians” for multiple years, the Medal of Excellence from the American Association of Kidney Patients Award, and the prestigious Belding H. Scribner Award in 2017. In addition to the Hakim Family Prize for Clinical Innovation in Health Care, Dr. Hakim also funded the Catherine McLaughlin Hakim Chair in Medicine and, more recently, the Hakim Family Bursary for newly arrived immigrants and refugees entering or enrolled in a health sciences degree program at McGill University.


GILBERT TORDJMAN, CPA, holds the position of Chief Operating and Development Officer of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) since January 17, 2022. A Chartered Professional Accountant, Mr. Tordjman has held numerous executive level positions in major academic and hospital institutions. He was most recently Vice President – Finance and Administration at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM), and Treasurer of the IRCM Foundation. Before that, he served as Executive Director of the Development and Alumni Relations Office at Concordia University. Other past roles include Vice President - Administrative Affairs with the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQ-S), Director - Finance and Administration at the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, and head of Financial Management at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Jewish General Hospital.

In addition to his notable professional career path, Mr. Tordjman is a committed volunteer. He is the past Chair of District 1 of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which covers the northeastern region of the United States and eastern Canada. He was until recently a member of the Board of Directors of Federation CJA, where he received the Gertrude & Henry Plotnick Young Leadership Award.

Mr. Tordjman’s expertise and strengths are focused in the areas of leadership, innovation and management, which is pivotal in spearheading new initiatives while implementing strategies that leverage and align with the efforts of research. His bridge-building and problem-solving skills enhance relationships with partners. His skills enable him to seize new opportunities aimed at revenue growth, creation of partnerships, and venture philanthropy.


CARMELA DE LUCA, Partner, Bereskin & Parr LLP and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. She is a lawyer called to the bar in Ontario and a registered patent agent in Canada and the United States. She practices in all areas of intellectual property law, with a focus on patent matters, including advising clients on strategic global aspects of obtaining and managing patent portfolios, and the preparation and procurement of patents and industrial designs. Carmela is the founding and Emeritus Co-chair of the Greater Montréal Chapter of Women in Bio (WIB) and co-chair of Young Women In Bio (YWIB). She has been a faculty member of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada's (IPIC) Patent Drafting Course and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Clinical Innovation Platform (CLIP) of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.


DANNY MINOGUE, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minogue Medical Inc., is a former elite ski racer and an alumnus of the Alpine Canada Can-Am team in the 1970’s. Mr. Minogue started his career in the surgical supply business in 1981 with US Surgical before founding Minogue Medical Inc. in 1986. With more than three decades of managerial experience in the surgical supply business, he has grown Minogue Medical into one of Canada’s leading distributors of surgical supplies and robotic surgery devices (da Vinci surgical system).

In 2011 & 2013, Mr. Minogue was recognized for his outstanding achievements and nominated as a finalist for Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year. He also has a strong commitment to community involvement and was elected chairman of the Board of Alpine Canada in September 2011and co-chaired Montreal's 2012 Ride to Conquer Cancer – an event with more than 2,000 participants that raised $7.0 million.

KRYSTLE KAROSCIK is the Chief Operating Officer of InnovoTEX Inc. and Director of Innovation at Health Innovation Capital. She trained in CAR-T manufacturing and clinical research at the University of Pennsylvania and supported the demyelinating disease program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia prior to CRO and industry experience. Passionate about further advancing innovation from within the university ecosystem, Dr. Karoscik provides operational and strategic guidance to startups primarily focused in the areas of pediatrics and women's health, for which she has received multiple Innovation Excellence awards. She is also Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Penn Club of Boston and is Chair of the Women in Leadership initiative to foster professional growth and development in STEM and finance.


CHARLES POSTERNACK, Chief Executive Officer at Avulux. After a long, rewarding career as a practicing physician and senior healthcare executive, Dr. Posternack followed his heart to co-found Avulux. His daughters both suffer from light sensitivity and migraine, and he set out to find an option that would help them. Today, those same women are two of the many Avulux success stories from around the world. Dr. Posternack has been in the healthcare sector for more than 30 years, with leadership positions in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors. Dr. Posternack received his medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and did his specialty training there as well. He has lived in the United States since 1992 and has held senior roles at the Cleveland Clinic and HCA Healthcare, as well as overseeing a large multi-state U.S. healthcare system. He was also an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University.

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