Open Science in Action: Inaugural Symposium

Monday, November 18, 2019 08:00to18:45
Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre, Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (The Neuro), 3801 University Street, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, CA

To speed up discovery and impact health, we must transform our approach to science. Innovations in biomedical science and big data technology have brought hope, and are powered by a new way of doing science: Open Science. This is the concept of freely sharing research data and materials, and removing barriers to collaboration.

We welcome you to engage and exchange around Open Science in action at The Neuro and beyond.

Meet and learn from national and international experts on intellectual property protocols, ethics, patient consent and engagement, pharma, neuroinformatics, and more!

The symposium will be moderated by Susan Usher, Director of the Health Innovation Forum. Our keynote speakers include John Wilbanks (Sage Bionetworks), Dario Taraborelli (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), Russ Poldrack (Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience), and Brian Wallach (I am ALS). We are also pleased to welcome Alain Schuhl (French National Centre for Scientific Research) and Suzana Petanceska (National Institute on Aging). The symposium will close with the Wilder Penfield Lecture, delivered by Susan M. Fitzpatrick, President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Join the conversation online! Follow us and use the #OpenScienceinAction hashtag!


Registration is FREE. Register here.


See our detailed program for agenda, Director's message, bios, WiFi and live stream instructions, social media, directions and parking. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Master of Ceremonies: Susan Usher, Director of the Health Innovation Forum

8:30 - 9:00 AM


(Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre) 

  • Guy Rouleau, Director, The Neuro   
  • Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-chancellor, McGill University
  • Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec 
  • Pierre Gfeller, President and Executive Director, McGill University Health Centre
  • Lucie Opatrny, Sous-ministre adjointe, Direction générale des affaires universitaires, médicales, infirmières et pharmaceutiques (DGAUMIP), Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, Gouvernement du Québec 
9:00 – 10:00  AM


My Open Science Story   (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

Moderator: Sylvain Baillet, Chair, Open Science Grassroots Initiatives Committee, The Neuro   


  • Jean Gotman, Open iEEG Atlas, The Neuro   
  • Marco Prado, Canada Research Chair in Neurochemistry of Dementia, Scientist, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario 
  • Jane Roskams, Chair, Data Analytics, Training and Education, Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform

Science is a journey; Open Science is the extra mile. Hear from scientists who have been brave enough to dive into building open resources to accelerate research. They will review the impact it has had on their scientific communities, the difficulties they encountered, and what they would have done differently along the way. These first-person accounts are sure to inspire those on similar paths. 

10:00 – 10:15 AM BREAK
10:15 – 10:40 AM


Open Science: Living Your Cure, by: Brian Wallach, Co-Founder and Board Member, I AM ALS, with Danielle Carnival, Chief Executive Officer, I AM ALS (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

When Brian Wallach was diagnosed with ALS at 37 years old, he turned that devastating diagnosis into a movement -- into hope for all people living with ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and MS so that together, we could speed up the discovery of cures. Join a conversation with Brian Wallach and Danielle Carnival about a patient-led, patient-centric movement that is already changing how we combat disease.

10:50  –11:35 AM


1. Open for Business: Open Science and Pharma Partnerships (Bell Room)

Moderator: Edward Fon, Scientific Director, The Neuro


  • Diane Gosselin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Consortium Québécois sur la Découverte du Médicament (CQDM)
  • Owen Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, M4K Pharma; Chief Executive Officer, Nobelex Biotech

Video presentation: Kumar Singh Saikatendu, Associate Director, Global Research Externalization, Takeda 

Too many brain diseases are without treatments and this needs to change. Learn more from leading examples on how an Open Science collaborative drug discovery and development model can bring together key players from academic institutions, pharma and biotech companies to accelerate the drug discovery process.

2. Open Science and Patient Contributions (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

Moderator:  Jason Karamchandani, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, and Scientific Director, Clinical Biological Imaging and Genetic Repository, The Neuro


  • Bartha Knoppers, Director, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University 
  • David Buckeridge, Professor, School of Population and Global Health, McGill University; Medical Director, McGill University Health Centre's Data Warehouse
  • Sir Rory Collins, UK Biobank Principal Investigator, and Head of Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford (via web conferencing) 

This session will discuss patient contributions to scientific research and therapy discovery. Researchers and
industry partners recognize the tremendous value of patient materials and data, but what are the implied risks
to the patients? How should we balance collecting invaluable patient contributions with our responsibility to
protect patient privacy?

3. Open Science Beyond Canada (de Grandpré Communications Centre)

Moderator: Masha Cemma, Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada


  • Alain Schuhl, Directeur général délégué à la science (Chief Research Officer), French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) 
  • Suzana Petanceska, Program Director, Systems Biology and Systems Pharmacology and Senior Advisor, Strategic Development and Partnerships, Division of Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

Open Science provides great promise for researchers globally. New approaches to scientific exchange and collaboration are emerging and becoming increasingly popular. In this session, learn more about the initiatives and actors advancing Open Science practices in the USA and France.

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM


Supporting the Invisible Foundations of Science, by: Dario Taraborelli, Science Program Officer, Open Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

One of the ways we can foster open, collaborative research is by supporting and rewarding the creators and maintainers of open outputs — software, data, methods — that underpin modern science. Learn more about the priorities and opportunities CZI is working on to make these critical (and often invisible) contributions visible, fundable, and recognized.

12:15 – 12:30 PM

REMARKS (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

  • Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada
1:30 – 1:45 PM


Announcement by: Sylvain Baillet, Chair, Open Science Grassroots Initiatives Committee, The Neuro

Remarks by: Joel Reitman, The Reitman Foundation 

1:45 – 2:30 PM


Open Science Methods for Communities (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

  • John Wilbanks, Chief Commons Officer, Sage Bionetworks  

The conceptual origins of Open Science in open source software have led to approaches centered entirely around open data, open access, open notebook science, and more. While these approaches attempt to reset the default from closed to open, every default has its own externalities, including open. This talk will explore how communities can leverage Open Science as a suite of methods but also may depend on “safe” environments to share early hypotheses privately, and the relationship of epistemic diversity to Open Science.

2:30 - 2:40 PM BREAK
2:40 – 3:25 PM


1. Implementing Open Science: MTAs, Contracts, Collaboration, and Commercialization (de Grandpré Communications Centre)

Moderator: Viviane Poupon, Chief Operating Officer, Tanenbaum Open Science Institute and Director, Scientific Development and Partnerships, The Neuro


  • Richard Gold, Professor and founding Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, McGill University 
  • Dylan Roskams-Edris, Open Science Alliance Officer, Tanenbaum Open Science Institute, The Neuro 

As more researchers are embracing Open Science practices, the development of new contractual arrangements and commercial strategies are needed to structure Open Science collaborations and partnerships, and to translate results into products that serve the public good. Learn more about open material transfer agreements (MTAs), open collaboration and partnerships agreements, open commercialization strategies, and other agreements needed to implement Open Science.

2. Open and FAIR Datasets (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

Moderator: Jean-Baptiste Poline, Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Neuro, McGill University


  • Chris Gorgolewski, Senior Software Engineer, Google DataSearch Project  
  • Jennifer Stine Elam, Director, Scientific Outreach and Education, Human Connectome Project, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
  • Ian Mathews, Co-founder, Redivis
  • Isabella Chu, Associate Director, Data Core, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine

This session will explore the wide dissemination, access, visualization and information extraction from life sciences datasets -- with specific examples from brain imaging and population health data - and the broader challenge of annotating datasets with metadata to make them findable.

3. Open Lab Notebooks: How we got here and what's next? (Bell Room)     


  • Rachel Harding, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Fellow, Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), University of Toronto  
  • Thomas Durcan, Associate Director of the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU), The Neuro   

In this practical session on how to develop Open Lab Notebooks, we will discuss how to make an impact on different stakeholder communities by sharing your science in real time and build lasting collaborations to advance science, with Q&A. 

3:25 - 3:35 PM BREAK
3:35 – 4:20


Towards an Open Science Ecosystem for Neuroimaging, by: Russell Poldrack, Director, Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience, and Albert Ray Lang Professor of Psychology, Stanford University  (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre, via web conferencing to reduce his carbon footprint)

Wthin the field of neuroimaging, Open Science has become the norm. Learn more about the set of tools, standards, and resources that have enabled the development of Open Science in this domain, and the lessons learned from this success.

4:20 – 4:45 BREAK
4:45 – 5:45

Fueling the Light of Open Science: The Role of Private Funders (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)


  • David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University
  • Madeleine Sharp, Member, Open Science Grassroots Committee, The Neuro 

Lecturer: Susan M. Fitzpatrick, President, James S. McDonnell Foundation

The founding of The Neuro in 1934 and the crucial support of the Rockefeller Foundation is an invaluable case study of the factors that weigh into what it takes to fulfill a powerful scientific vision and how it is that private foundations make funding decisions. Addressing the pressing needs for treatments for those suffering from neurological disorders and the hope that the required advances derive from integrating basic neuroscience with clinical brain sciences that ignited the founding of The Neuro is still, 85 years later, a urgent and global moral imperative. Why is it so challenging to effectively treat neurological diseases? Will the opportunities associated with the adoption of open science principles and practices be the promised game changer for society? What is the appropriate role for private funders to play as academic science undergoes a major cultural transformation?


CLOSING REMARKS (Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre)

  • Guy Rouleau, Director, The Neuro  


Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives logo

Azrieli Foundation logo

Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) logo

Tanenbaum Open Science Institute logo

Speaker Bios

9:00 – 10:00 AM

My Open Science Story

Sylvain Baillet

Chair, Open Science Grassroots Initiatives Committee, The Neuro

Sylvain Baillet is Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery, Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He holds the Tier-1 Canada Research Chair in Neural Dynamics of Brain Systems at McGill University. His main research contributions are in neuroimaging methods and multiscale, quantitative electrophysiology, with emphasis on magnetoencephalography (MEG) for time-resolved brain imaging, with transfers to EEG. He has initiated impactful open-source software developments (Brainstorm), efforts for data harmonization (MEG-BIDS) and data sharing (the Open MEG Archive/OMEGA). He currently chairs the Grassroots Initiatives Committee for the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute at The Neuro.

As program leader, Sylvain founded 2 neurophysiology core units in Canada and the US and was Director of the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre at the MNI in 2013-17. He has recently been nominated Associated Dean, Research, of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine. 

Marco Prado

Canada Research Chair in Neurochemistry of Dementia, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario

Marco Prado is a Canada Research Chair in Neurochemistry of Dementia with strong interest in understanding how molecular and cellular changes in neurodegenerative diseases contribute to protein misfolding and cognitive failure.

In recognition for his research, Marco Prado received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship (Guggenheim Foundation), a Faculty Scholar Award (University of Western Ontario), the Dean’s Research Excellence Award (University of Western Ontario) and a visiting faculty award from the Brazilian Government. His laboratory has been funded consistently in the last 24 years by government and private agencies in three different countries (Brazil, USA and Canada).

He has published over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts and he is currently spearheading an Open Science Repository for high-level cognitive data obtained with mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases. This effort will support a community of more than 300 laboratories to increase reproducibility and replicability of cognitive datasets in pre-clinical research.

Jean Gotman

Open iEEG Atlas, The Neuro

Jean Gotman’s research laboratory investigates the mechanisms of generation of epileptic discharges as recorded in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of epileptic patients. His work aims to improve both our understanding of epileptogenesis and our diagnostic techniques. Combining functional imaging techniques (fMRI) and EEG in a novel non-invasive approach, his group studies the brain regions in which abnormal activity is taking place when a discharge occurs. The laboratory also analyzes patterns of High Frequency Oscillations recently discovered in the EEG, which could improve the ability to localize epileptogenic regions and to understand better epileptogenesis.

Jane Roskams

Chair, Data Analytics, Training and Education, Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform

For over 2 decades, Dr Jane Roskams has developed innovative collaborations across sectors and silos to advance our understanding of how we promote plasticity in the brain when it is challenged with disease, injury and aging. She is also considered an open brain data pioneer. With current appointments at the Universities of British Columbia and Washington, she currently focuses on building new bridges across the tech-brain research divide to accelerate open data-driven discovery for brain disorders. Jane co-leads the first NSF/NIH-funded international platform for crowd-sourced brain data analysis (Mozak) – studying how collective human analysis of brain data online can synergistically enhance machine learning and AI. She is also leading the expansion of global opportunities in neuroscience training and education in neuroinformatics (with the INCF, Karolinska, and IBRO,Paris), and other key initiatives for the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP). Through her key roles within the BRAIN Initiative, Allen Institute, Gates Foundation and the Brain Commons, Jane has contributed to multiple roadmaps for brain data sharing and open science-based discovery.

10:15 – 10:40 AM

Open Science: Living Your Cure

Brian Wallach

Co-Founder, I am ALS

Brian Wallach is an attorney and ALS patient. In the aftermath of his diagnosis in November 2017, he and his wife founded I AM ALS, a patient-led, patient-centric movement to lead the fight for a cure to the disease. Wallach is also an associate at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. From 2014 to 2018, he served as an assistant United States attorney in the Northern District of Illinois. From 2011 to 2013, he was senior vetting counsel in the Obama White House, responsible for overseeing the vetting process for nearly all Senate-confirmed executive branch appointees and all presidential appointments as well as working on congressional oversight investigations.

10:50 –11:35 AM


1. Open for Business: Open Science and Pharma Partnerships 

Edward Fon

Scientific Director, The Neuro

Dr. Edward A. Fon is the Scientific Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. He is a Clinician-Scientist and Director of the FRQS Quebec Parkinson Network. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and he has pioneered a new Open Science platform at the MNI using patient-derived stem cells to generate neurons and 3D mini-brains to accelerate the discovery of new treatments for PD.

Diane Gosselin

President and Chief Executive Officer, Consortium Québécois sur la Découverte du Médicament (CQDM)

An accomplished scientist and leader, Diane Gosselin has been very involved in the financing of innovative biomedical research for over 20 years. Since 2012, she is President and Chief Executive Officer of CQDM. Before joining CQDM, Diane worked for the Fonds de solidarité FTQ (2003-2008) where she helped several companies implement their drug development strategy. In addition, she actively contributed to a strategic initiative designed to stimulate innovation in the life sciences sector. Diane currently sits on the Board of Montreal lnVivo, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Ontario Genomics, CATALIS Quebec and CQDM.

Diane Gosselin holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Université de Montréal, as well as an Executive MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and Université Paris-Dauphine. She is the awardee of the 2014 UQAM’s Business School Alumni “Coup de Coeur” of the jury Award for her achievements in the life sciences sector.

Owen Roberts

Chief Executive Officer, M4K Pharma; Chief Executive Officer, Nobelex Biotech

Owen is the Chief Executive officer of Nobelex Biotech Inc and M4K Pharma. M4K Pharma is a company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing affordable new medicines for children’s orphan diseases through open science. Partnering with academics, foundations and industry groups to fund its drug discovery and drug development programs, M4K Pharma uses the open science principles of data sharing to encourage research collaborations and to reduce the cost of its programs.

Prior to founding M4K Pharma in 2017 and Nobelex in 2014, Owen was a co-founder of Affinium Pharmaceuticals, a privately held, clinical stage, antibiotic company. At Affinium, Owen was the CFO and led the company’s business development until the successful sale of Affinium's antibiotic programs to Debiopharm International, S.A. in February 2014. Prior to Affinium, in 1998, Owen helped create Borealis Biosciences, one of two companies which would merge to form Affinium in 2000. A graduate of McGill University, Owen is also a Chartered Financial Analyst​.

2. Open Science and Patient Contributions 

Jason Karamchandani

Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, and Scientific Director, C-BIG Repository, The Neuro

Dr. Karamchandani is a clinical neuropathologist at The Neuro and an associate professor in the Department of Pathology. He completed undergraduate studies in Biochemistry cum laude at Harvard University and then proceeded to Stanford University for medical school where he remained for residency in anatomic pathology, followed by fellowship training in surgical pathology and neuropathology. After several years at the University of Toronto, he moved to to McGill and The Neuro, where he now serves as director of the Open Science C-BIG Repository.

David Buckeridge

Professor, School of Population and Global Health, McGill University; Medical Director, MUHC Data Warehouse

David Buckeridge is a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University in Montreal where he holds the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Applied Public Health Chair in eHealth Interventions. He is also the Medical Director of the Data Warehouse at the McGill University Health Center and is a medical informatics consultant to the Quebec Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services. As a clinician-scientist in public health, his research and practice focus on the informatics of public health surveillance and disease control. At McGill, Dr Buckeridge directs the Surveillance Lab, which is an interdisciplinary group of over twenty students and staff with a mission to develop, implement, and evaluate novel computational methods for public health surveillance. He has a M.D. from Queen's University, a M.Sc. in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical informatics from Stanford University.

Bartha Knoppers

Director, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University

Bartha Maria Knoppers, PhD (Comparative Medical Law), is a Full Professor, Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. She is Chair of the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (2009-2017), as well as the Ethics Advisory Panel of WADA (2015- ). She is Co-Chair of the Regulatory and Ethics Workstream of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (2013- ). In 2015-2016, she was a member of the Drafting Group for the Recommendation of the OECD Council on Health Data Governance and gave The Galton Lecture in November 2017. She holds four Doctorates Honoris Causa and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Hastings Center (bioethics), the Canadian Academy Health Sciences (CAHS), and, the Royal Society of Canada. She is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and of Quebec, and was awarded the 2019 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research.

Sir Rory Collins

UK Biobank Principal Investigator, and Head of Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford 

Rory Collins is an epidemiologist who studies how to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. He trained in Medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, London University, and Statistics at George Washington University and Oxford University. He joined Oxford University in 1981 to run large randomised trials which showed that emergency treatment of heart attacks with clot-dissolving and clot-preventing treatment could more than halve mortality. Subsequently, he has shown that lowering cholesterol with statin therapy safely reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. These treatments have become part of routine care. Rory was appointed British Heart Foundation Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Oxford University in 1996, Principal Investigator of the UK Biobank prospective study of 500,000 people in 2005, and Head of the Nuffield Department of Population Health in 2013. He was knighted for services to Science in 2011 and was elected to the Royal Society in 2015.

3. Open Science Beyond Canada 

Masha Cemma

Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada

Dr. Masha Cemma is a policy advisor to the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, Dr. Mona Nemer. She is the lead on Open Science and supports the work on the Roadmap for Open Science for the Government of Canada. Prior to working with the Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Cemma has completed a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). At the CFIA, she served as the secretariat for an international high containment laboratory network that fostered international cooperation, knowledge translation and exchange with the goal of strengthening preparedness to high-consequence pathogens. While at the CFIA, Dr. Cemma’s work was recognized with the President’s award in Innovation and Best Practices.

Dr. Cemma earned her Ph.D. in 2016 from the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. During her Ph.D., she examined the role of autophagy machinery in host defence. Dr. Cemma’s foray into policy work was through a global health fellowship at the World Health Organization in 2014. She was also selected as an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity by the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security and an Action Canada fellow by the Public Policy Forum.

Alain Schuhl

Directeur général délégué à la science (Chief Research Officer), French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

Alain Schuhl is currently the Deputy CEO for research of the CNRS. He coordinates the activities of the ten CNRS Institutes, promotes interdisciplinarity, and organizes partnerships on the regional, national, European, and international levels.

After physics studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he obtained its PhD in condensed matter physics in 1980. Specialist of the magnetic properties of matter, he devotes then the major part of his scientific researches to the fundamental and applicative aspect of spintronics, first as researcher during 12 years at Thales, then as a professor at Nancy university and finally at Grenoble university. Also involved in science management, Alain Schuhl was director of two research laboratories in Grenoble, SPINTEC from 2007 to 2010, and Institut Néel during four years and director of the Physics Institute of the CNRS from February 2015 to April 2018.

Suzana Petanceska

Program Director, Systems Biology and Systems Pharmacology and Senior Advisor, Strategic Development and Partnerships, Division of Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health 

Dr. Petanceska is a Senior Advisor for strategic development and partnerships and a Program Director for systems biology and systems pharmacology in the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). During her tenure at NIA, she developed a number of research portfolios and innovative programs in basic and translational research for AD. Since 2012, her program development efforts have focused on developing systems biology and systems pharmacology capabilities for AD research and drug development within an open-science framework. She is the program director for the Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Alzheimer's Disease (AMP-AD) Target Discovery program and several AMP-AD affiliated, open-science consortia. Dr. Petanceska has a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and physiology from the University of Belgrade, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from New York University.

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Supporting the Invisible Foundations of Science

Dario Taraborelli

Science Program Officer, Open Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)

Dario is a social computing researcher and an open knowledge advocate. As the Science Program Officer for Open Science at CZI, his goal is to build programs and technology to support open, reproducible, and accessible research. Prior to joining CZI, he served as the Director, Head of Research at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia and its sister projects. As a co-author of the Altmetrics Manifesto, a co-founder of the Initiative for Open Citations, and a long-standing open access advocate, he has been designing systems and programs to accelerate the discoverability and reuse of scientific knowledge by scholars, policy makers, and the general public alike.

12:15 – 12:20 PM


Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada

Dr. Mona Nemer is the Chief Science Advisor to Canada’s Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Cabinet. Her mandate is to provide advice on issues related to science and government policies that support it.

Before becoming the Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Nemer was Professor and Vice-President of Research at the University of Ottawa and Director of the school’s Molecular Genetics and Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University and did post-doctoral training in molecular biology at the Institut de Recherche Clinique de Montréal and Columbia University.

Dr. Nemer is a member of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, a knight of the Ordre national du Québec and a knight of the French Republic’s Ordre national du Mérite.

1:30 – 2:15 PM

Open Science Methods for Communities

John Wilbanks

Chief Commons Officer, Sage Bionetworks

John Wilbanks is the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks. Previously, Wilbanks worked as a legislative aide to Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark, served as the first assistant director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, founded and led to acquisition the bioinformatics company Incellico, Inc., and was executive director of the Science Commons project at Creative Commons. In February 2013, in response to a We the People petition that was spearheaded by Wilbanks and signed by 65,000 people, the U.S. government announced a plan to open up taxpayer-funded research data and make it available for free. Wilbanks holds a B.A. in philosophy from Tulane University and also studied modern letters at the Sorbonne.

2:25 – 3:10 PM


1. Implementing Open Science: MTAs, Contracts, Collaboration, and Commercialization 

Viviane Poupon

Chief Operating Officer, Tanenbaum Open Science Institute and Director, Scientific Development and Partnerships, The Neuro

Dr. Poupon is Director, Scientific Development and Partnerships at The Neuro. Responsible for the development of major new research initiatives and alliances for the Institute, including international initiative, she spearheaded the transformation of the Neuro into an Open Science Institute. She is also Chief Operating Officer of the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute.

In her prior position, Dr. Poupon Viviane was the Associate Director for Scientific Affairs at the Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) where she managed the FRSQ’s scientific programs and liaised with provincial, federal, and international scientific funding organizations.  During the reorganization of the funding agency she was named Interim Scientific Director and member of the Board and advised on governance issues, organizational restructuration as well as change management.

Dr. Poupon, a graduate from École normale supérieure-Paris, obtained her PhD in Immunology at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris.

Richard Gold

Professor and founding Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, McGill University

A James McGill Professor, Richard Gold was the founding Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy. He teaches in the area of intellectual property, international intellectual property, comparative intellectual property, innovation policy and intellectual property management. His research generally focuses on the life sciences.

Professor Gold has provided advice to Health Canada, Industry Canada, the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (where he was the lead author of the OECD Guidelines on the Licensing of Genetic Inventions and a report on Collaborative Mechanisms in Life Science Intellectual Property), the World Health Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization and UNITAID.

Professor Gold was Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) at the Faculty of Law from 2015 to 2019.

Dylan Roskams-Edris

Open Science Alliance Officer, Tanenbaum Open Science Institute, The Neuro

Dylan has recently joined the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute (TOSI) as their Open Science Alliance Officer. In this role, he acts as a bridge between The Neuro and various neuroscience institutes, funders, journals, and open science organizations both nationally and around the world. Through creating partnerships and a common understanding Dylan and TOSI are helping create the united front needed to make Canada a leader in Open Neuroscience.

Dylan’s background is in Neuroscience, Health Ethics, and a Law - specializing in Intellectual Property. His current projects involve studying how commercialization and Open Science can work together for the public good and creating the tools necessary to bring the forces of open science and the market together.

Dylan will also be The Neuro’s Twitter Ambassador for the Symposium, so don’t be surprised to see him fliting around taking pictures and asking people for their Twitter handles.

2. Open and FAIR Datasets 

Jean-Baptiste Poline

Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Neuro, McGill University

Dr Jean-Baptiste (JB) Poline is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill; the co-Chair of the NeuroHub and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee for the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP) at the Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital (the NEURO); and a Primary Investigator at the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health.

Among the early pioneers of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), today, Dr Poline is a leading researcher in the fields of fMRI, imaging genetics research, and the neuroinformatics technologies that make a big-data approach to neuroscience possible. He also co-developed the most widely-used fMRI software to date: Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM).

Chris Gorgolewski

Senior Software Engineer, Google DataSearch Project

Chris Gorgolewski works at Google on Dataset Search - an online search engine for datasets. Before joining the company he lead the Stanford Center for Reproducibility that delivered the OpenNeuro.org data repository and MR processing tools such as FMRIPREP and MRIQC. He is the founder of NeuroVault.org and the was first maintainer of the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) standard.

Jennifer Stine Elam

Director, Scientific Outreach and Education, Human Connectome Project, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Jennifer Stine Elam is the Director of Scientific Outreach and Education for the Human Connectome Project (HCP). Dr. Elam's work is focused on creating resources and leading education efforts for users of HCP data, methods, and software, including organizing the annual HCP course and providing ongoing user support. She came to Washington University in St. Louis for her postdoctoral work after completing her Ph.D. at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and her undergraduate studies at Rice University. She joined the HCP in 2011, switching fields from macromolecular crystallography/biochemistry to neuroimaging and data sharing. In her extracurricular life, she is interested in St. Louis regional government reform and supporting families with children who have special needs.

Ian Mathews

Co-founder, Redivis

Ian Mathews is the co-founder of Redivis, a web platform that aims to increase the availability and utility of population level research data. He envisions a world where data are widely discoverable and interoperable, and believes that well-designed, researcher focused software will be critical to making this happen.

Prior to his work at Redivis, Ian worked with global health researchers and data journalists as he taught himself software development and the tools of interactive data visualization. Ian holds BAs in Public Policy and Economics from Stanford University.

Isabella Chu

Associate Director, Data Core, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine

    3. Open Lab Notebooks: How we got here and what's next? 

    Rachel Harding

    Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Fellow, Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), University of Toronto

    Dr Rachel Harding is an HDSA Berman Topper Fellow, currently working at the at Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto in the lab of Prof. Cheryl Arrowsmith. Dr Harding’s research is focused on the huntington protein, which is mutated in patients with Huntington’s disease. Using both structural biology and biophysical approaches, Dr Harding is investigating the role of the huntington protein in DNA damage repair pathways. Dr. Harding is an advocate for open science practices to accelerate research and reports her research through her open lab notebook, LabScribbles.

    Thomas Durcan

    Associate Director of the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU), The Neuro

    As an Assistant Professor at The Neuro and McGill University, Dr. Thomas Durcan's research focuses on applying patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) towards the development of phenotypic discovery assays and 3D mini-brain models for both neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    As Associate Director of the EDDU at The Neuro, Dr. Durcan oversees a team of over 35 research staff and students, committed to applying novel stem cell technology, combined with CRISPR genome editing, mini-brain models and new microfluidic technologies towards elucidating the underlying causes of these complex disorders. Combined with new approaches in the group towards building multiomics profiles on the patient-derived IPSC cells, the long-term strategy is to identify new personalized precision. Dr. Durcan publishes his open lab notebooks on openlabnotebooks.org.

    3:30 – 4:15

    Towards an Open Science Ecosystem for Neuroimaging

    Russell Poldrack

    Director, Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience, and Albert Ray Lang Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

    Russell A. Poldrack is the Albert Ray Lang Professor in the Department of Psychology and Professor (by courtesy) of Computer Science at Stanford University, and Director of the Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience. His research uses neuroimaging to understand the brain systems underlying decision making and executive function. His lab is also engaged in the development of neuroinformatics tools to help improve the reproducibility and transparency of neuroscience, including the Openneuro.org and Neurovault.org data sharing projects and the Cognitive Atlas ontology.

    4:45 – 5:45


    Fueling the Light of Open Science: The Role of Private Funders

    Susan M. Fitzpatrick

    President, James S. McDonnell Foundation

    Susan M. Fitzpatrick is President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri. The McDonnell Foundation is one of a limited number of international grant-makers supporting university-based research in biological, behavioral, and complex systems sciences through foundation-initiated programs. As President, Fitzpatrick serves as JSMF’s Chief Executive Officer.

    Fitzpatrick received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Neurology from Cornell University Medical College (1984) and pursued post-doctoral training with in vivo NMR spectroscopic studies of brain metabolism/function in the Department of Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics at Yale University.

    Fitzpatrick lectures and writes on issues concerning applications of neuroscience to clinical problems, the translation of cognitive science to educational settings, the role of private philanthropy in the support of scientific research, and on issues related to the public dissemination of and understanding of science. She serves on the boards of the Ontario Brain Institute, Research!America, and the Santa Fe Institute Science Board.

    Watch Live

    On Monday, November 18, join our online live streams for the latest from the symposium or watch directly via our Twitter account

    To join the conversation online, tag @TheNeuro_MNI and use #OpenScienceinAction on Twitter. 


    Debbie Rashcovsky, Events Officer, The Neuro 
    Tel. +1-514-398-6047
    Email: debbie.rashcovsky [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Open%20Science%20in%20Action%3A%20Inaugural%20Symposium%20)

    Also, see our detailed program for more information. 

    The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


    The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



    Facebook instagram x, formerly known as twitter linkedIn youtube

    Back to top