Meet the Team

Core Team:

Catherine Burns
Professor Catherine Burns
Program Director

Catherine Burns is the founding Director of the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology at the University of Waterloo.  In this role she works with 150 researchers to progress their science and move their technology into actual use.  Her work has significantly increased the research funding and academic environment for researchers and students at the University of Waterloo.

Her own research, in human factors engineering, explores how people work with new technologies, and develops more effective designs.  Catherine has published over 250 papers in her field, 7 books, and graduated nearly 60 graduate students, 46% of which have been women.  She is active in her scientific community, a leader at the university, and has participated in many different roles in government science funding.  She has won awards for research, teaching and graduate student supervision from the University of Waterloo.

Kenrick Vassall
Kenrick Vassall
Program Co-ordinator

Kenrick Vassall received his PhD from the University of Waterloo in chemistry with a specialization in biochemistry, and subsequently worked for several years at the University of Guelph as a research associate. He later completed an MBA degree and worked briefly as a management consultant, financial analyst and investment writer. He joined the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) in 2021 and is currently the Centre’s project coordinator. In this role, Kenrick is responsible for coordinating CBB’s CREATE Training in Global Biomedical Technology Research and Innovation program as well as several other initiatives to support health research across the Waterloo Campus.  


Co-applicants Profile [PDF]

Maud Gorbet

Professor Maud Gorbet | Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo
Training Program Developer

Professor Gorbet is a leading expert in biological-technological interactions and biocompatibility. She holds personal and collaborative experience in launching biomedical companies. Through her position as Academic Director of the Biomedical Engineering undergraduate program, she has experience in trainee program development and management. She has contributed to the design of the international summer school and will teach multiple program courses.

Tom Willett

Professor Thomas Willett | Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo
Training Program Developer

Professor Willett will contribute expertise in tissue and composite biomaterial mechanics. He has multiple clinical connections at Mt. Sinai Hospital and can support students who wish to collaborate with clinicians. Professor Willett has a significant contribution in developing the CREATE training module in the CREATE program.

George Shaker

Professor George Shaker | Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo.

Professor Shaker oversees wireless activities in the sensors and devices lab at the UW-Schlegel Research Institute for Aging. Previously, he was with Research in Motion (BlackBerry). He was also with Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been the Principal Scientist and Head of Research at Spark Technology Labs (STL), since its founding in 2011. In 2017, George was selected by the office of the president of NSERC among a group of ten Canadian professors to discuss Canadian research advancement in the Internet of Things (IoT) area at the special NSERC-NRC-MOST meeting in Ottawa. In addition, professor Shaker serves on the organizational committee of the French-Canadian Bioengineering School.

Karim Karim

Professor Karim Karim | Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo

As an expert on medical imaging devices and both micro- and macro-electronics, Professor Karim will supervise trainees interested in imaging technology. He will teach the Design for Adoption course. Karim has extensive management and commercialization experience as Director of the Silicon Thin Film Applied Research Laboratory and founder of KA Imaging. He has many connections in the imaging industry. He has experience in the development of trainees through a previous CREATE grant.

Alex Wong

Professor Alex Wong | Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo

Canada Research Chair in Medical Imaging Systems

As Director of the Vision and Image Processing Research Group, Professor Wong is an expert in medical imaging and will supervise students working in this field. He provides a key link to clinical personnel through his work with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He is a co-founder of the medical artificial intelligence startup Elucid Lab.

Ning Jiang

Professor Ning Jiang | Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo

Professor Jiang is an expert in signal processing algorithms and machine intelligence. His research trainees will investigate brain-computer interfaces, prosthetics, and wearable devices.

Clark Dickerson

Professor Clark Dickerson | Kinesiology, University of Waterloo

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Shoulder Biomechanics

Professor Dickerson will mentor trainees interested in his expertise on shoulder and joint biomechanics and rehabilitation.

Lora Giangregorio

Professor Lora Giangregorio | Kinesiology, University of Waterloo

Schlegel Research Chair in Mobility and Aging

Professor Giangregorio is an expert in osteoporosis, exercise and rehabilitation. She brings a wealth of information on clinical trial design and knowledge translation for trainees interested in patient-centred research.

Lyndon Jones

Professor Lyndon Jones | School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, University of Waterloo

University Research Chair

As Director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR), the largest ocular clinical trial facility, Professor Jones will provide trainees with extensive exposure to ocular biotechnology and connections to clinical professionals.

Evelyn Yim

Professor Evelyn Yim | Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo

Professor Yim will share her expertise in Nano-biotechnology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine with trainees. Her experience as Director of the Regenerative Nanomedicine Lab adds experience in developing biomaterials for surgical applications in collaboration with clinicians.


Kassem Ashe

Dr. Kassem Ashe | St. Mary's Hospital Regional Cardiac Care Centre, Kitchener
Clinical Collaborator

Expert in cardiovascular devices and tools for cardiac surgery

Jennifer Boger

Professor Jen Boger | Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo
Academic Collaborator

Expert in geriatric care and connections within the Schlegel Research Institute for Aging

Sorbonne Logo

Dr. Sofiane Boudadoud and Hamid Kokabi | Sorbonne Universities
International Collaborators

International collaborators, and co-designers of the summer school program

Melanie Campbell

Professor Melanie Campbell | Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo
Academic Collaborator

Instructor for the Entrepreneurship and Commercialization course

Zane Cohen

Dr. Zane Cohen | Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Clinical Collaborator

World leading expert in colorectal surgery and reconstruction, with many clinical connections

Duane Cronin

Professor Duane Cronin | Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo
Academic Collaborator

Expert in modelling of the human body and its potential for device design

Peter Ferguson

Dr. Peter Ferguson | Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Clinical Collaborator

Expert in skeletal reconstruction

Robert Gobet

Professor Rob Gorbet | Knowledge Integration, University of Waterloo
Academic Collaborator

Delivery of the Interdisciplinary collaboration module

Andre Hladio

Andre Hladio | IntelliJoint Surgical Inc
Industry Collaborator

Expert on implant design, intern support and commercialization

Amol Karnick

Amol Karnick | CEO of KA Imaging
Industry Collaborator

Entrepreneurial experience and intern support in imaging

David Koff

Dr. David Koff | McMaster University
Clinical Collaborator

Expert in clinical radiology and imaging, with access to Hamilton Health Sciences

Tina Mah

Dr. Tina Mah | Grand River Hospital, Research and Innovation
Clinical Collaborator

Coordinates access to appropriate clinicians at Grand River Hospital

Alex Mihailidis

Dr. Alex Mihailidis | Toronto Rehab Hospital
Clinical Collaborator

Expert in rehabilitation needs, with extensive clinical connections

George Pinho

Dr. George Pinho | CEO of Christie Medical
Industry Collaborator

Mentor on commercialization and guidance on imaging projects

John Walmsley

John Walmsley | Starfish Medical
Clinical Collaborator

Expert in medical device design and manufacturing, and mentor to interns

Mark Weber

Mark Weber | Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre
Academic Collaborator

Expert in business, entrepreneurship and innovation

Thas Yuwaraj

Thas Yuwaraj | Synaptive Medical Inc.
Industry Collaborator

Guide to interns and can provide industry guidance for projects on imaging and surgical contexts