Scientific Advisory Board Our team of world renowned experts in the fields of Plants, Research and Medicine.

Prof. Mike Dixon

Professor Mike Dixon is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences and the Director of the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility (CESRF) at Guelph University in Ontario.

His research is focused on phyto substance growth in controlled environments and is specifically interested in developing biological life support systems for applications in space exploration. He has been involved in multiple NASA programs.

Prof. Dixon’s work on creating environment modified atmosphere to achieve desired API’s is the basis of much of the Kensana’s research and development.

Prof. Dixon earned his PhD from Edinburgh University in Scotland and holds a postdoctoral position at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Vincent Maida

Dr. Vincent Maida, a consultant in Palliative Medicine and Wound Management, is one of Canada’s foremost experts in Cannabis-Based Medicines (CBM) with almost 3 decades of involvement with CBM-related patient advocacy, clinical experience, education, and research. He graduated with his MD, MSc, certificate in patient safety and quality improvement, and certificate as a clinical medical teacher, all from the University of Toronto. Dr. Maida was the first to report the potential for CBM to treat integumentary and wound conditions in humans. He founded VinSan Therapeutics Inc. which developed a portfolio of IP with the earliest patent priority dates globally.

Dr. Joerg Gruenwald

Dr. Joerg Gruenwald is the Founder and President of Analyze & Realize ag in Berlin, Germany, a specialised research and consulting company for nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, and natural medicines.

Dr. Gruenwald has published 13 books, including the best sellers Physician’s Desk Reference PDR for herbal medicines and over 200 scientific articles. He is editor-in-chief of the journal “Advances In Natural Therapy”.

Dr. Gruenwald has worked as advisor to the FDA Office of Dietary Supplements, on the International Advisory Board of the Research Council of Complementary Medicine.

He has served as the Chairman of the International Committee AHPA American Herbal Products Association, member of the Council for Responsible Nutrition Botanical/Quality Standards Committee, United States Pharmacopoeia (USP).

Dr. Gruenwald has performed over 100 clinical trials and numerous in vivo and in vitro studies with natural products. He holds an MS in Biology and a Ph.D. in Botany both from the University of Heidelberg.

Prof. Donald A. Abrams

Professor Donald Abrams is a cancer and integrative medicine specialist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Mount Zion.

In addition to his role at the Osher center, he is chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital.

He is an executive committee member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and is co-chair of the center’s program in Symptom Management, Palliative Care and Survivorship.

Prof. Abrams was on the committee of physicians who assembled the most significant compilation of medical cannabis research to date: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids published by the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine.

He received an B.A. in Molecular Biology from Brown University in 1972 and graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. After completing an Internal Medicine residency at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco.

Dr. Paul Verrills

Dr. Paul Verrills practices full time interventional pain management in Melbourne, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Musculoskeletal Medicine and completed Masters in Pain Medicine under Professor Bogduk, at the University of Newcastle. He was one of the first in the world to be awarded his International Fellowship in Interventional Pain Practice. He is an Editorial Reviewer for peer-reviewed journals including Neuromodulation and Pain Medicine.

Dr. Verrills is a past Australian representative board member for the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) and is immediate past President of the Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (NSANZ). He is also a member of the International Neuromodulation Society, Australian Pain Society, Spine Intervention Society, World Institute of Pain, The International Association for the Study of Pain, and the Spine Society of Australia.

He is director of Asia Pacific Advanced Pain Therapies Interventional program and sits on the International Pain Therapies Executive Advisory Board. Further he was honoured to recently be invited onto the inaugural Executive Emeritus Board of the American Society for Pain and Neuroscience (ASPN). In Melbourne he is a Director and Founder of Metro Pain Group, Monash House Private Hospital, Monash Clinical Research and Australian Medicinal Cannabis Service.

Dr. Marco Romanelli

Dr Marco Romanelli is currently engaged with the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy. He is an assistant professor and consultant dermatologist at the Division of Dermatology.

Dr Romanelli graduated from the University of Pisa and holds an MB and PhD in experimental dermatology. He holds a fellowship at the Wound Healing Research Centre, University of Miami.

He is the current president-elect of the World Union of Wound Healing Societies and a board member of the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP). He has served as member and chair of multiple grant review panels and editorial advisory boards of multiple medical journals. He is also a heavily published author in medical journals.

Dr Romanelli holds a key interest in the research areas including; Non-invasive Diagnostic Techniques in Wound Management and Dermatology, Biomedical Sensors, Tissue Engineering, and Atypical Wounds Biomarkers.

Dr. Urs Fischer

Dr Fischer is a developmental biologist who has held group leader positions in several leading plant research institutes. In the seed industry, his teams have developed new traits and varieties with novel breeding and genomic technologies in sugar beet, cereals, corn and rapeseed. As a managing director of PharmaPlant, he is implementing the latest technologies into the field of aromatic and medical plants in order to permit steady and rapid growth of the company.

Our Leadership Team

Kensana Executive Team  An Experienced Team

Ken Clement

Ken has been the driving force behind Kensana and its focus on Phyto substance and medical cannabinoid standardized production and dosage. Ken has a proven track record, having already built ABcann Global (now VIVO traded on the TSX) from an idea in 2012 to a public company valued in excess of CAD$400 million when he departed in 2017. At ABcann, Ken applied innovative technology to cultivate cannabinoids on a large scale in a standardized manner.

Neil Kapp

Neil brings a wealth of business experience to Kensana with over 35 years in private and public companies. In his previous role at ABcann, Neil was Vice-President of Business Development, which involved him in fundraising, negotiating and implementing technology partnerships. Holding an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from York University, Neil has been CFO for numerous private entities.

Lanning Ryan

Lanning is a Chartered Accountant with experience in consulting, strategy, corporate finance and accounting. Prior to joining Kensana Health, Lanning assisted large multinational listed clients and government agencies at EY and KPMG across strategic, transactional and assurance related matters. His industry experience spans health care, financial services, government infrastructure, mining and technology. Lanning holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Accounting and a Diploma of modern Languages from the University of Western Australia.

John Hoff

John will lead the Company’s German team focusing on the European expansion. John is a visionary entrepreneur with extensive cannabinoid industry knowledge worldwide. He founded Sens Media and the P3 Collective. John has been an active advocate for medicinal cannabinoids and is considered as one of the premier thought leaders in the industry in Germany.

Randy Uens

Randy leads the Company’s North American business interests. Randy has over 25 years’ experience in diverse markets such as food, nutraceuticals and waste. Notably, Randy developed the Rhinobag/Bagster platform that he sold to Waste Management (WM). Randy’s interest in cannabinoids came out of his work with developing innovative omega 3 products as VP of Sales at Blue Ocean Nutra Sciences. Randy has a BA in Management Economics from the University of Guelph.

Mark Bresciano

Mark is a retired professional athlete now sitting on the board of Football Australia with a passion for physical body & health wellness and alternative therapies.

He has significant experience in business and property investment, negotiating key commercial terms and finalising transaction outcomes.

Mark has spent most of the last 8 years studying and engaging in the medical cannabis industry, attending industry seminars, forums, networking and legislative events.

Kensana Management Team Deep Industry Understanding

Michael Hofmann

Mike boasts nearly 20 years of industry experience in the phyto-pharmaceutical and production horticultural industry. Mike has held positions as initial Construction Project Manager, Facility Manager, and Director of Horticulture in agricultural enterprises, and has been involved with GMP production facility designs. In addition, Mike has held positions with Eurosa Gardens on Vancouver Island and German company Storsberg GaLaBau GmbH.

Luke Silverman

Luke is a marketing and business consultant with a unique depth of experience. He has spent over 10 years working for and with major companies in the US cannabinoid sector such as General Hydroponics, Lumatek Lighting, Diamond Lighting, Hawthorne Gardening and more. Over the years he has developed a comprehensive and detailed perspective of the ever changing landscape and politics of the cannabinoid industry, which helps fuel his innovative ideas that grow successful businesses

Janika Takats

Janika is a communication and marketing expert holding a BA in Cultural Studies and a MA in Cultural and Media Management. As a former CEO of a media company, she has great conceptual and strategic skills. She has 10 years of work experience in the cannabis industry working for companies in the medical and health sector as well as PR and marketing. In the past she also worked as editor-in-chief of different magazines and published a book about cannabis in Germany. 

Craig Frawley

Craig Frawley has 25 years of experience in growing and expanding start-up medical businesses.

  • Ekera Medical Ltd (Founding Director), building large integrated medical centres in
    Melbourne and Sydney;
  • MyCompounder and Precision Medicine Australia – which have laboratories in Melbourne to
    service patients around Australia as well as Asian exports;
  • CANNect Group (Founding CEO) – which provides education and patient support services to
    medicinal cannabis prescribers in Australia.

Craig is a Precision Medicine Pharmacist with Science, Entrepreneurship and Innovation degrees from Monash University, Charles Sturt University and Swinburne University.

Dr. Carrie Newbold

Dr Carrie Newbold has carried out and led applied research within a medical device field for close to two decades, from both the academic and commercial sides. She cofounded and runs a wellness company – designing and manufacturing physiotherapy self-treatment tools. The tools are used within Australia’s leading sporting bodies and within homes across the world. Carrie has qualifications in medical engineering, massage therapy and Pilates.

BE(Med) PhD, DipRemMass, CertIV Pilates Matwork

Jewrusha Simont

With over 30 years experience connecting people and networks to inspire, energise, encourage and build belief in what is possible. Jewrusha’s purpose is to switch the light to give purpose to what is done as individuals, businesses or as a community. Jewrusha has an extensive and diverse background in the pharmaceutical industry and has carved out a unique set of skills and means of thinking outside the box that enables strategic foresight that has favourably positioned her team and clients for success. When not in the office, you’ll find her with her beloved dog Angel near water, soaking up some sunshine with friends, or having a light-hearted laugh at herself.

Luke Sidey

Luke comes to Kensana with a decade of digital marketing and social media experience with previous contracts for Nintendo and the BBC. He has since built out Kensana’s and its subsidiaries online presence on multiple platforms and is leading numerous marketing initiatives at present including branding and other material creation.

Luke has been involved in the Canadian cannabis industry since its infancy and has served multiple departments gathering a wealth of experience in administration, sales and marketing, hands-on standardized cultivation practices, and extensive laboratory work.

Luke’s passion and industry experience has allowed him to help companies of all sizes achieve their goals.

Luke holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Queen’s University in Canada.

Urvish Bhavsar

Urvish has over 25 years experience in Finance and Commercial functions in the Pharmaceutical industry in a manufacturing environment. In his last role as Head of Controlled Substance Business & CFO for SUN Pharmaceutical Industries (Australia), Urvish provided business and finance leadership to agro-based pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturing business. before coming to Australia in 2016, Urvish had worked in Brazil as Director and head of Finance for SUN and Zydus, both Indian Pharmaceutical companies, for an acquired business to turnaround and bring in management change. Having worked for a Veterinary business as Head of Finance for 9 years, animals and their wellbeing are near his heart. Urvish studied Management Accounting and holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, with membership with the Cost and management Accountants of india and Australia.

Alessandro Ciri

Alessandro has over 30 years experience and a diverse breadth of business knowledge across an array of industries, in particular Pharmaceutical, Food, and Construction. He worked for CSL as a Research and Development Scientist, moving up through CSL to Quality Control Director. As Quality Control Director, Alessandro oversaw the upgrading of laboratories, secured FDA licenses to supply influenza vaccine globally, oversaw contract testing for other pharmaceutical firms, and streamlined costs in product manufacturing leading to increased profitability. He then transitioned into Business Development and was responsible for products, principally dealing with governments and distribution chains across the globe. He now works as a consultant, enhancing the performance of businesses from the learnings from his journey, involving; building business networks, executive coaching, establishing strategic plans, and supporting and enhancing both business profitability and business value proposition.

Over 100 years of combined experience in a very young industry

Kensana Advisory Team World-class Industry Professionals

Cheryl Reicin

Cheryl is the leader of Tory’s Life Science practice, a cross-border group in both Canada and the United States. She represents the entire spectrum of biotech, medical device and health technology companies, from start-ups to large public companies, as well as venture capitalists, investment banks and academic medical centers. She has extensive experience advising on venture and laterstage financings, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, licensing transactions and joint ventures or alliances with strategic partners.

Cheryl has been named WXN’s Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women four times and inducted into its Hall of Fame. She has been repeatedly recognized by LMG Life Sciences as the Canadian Finance & Corporate Attorney of the Year.

Cheryl is 1 of 5 shortlisted for U.S. Venture Capital Lawyer of the Year for 2022.

Dr. Lei Liu

Dr. Lei Liu is an experienced patent agent and Principal at Smart & Biggar in Ottawa, who works with companies and innovators, research institutions, and universities across the spectrum of life sciences.

Lei harnesses his advanced knowledge of biotechnology, biological science, and chemistry to assist clients with protecting their valuable innovations through intellectual property (IP) rights. He works closely with clients to understand their business objectives and help them identify strategic opportunities to obtain and leverage IP with the most relevant business value for them.

From initial development of an IP strategy roadmap, Lei’s work with clients includes drafting and prosecuting Canadian patent applications and coordination of IP procurement worldwide, and advisory work in IP transactions, with IP due diligence, IP audits and IP–related agreements.

Adam George

Formerly the CFO who spent 13 years with GW Pharmaceuticals, Adam has recently joined the Kensana Health team. He has come on as a business advisor helping with the IPO.

Adam took GW public on NASDAQ and was involved in raising USD$1.4B and oversaw their growth including over USD$500M in sales, as well as their exit to Jazz Pharmaceuticals for USD$7.5B. Adam spent the last 4 years at GW Pharmaceuticals as co-head of R&D.

Adam has been instrumental in helping us refine our clinical and drug development pathway. Adam holds exceptional talent and knowledge in the pharmaceutical sector.

Duane Nash M.D., J.D., M.B.A.

Duane earned a B.A in biology from Williams College, an M.D. from Dartmouth Medical School, a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A from the University of Oxford. He completed his internship in general surgery from the University of California.

He practiced law as an attorney from 2002 to 2008 where he focused on intellectual property litigation and M&A.

Duane held positions at Wedbush PacGrowth Life Sciences, an investment bank, between 2009 and 2012, serving as Senior Vice President in Equity Research at the end of his time with the group. He had previously worked as a research analyst at Pacific Growth Equities, an investment bank, which was acquired by Wedbush in 2009.

Bill Cracknell

Bill is an Independent Consultant, having recently retired after nearly 40 years working in a range of Operational, Quality & R&D management roles within the pharmaceutical industry for both local Australian and multi-national companies. Bill was most recently the Senior Director, Global Operations Projects for CSL Seqirus, a leading global manufacturer of influenza vaccine, located in Melbourne, Australia, where he oversaw manufacturing projects across sites in Australia, UK & the USA.

Bill was also, for many years, the Chairperson of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations Influenza Vaccine Supply International Task Force an international manufacturer group based in Geneva which is responsible for the planning of the international vaccine production & response to pandemic threats. Through involvement with this group, he maintained key contacts with groups such as WHO & other Government, regulatory & reference laboratories.

Dr. Freddie Ann Hoffman M.D.

Freddie Ann is the Director and Managing Member of HeteroGeneity, LLC.

She has over 35 years of product development experience, serving at the FDA for nearly 14 years.

During her tenure, she formed and chaired an internal FDA Botanical Working Group which developed the Botanical Drug guidance, which the Agency finalized in 2004. She has continued to serve on numerous working groups, task forces and boards of both government agencies and private companies.

o Over 500 successful INDs

o The only team with two approved botanical prescription drugs to be registered with the FDA

Dr. Armin Prasch

Dr. Prasch coordinates the strategic orientation of Fidelio’s drug development projects. Fidelio Healthcare is part of the Martin Bauer Holding Group network. Fidelio are an EU GMP pharmaceutical manufacturer in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Dr. Prasch’s background is in process engineering and biotechnology.

Dr Prasch has extensive knowledge in pharmaceutical development leading 9 drug development teams. In addition, he has in-depth knowledge of patents and regulatory issues in the development of healthcare products for international market.