Follow mitoNET 

Copyright © 2018, MitoNET. All Rights Reserved.

How We Are Organized

mitoNET is characterized not only by collaboration but also by strong leadership and mentorship from passionate partners and leaders, strong institutional support and solid existing relationships with industry. Network members share an ideological commitment to conducting high quality research as a community of equals, a partnership among patients, research and clinicians, where collaboration outweighs individual gain. At we are committed to promote equity, diversity and inclusion and to encourage woman to take leadership positions.


mitoNET is led by a principal Scientific Director (Ana Andreazza), supported by two co-Scientific Directors (Ingrid Tein and Tania Bubela), and managed by an Executive Director (Sonya Brijbassi). mitoNET will be governed by a Board of Directors (BOD), International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) and a Research Management Committee (RMC). 

Board of Directors

Elias Vamvakas (Inaugural Chair)

Mr. Vamvakas is the Chairman of Greenbrook-TMS NeuroHealth centers, the leading provider of TMS Therapy in North America, and TearLab Corporation (NASDAQ/TEAR, TSX TLB), an ophthalmic device company. At mitoNET, the development of novel technologies is at its core. Mr. Vamvakas will bring his expertise in developing successful businesses emerging from novel technologies.

Janet Davidson

Chair of the Canada Institute for Health Information, Dr. Davidson brings 40 years of health care experience in the government, voluntary and hospital/community sectors in a number of Canadian jurisdictions. She is a board member of Bayshore Healthcare and was recently appointed a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute.

Constantine Zachos

Dr. Zachos brings the perspectives of both the Canadian and American Academies of Chronic Pain and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. A successful entrepreneur with commercial and medical developments, Dr. Zachos brings his expertise in regenerative medicine and fundraising to the mitoNET board. 

Peter Brenders

Mr. Brenders has been the Canadian General Manager at Sanofi Genzyme since 2012. Previously, he was President & CEO of BIOTECanada for almost eight years. Mr. Brenders also worked in the Ontario Ministry of Health and serve in several BoD. He brings health services management and industry relationships experience to the board. 

Sandra Jakab

Ms. Jakab is a senior corporate counsel with significant securities regulation and recent banking compliance experience. She is a highly skilled communicator, facilitating productive discourse between financial market participants and regulators. Ms. Jakab brings deep understanding of corporate counsel legal and ethical frameworks to the mitoNET board.

Dugan O’Neil

Dr O'Neil is the Associate Vice-President, Research at Simon Fraser University and former Chief Scientific Officer of Compute Canada, who brings expertise in integrating sophisticated digital infrastructure for use by a diverse scientific community that spans engineering, natural sciences, health, social sciences and humanities.

Trevor Young

Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions, University of Toronto. Professor Young is a clinician-scientist who brings expertise in the molecular basis of bipolar disorder and its treatment. He has published > 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and has held more >35 peer-reviewed grants. 

Blaine Penny

Founder and Executive Director of MitoCanada Foundation, Mr. Penny has held several leadership and technical roles throughout his career, including CEO of a start-up engineering firm and Director of the non-profit Geotechnical Engineering (Canada). Mr. Penny will bring his expertise in business management and will represent patient voices on the mitoNET board. 

Philip Yeske

Dr. Yeske is the Science & Alliance Officer for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, responsible for managing all scientific and business development efforts of the foundation related to improved diagnoses, development of treatments and cures, and optimization of patient care. Dr. Yeske brings expertise in patient engagement and not-for-profit organizations.

Rebecca Yu

Dr. Yu is the Vice President, Market Access & External Affairs at Takeda Canada. She has over 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in a range of positions with Solvay Pharma, Procter & Gamble, Servier, Pfizer and Janssen, covering value-based access, external affairs, HTA, health policy, innovation sourcing, business development, alliance building, venture capital, and public-private partnerships.

Vivek Goel

Dr. Goel, is Vice President, Research and Innovation at the University of Toronto. Professor Goel is a distinguished scholar with an extensive background in teaching, research and university administration.

Tammy Clifford

Dr. Tammy Clifford is CADTH’s Chief Scientist and Vice-President of Evidence Standards. She brings the expertise of Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Horizon Scanning, Rapid Response, Scientific Advice and Patient Engagement to the Board.

International Advisory Board


Douglas C. Wallace (Inaugural Chair)

Director of the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Wallace is a pioneer in bioenergentics. His recent honours include the Franklin Institute's 2017 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science and the 2017 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

Thomas Gustafsson

Head, Division of Clinical Physiology Karolinska Institute. Dr. Gustafsson is world-renowned for his research on the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in human muscle and its application to angiogenesis, exercise metabolism, and atherosclerosis

Georgirene Vladutiu

Prof. Vladutiu is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Buffalo, who has devoted her career to biochemical characterization of patients with mitochondrial disease. 

Bruce Cohen

Prof. Cohen is the Director of Neurology and the Interim Director of the Neurodevelopmental Science Center at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, Ohio. He is one of the leaders of the current North American clinical trials in mitochondrial dysfunctions using the new generation of highly potent antioxidants, such as EPI 743.

Rita Horvath

Prof. Horvath is a Professor of Neurogenetics at Newcastle University and Principal investigator at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research. Her current research focuses on mitochondrial dysfunctions due to a defect in mitochondrial protein synthesis.

Marquis P. Vawter

Director, Functional Genomics Laboratory, Psychiatry & Human Behavior, School of Medicine; and Senior Associate Director, University of California Irvine-Davis Brain Bank, Psychiatry & Human Behavior, School of Medicine

Charles Hoppel

Professor Emeritus Pharmacology, Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Director, Center for the Study of Mitochondrial Diseases. He has 45 years of experience researching multiple mitochondrial diseases.

Michael Berk

Prof. Berk is the Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Deakin University and Barwon Health, where he heads the IMPACT Strategic Research Centre. He is an ISI highly cited researcher who has published over 900 papers focused on the discovery and implementation of novel therapies for psychiatric disorders.

Michio Hirano

Prof. Hirano is Director of the H. Houston Merritt Neuromuscular Disease Center at Columbia University, and is Director of the NIH North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium (NAMDC), which funds a patient registry with over 1,200 patients and multiple clinical studies. He has identified the causative genes for >12 mitochondrial dysfunctions, generated mouse models of disease and developed novel therapies. 

Amy Goldstein

Dr. Goldstein, is  Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an attending physician with the Division of Human Genetics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is a world leader on mitochondrial disease standard care and guidelines. She is an Advisor for the Mitochondrial Disease Community Registry (MDCR) and is a member of the Executive committee of the North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium (NAMDC).