Canada Chapter

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The idea of creating a Canadian chapter emerged in 2020 when Elizabeth Rodziewicz and Ross Bilton, met with Andy Zaayenga. 

Xavier Perrodon, Simon Mathien and Tom Pfeifer joined them in 2021 and 2022. 

In the summer 2022, LRIG Canada was officially incorporated.

Chapter Officers

Elizabeth Rodziewicz, Executive Member

Since 2014, Elizabeth has held the position of President at Retisoft Inc. Her focus is to collaborate with trusted automation partners who are aligned with the company’s vision and values. Those strategic partnerships, and the Retisoft business model have enabled Retisoft to impact across more research labs during the last 24 years. Elizabeth has focused her career, to build a strong network within the Life Science automation industry. She works closely with her customers to understand their needs and provide the best solution for their automation projects. Elizabeth is responsible for the business plan, strategic relations and sales. She participates with important industry organizations such as the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (LRIG), and other biotech focused groups. 

Ross Bilton, Executive member

Ross has over 20 years with Festo Inc. serving the automation market in North America as a Life Science sales manager and applications specialist. Ross works with clients to help develop solutions for medical device design and laboratory applications. Areas of expertise Ross has supported in his role include high throughput reference lab automation systems for sample handling, this was a significant contribution to the increased testing requirements during the pandemic. Ross has also specialized within his organization for the growing demand in automation solutions for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and biofabrication applications. As an active member of LRIG New England for the past 5+ years, Ross looks to bring his passion to network and innovate to LRIG Canada and support the growing life science industry.  

Xavier Perrodon, Executive member

It began when asked to make a Zymark Zymate XP robot and a Waters HPLC station collaborate using MS Excel, in 2001 during his Master’s degree internship. From then on, Xavier has been deeply in love with laboratory automation.

Since then, he’s chased the opportunities to pursue that passion. South Korea, Singapore, Japan, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Canada – across the globe, he’s worked as a liquid handling and laboratory automation/robotics specialist in R&D laboratories, across industries including pharmaceutical, biotechnologies, academic research laboratories, and engineering companies. The applications he’s helped to implement include small and large molecule high-throughput screening, genome editing, biomarkers discovery, automated cell culture, peptide production, and paint formulation optimization.

He’s been an active member of the local LRIG Canada chapter since moving to Montreal in 2021.

Xavier holds two Chemical Engineering M.Sc. from the Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Organique et Minérale and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI.

Simon Mathien, Executive member

Simon Mathien is the head of the High-Throughput Screening group at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancerology (IRIC) at the University of Montréal. He leads a group that provides drug discovery services to the academic community and to the industry, including assay development, High-Throughput Screening, High-Content Screening and sample management. His interest for lab automation started during his doctoral research, where he learned that there was a much more efficient, and fun, way to substitute for long hours of manual pipetting. During his subsequent role as a drug discovery scientist, he was in charge of implementing new technologies for high-throughput screening. Simon received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Montréal in 2017 and holds an M.Sc. in cell biology from the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1.

Tom Pfeifer, Executive member

Tom has 18 years of experience on various automation systems during his tenure as Head of Screening for the former Centre for Drug Research and Development and currently as Manager for Bio! - UBC’s High Throughput Biology Facility. Solving big and small biology projects by employing various stages of automation is at the core of Tom’s mantra. A core expertise centers on biological assays and their uses in both drug development and biological assessment of compounds for screening programs.  His experience in early drug discovery and processing systems provides a wealth of knowledge that has led to many successful collaborations spanning medical and environmental fields and produced over 50 publications.  Tom currently is Secretary for the International Chemical Biology Society where he has served as a Board member since 2014.

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