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In an appointment announced by Rideau Hall on July 1, J. Mark Lievonen was named a Member of the Order of Canada, in recognition of his outstanding achievements, leadership and unwavering commitment to the pursuit of sustainable healthcare.

Mark’s appointment is made possible through nominations by close friends and colleagues, Dr. Calvin Stiller and York Centre MPP Monte Kwinter. Both commended Mark for his dedication to making a difference for all Canadians, citing his work with Sanofi Pasteur, the Sanofi Biogenius Challenge, and a number of organizations including the Markham-Stouffville Hospital, the Ontario Cancer Institute, and York University.

MPP Kwinter spoke of Mark’s “visionary leadership” and his drive to stimulate innovation, Canadian competitiveness and productivity. “Mark has transformed Sanofi Pasteur Canada – a vital manufacturing and R&D hub – into a global, billion-dollar biotechnology enterprise which stands as a symbol of Canadian talent, innovation and R&D excellence,” he said.

The Order of Canada is the country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement. Mark joins a list of deserving Canadians including scientists, doctors, educators, artists, etc. who have made a significant impact in their fields. Click here to see a full list of 2015 appointments in the July 1, edition of The Globe and Mail.

Congratulations on this great honour, Mark!


Austin Wang, Grade 11 Student from Vancouver, Recognized for Environmental Biotech


Montreal, Quebec – June 16, 2015 – Austin Wang, a grade 11 student at Vancouver’s David Thompson Secondary School, has won a prestigious international science award for his innovative research project focusing on renewable energy. Austin was awarded the Global Environment Challenge (industrial & environmental biotech) prize at the annual International BioGENEius Challenge final in Philadelphia today.

Austin’s project titled, Identifying Genes with Roles in Power Output of Exoelectrogenic Bacteria in Microbial Fuel Cells, seeks to identify genes that help bacteria improve their ability to generate electricity in Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). The results of this research may eventually contribute to the commercialization of MFC technology.

“Austin achieved great success at the Sanofi Biogenius Canada national final. That he has now won such a prestigious international award reinforces the level of scientific talent in Canada. We are very proud of Austin’s win, and wish him the very best in his future endeavours” said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, one of the competition’s two title sponsors.

Austin was selected by industry and academic experts, beating 28 finalists from across the US, Canada and Germany. The Global Environment Challenge (industrial & environmental biotech), recognizes projects seeking to harness bacteria, yeasts and enzymes as sources of renewable energy. The award comes with a cash prize of $7,500 USD.

Organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based non-profit organization dedicated to biotechnology education, the International BioGENEius Challenge is the premier international competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding innovation in biotechnology.


About Sanofi –

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi entities in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals), Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (cosmeceuticals, over-the-counter products and specialty care), Genzyme (rare diseases) and Merial (animal health). Together they employ close to 1,700 people. In 2014 Sanofi companies invested $130.5 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.


About Sanofi Biogenius Canada

Sanofi Biogenius Canada is one of the country’s most prestigious student science competitions, and pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school level with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs predominantly in the life sciences.  The Sanofi Group in Canada is proud to sponsor the Sanofi Biogenius Canada as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts and development of the next generation of Canadian life science research.

Follow Sanofi Canada on Twitter @SanofiCanada and on YouTube

Follow Sanofi Biogenius Canada on Twitter: @BiogeniusCA


Media Contacts:

Marc Holmes

NATIONAL Public Relations

Tel. : 514- 843-2373





Aditya Mohan, 18, of Ottawa’s Colonel By Secondary School Recognized for Novel Cancer Therapy


Ottawa, Ontario – May 26, 2015 – Aditya Mohan of Colonel By Secondary School in Ottawa has been awarded top honours at the national final of the prestigious Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC) competition.  The 18-year-old grade 12 student was chosen by judges for his research project focusing on a novel cancer treatment that manipulates the common cold virus to target and selectively kill cancer cells.

Aditya’s research, which was completed with the support of mentor Dr. Angela Crawley of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, could offer numerous advantages over cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, which can impact healthy cells and cause debilitating side effects. 

“Cancer has affected so many families, including people who are close to me. My project was motivated by the need for a new way to diagnose, monitor and treat this disease with lower dosages and a more targeted approach,” he said. “I am truly honoured to win Sanofi Biogenius Canada. This competition has been an incredible opportunity to pursue my research and take this project to the next level.”

One of the country’s most prestigious student competitions, Sanofi Biogenius Canada pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school level with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs across various scientific fields.

Hosted by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in Ottawa, the competition’s national final featured the winners of all nine Sanofi Biogenius Canada regional competitions across the country. The nine finalists presented their research projects to a judging panel of esteemed members of the scientific community, including Dr. Jim Richards, R&D Director and Vaccine Program Leader at the NRC; Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada and Dr. Robert Tsushima, Associate Dean, Research and Partnerships, Faculty of Science, York University.

“What distinguishes Sanofi Biogenius Canada from other science fairs and competitions is that it’s a real-life experience for the participants, who pursue groundbreaking research projects with leading-edge researchers. Not only is Aditya’s work a tribute to the culture of innovation that programs like these help foster in our country, but it also reinforces the importance of mentorship in a young scientist’s career,” said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur, one of the competition’s two title sponsors.

“Our mission at Sanofi is to shape tomorrow’s health, and programs like Sanofi Biogenius Canada are an essential stepping stone for Canada’s next generation of scientists and researchers. We offer our heartiest congratulations to Aditya and look forward to following his future achievements,” said Jon Fairest, President of Sanofi Canada, the competition’s co-title sponsor.

Aditya receives a cash prize of $5,000, a portion of which will go to Colonel By Secondary School. He also receives a prestigious student internship at the NRC. Aditya will now progress to the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge in Philadelphia in June, where he will submit his work to a panel of pre-eminent international scientists.  

Runners-up in this year’s national SBC competition were awarded cash prizes ranging in value from $1,000 to $4,000.

Second prize went to Austin Wang, a grade 11 student at David Thompson Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia. Austin earned high praise for his research project exploring cell bacteria as an environmentally-friendly alternative source of energy, which was completed with the support of mentor Dr. Susan Baldwin, professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia. As the second-place winner, Austin has also earned a trip to the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge.

Third prize was awarded to Catharine Bowman from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario, for a project that focuses on a treatment for the inflammatory disease Chronic Lymphedema, which affects up to 140 million people worldwide. Catharine’s project was supported by mentor Dr. Pierre-Yves von der Weid, researcher in Inflammation Research in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Calgary.

Justin Lessard-Wajcer from Jean-de-Brébeuf College in Montreal earned both the competition’s Commercialization and Professionalism prizes. The Commercialization prize recognizes the project with the most commercial potential and viability, while the Professionalism prize recognizes the student with the highest commitment to professionalism and etiquette. Justin’s research focuses on the ‘CLARITY’ technique, which creates highly detailed pictures of the brain in order to investigate the link between heart disease and neurological diseases.


About Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC)

Sanofi Biogenius Canada is a national science research competition open to high school students. Since 1992, SBC has helped almost 4,000 young Canadians pursue real-world scientific research projects that have been the launch pads to future studies and careers. Coordinated by Partners In Research, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, the Ontario Government (Ministry of Research & Innovation), York University, the National Research Council Canada/Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR-IRSC) and Genome Canada.

For more information, visit, or follow SBC on Facebook ( or Twitter (@biogeniusca) using the hashtag #SBC2015.




Media Contacts:


Kristin Gable
NATIONAL Public Relations
Tel. : 514- 843-2378

Mel Kern
Partners In Research
Tel. : 519-433-7866 ext. 29



Exploring the genetic foundations of human behaviour

Award winning story reveals how big data sheds new light on the human brain


Montreal May 08, 2015 — Autism can be an all too obvious condition to identify but its underlying cause remains a mystery. Now tantalizing clues are starting to emerge from an ambitious project that has been collecting detailed genetic information about how the brain develops and functions. Researchers at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children have been mining the massive database created for the Brainspan Atlas, which is an American initiative to map the human brain’s biochemical activity to an unprecedented degree. Their findings have established new links between a key set of genes and the appearance of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


In fact, these unique genetic features may represent even more than the roots of ASD. They could be the distinguishing characteristic of modern human beings, the core of what makes us different from now extinct relatives such as Neanderthals as well as non-human primates. In this way we may finally be able to understand our evolutionary nature even as we learn to deal with how problems like autism conflict with that nature.


Globe and Mail science writer Ivan Semeniuk travelled to the Seattle headquarters of the Brainspan Atlas in order to assemble a feature story about this project. The resulting article, “The Hunt for Humanity”, is being honoured with this year’s Sanofi Pasteur Medal of Excellence in Health Research Journalism.


“This is a high quality report,” said one of the award judges, referring to Semeniuk’s account of the work to determine which genes were active during a human being’s fetal development. Another judge highlighted the clear explanation of how big data, imaging and genetic analysis together explained ASD in evolutionary terms.


CHR Past President Patricia Guyda adds that it would be satisfying enough to gain insight into the nature of ASD. “However, this research also offers us an extraordinary perspective on who we are as a species,” she says. “This is an outstanding example of why we should continue to support science dedicated to discovery as well as applied solutions.”


CHR launched the Sanofi Pasteur Medal of Excellence in Health Research Journalism in 1995, and administers the selection process. Sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Canada's premier vaccine company, the inaugural medal recipient was Globe & Mail science reporter Stephen Strauss for his longstanding contribution to promoting public awareness of science. Other recent awardees include Paul Webster for his work in Vancouver Magazine, Marine Corniou for her work in Québec Science magazine and François Bouthillette a journalist at Radio-Canada.


“As a company that is built on over a century of science, Sanofi Pasteur is pleased to be associated with this prestigious award that recognizes excellence in science journalism,” says Nancy Simpson, Director, Communications at Sanofi Pasteur Limited.


As part of the award, Semeniuk will receive a plaque and a $2,500 bursary on June 20, 2015, during the Canadian Science Writers’ Association annual general meeting in Saskatoon.


Canadians for Health Research (CHR) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the stability and quality of Canadian health research.  It fosters communication between health researchers, the government and the Canadian public, and publishes a quarterly magazine entitled Future Health.  For more information, or to become a member, please visit the CHR website at


About Sanofi


Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).


Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: or


For more information, please contact:


Patricia Guyda                                                Nancy Simpson                     

CHR                                                                Director, Communications

Montreal, QC                                                 Sanofi Pasteur Limited

                                                                        Toronto, Ontario

514-398-7478                                                  416-667-2955                            



TORONTO, ON – Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – The Schulich School of Business at York University is pleased to announce the establishment of the J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship for MBA students enrolled in the School’s Health Industry Management Program (HIMP), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

The J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship was established by Sanofi Pasteur Limited and Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) to honour Mr. Lievonen’s exceptional leadership and contributions to the health and pharmaceutical sectors. Mr. Lievonen, BBA’79, MBA’87, is currently President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited and Chair of the Board of Directors for Rx&D and was recently honoured for his Outstanding Public Contribution at Schulich’s 2014 Alumni Recognition Awards. Lievonen has also made a generous gift towards the establishment of the scholarship.  

The annual scholarship, which will award approximately $7,000 to a second-year MBA student enrolled in Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program, is being announced at a first-ever stakeholder conference being organized by Rx&D. Rx&D and Sanofi Pasteur Limited have each contributed $25,000, and Mark Lievonen has contributed an additional $25,000. York University will match the annual income generated by their contributions, effectively creating an endowment valued at $150,000.

“The J. Mark Lievonen scholarship is a tremendous vote of confidence by industry leaders in Schulich’s MBA students, who are preparing to become Canada’s next generation of leaders within this country’s vitally important health industry,”  said Brenda Zimmerman, Director of Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program. “We especially appreciate this important industry investment in our students as Schulich’s HIMP program celebrates its 10th anniversary.”

Since 2004, more than 300 MBA students have graduated from Schulich’s  Health Industry Management Program, which prepares students for leadership careers in public, private and non-profit sectors within the complex, rapidly growing industry, both in Canada and globally.  

“As an alumnus of York, I am proud to be able to further the success of Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program,” said Mark Lievonen, BBA ’79, MBA ’87, president of Sanofi Pasteur Limited and Chair of the Board of Directors for Rx&D.  “We recognize the need to prepare the best and brightest minds to take leadership roles in Canada’s healthcare sector.”

“Schulich is proud to be able to offer this scholarship in honour of one of Canada’s foremost health industry executives and one of our School’s most successful graduates,” said Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth. “Any student of business, and especially those planning a career in health industry management, would do well to follow the excellent example of Mark Lievonen.”

The HIMP specialization provides students advanced standing towards earning their Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation, Canada’s only professional credential available to health leaders, under the Schulich School of Business’ strategic alliance with the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL).


About Schulich

Known as Canada’s Global Business School™, the Schulich School of Business in Toronto is ranked among the world’s leading business schools by a number of global surveys. Schulich’s MBA program is ranked #1 in the world by Corporate Knights, the world’s largest circulation magazine with an explicit focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, and #2 in the world by the Aspen Institute (a Washington, DC-based leadership think tank) in global surveys that identify which schools are doing the best job of preparing future business leaders for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business. Schulich’s MBA program is also ranked among the world’s leading schools by The Economist, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and Expansión, Mexico’s leading business publication. The Kellogg-Schulich EMBA program is ranked #1 in the world by The Economist, and #1 in Canada by the Financial Times of London. For complete ranking details, please visit

Global, innovative and diverse, Schulich offers business programs year-round at its state-of-the-art complex at York University; at its Miles S. Nadal Management Centre located in the heart of the Toronto’s financial district; and at its new campus in Hyderabad, India. Schulich also operates a number of satellite centres in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Seoul, South Korea; Mexico City, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Schulich offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate business degrees that lead to rewarding careers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and has 27,000 alumni working in over 90 countries. The School pioneered Canada’s first International MBA (IMBA) and International BBA (iBBA) degrees, as well as North America’s first ever cross-border executive MBA degree, the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA. In addition to Schulich’s Master of Finance and Master of Accounting degrees, the School recently launched one of the world’s first Master of Business Analytics degrees. Schulich’s Executive Education Centre provides executive development programs annually to more than 10,000 executives in Canada and abroad.


About Mark Lievonen

Mark Lievonen is President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, the Canadian vaccine division of Sanofi. Under his leadership, Sanofi Pasteur has become a billion dollar enterprise in Canada, manufacturing over 50 million doses of vaccines for both domestic and international markets.

Mr. Lievonen is a Director of Oncolytics Biotech Inc., Chair, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), Vice-Chair of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and serves on the Boards of the Public Policy Forum, BIOTECanada and the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation.

He is a past Chair of the Ontario Genomics Institute, BIOTECanada, the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, the Centre for the Advancement of Health Innovations and the Steering Committee for the BIO 2002 International Conference. He served on the York University Board of Governors, and is a former director of Markham Stouffville Hospital and YORKbiotech.

Mr. Lievonen was a Co-Chair of the Ontario-Quebec Private Sector Advisory Committee and was a member of the Ontario Investment and Trade Advisory Council, the BIOCouncil, and the Toronto Mayor’s Economic Competitiveness Advisory Committee. He served as a member of the United Way of Greater Toronto Cabinet, chairing the Health Care Division.

He holds a BBA in accounting and an MBA in finance and marketing from the Schulich School of Business, York University. He is a Chartered Accountant and received his designation while working with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. Lievonen was the recipient of a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medallion in 2002, was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre National de Mérite by the government of France in 2007 and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2009 and was inducted into the Canadian Healthcare Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2014, Mr. Lievonen received the Life Sciences Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award.


For more information, please contact:

Brenda Zimmerman, Director
Health Industry Management Program
Associate Professor of Strategic Management/Policy
Schulich School of Business
Phone: 416-736-2100, ext. 33357