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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, November 19, 2014 – Today Russell Williams, President of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), is pleased to announce the creation of the J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship in Health Industry Management at the Schulich School of Business (Schulich) at York University, during the association’s first-ever stakeholder conference celebrating its 100th-year anniversary.

“As the demand grows for strong and skilled healthcare management professionals, Rx&D is proud to further strengthen the link between industry and Canada’s top academic centres,” said Russell Williams.

The scholarship has been established in recognition of Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited and outgoing Chair of the Rx&D Board.

“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.

The J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship will provide a second-year Master of Business Administration or International Master of Business Administration student in the Schulich Health Industry Management Program with a scholarship of approximately $7,000 to further their studies in the program. Rx&D and Sanofi Pasteur Limited have each contributed $25,000, and Mark Lievonen has contributed an additional $25,000. Schulich will match the annual income generated by their contributions, effectively creating an endowment valued at $150,000.

“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. “We recognize the need to prepare the best and brightest minds to take leadership roles in Canada’s healthcare sector.”

About Rx&D

Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents the men and women working for more than 50 member companies which invest more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada’s knowledge-based economy, contributing over $3 billion to the Canadian economy.  Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

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For further information:

Sarah Douglas
Media Relations, Rx&D
Telephone: 613-236-0455 extension 525