our team

Seasoned leadership with business, technical and clinical expertise & credibility

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Dr. Michael Byrne

CEO & DIRECTOR

Dr. Douglas Rex

DIRECTOR OF COLORECTAL CANCER

Murray Flanigan

CFO & Director

Andrew Stibbs

COO

Dr. Milagros Henkel

CLINICAL OFFICER

Ryan Monsurate

CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER

Caryn Hamm

CONTROLLER

Satisfai was founded by Dr. Michael Byrne in order to realize his dream of improving diagnosis, detection and treatment of a variety of disease states. Dr. Byrne has assembled a Management Team that helps position Satisfai as a leading group in AI applications for gastrointestinal disease given experience in clinical development, business and corporate development, systems integration, and commercial activities.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

Dr. Douglas Rex

ADVISOR & DIRECTOR OF COLORECTAL CANCER

Dr. Remo Panaccione

ADVISOR & DIRECTOR OF IBD

Dr. James East

ADVISOR

Dr. Simon Travis

ADVISOR

Dr. Michael Bourke

ADVISOR & DIRECTOR OF ESD

Dr. Leon Moons

ADVISOR

Dr. Helmut Messmann

ADVISOR & DIRECTOR OF UPPER GI CANCERS

Dr. Tonya Kaltenbach

ADVISOR

Dr. David Schaeffer

ADVISOR & DIRECTOR OF PATHOLOGY

Satisfai enjoys the oversight and guidance of a seasoned advisory board who have demonstrated clinical excellence in the field of Gastroenterology and more specifically in the areas of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Barrett’s Esophagus, Early Gastric Cancer, Pancreatic Cysts & Cancer, and Robotic & Endoscopic Surgery (ESD).

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dr. Michael Byrne

CEO & DIRECTOR

Murray Flanigan

CFO

Ford Nicholson

CHAIRMAN & DIRECTOR

Usman 'Oz' Azam, MD

DIRECTOR

Dr. Michael Byrne

CEO & Founder

Dr. Michael Byrne provides senior leadership and clinical expertise to Satisfai Health and is a clinical innovator with over 20 years experience as a practicing physician. He is the founder of both Satisfai Health and its ai4gi joint venture. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at Vancouver General Hospital and UBC. He is also director of the Interventional Endoscopy Fellowship at VGH, and is the former Director of Endoscopy at VGH/UBC.

He has worked in the medical device space for several years. Prior to his role with Satisfai Health and his participation in the ai4gi project, he has worked with the Biotechnology Industry in several areas including colon cancer genetic testing, and novel applications of Photodynamic therapy for Gastrointestinal disease.

He is a graduate of Cambridge and Liverpool Universities. He has a strong research background in both basic science and clinical medicine with hands-on training in molecular sciene and pharmacology. He received an MD by thesis from the University of Cambridge for his work on Helicobacter Pylori and Cyclooxygenase. He also has a long track record of clinical research. Dr. Byrne has published extensively with over 90 peer reviewed publications and over 100 abstract presentations at National and International Meetings.

After several years working in the UK and Ireland, Dr. Byrne completed an Interventional Endoscopy Fellowship as well as working as an attending physician at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina. He moved to his current role in Vancouver in 2003.

His main clinical interests are in the field of ERCP, interventional endoscopy, optical biopsy, colon cancer, pancreaticobiliary disease, and IBD.

Dr. Douglas Rex

Director of Colorectal Cancer

Dr. Douglas K. Rex is Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, Chancellor’s Professor at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, and Director of Endoscopy at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis. He graduated from Harvard College, Summa Cum Laude in 1976 and with highest distinction from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1980. He served as Chief Medical Resident at Indiana University Hospital and joined the faculty at Indiana University in 1985. He received the Outstanding Teacher Award in the Introduction to Medicine course five times and has been awarded the Indiana University School of Medicine Outstanding Teacher Award as well as Department of Medicine’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He is a full-time clinical gastroenterologist at Indiana University Hospital.

His major research interests have been in colorectal disease and, in particular, colorectal cancer screening and the technical performance of colonoscopy. He co-authored the colorectal cancer screening recommendations of the American College of Gastroenterology and the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. He also authored the recommendations on quality in colonoscopy of the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and the American College of Gastroenterology/American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. He has authored more than 200 original research papers, 55 book chapters, 200 invited papers, 40 editorials, and 40 guideline papers. He is an Associate Editor of Journal Watch Gastroenterology and serves on the editorial boards of 11 gastroenterology journals.

He is the current chair of the U.S. Multi-Society (ACG, ASGE, AGA, ACP-ASIM) Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. He has also served in the American College of Gastroenterology as Chairman of the Board of Governors and is a Past President of the ACG. He is a member of the Governing Board of ASGE and a recipient of the Rudolph V. Schindler Award from ASGE.

Murray Flanigan

CFO

Murray Flanigan provides Satisfai with services relating to all aspects of the company’s accounting, financing, treasury, tax and corporate development activities. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst and has a strong background in corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, international taxation, risk management, banking, corporate restructuring and accounting. Mr. Flanigan also serves as Managing Principal and Chief Financial Officer for Kepis & Pobe Financial Group Inc which is a private equity firm focusing on energy and disruptive technologies. Prior to advising Satisfai , Mr. Flanigan served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and CFO of Qwest Investment Management where he closed debt and equity financings and oversaw the launch of various financial products and services.

Mr. Flanigan has also served in a number of other senior financial roles including VP of Corporate Development for Adelphia Communications overseeing the company’s financial restructuring and ultimate sale to Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corporation for USD $18 billion. He also has significant experience working in telecommunications, chemical commodities, international shipping, pipeline manufacturing and other areas in the oil & gas sector. He is a former board member of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association of America.

Andrew Stibbs

Chief Operating Officer

Mr Stibbs oversees corporate development, operations and business execution at Satisfai and has over 30 years experience in project management, operations, and corporate finance in the technology and consumer products sectors.  Mr. Stibbs focuses our business on the most promising addressable markets to ensure that we deliver solutions that solve clinically relevant problems and support the delivery of meaningful improvement in patient care and treatment outcomes.  

 

In his role as a consultant, Andrew has provided various clients with project oversight including Kepis & Pobe Financial Group where he supports corporate governance and compliance activities as well as disruptive technology investment due diligence.   Most recently, Andrew oversaw the development and deployment of a confidential online therapy service for Vancouver General Hospital which serves to complement in-patient clinical therapy at the hospital.  Andrew also oversaw the development and launch of an online tool to support the management of the high profile Site C Dam public inquiry carried out by the British Columbia Utilities Commission. 

 

Prior to joining Satisfai, Mr. Stibbs ran a multi-million dollar business unit of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, a multi-national consumer products company where he focused on planning and execution of digital strategy as well as rolling out company-wide programs such as an omni-channel gift card program.  Mr. Stibbs has advised numerous companies in the technology and consumer products sectors in the areas of business development, marketing, and corporate development and has extensive experience with business planning and start-up development including corporate structure and finance. 

 

At the beginning of his career, Mr. Stibbs was a Senior Management Consultant with Accenture in their Financial Services Practice for 10 years where he was involved in large systems integration projects in Canada and the US.  

Mr. Stibbs earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree in marketing and finance from the University of British Columbia. 

Dr. Milagros Henkel

Clinical Officer

Dr. Henkel is a specialist in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She graduated from University Del Salvador and University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Trained in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, she also specializes in liver diseases and liver transplant management. Dr. Henkel has spent time working in Colon Cancer and hepatitis prevention programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the last few years before relocating to Canada in 2016.

Ryan Monsurate

Chief Product Officer

An avid futurist, Ryan is passionate about leveraging his deep understanding of science, technology, economics and finance to maximize the potential of ethical businesses. He has worked with large multinational companies like Broadcom, Lucent, and Kodak as well as local Vancouver startups in the fields of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing to help speed up the pace of technology development and adoption.

Caryn Hamm

Controller

Mr. Hamm has an established background with financial reporting for companies listed on the TSX and TSX-V.   She is a full0cycle accountant with extensive experience in the resource and start-up sector dealing and managing multiple entities from an accounting perspective.    

She has a CPG and CGA designation and a Bachelor of Business Administration. 

Dr. Reno Panaccione

Director of IBD

Dr. Panaccione is currently a Professor of Medicine, the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic at the University of Calgary and Director of Gastroenterology Research.

Dr. Panaccione graduated from the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) with a degree in Medicine in 1993. He went on to complete his Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at the University of Western Ontario and is certified as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. Dr. Panaccione completed advanced training in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He joined the faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary in 1999. He is an internationally recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease. He has lectured nationally and internationally on various topics in inflammatory bowel disease and has delivered over 200 lectures in the last five years.

He is the author of many peer-reviewed articles (~250) and book chapters (25) on inflammatory bowel disease. His special interest lies in the fields of advanced therapies, biological therapy, and delivery of care through the implementation of clinical trials. He is a recognized authority on the use of biologics and has co-authored numerous guidelines on the management of inflammatory bowel disease for the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. He actively participates in clinical trials of new therapeutic agents in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. He has published in and reviews for prestigious journals including NEJM, Lancet, Gastroenterology and Gut. He sits on the editorial board of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, JCC, APT, and the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology.

He is presently the medical director for the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (CCC) Calgary Chapter and sits on the Medical Advisory council for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada. He is the national chair of the CCC scholarship program. He has been awarded the highest honour, the Finkelstein award by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada for his work in the field of IBD. He is also an elected member of the International Organization of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD) reflecting his status in the area. He was awarded the CAG Visiting Professor Award in 2016 for his contribution o the field of Gastroenterology in Canada. He is ranked amongst the top ten experts in the field worldwide (www.expertscape.com). He presently holds a senior leadership position within Alberta Health Services as the Medical Lead for Systems Integration with the mandate of improving the efficiency and quality of care that is delivered to patients.

Dr. James East

Advisor

Professor East is one of Europe’s leading colonoscopists and is a Consultant Gastroenterologist & Endoscopist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer specializing in advanced luminal GI endoscopy. He is the Endoscopy Research Lead for the Translational Gastroenterology Unit, Clinical Lead for Endoscopy at the John Radcliffe Hospital, and Clinical Director for Bowel Cancer Screening Oxfordshire.

He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1999, and trained in Gastroenterology and General (Internal) Medicine on the North West London rotation. He was awarded an MD (Res) in 2009 from Imperial College London after research into dysplasia detection at colonoscopy at St. Mark’s Hospital. He was appointed Consultant Gastroenterologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust in January 2010, and become an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford in July 2018.

His clinical practice focuses on general gastroenterology including heartburn, gastro-oesophageal reflux, nausea and vomiting, swallowing problems, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, anaemia and rectal bleeding. He also has a specialist interest in advanced upper and lower GI endoscopy, as well as endoscopic screening and surveillance.

Dr. Simon Travis

Advisor

About

Dr. Michael Bourke

Director of ESD

Dr. Michael Bourke is the Director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at Westmead Hospital and the past chairman of the Australian Gastrointestinal EndoscopyAssociation.   He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Sydney Medical School.  He is Co-editor of the journal Endoscopy (Journal of the European society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy), associate editor and Colorectal section editor for the Video journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Encyclopedia of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and a member of several other editorial boards.

Dr. Bourke is a global leader in colonoscopy and polypectomy including complex and advanced techniques for polypectomy, endoscopic mucosal resection for mucosal neoplasia throughout the GI tract including ERCP and Barrett’s esophagus. He is co-founder of NETI (the National Endoscopy Training Institute) and the convenor of the Sydney International Endoscopy Symposium (the annual Westmead Endoscopy meeting) with a delegation of more than 500 registrants annually.    

Dr. Leon Moons

Advisor

About

Dr. Helmut Messmann

Director of Internal Medicine III

About

Dr. Tonya Kaltenbach

Advisor

Dr. Kaltenbach is Co-­‐Director of Advanced GI Endoscopy, Inc, and an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. She has served on the US Multi-­‐Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Colorectal Cancer Screening Panel, and is active in GI societies as a Fellow of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and American College of Gastroenterology.She completed internal medicine and gastroenterology subspecialty training at Stanford University. During GI fellowship, she matriculated in a clinical research masters program in epidemiology and biostatistics, and then pursued an additional year of training in advanced endoscopic mucosal imaging and therapy and endoscopic ultrasound. Over the years she has also collaborated and directly trained with Japanese experts on endoscopic imaging and removal techniques, including endoscopic submucosal dissection.

Through her work as a thoughtful clinician, researcher and educator, she has published over 125 works, many of them seminal observational studies, randomized trials, guidelines and endoscopy teaching videos relevant to colorectal cancer prevention through the endoscopic detection, diagnosis and removal of polyps, particularly for flat and serrated-­‐class lesions. She has co-­‐produced numerous endoscopy-­‐teaching videos such as Non-­‐Polypoid (Flat & Depressed) Colorectal Neoplasm, Chromoendoscopy with Targeted Biopsy to Detect Nonpolypoid Colorectal Neoplasm in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Image Enhanced Endoscopy and Optical Diagnosis of Colorectal Polyps, seven of which were recognized with the ASGE Audiovisual Award. She was also honored with the 2014 ASGE Distinguished Educator Award.

She played a major role in the recent international efforts to enhance the quality of colonoscopy for the surveillance and management of dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease patients. These efforts have brought forward a new paradigm that is built on evidence-­‐based medicine, including guidelines, videos and atlases. She is currently leading a national initiative to develop a natural language processing algorithm that will measure and report colonoscopy quality across the VAs, and moreover, aims to improve colonoscopy quality through provider feedback and teaching. She continues to serve as faculty at various didactic and hands-­‐on courses worldwide.

Dr. David Schaeffer

Advisor

Dr. Schaeffer is the Head & Medical Director,  Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Vancouver – Acute Services at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) where he practices as a gastrointestinal pathologist.  In this role as Head of Laboratory Services, Dr. Schaeffer is in charge of Vancouver’s Laboratory Services approach to COVID-19.

 

Dr Schaeffer is also an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at University of British Columbia.

 

Dr. Schaeffer obtained his medical degree from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. After a residency program in Anatomical Pathology in Vancouver he completed his gastrointestinal pathology fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Schaeffer is a co-director of Pancreas Centre BC and also heads the Gastrointestinal Biobank (GIBB) at VGH. He has an active research program focusing predominately on translational research in colonic and pancreatic cancer.

Ford Nicholson

Chairman

Ford Nicholson is a Managing Principal and founder of Kepis & Pobe Financial Group which specializes in developing international energy and other natural resource assets. Over the past 25 years Ford has invested in and provided executive management to multiple international projects. Most recently, the firm has acted on behalf of various parties providing advisory services for the purposes of transacting in large scale assets in the South Atlantic basin.

Mr. Nicholson is the former deputy chairman of the board of InterOil Corporation, a fully integrated company developing LNG for Asian markets formerly listed on the NYSE before its sale to ExxonMobil.  He was a co-founder and Director of Nations Energy Ltd. in Kazakhstan and a co-founder and former board member of Bankers Petroleum Ltd. in Albania. Ford is also a former member of the President’s council of the International Crisis Group.

Usman 'Oz' Azam, MD

Director

Most recently, Dr. Azam was the Head of the Cell & Gene Therapies Unit at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and was a member of the Pharmaceutical Executive Committee. He has an extensive US, Global and International pharmaceutical industry background, with strong experiences in science, clinical development, regulatory and commercial activities. While at Novartis, he lived and worked in the US and Switzerland. Previous roles at Novartis included Head of Global Medical Affairs & HEOR General Medicines, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of US Clinical Development & Medical Affairs and Global Head Regulatory Affairs for the Neurosciences & Ophthalmic Franchise.

Prior to Novartis, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Novaccel Therapeutics LLC, a company he founded focusing on accelerating assets in the translational medicine setting. Prior to this he served as Chief Medical Officer at Aspreva Pharmaceutics Inc, a company that focused on orphan and rare autoimmune disease states. Aspreva was acquired by Galenica SA in 2008. Prior to this he worked at Johnson & Johnson in Pharmaceutical Research & Development and in Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson Ethicon. He started his life sciences career with Warner Lambert-Parke Davis in 1998. Dr. Azam is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Azam is a graduate of the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, where he completed undergraduate studies in Human Biology & Anatomy. He graduated from the University of Liverpool School of Medicine and attained board certification as an Obstetrician & Gynecologist in the UK.

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