Board of Directors

Hal Gunn, MD
CEO & Co-founder, Qu Biologics

Dr. Hal Gunn, founder and CEO of Qu Biologics, is a physician-entrepreneur who has had a lifelong interest in the body’s ability to heal and has dedicated his professional life to understanding how to optimally support the body’s immune response to chronic disease. Dr. Gunn is recognized both nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of supportive cancer care, and in 2009 was awarded the $250,000 Dr. Roger’s Prize for vision, leadership and integrity in the field of Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Gunn obtained his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and remains a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC’s School of Medicine.  In 1997, Dr. Gunn co-founded InspireHealth, Canada’s foremost supportive cancer care centre, which supports the health, healing and immune system function of people undergoing cancer treatment and their families. Under Dr. Gunn’s leadership, InspireHealth grew to become a world leader in supportive cancer care, with three centres (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna), treating 2,500 new patients per year. Dr. Gunn founded Qu Biologics in 2007.


Robert E. Pelzer, LLB

Mr. Robert E. Pelzer is an accomplished pharmaceutical leader with significant international experience. He was most recently President of Novartis Corporation and served as its Head of Legal Affairs. In that capacity, Mr. Pelzer was responsible for the oversight of all six Novartis divisions operating in the United States and was member and Chairman of 30+ U.S. Novartis company board of directors. Previously, Mr. Pelzer served as Global General Counsel and Head of Legal Services at Novartis Pharma AG, based in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining Novartis in 2002, Mr. Pelzer served as General Counsel and Senior Vice President at DuPont Pharmaceuticals. He also held a variety of other positions within the DuPont organization, including Director and General Manager for the European oil and gas business and Vice President and General Counsel of Conoco Canada Limited in Calgary, Canada. Mr. Pelzer has held a number of directorships including PhRMA, Novartis US, Idenix Pharmaceuticals and Litebook Company. He was admitted as Barrister and Solicitor in the Province of Alberta, Canada, and as Solicitor in England and Wales. Mr. Pelzer holds degrees in Commerce and in Law from the University of Alberta.


Julia Levy, PhD

As co-inventor of Visudyne and co-founder of QLT, Dr. Levy served in several key senior positions at the company including Chief Scientific Officer as well as President and CEO. Under Dr. Levy’s leadership, QLT recorded the strongest period of growth in the company’s history and earned a reputation for achieving milestones, including FDA approval for Visudyne to treat age-related macular degeneration, the commonest cause of severe vision loss in the elderly. Dr. Levy has earned numerous awards and honours including an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, the Female Entrepreneur of the Year for International Business, Pacific Canada Entrepreneur of the Year and the Future of Vision Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness. In 2002 she received, along with Dr. David Dolphin, the Friesen-Rygiel prize for medical research and the Prix Galien Canada research award. In her honour, the Julia G. Levy Professorship in Ophthalmology Chair was created at Johns Hopkins Hospital Wilmer Eye Institute in 2004, the same year she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the BC Biotechnology Association. In 2009, the province of British Columbia permanently endowed the Julia Levy B.C. Leadership Chair in Macular Research at the University of British Columbia (U.B.C.) in partnership with U.B.C. and QLT.


Karn Manhas, JD Law, BSc

Karn Manhas is a multi-faceted leader and biotech CEO, whose diverse leadership background spans being the youngest Member of the Legislative Assembly elected in British Columbia, a sought-after thought leader on sustainability and innovative organizations, and Founder and CEO of Terramera, a biotech company on a mission to transform how food is grown and the economics of agriculture. Led by Karn and his innovative vision and leadership, Terramera has raised more than USD$80M in equity funding to execute its transformative vision and scale globally, including achieving multiple licensing partnerships and accelerated sustained growth.

Karn holds a Juris Doctor in Law from the University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. in Biology (Genetics) and Biotechnology from McGill University. ​Karn is a member of YPO and fellow at Unreasonable Group, and was named one of Business in Vancouver’s top Forty Under 40 business people. Terramera’s recent awards include Fast Company naming its proprietary platform a 2020 “World-Changing Idea,” winning the inaugural Nutrien-Radicle Challenge Canada, the C.L.I.C. Challenge – 1st Edition, and 2019 Life Sciences BC Company of the Year.


Mike Leschuk, CA, CPA

A Chartered Accountant by training, Mr. Leschuk brings a breadth of experience in working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations to his Directorship at Qu. Mr. Leschuk is currently President of Leschuk-Weisz Developments, a residential and commercial real estate development company focusing on projects across Southwestern Ontario. He also serves as Director/Treasurer of the Rob Freeman Foundation, a registered charity that raises and manages funds for the operation of a specialized home in Burlington, Ontario. Mr. Mike Leschuk began his career as a Chartered Accountant in public accounting with Pricewaterhouse before assuming the role of Vice-President Finance with the London Telecom Group, one of the fastest growing private companies and also one of the largest private long-distance operators in Canada at the time. During his tenure, he was a key member of the executive team that finalized the sale of Canadian operations to Primus Telecommunications. Mr. Leschuk’s depth of knowledge in accounting and finance provides a valuable complement to Qu’s existing Board composition.


Yuchen Xia, MMath

Mr. Yuchen Xia is an accomplished investment management professional with extensive experience in driving corporate performance by leading and executing in key organisational functions. Mr. Xia began his career as a multi-asset class portfolio manager at BlackRock’s European headquarters in London, UK, where he was responsible for managing multi-billion-dollar investment portfolios across a variety of strategies for the firm’s largest institutional clients in the EMEA region. Mr. Xia was also a founding member of Moneyfarm’s UK operation, one of Europe’s leading digital investment managers, where he built and developed the company’s investment capability as well as being responsible for managing the company’s strategic partnerships. Mr. Xia is currently the founder and investment director at New Horizon Investment Management Ltd, a boutique investment advisory and management firm that provides bespoke financial advisory service to retail investors.

Mr. Xia received an MMath degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Oxford University and holds the Investment Management Certificate from CFA UK. He is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

Past events:

Past events: