Board of Directors
Click on the name to see their biography.
Dr. Francesco Bellini, Chairman
Dr. Francesco Bellini is Chairman of BELLUS Health Inc. (formerly Neurochem Inc.), a global health company focused on the development and commercialization of products to provide innovative health solutions to address critical unmet needs. In addition, Dr. Bellini is also Chairman of Picchio International and Prognomix Inc. and until March 2009 – ViroChem Pharma (which sold for $CDN 500M in early 2009 to Vertex) – all companies involved in healthcare. Prior to this, Dr. Bellini was Chairman and CEO of BioChem Pharma an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases and cancer, which he co-founded in 1986. From 1968 to 1984, he had a fruitful career as a researcher at the Canadian subsidiary of a multinational pharmaceutical company. In 1984, Dr. Bellini established the biochemicals division of the Institut Armand-Frappier at the Université du Québec, which specializes in research, manufacturing and the commercialization of fine chemicals. He headed up this unit until leaving in 1986 to co-found BioChem Pharma, where he served as the Company’s Chairman and CEO until 2001. In 2004, Dr. Bellini approached the science of wine making from a chemist’s point of view. A project which originally began as a hobby has led to the opening of The Domodimonti Winery located in Montefiore, Ascoli-Piceno, which is owned by Dr. Bellini and his family. Domodimonti’s objective is to produce the highest quality in wines as naturally as possible without any synthetic intervention or additives. Dr. Bellini is also a member of the following Board of Directors: Molson Coors Brewery Company; Prognomix Inc.; Montreal Heart Institute Foundation; Italian Chamber of Commerce; and the Government of Canada’s Science Technology & Innovation Council. In recognition of his major contribution in the fields of entrepreneurship, research and economy, Dr. Bellini has received the title of ‘Cavaliere del Lavoro’, the most prestigious honor granted by the Italian government.
Dr. John Chalmers, representative of the George Institute
A graduate of The University of Sydney, John Chalmers trained at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (Sydney), The University of NSW, MIT (Boston) and Hammersmith Hospital (UK). He was one of the founders of the new Medical School and Medical Centre at Flinders, where he held the Foundation Chair of Medicine from 1975 to 1996 and where he was also Dean and Associate Dean and established the Hypertension Research Group. After a period as Research Chairman at Royal North Shore Hospital (1996-2000), he was Chairman of Research Development for the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Sydney (2000-2002). In these capacities he assisted in the establishment of The George Institute for International Health and served on its Board of Directors from the time the Institute was founded at the beginning of 1999, through to June 2004. His ground breaking research on the role of the brain in the development of hypertension helped establish Flinders as a leading international center in hypertension research and in neuroscience. His studies on high blood pressure and the prevention of heart attack and stroke has influenced the treatment of countless patients and has been recognised through the award of the Wellcome Medal (1981), the RT Hall Prize of the Cardiac Society of ANZ and the Volhard Medal of the International Society of Hypertension. He has received Honorary MDs from The University of Queensland, The University of New South Wales, Flinders University of South Australia, and most recently The University of Sydney. He was admitted to the Australian Academy of Science in 1987. Professor Chalmers has variously been Chairman or President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian Society for Medical Research, the National Health Medical Research Council of Australia, the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia, the International Society of Hypertension, the Scientific Advisory Board of the World Heart Federation and the WHO Expert Committee on Hypertension. He was appointed a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) in 1991 and awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for his contribution to Australian Society and Science. He was named in the Bulletin’s “Smart 100” for 2007, among the 10 most creative and innovative Australians working in Health and Medicine. He was also awarded the Alberto Zanchetti Life Achievement Award at the ESH Ceremony & Presidential Lecture, Berlin, June 2008.