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Six New Brunswick Innovators To Watch

Some are working to commercialize academic research while others are taking innovations to the wider world in new businesses.

Here are six to watch:

Dr. Natalia Stakhanova
UNB’s Dr. Natalie Stakhanova is the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Cyber Security. With hacking attacks and costly data breaches making the news on an almost daily basis, Dr. Stakhanova’s research taps into a massive need for better cyber security solutions. She’s working with small and large organizations in New Brunswick, including new startups, and her efforts have led to three new patents. Dr. Stakhanova is a key player in UNB’s Information Security Centre of Excellence (ISCX) was founded in 2007 and today stands as one of Canada’s largest research centres. She has earned recognition for her active role in promoting cyber security and entrepreneurship amongst students, and particularly among young women in New Brunswick.


Scott Everett
Scott Everett is the CEO of Fredericton startup Eigen Innovations. The company began as a way to explore commercializing the work done by Dr. Rickey Dubay’s Advanced Manufacturing and Intelligent Controls Lab at UNB.  Everett has led the company’s development with a focus on creating an advanced technology solution with a simple and effective user experience. “We heard repeatedly from our industrial partners that complex solutions are great, but only if they are easy to use and simple to maintain,” says Everett. “Innovation has to occur on all fronts if you want to build a successful business.”


Dr. Sarah Eisler
Advanced technology can sometimes look like magic. That’s certainly true when it comes to the work of UNB’s Dr. Sarah Eisler. A chemist, she’s working on developing an organic molecule that is essentially a piece of nanotechnology machinery. She’s starting from a single molecule to create machines smaller than the eye can see. Or as she puts it, her research group investigates the synthesis of small, highly functionalized molecules: one dedicated to solving problems in organic electronics, and another dedicated to controlling switching dynamics and addressing multi-state switching in responsive materials. You know, magic.


Sandra Turcotte
Dr. Sandra Turcotte is doing some pretty cool research in the fight against kidney cancer. She is an assistant professor at the Université de Moncton, the researcher in residency at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute and the head of the Turcotte Cancer Research Group. Turcotte’s research focuses on the development of new targeted treatment for kidney cancer. In most renal tumors, the tumor suppressor gene von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) is inactivated, driving tumor development. Her studies identified a small molecule capable to kill renal cancer cells and demonstrated the feasibility to target VHL-inactivated tumors. Her lab uses a variety of methods in cell and molecular biology to understand the mechanism of action of this molecule. This research could generate new opportunities for drug targets and the development of personalized medicine for kidney cancer based on synthetic lethality.


Pablo Asiron
Pablo Asiron is the executive VP of Global Business Development for Masitek Instruments and has 20 years of experience in the areas of executive management, consulting, process control, information systems, business development and sales. A certified professional engineer, Asiron holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta. Asiron is committed to data-driven solutions that make it easier for companies to make confident decisions that will improve their bottom line. In 2015, he was a finalist for the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Atlantic Canada for emerging business. He has an extensive positive record of attracting capital and increasing sales. Prior to joining Masitek, Asiron co-founded RtTech Software, where he was responsible for most of the company sales and helped the company earn a number of awards.


Dr. Bill McIver
Bill McIver, Jr., PhD is the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mobile First Technology at the New Brunswick Community College. He conducts applied research in the practical application of mobile information and communication technologies to a wide range of industrial and social use cases. He also manages the NBCC Mobile Ideaspace, a physical and virtual lab designed to support early-stage innovation across the province. McIver has performed research in academic, federal and industrial contexts. He has patented and licensed technologies and is a former senior research officer in the Institute for Information Technologies of the National Research Council (NRC) in Fredericton. He led research projects in NRC that designed and implemented web-based video prototypes for remote health care use cases and a production system for automated vehicle location and next stop announcement for public transit. The latter project received the 2010 KIRA Award in the category Technology Advancement/Private with Redball Internet. His current research interests include interconnected user experience between mobile and television-based app frameworks, captology, and design thinking.