Jacob (Jake) J. Thiessen, BSc (Pharm), MSc, PhD
Founding chair, Advisory Committee, Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration
Professor Emeritus, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto
Founding Director, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
Jake is a former Professor, Associate Dean and current Professor Emeritus at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto.
After 33 years at the University of Toronto, he spent six years at the University of Waterloo, where he had strategic responsibility for the development of a new Health Sciences Campus and Canada’s 10th School of Pharmacy.
Education, research and administrative leadership have been central to his 40-year academic career. Jake specialized in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, which describe quantitatively those forces that affect how the body handles medicines and how medicines affect the body. The dynamic of these two areas influences strategies around patient treatment regimen in all disease states. Research collaborations included some years working with medical oncologists and basic scientists at Princess Margaret Hospital.
In more recent years, University of Waterloo-based research with scientists in cognate fields explored a special region of light and its illuminating benefits in the pharmaceutical and medical fields. This led to the formation of a start-up company (Verisanté) that is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange. The first product (Aura™) is a revolutionary technology allowing skin irregularities to be scanned and thereby assist in the early diagnosis of skin cancer.
Jake’s broad experience has included international projects in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Nigeria, the role of CCAPP President, Chair for the Drug Quality and Therapeutics Committee of the Ontario Ministry of Health, and Chair for Health Canada’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Bioavailability and Bioequivalence. Currently, he serves Health Canada as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology.
Most recently, Jake served the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care as an independent reviewer of the under-dosing of oncology medicines discovered in Ontario. The personal interest in this project arose from the aforementioned research associations in medical oncology, a father who passed away prematurely from cancer, and two sisters-in-law who also succumbed to the disease.
Jake received the 2014 Pillar of Pharmacy award from Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy for his life-long commitment to pharmacy education and a dedication to research that enhances patient care.
We thank Jake for his contributions to OPEN and his guidance and leadership as the first chair of our Advisory Committee.