Guest Speakers


Keynote Speaker

Edith Pituskin, PhD

“Oncology therapeutics in the era of precision medicine: questions and opportunities”

Dr. Pituskin is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Chronic Disease. She has dedicated her career to tackling the difficult problem of personalizing cancer treatments and alleviating suffering from multiple approaches including exercise, preventive pharmacotherapy, supportive rehabilitative care, innovative phenotype imaging, genetic profiling, dietary interventions and patient-reported outcomes. Dr. Pituskin aims to discover the importance and relevant contribution of each patients’ individual characteristics towards development of risk phenotypes.

Precision medicine holds promise to offer optimal health outcomes to each individual while avoiding difficult side effects. This is particularly relevant in oncology, where acute and chronic toxicities of necessary anti-cancer therapy may contribute to health morbidity and mortality exceeding that of recurrent cancer. This presentation will review key issues in cancer treatment and survivorship and the potential of precision medicine approaches to individualize and optimize treatment approaches. Taken together I have tackled the difficult problem of personalizing cancer treatments and alleviating suffering from multiple approaches, from exercise to pharmacotherapy to supportive rehabilitative care to phenotype imaging to genetic profiling to dietary interventions. Accordingly, we are discovering the importance and contribution of each patients’ individual characteristics towards development of phenotypes. 


Dr. Sherif Mahmoud, PhD

Dr. Sherif Mahmoud


Dr. Sherif Mahmoud is a clinical associate professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta. He is also a neurocritical care clinical pharmacist at the University of Alberta Hospital. He received his BSc (Pharm) degree and Master’s in Clinical Pharmacy from Ain-Shams University and his PhD in pharmacokinetics from the University of Alberta.

He has been involved in pharmacy practice for more than 20 years where he had many roles as a clinician, researcher and educator. Dr. Mahmoud’s research areas include epilepsy, antiseizure medications, neurocritical care pharmacotherapy and altered action and disposition of drugs in critical illness. Dr. Mahmoud studies how neurological injury and other patient factors alter the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs, an important avenue for personalized pharmacotherapy. This in addition to teaching patient assessment skills in various practice settings. Dr. Mahmoud is a recipient of numerous awards and has numerous publications throughout his career. In addition, he is the sole editor of “Patient Assessment in Clinical Pharmacy: A Comprehensive Guide”, an indispensable resource for pharmacists looking to learn or improve crucial patient assessment skills relevant to all pharmacy practice settings.

Dr. Mahmoud is actively involved with the Neurocritical Care Society committees including the research and pharmacy leadership committees. Dr. Mahmoud received multiple accolades for his role in neurocritical care and he is inducted as Fellow of the Neurocritical Care Society (FNCS) for his exceptional service, academic excellence, and leadership in the field of Neurocritical care.

Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar, PhD

Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar

Afsaneh Lavasanifar

 Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar is a Professor of Pharmaceutics in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences with a joint appointment at the Department of Chemical and Material Engineering at the University of Alberta. She is the co-founder and scientific chief officer of Meros Polymers Inc. Her research is focused on the development of delivery systems that can increase solubility, modify the pharmacokinetics, reduce toxicity and increase the activity of different therapeutics with a focus on the development of nano-medicine for cancer chemo and immunotherapy as well as inflammatory disorders.

Her research has been funded by Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI); Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS) and Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF). Dr Lavasanifar has over 170 peer reviewed papers, 4 book chapters, and is an inventor in several patents/patent applications. Dr Lavasanifar is currently the associate editor of Molecular Pharmaceutics, and ACS Bio & Med Chem Au. She is also the Associate Scientific director of Nanomedicine Innovation Network (NIMIN).

Dr. Lisa Guirguis

Dr. Lisa Guirguis 

Lisa Guirguis Lisa Guirguis BSc Pharm. MSc, PhD is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta. She conducts pharmacy practice research, explores pharmacists’ adoption of practice innovations and supports patients’ and pharmacists’ roles in patient-centred care. Her knowledge translation tools focus on practical strategies for pharmacists to engage patients in a dialogue about safe medication use and have been adopted by provincial and national pharmacy organizations.

Nicole Nemet, PharmD, RPh

Nicole Nemet

Nicole NemetFor the past two years, Nicole Nemet has practiced as a community pharmacist in St. Albert, where she is the pharmacy manager at Grandin Prescription Centre, a well-established pharmacy located beside a longstanding medical clinic.  She also works part-time with the clinical skills team as a first-year instructor in the FoPPS program.

Nicole graduated from the University of Alberta, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in June 2020. Prior to graduating, she worked alongside Dr. Cheryl Sadowski and Dr. Pat Mayo to investigate if pharmacogenomics could be a potential factor in medication safety for older adults. Through this research project, her curiosity grew about the potential role of pharmacogenomics in clinical practice. After graduation, Nicole went on to work as a relief pharmacist across both Alberta and Saskatchewan. She has worked in community pharmacy since 2016, with a multitude of teams and environments. Her passion within pharmacy is to remain the most accessible provider to her patients, to maintain the highest scope of practice and to mentor professional student learners.

Dr. Amber Ruben

Dr. Amber Ruben

 Amber RubenDr. Amber Ruben is a pharmacist at the Misericordia Community hospital and has practiced in family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics, and ICU over her 16 years at Covenant Health. Amber is Inuvialuk (Inuit from the northwestern Canadian Arctic region) and was born and raised in Ft. Smith, NT.  To pursue undergraduate studies, she moved to Lethbridge and obtained a BSc in Neuroscience, however decided not to continue a career in research at the time and completed a BSc Pharmacy at the University of Alberta. Over the past few years, Amber has become involved in educating pharmacy students and health care professionals on the history of Indigenous Peoples within Canada and the link between assimilation and current health issues.

Amber is also a member of the Indigenous Advisory Body at Covenant Health and the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada. Beginning last fall, Amber has resumed her studies and has started a Master of Science degree in Pharmacy with a focus on Indigenous health.