CEO and Partner, Quark Venture
A highly-recognized Canadian life sciences leader, Karimah Es Sabar brings 30 years of dynamic global business experience to her role as CEO and Partner of Quark Venture, a Canadian life sciences venture capital firm. She previously held the position of President and CEO of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), where she had previously been the Senior Vice-President, Business and Strategic Affairs. She was responsible for ensuring the organization’s long-term sustainability, while leading its business functions and successfully building the many national and international alliances and strategic partnerships which are now contributing significantly to advancing the goals of CDRD. In 2013, Ms. Es Sabar was appointed Founding Chair of the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres, an association of international peer organizations dedicated to translating health research into new medicines.
Prior to joining CDRD, Ms. Es Sabar took on the role of leading BC Biotech in 2005, re-engineering and rebranding the organization to LifeSciences BC. As President, she led the organization to its greatest levels of success as a strong business development organization for the life science industry and the scientific research community. Ms. Es Sabar has also held senior management positions with international multinational companies, most notably as Director International Division, and later Director Marketing and Business Development at Connaught Laboratories Limited [Sanofi Pasteur] based in Toronto. Ms. Es Sabar also served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for a Vancouver medical devices company, Medsurge Medical Inc., and was the founder and Managing Director of SAL Healthcare Limited, a leading healthcare organization in Kenya specializing in pharmaceutical marketing, distribution and healthcare consulting services. The company set new standards in the marketing and distribution of biopharmaceutical products in the region.
Ms. Es Sabar currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Providence Healthcare Research Institute, and also sits on the Boards of a number of organizations including the Vancouver Prostate Centre; the Prostate Centre’s Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development (PC-TRiADD); NRC Council, NRC – IRAP Advisory Board, BC Centre for Improved Cardiovascular Health Advisory Board; and is also Past-President of MOSAIC, a multilingual non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect immigrants and refugees in the course of their settlement and integration into Canadian society. She has also lent her leadership expertise by participating in a number of advisory committees for organizations such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); MITACS; the British Columbia Institute of Technology / University of British Columbia Biotechnology Degree Program; The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE); India Market Advisory Committee, and the British Columbia Asia-Pacific Trade Council. She is also a former board member of LifeSciences British Columbia, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR); the Aga Khan National Economic Planning Board of Canada and Aga Khan National Health Boards in Canada and Kenya.
Ms. Es Sabar has been the recipient of a number of awards and recognitions including Canada’s Gold Award for Business Excellence (CABE) while at Sanofi Pasteur; the Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) “2013 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award”; the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2010 for Industry, Science and Technology; and was included amongst “The Vancouver Power 50” listing of the most influential people in BC by Vancouver Magazine, and “BC’s Top 100 Women of Influence” by the Vancouver Sun. Ms. Es Sabar holds a BSc. Joint Honours degree in Biochemistry/Chemistry from the University of Salford, England, a MSc. degree in Neurochemistry from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, England, and an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from MIT Sloan School of Management.