Scientific Advisory Board

Dr Michael Murray


Dr. Murray is one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine. The author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, he has published more than 30 books featuring natural approaches to health. Dr. Murray has also been instrumental in bringing many natural products to North America, including: Glucosamine sulfate, St. John’s wort extract, Ginkgo biloba extract, Silymarin (milk thistle extract, Saw palmetto berry extract and Theracurmin. He has also lectured to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and appeared on hundreds of radio and TV programs, including the influential Dr. Oz show.

A graduate and former faculty member of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, Dr. Murray now serves on its Board of Regents. Dr. Murray also serves as Chief Science Officer for Enzymedica.

Dr. Giovanni Appendino, Ph.D.


Dr. Appendino has studied cannabis and cannabinoids for more than 15 years and is regarded by the global scientific community as one of the worlds thought leaders in cannabinoid research. He was the keynote speaker at the 2014 ICRS Symposium, held in Baveno, Italy. He has been Director of Research and Development in Indena S.P.A. since 2006 and is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Eastern Piedmont (UPO) in Italy. Dr. Appendino has been the local coordinator of three EU research programs, and his research on natural products chemistry focuses primarily on medium-sized cyclic compounds, such as cannabinoids.

He also serves as Editor in Chief of the scientific journal Fitoterapia, and belongs to the publishing advisory board of several journals of the area of Organic Chemistry and Natural Products. Dr. Appendino is the author of more than 250 articles and 10 book chapters, and holds six patents (four of which relate to cannabinoids).

Jim DeMesa, M.D., M.B.A.


Dr. DeMesa has 27 years of executive experience in biotech product development, including clinical and regulatory management and partnering with small and large pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies. He has raised more than $150 million to advance product development into clinical stage, regulatory approval and commercialization. He is the former CEO of two public biotech companies, Migenix Inc. and GenSci Regeneration Sciences, which is now part of Integra LifeSciences (NASD: IART). Dr. DeMesa is a director of two biotech companies: OncoSec Medical (NASD:ONCS), and Induce Biologics. Prior to the CEO positions, he was Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Biodynamics International, now part of RTI Surgical (NASD:RTIX), and Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Bentley Pharmaceuticals, now part of Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TEVA), and a practicing physician.

Avtar Dhillon, B.Sc., M.D.


Avtar Dhillon is a life sciences entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience building public companies through mergers and acquisitions, leading innovation in scientific, engineering and farming enterprises, securing government grants and NGO funding (more than $75 million U.S. to date), and building dominant IP portfolios through partnering. During his tenure as President and CEO at Inovio (NASDAQ: INO), he led the turnaround of the company through restructuring and acquisitions. Under his leadership, Inovio completed financing totaling over $250 million and several licensing deals with global pharma leaders Merck, Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Roche. Before joining Inovio, Avtar was Vice President of MDS Capital Corp., now Lumira Capital Corp., a leading healthcare venture capital organization. In 2016, he was appointed to the board of the Cannabis Association of Canada, which comprises key opinion leaders and executives who provide the Canadian government with their input to the formation of the recreational cannabis regulatory framework.

Avtar practiced family medicine for over 12 years after receiving a B.Sc. (Honors) in Human Physiology and an M.D. from the University of British Columbia.