Dr. Michael Quilliam graduated with a Chemistry Ph.D. in 1977 from University of Manitoba after researching new organosilicon reagents for the synthesis, chromatography and mass spectrometry of nucleic acids. Post-doctoral research at Université de Montréal and a one-year position with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment provided experience in mass spectrometry and environmental contaminants. From 1978 to 1987, he served as Assistant and then Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at McMaster University. His research focused on the detection and identification of carcinogens and their metabolites and the development of analytical methods based on liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. In 1987, Dr. Quilliam joined the National Research Council of Canada as Principal Research Officer in the Biotoxin Metrology group in Halifax. After retirement from the NRC in 2017, he was appointed as Researcher Emeritus. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Dalhousie University. His research at NRCC has focused on the analytical chemistry of toxic substances and the production of certified reference materials (CRMs). He has worked on environmental and food contaminants that include marine and freshwater biotoxins, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and veterinary drug residues.
Most notable accomplishments include pioneering efforts in application of liquid chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (LC-MS), identification of domoic acid as the causative agent in the 1987 Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning incident, identification of many other new marine toxins, development of analytical methods for biotoxins, and the production of a unique suite of biotoxin CRMs that are distributed worldwide. The methods and reference materials that the NRC group has developed are in routine use in regulatory laboratories worldwide. Dr. Quilliam has 245 refereed papers, 2 patents, 7 book chapters, 91 CRM certification reports and over 730 presentations and reports. His awards include: the 1994 Caledon Award for significant contributions in the field of trace organic residue analytical chemistry; the 2005 AOAC Wiley Award for accomplishments in the field of analytical chemistry; the 2011 AOAC-TDRM Reference Materials Award for achievements in the development of reference materials; the 2016 Maxxam Award for distinguished contribution to the field of analytical chemistry in Canada; and the 2016 Yasumoto Award for lifetime achievement in the field of algal toxin research.


Dr. Olivier Ploux is a Professor of Biochemistry (Chimie ParisTech). He develoved his PhD thesis at UPMC Univ Paris 6 : "Synthesis of cyclic analogs of substance P : biochemical and structural characterization, 1986. Postdoctoral stay at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, USA) with Prof.C.T. Walsh. CNRS scientist (Chargé de recherche) with Prof. A. Marquet, UPMC Univ Paris 6. He has been also Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry at UPMC Univ Paris 6. His research topics are related with the Understanding of the chemistry of life and in particular the function of enzymatic reactions that are either biochemically relevant or with potential therapeutic outcomes, has always been central to my research activities.Recently, his group has been involved in deciphering the biosynthesis of important secondary metabolites from cyanobacteria with a particular interest in cyanotoxins like anatoxins and cylindrospermopsins. By using a combination of diverse approaches including genomics, biochemistry, analytical chemistry as well as synthetic chemistry they discovered the cluster of genes responsible for the biosynthesis of anatoxins and reconstituted the biosynthesis of these toxins in vitro. They have then applied these new findings to the detection of anatoxin producers in the environment. He has been involved in many different research projects and has published extensively in the area of cyanotoxins