MAP

Vitazan Professional is pleased to announce
the creation of the MAP!

Improved patient outcomes through the collaboration
of Vitazan Professional and expert naturopathic advisors

Formulated – Reviewed – Validated

The MAP™, or Medical Advancement Panel, is a group of expert naturopathic doctors in Canada and the USA brought together to create a directional tool for clinicians to improve their prescribing confidence.

• Expert collaboration by leading NDs to create evidence-informed and clinically focused natural health products
• Monthly critical review and evaluation of formulas by the MAP™ team
• Clinical validation of formulas by MAP™ members
• Case reports presented in the Vitazan Professional newsletter
• Compounded formulas using Vitazan Professional’s ingredients tested in their ISO 17025–accredited laboratory and produced in their newly expanded, state-of-the-art, 127,000 square-foot, GMP‑compliant facility

This innovative venture was spearheaded by Dr. Melanie Kusznireckyj, ND, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Vitazan Professional, and supported by the MAP™. Its objective is to create clinically-driven natural health products for practitioners and to share knowledge with professionals practicing naturopathic and functional medicine. With the help of the MAP™, Vitazan Professional will also create learning tools to help guide professionals on prescribing natural products based on scientific data and clinical evidence.

In addition to the data generated through the MAP™, Vitazan will be directly supporting further evaluation of its formulas through clinical and/or observational research.

Strategically, the board will carefully examine some major categories of naturopathic care, such as integrative or adjunctive oncology, endocrinology, cardiology, mental health, and nephrology.

Panel Members


Dr. Jean-Jacques Dugoua
HBSc, ND, PhD

Dr. Jean-Jacques Dugoua, or Dr. JJ as he is affectionately known, is a naturopathic doctor, clinical pharmacologist, and researcher. He is the chief medical officer of the Liberty Clinic in downtown Toronto and the first naturopathic doctor (ND) to practice at the Toronto Western Hospital Artist Health Center, one of the few NDs practicing in a hospital in Canada. He has done research with the Motherisk Program at Sick Kids Hospital and was an associate professor at the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

Dr. JJ completed his PhD in Pharmacy Sciences at the University of Toronto. As part of his PhD research, Dr. JJ investigated the safety of natural products during pregnancy and lactation at the Sick Kids Hospital, and he conducted a clinical trial on the effects of cinnamon on type 2 diabetes at the Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre Universitaire de Sherbrooke.

Dr. JJ is a coauthor of Herbal Medicines in Pregnancy and Lactation – An Evidence-based Approach First Edition (Taylor & Francis, 2006) and contributing author to Clinical Pharmacology During Pregnancy (Academic Press 2012) and Diabetes: An Old Disease, New Insight (Landes 2012). Dr. JJ is an avid public speaker. He has given many presentations to pharmacists, medical professionals, government, academics, artists and musicians, students, teachers, cancer survivors, and the general public. Dr. JJ has also given presentations internationally, including presentations at the World Health Organization in Washington DC.


Dr. Sharon Gurm
BSc, ND, FABNO

Dr. Sharon Gurm has been a practicing naturopathic physician since 2005. Her academic journey began at the University of British Columbia, where she completed her BSc in Cell Biology and Genetics, and was a member of the university’s field hockey team. During that time, she was appointed to a five-year clinical research position at the BC Cancer Agency, mentored by some of the top oncologists in the country.

In 2005, Dr. Gurm received her doctorate of naturopathic medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Following that, she completed a fellowship in naturopathic oncology to become a naturopathic oncologist according to the standards of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO).

In 2007, she founded Port Moody Health – Integrative Medicine and Cancer Care, a multidisciplinary and collaborative health-care centre with visitors from around the globe. The clinic offers the most advanced and progressive Health Canada–approved medical therapies, including local/regional hyperthermia, photodynamic therapy, and photobiomodulation. The team consists of physicians (naturopathic doctors, medical doctor, residents), nurses, nutritionists, and support staff.

Dr. Gurm has presented at several conferences, including the International Society of Laser Applications Conference, the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Oncology Conference, and she is a frequent presenter for Health Masters Live. She is also the program director and clinical professor of the oncology program at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine.


Dr. Baljit Khamba
ND, MPH

Dr. Baljit Khamba is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is an active member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and an alumni of York University (HBSc) and Lakehead University (MPH).

Dr. Khamba is a clinical supervisor and an assistant professor at Bastyr University. She has been successfully instructing and mentoring students for the past four years in a variety of different programs, such as Naturopathic Medicine, Master of Counselling Psychology, and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Integrative medicine, clinical research, and motivational-based teaching are factors that Dr. Khamba holds in high regard. She has published in a number of journals and newsletters, and she has disseminated research findings in conferences globally.

Dr. Khamba has practiced in clinics in Toronto, Edmonton, and San Diego. She approaches care using a holistic perspective and integrates the philosophies of naturopathic medicine to empower patients through their health goals. Dr. Khamba is also an active member of the community, speaking at conferences, podcasts, and radio, often discussing her own journey through breast cancer and her use of integrative medicine.

“Leadership, research, and education are key characteristics that I aspire to promote within our profession. By joining MAP™, I am able to collaborate alongside my astute colleagues and bring our ideas to fruition.”


Dr. Paul Richard Saunders
ND, PhD

Dr. Paul Richard Saunders graduated from Duke University with a PhD and an ND from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and completed a second ND and Homeopathic Medicine Residency at National College in Portland, Oregon, over 30 years ago. He uses the full range of naturopathic therapies and enjoys helping patients with unusual cases as well as reading the medical literature to find solutions.

He has served the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) as Clinic Director, Associate Dean, Chief Naturopathic Officer, Chair of Materia Medica, and Professor of Materia Medica. He continues to teach various courses at CCNM, conduct clinical research, publish, co-author books, present scientific papers, and serve on various professional committees nationally and internationally. Dr Saunders is also Adjunct Professor at National University of Health Science (NUHS) in Lombard, ILL, teaching IV medicine and botanical medicine.

As editor of the Canadian Journal of Herbalism, 2000-2002, he instituted peer-review. He has been doing grant reviews for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the NIH since 2000. He was honoured as Ontario Naturopathic Doctor of the Year, in 1994 and 2002. In 1999, he was a member of the Transition Team that created Health Canada’s Office of Natural Health Products (now the Natural Health Products Directorate) and served on its Expert Advisory Committee, 2000-2006.


Dr. Dugald Seely
ND, MSc

Dr. Dugald Seely is a naturopathic doctor and clinician scientist with a keen interest in researching and applying the best of integrative medicine for people living with chronic disease. With a long-time focus on integrative oncology in the service of people living with cancer, Dr. Seely has been most active in clinic and research, building on the base of evidence for integrative oncology.

Dr. Seely is the founder and CEO of the Centre for Health Innovation (CHI), formerly the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC); affiliate investigator with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI); adjunct professor with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa; executive director of integrative oncology research at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM); and president of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP). Through the past 18 years, Dr. Seely has secured over 11 million dollars in competitive grant funding and led numerous clinical trials and synthesis research projects, and he has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers.

“I am thrilled to be able to work proactively with Dr. Kusznireckyj, ND, and the rest of the Medical Advisory Panel to develop and research novel and innovative natural health product formulas for use by people struggling with cancer, as well as for other chronic conditions.”


Chair: Dr. Melanie Kusznireckyj
BSc, ND, COO of Vitazan Professional

Dr. Melanie Kusznireckyj graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto and has a degree in botany and plant physiology from the University of Ottawa. Melanie was also a professional modern dancer before a career change into naturopathy. She has previous research experience in the department of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto under the mentorship of Dr. Heather Boone, and in the department of epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, as part of the INTERPHONE World Health Organization study investigating the effects of cellphone use and brain-tumour risk. Melanie joined Vitazan Professional in 2018 as a customer service representative and quickly took on a leadership role to grow the business through collaboration, education, and mentorship of her clients, and through project development with the MAP members. Melanie is an amateur knitter and cellist and enjoys Argentine tango.

“It is a great pleasure to bring together these talented individuals and advance the clinical science of natural health products. This project is the seed to grow a greater awareness in research methodologies, design, and implementation of naturopathic care.”

President


Peter Wilkes
President, Vitazan Professional

Peter Wilkes has been involved in the health-food industry since 1973. During the mid-1980s, he began his lifelong career and passion in manufacturing the highest-quality natural health products on the market with the creation of New Roots Herbal.

Peter created Vitazan Professional to support the naturopathic community in 1997, and has since remained loyal with the profession via support and partnerships with educational institutions, associations, and other organizations. Peter also supports the Naturopathic Currents project, an online resource of articles written by naturopathic doctors and published in six different languages.

Laboratory


Serge Philibert Kuate
PhD, Quality Director, N.H.P. Laboratories

Serge manages the Quality Management System and the ISO 17025 accreditation program at N.H.P. Laboratories Inc. He obtained his PhD from the University of Erlangen- Nuremberg (Germany) in 2008, focusing on enzymes purification and characterization.

Prior to studying in Germany, he graduated from Cameroonian universities. Between 2008 and 2012, he worked as scientist at international research institutions, including Rothamsted Research (England, UK) and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). His qualifications include chromatographic and spectral techniques (LC-MS/MS, HPLC, GC-MS, etc.), electrophoretic techniques (SDS-PAGE, Native PAGE), as well as microbiology (fungi and bacteria) and enzymatic activity.

His research outputs are documented as publications in several international peer-reviewed journals. Serge is also specialized in Quality Assurance of Health Products and lectures in the Quality Assurance program of the Gerald Godin College.

The first company in the industry to have its own in‑house accredited laboratory

All ingredients that enter our facility are tested three times over for identity, contaminants such as mycotoxins (aflatoxins), PCBs, over 80 different pesticides, heavy metals, microbiology (bacteria), mold, and fungus. Most importantly, we validate the
potency. All these tests are conducted at our state-of-the-art, 8,000 sq. ft. ISO 17025– accredited laboratory. The laboratory, QC, and QA is staffed by 3 PhDs, 7 MScs, and 12 BScs, who devote over 880 hours of testing and research weekly.

Our industry‑specific scientific team employs advanced analytical equipment to examine the fingerprint of all the constituents of plant materials rather than only specific marker compounds. This permits us to truly determine the specific genus and species of every raw material, to confirm identity as well as potency for specific compounds that deliver therapeutic benefits, and ensures freedom from contaminants.

The body of work being compiled within our analytical lab allows us to acknowledge seasonal and geographical variability of natural products, yet is also precise enough to recognize adulterated or spiked raw materials.

The laboratory includes 3 HPLCs, 4 UHPLCs, 2 GC-FIDs, 2 GC-MSs, 1 GC-Headspace, 2 spectrophotometers, 1 ICP-OES, 1 ICP-MS, 1 UPLC-MS/MS, 1 HPTLC, 1 NIR, and 1 microscope, as well as a GMO testing section with a DNA extractor/purifier, DNA quantifier, and a real-time PCR system. The laboratory also has a fully equipped microbiology unit.