Kelly Mullaly
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Kelly comes to the Synapse team from a varied background of leadership, administration and creative production in the for-profit and non-profit sectors including 4-H PEI, the PEI Humane Society, CBC Television, and YTV.  She is looking forward to sharing the Synapse success story in our mission to Connect, Collaborate and Create.

Kelly can be reached at: or 902-894-2878

Carolyn Prime
Office Administrator

Carolyn Prime is the Synapse Office Administrator, having most recently worked with the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in a variety of senior clerical roles.  She previously held positions with the Innovation Technology Association of PEI (ITAP), the Summerside Chamber of Commerce and commercial radio stations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI.  She can be reached at: or 902-894-2878.

Maria Steele, MBA, P. Eng.
Technology Transfer and Industry Liaison Officer

Maria completed her certificate in Engineering at UPEI and finished her bachelor's degree in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto with a specialization in Aerospace Engineering.  She also has her MBA from McMaster University, specializing in Management of Innovation and New Technology and is registered as a Professional Engineer with Engineers PEI.

Prior to joining Synapse,  Maria worked in the aerospace industry for 13 years focussing on internal cooling and ventilation for gas turbine engines.  She also worked on carbon seal analysis, anti-icing technology, and certification for airworthiness authorities. Through her aerospace career, she was involved in both lean manufacturing and product development.  Some memorable experiences involve flying onboard experimental flight test aircraft to monitor engine tests.

Maria also worked in the IT sector overseeing support agreements for software clients and managing a call center.  As a certified Project Management Professional, she has experience overseeing projects of various sizes, managing stakeholders and delivering quality results.    

Maria lives in Sherwood with her husband Mark and their three children, Logan, Ella and Kalum.

Maria can be reached at: or 902-620-5032.

Marc Richard, PhD
Technology Transfer and Industrial Liaison Officer

headshot of Marc Richard, PhDMarc’s years of combined industry and academic experience are ideally suited to his role at Synapse, which he began in January 2018. During his career, he has helped take multiple products from conception and design through to scientific and regulatory validation, and eventually to patent protection and commercialization.

In the seven years before joining Synapse, Marc worked as a research scientist and project manager for a Charlottetown-based bioscience company. There, he was instrumental in the R&D of novel drug candidates for neuropathic pain as well as the development and commercialization of a line of natural health products targeting neurodegenerative disorders.

During his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Prince Edward Island, Marc was Project Coordinator for the UPEI-based Atlantic Centre for Bioactive Valuation, focusing on designing and implementing novel assays of stroke for commercial use. He obtained a BSc in Biology from Mount Allison University, followed by an MSc and PhD in Pharmacology from Dalhousie University.

Marc can be reached at: or 902-894-2877.

Kimberley Johnstone, PhD
Senior Technology Transfer and Industry Liaison Officer

Portrait of Dr. Kimberley JohnstoneDr. Johnstone has a B.Sc. Honours in Biology from Memorial University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University. Her Ph.D. research focused on the identification and characterization of olfactory receptors in Atlantic salmon.

Dr. Johnstone brings a diverse background in aquaculture and genomic research, project management and proposal development to the Synapse team. Prior to joining Synapse, Dr. Johnstone used her passion for research to assist in the management and development of large-scale applied research projects at Genome Atlantic. Dr. Johnstone has successfully managed large-scale multi-institutional projects ensuring milestones were achieved on time and within budget. She has worked with researchers in academia, industry and government in multiple sectors, including aquaculture and health. She has assisted in the development of successful research projects ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Dr. Johnstone has worked with eight project teams to develop large-scale research proposals. The majority of these proposals were applied projects combining academic researchers and industry/government partners. One of Dr. Johnstone’s biggest accomplishments was working on the development of two successfully funded industry-led proposals with a combined total budget of $7.5M. She has broadened her expertise from a research background to also include experience in proposal and business development, and intellectual property management.

As Synapse’s Senior Technology Transfer and Industry Liaison Officer Dr. Johnstone works to facilitate linking business to the applied research capacity within UPEI. She is passionate about supporting the UPEI researchers and industry interests to assist in the successful transfer of innovative ideas into commercial products, business opportunities and public knowledge.

Kim can be reached at or 902-620-5115

Justin Moores, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Headshot portrait of Justin MooresOn January 16, 2017, Justin Moores took the helm of Synapse by filling the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Justin is no stranger to technology transfer or research labs. During and after his doctoral studies, he worked as a biologist.

He comes to Synapse from Mitacs in Ottawa, where he managed strategic accounts, and directed tech transfer and business development activities with private industry, academia, government and scientific communities.

With his arrival, Justin adds in-depth understanding of innovation funding at national and international levels as well as experience developing productive relationships spanning multidisciplinary fields.

Justin will further strengthen the Synapse team’s ability to deliver services to researchers and industry, for the benefit of all. 

Justin can be reached at: or 902-394-6739.