Heather Sheardown is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering with a cross appointment to the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and an adjunct appointment with the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo. She holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Ophthalmic Biomaterials and Drug Delivery and has published more than 140 peer reviewed papers on this subject. She is currently the Scientific Director of C20/20, an ORF funded incubator aimed at the commercialization of ophthalmic biotechnologies. Sheardown was previously the Scientific Director of the 20/20 NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Research Network which brought together 12 researchers and more than 10 companies aimed at the early stage development of novel materials based treatments for ophthalmic conditions. Sheardown is the Associate Director of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM), a McMaster partnership with the Fraunhofer IZI which partners with companies for incubation and commercialization of cell based therapies, diagnostics and biomaterials. She holds 18 patents or provisional patents and is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of 20/20 OptimEyes, a McMaster based spin out focused on developing and commercializing a micelle based technology developed in her laboratory. She runs a large and vibrant research group with more than 10 post doctoral fellows, and graduate students.