Meet Our Ottawa Chapter Team!
The Ottawa S2BN Chapter partners with regional stakeholders to organize career development and networking events for STEM and Health/Life Sciences graduate trainees. Our aim is to support the growth of Ontario's Health and Life Sciences sector by preparing highly qualified personnel for a career path outside of academia.
Sponsorship Associate; AIM 2020 Planning Committee Member
Leslie Nash PhD
Chandni Sondagar MPH
MSc Candidate, Chemistry, Carleton University
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard University
Senior Project Officer, Canadian Public Health Association
MSc Candidate, Biochemistry, University of Ottawa
Stéphanie Meyer has earned a specialized degree in Biotechnology from le CEGEP de l’Outaouais and a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from l’université Laval. Stéphanie is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Chemistry at Carleton University, with a specialization in food chemistry. One accomplishment includes the development of an easy-to-understand compendium of technical guidelines to support the training of equipment operators in small and mid-size dairy industries located in the province of Québec. As a researcher at the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods at l’université Laval, she performed studies on the formulation of polysaccharide-protein complex for applications in “functional foods”. She also collected and analyzed primary data on the occurrence of allergens in products with preventive labelling (e.g., may contain nuts). These efforts led to the production of a sampling plan for products bearing a preventive mention in relation to two allergens (e.g., egg and milk)
PhD Student,Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa
Rayanna Birtch completed her BScH in the Life Sciences (2020) and subsequently her MSc (2021) in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine with specializations in Cancer Research at Queen’s University. Here, she researched novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets in triple-negative breast cancer. She now is a current PhD Student in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa working under the supervision of Dr.s’ John Bell and Carolina Ilkow. Her research focuses on identifying, characterizing and improving the specificity of novel cancer killing therapeutic viruses called oncolytic viruses.
Leslie Nash is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University researching novel therapeutics and biomarkers for ALS. Leslie is currently involved in the Harvard Biotech Incubator, working with real startup companies on how to bring their new technology from the bench to commercialization. She completed her PhD at the University of Ottawa in 2019, studying novel therapeutic approaches and biomarkers in a rare, neuromuscular disorder, known as spinal muscular atrophy, where she also previously volunteered for S2BN.
Chandni Sondagar is a Master of Public Health graduate with several years of experience working in various streams of public health, including research, policy and knowledge exchange and transfer. She’s accumulated diverse experience managing national level projects focused on the strengthening of immunization programs across Canada. Her current interests include learning how technology and non-conventional communication approaches can be used to increase access to information, motivate behaviours and tackle challenges in public health. When Chandni is not chasing her passion for public health, she is finding any excuse to travel.
Joey Sheff PhD
Megan Mahoney PhD
Event Support Associate; AIM 2020 Planning Committee Member
Research Associate, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council Canada
Director, Scientific Affairs and Training Programs, BioCanRx
Joey Sheff is a Researsch Associate at the National Research Council Canada (NRC). He is part of the analytics team within the Human Health Therapeutics division. His work is centered around understanding the mechanism underlying the delivery of therapeutic antibodies across the blood brain barrier. He completed his PhD in bioanalytical chemistry at the University of Calgary.
Megan currently works as Director, Scientific Affairs and Training Programs at BioCanRx, a federally funded Network of Centres of Excellence focused on the development of novel approaches in the treatment of cancer using immunotherapy. Since joining BioCanRx in 2017, she has developed and overseen training initiatives aimed at bridging the gap and growing the talent pool in translational expertise related to cell and virus-based therapeutic development. Prior to joining BioCanRx, Megan was Operations Manager for the Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC) Virus Facility at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. In this role, she oversaw the operational activities of the BMC, which specializes in virus and vaccine development and manufacturing services for products destined for pre-clinical and clinical research. Megan is passionate about HQP skills and professional development and strengthening the Canadian bioeconomy ecosystem. She is a program committee member for the Canadian Science Policy Centre, and a program advisor for the Science to Business Network (S2BN), where she developed and leads the Ottawa Chapter S2BN Mentorship Program. Megan received her PhD in Neuroscience from Queen's University in 2014.
Claire is a M.Sc. candidate in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa. As part of Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper’s lab, her work is focused on mitochondrial bioenergetics in health and disease.
MSc Neuroscience, University of Ottawa
Anjali Patel has recently completed a MSc. in Neuroscience at the University of Ottawa. Her work in the lab of Dr. Maxime Rousseaux utilized cell and mouse models to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s. In addition to conducting research in the lab, Anjali completed an industry internship with the Ximbio Ximbassador Program where she worked to identify and help commercialize life science tools and reagents invented at the University of Ottawa. Anjali’s interests lie in biotech and drug discovery, and she is passionate about science communication and outreach.
Communications Associate; AIM 2020 Planning Committee Member
PhD Candidate, Chemistry, Carleton University
Anna Koudrina received her Bachelor of Science, Honours from Carleton University in 2016. She is currently finishing her PhD in Chemistry, with specialization in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology. As part of Dr. Maria DeRosa’s lab, she uses DNA as a building block in nanotechnology. Her project focuses on creating aptamer-conjugates to be used as targeted contrast agents for applications in MRI and CT imaging. These novel conjugates will allow for early diagnosis and more precise treatment, while lowering toxicity of the conventionally used contrast media.
Internal Representative, Ashfield Healthcare
Mihir Bhatt is a Medical School graduate from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and has completed a Graduate Diploma in Business program from the Smith School of Business. His true passion lies in the utilization of his business and medical background in order to make an impact in the healthcare industry. He has quite recently made a leap towards his end goal of being involved in medical education by accepting a position with Ashfield Healthcare where he will be an Internal Representative in the pharmaceutical space.
Piriya Yoganathan PhD
Head of R&D, Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Piriya is currently Head of Research & Development at the Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. She completed her PhD at Queen’s University in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine with a specialization in cancer research, and holds an Executive MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.