IWS Ottawa Leaders (City and Senior leaders)

Clotilde Ribaut - City Leader (Member of IWS NLB)

As a research scientist, I got my PhD in Chemistry/Biology/Health at the University of Toulouse (France). I then worked as a research associate in several university laboratories across Europe. Evolving in a world of discoveries and innovations, I am a curious and creative individual, passionate about sciences, and love to exchange knowledge and ideas. Specialized in applied science, I support technology transfer and strongly believe in the benefits of cooperation and partnerships between the private sector and research communities. Presently, I am an administrator of the France-Canada Innovation Platform at the University of Ottawa, where I am promoting and helping companies in the development of new international scientific collaborations.  

Maria Loza-Correa - City Leader

I am passionate about integrating science and policy to increase evidence-based decision making in the Government sector. I am a biomedical researcher by training and currently work at the nexus of science, government and civil society supporting the development of funding opportunities for research projects in health science. 

I graduated with a BSc from the Nacional Autonomous University of Mexico. I earned a PhD in Genetics and Microbiology (2013) from the Paris Descartes University in France. I continued as a postdoctoral researcher at Canadian Blood Services (2015-2018) in Ottawa. I am also a Registered Microbiologist by the Canadian College of Microbiologist since 2017. 

I consider knowledge dissemination, environmental wellness, and equality and diversity highly important for humankind. I have translated and written easy-to-read scientific articles for blogs and science magazines, participated as a guest speaker at different events and universities to share my research and career experience; I have been a member of IWS since 2018; and a volunteer of the Canadian Science Policy Conference (2015 & 2019). 

I enjoy communicating science, traveling to any spot in the world, hiking, skiing and currently I aspire to become a conservation photographer.

Cecilia Odonkor - City Leader

I am a Biomedical and Electrical Engineering industry professional with five years of experience in the cardio, respiratory and dental health fields. In 2011, I immigrated from Ghana, West Africa, to attend Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where I graduated with a Bachelors of Engineering. Currently, I am focused on biomedical device research and design, and engaging in all aspects of biomedical device/ product development from bench to bedside.

A core part of my engineering practise involves directing my efforts towards creating a more inclusive STEM space for women and underrepresented minorities. This is done through my contribution to many women focused career development organisations such as Women Powering Technology (WPT), Society of Women Engineers Ottawa Global Affiliate (SWE Ottawa), of which I am a founding member, and IWS. 

In my spare time, I love to read, laugh and cook dinner for friends.

Olga Pena - Senior Leader

I completed a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from UBC, contributing to a better understanding of the immunopathology of Sepsis. My PhD work laid the research grounds for the creation of Sepset Biosciences Inc, a spin-off biotech company developing a first-in-class diagnostic assay for the early and rapid diagnosis of sepsis. I am currently a Canadian Science Policy Fellow at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, co-managing an International network aiming to expand government capabilities to prevent, detect and respond to priority containment level 3 and 4 pathogens.I am regularly involved in a variety of local and international capacity building initiatives. Through these involvements, I connect my passion for science and the impact it can have in society, applying effective science communication, promoting international cooperation and developing knowledge translation and patient engagement activities. Moreover, based on my own challenges and experiences as an Immigrant and Woman in Science (IWS), I am fully committed to building a collaborative environment that promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion, and empower other IWS across Canada.  I am also a happy mom of a 7-year-old boy and I enjoy home gardening and cooking international cuisine recipes while dancing salsa with my family.

Edna Matta-Camacho - Senior Leader

I am originally from Colombia, a mom of two beautiful kids that enjoy spending time outdoors, hiking, biking but mostly playing soccer. Professionally, I am a Research Associate in the Neuroscience Department at Carleton University, working on understanding the Atomic & Molecular mechanisms that underlie psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. 

My passion & motivation for scientific research stems from my deeply rooted belief that science is a motor for a societal change based on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. This passion and my strong commitment to empowering and support women through experience and knowledge exchange motivated me to take part in the IWS-Network in Canada & found the STEM education for kids “STEM sin Fronteras” initiative to promote of STEM education in elementary/middle school rural areas of Colombia and Latin America.