IWS Toronto (GTA) Leaders (City and Senior leaders)

Giulia Cisbani - Senior Leader (Member of IWS NLB)

I started my career in science at the University of Milan with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology. Subsequently, I moved to Canada where I started my journey in neuroscience at Université Laval in Quebec, completing my PhD. Although I had the opportunity to work on several projects, my primary focus was on cell replacement strategies for Huntington’s disease. After my PhD, I became a lab manager in the same research center where I conducted my doctoral studies. Of late, I moved to Toronto and after a brief period at the no-profit organization Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada as research specialist, I went back to the bench to follow my passion for research as postdoctoral researcher.

Outside the work setting, I love hiking, skiing, yoga and reading a good book.

Nathalia Batista - Senior Leader (Member of IWS NLB)

My journey in science started in Brazil with a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology, followed by a Master’s degree in Cellular Biology. Because I was fascinated with the complexity of our immune system, I decided to pursue a PhD in Immunology. My first international experience was as a summer student at the University of Calgary during my undergrad. After that, I experienced doing research in France, where I spent 3 months of my master’s and Italy, where I spent 18 months as a visiting PhD fellow. I moved to Canada in 2017 when I started my postdoctoral training in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto. During my postdoc, I studied how to induce the formation and survival of tissue-resident memory T cells during Influenza infection as a strategy to develop a Universal Flu Vaccine. I am currently a Research Associate at the University of Toronto, working with T cell responses during viral infections. I joined the IWS team as a volunteer at the beginning of 2021 to support and empower immigrant women in STEM. Besides science, I enjoy playing music, and I am also interested in photography.

Maria Zavala - Senior Leader

I am an Industrial Engineer and I have a MBA and a Master Degree in Science in Engineering Management from Florida International University. I have professional experience in Data & Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, and I have been involved in project managing assets from $300 thousand to $1.2 billion dollars. I am currently serving as Treasury Co-chair and National Leadership Board in IWS.

Ana de Faria - Senior Leader (Member of IWS NLB)

I was born and raised in Brazil. I have always been a very curious person, so my interest in science (and my love for plants) came from my childhood. I have a B.Ed. degree in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Sao Joao del-Rei (MG/Brazil), an M.Sc. degree in Plant Biology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (MG/Brazil), and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Institute of Botany of Sao Paulo (SP/Brazil). My main research focus is on how plants respond to environmental stress, especially climate change. I worked with plant responses to drought in my master’s and with plant responses to elevated CO2 and temperature in my Ph.D. After that, I spent two and a half years at the Federal University of Uberlandia (MG/Brazil) as a postdoc fellow studying the effects of nitrogen deposition in natural areas. I immigrated to Canada in 2018 and spent six months at the University of Toronto studying ecology and evolution of C4 photosynthesis. I am currently in a career transition from research to science communication and outreach. I have been writing for organizations such as The Royal Canadian Institute for Science and Massive Science, and I run a personal blog called easyscience.ca. In my free time I like walking, reading, cross-stitching, and, when the weather allows, I’m an amateur archer. I am also volunteering with an after-school program (On Your Mark Academic Program), helping kids from Portuguese and Spanish-speaking heritage to adapt and succeed in Canadian education.

Anjana Govindarajan - Senior Leader (Member of IWS NLB)

Anjana Govindarajan holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and is an advisor and leader in the life sciences with expertise in strategic business consulting. Through multiple roles, including as an NSERC fellow at Canadian Government Laboratories, she has built national and international relationships between research institutes, academia, government, and private industry. She coordinated multi-disciplinary projects and collaborations for diverse partners and stakeholders in these sectors and guided the delivery of many product roadmaps from inception to roll-out, including research partnerships in many million-dollar programs. She is an active contributor to science policy development, as a speaker, presenter, evaluator and blogger. She is a national leader and Co-chair for the fundraising committee at International Women in Science (IWS) Network, where she leads and contributes to community initiatives to help women advance in STEM careers.