Jacqueline Weston - Panelist

Jacqueline Weston is a Professional Engineer with a Master's Degree in Applied Science and certification as a Project Management Professional.  Her 28 years of experience include 11 years in private consulting as a process engineer and project manager, and seventeen years as a municipal engineer with progressively responsible management positions. Jacqueline is currently part of the Wastewater Treatment Project team, responsible for the Design-Build contract for the new Wastewater Treatment Plant and she will become the new Plant Manager when the facility is operational in 2020. Jacqueline has thoroughly enjoyed her career so far and would love to see more women pursuing careers in STEM. When she is not at work, Jacqueline enjoys spending time outdoors with her partner, two children and their dog.

Karen Lithgow
Dr. Heather Buckley - Panelist

Dr. Heather Buckley is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of Victoria.  Her interdisciplinary research team (which is recruiting!) tackles challenges at the interface of green chemistry, civil engineering, and public health, centering their efforts around creating tools for better monitoring of drinking water contaminants and the design of safer alternative technologies in water treatment.
Heather sees technological interventions as one piece of the puzzle for empowering women globally.  Her doctoral and postdoctoral work at the University of California Berkeley have taken her to Poland, Jordan, India, and Germany to perform outreach, field work, and research. She has worked in non-platinum fuel cell catalyst design, air sensitive metal chemistry, and drinking water remediation, as well as in the development of safer building materials for low-income communities and alternative preservatives for home and personal care products.

Karen Lithgow
Dr. Stephanie Willerth - Panelist

Dr. Willerth holds a Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Victoria where she has dual appointments in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Division of Medical Sciences as an Associate Professor. She serves as the Acting Director for the Centre for Biomedical Research at the University of Victoria and on the steering committee of the B.C. Regenerative Medicine Initiative. She also served as the President of the Canadian Biomaterials Society from 2017-2018. Her honors include being named the 2018 REACH award winner for Excellence in Undergraduate Research-inspired Teaching, a Woman of Innovation in 2017, a 2015 Young Innovator in Cellular and Biological Engineering and a "Star in Global Health" by Grand Challenges Canada in 2014.  She completed her postdoctoral work at the University of California-Berkeley after receiving her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University. Her undergraduate degrees were in Biology and Chemical Engineering from MIT.

Karen Lithgow
Dr. Amanda Malone - Keynote & Panelist

Dr. Malone has worked on the development of drug delivery systems for over 12 years.  She is the Chief Scientific Officer of Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals, a Victoria based biotech company that develops sustained release drug delivery systems targeting unmet medical needs.  Since its inception in 2012, she has guided Eupraxia Pharmaceutical’s scientific programs through the pre-clinical and manufacturing process and into the clinic.  The company now has 20 employees and is in the planning stages of a pivotal trial for their lead product, a treatment for arthritis.  Prior to joining Eupraxia, Dr. Malone was the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of a drug delivery company that was granted over $9 million from the U.S. National Institute of Health and had 15 products under development.   She graduated with High Honors from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California with a degree in engineering and was the inaugural PhD student in Stanford’s Bioengineering Department. While at Stanford, she received both a National Science Foundation Fellowship and a Stanford BioX Graduate Fellowship.

 

Karen Lithgow
Dr. Katherine Elvira - Keynote & Panelist

Katherine joined the Department of Chemistry at UVic in January 2017 as an Assistant Professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in New Materials and Techniques for Health Applications. She grew up in Spain, and then gained her undergraduate Master’s degree in Chemistry (2007) and her PhD in digital microfluidics (2012) from Imperial College London in the UK. After graduating, she worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher and then as a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. During this time, she worked on a variety of basic and applied research projects using microfluidic (lab-on-a-chip) platforms for applications such as single cell analysis, surfactant kinetics and organic synthesis on a chip. Katherine also founded The Society for Women in Natural Sciences (WiNS) during her time at ETH Zurich as a networking platform for female scientists. Katherine’s current research focuses on developing microfluidic platforms for applications in drug discovery and patient analytics. Her current graduate and undergraduate students are doing some exciting work on creating artificial cells on a chip to analyse and quantify molecular transport across the cell membrane. Outside of the lab, Katherine loves snowboarding, reading and hanging out with her friends all over the world.

Karen Lithgow