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#PressForProgress: Closing the gap for women in STEM

JLABS @ Toronto

Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EST)

#PressForProgress: Closing the gap for women in STEM

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
General Public   more info Mar 7, 2018 Free  
Media/Press   more info Mar 1, 2018 Free  

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Event Details

Today, women obtain 48 percent of BAs in math, 57 percent in biology and agricultural science and half of all places in med school.1In fact, women have made significant contributions to science from the earliest times from across the world. The word “scientist” was invented to describe the research contributions of Mary Somerville.2

However, men are twice as likely to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields at university vs. women.3 The women who do graduate with bachelor’s degrees in STEM earn just 82.1% of salaries compared to their male counterparts. In the life science industry today, less than 1% of companies have a female CEO. According to the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, gender parity is 200 years away. There has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress.

The good news is that across the world, women are making positive gains, day by day.

On March 8th, 2018 for International Women’s Day, join us at JLABS @ Toronto in partnership with University Health Network, Canada’s largest research hospital, as we bring together an all-female panel with backgrounds in research, entrepreneurship and technology, to discuss how we can start making the shift towards closing the gap for Women in STEM.

Kicking off the event, Molly Shoichet, Ontario's Chief Scientist will share her journey, more about her new role & how she is working to progress this specific issue.

1The Nation
2STEM Women
3Statistics Canada

5:00pm | Registration Opens & Networking
5:20pm | Welcome Remarks
5:25pm | Keynote Presentation
5:45pm | Panel Discussion
6:45pm | Audience Q&A
7:00pm | Networking
8:00pm | Program Close

Event Partner:

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Molly Shoichet | Chief Scientist, Ontario Government read bio»

Christine Allen | Drug Delivery & Cancer Researcher, University of Toronto Professor, Associate Editor, Molecular Pharmaceutics, Co-founder, Nanovista read bio»
Doina Oncel | CEO, hEr Volution read bio»
Melissa Sariffodeen | CEO & Co-Founder, Canada Learning Code read bio»
Catherine Wang | VP of Clinical Operations and Diagnostic Partnerships, UHN read bio»
Dr. Gelareh Zadeh | Head of Surgical Oncology, UHN, Head, Toronto Central Regional Cancer Program, Cancer Care Ontario, Program Medical Director, Krembil Neuroscience Centre, Toronto Western Hospital read bio»

FREE | General Public

JLABS @ Toronto
661 University Ave, Suite 1300
Toronto, Ontario

Speaker Biographies:
Dr. Molly Shoichet | Chief Scientist, Ontario Government
Dr. Molly Shoichet has been appointed Ontario’s first Chief Scientist.
Dr. Shoichet is a world-leading expert in the study of polymers for drug delivery and in tissue regeneration, where she focuses on spinal cord injuries, strokes and blindness.
She has published more than 575 research papers, patents and abstracts, delivered more than 350 lectures worldwide, and trained close to 200 scientists in her lab. Dr. Shoichet has founded three spinoff companies based on her research. A passionate communicator, she launched a social media initiative, Research2Reality, to engage the public and promote the importance of research.
Dr. Shoichet has won 44 prestigious national and international awards, including the Killam Prize for Engineering and the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards. She is the only person ever to be inducted into all three of Canada’s National Academies: the Canadian Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She has been an appointed to the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, and is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award.
Dr. Shoichet is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, and will continue in her work as a professor at the University of Toronto while serving as Ontario’s first Chief Scientist.

Christine Allen | Drug Delivery & Cancer Researcher, University of Toronto Professor, Associate Editor, Molecular Pharmaceutics, Co-founder, Nanovista
Christine Allen is the GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery and a Professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and IBBME at the University of Toronto. Allen’s research is focused on the design and development of new materials and technologies for the delivery of drugs and contrast agents. She is co-founder and President of Nanovista Inc., a start-up housed in Johnson & Johnson Innovations JLabs @Toronto, which is focused on the development of multimodal contrast agents to improve the performance of image-guided high precision cancer therapy. Christine completed her doctoral research in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University and post-doctoral research in the Department of Advanced Therapeutics at the B.C. Cancer Agency. She joined University of Toronto from Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc. Christine is an Associate Editor of the American Chemical Society journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, President Elect of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences and a member of the Governing Council for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Doina Oncel | CEO, hEr Volution
Doina Oncel is the Founder and CEO of hEr VOLUTION, a non-profit organization assisting young women from diverse backgrounds with access to STEM-based education and employment opportunities in Canada. Doina stands strongly behind her belief that women need to be integrated into more opportunities for our society at large to flourish. Additionally, Doina speaks on a variety of issues relating to women's rights, including access or lack thereof to women in STEM education and employment in Canada. Furthermore, Doina is a devoted mentor to women in various industries and always ready to answer any questions for women transitioning from education to the workforce.

Melissa Sariffodeen | CEO & Co-Founder, Canada Learning Code
Melissa Sariffodeen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Canada Learning Code. She is a celebrated digital literacy advocate who is dedicated to ensuring that women and youth have the critical skills, confidence, and opportunities that they need to thrive in our increasingly digital world. She is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She taught herself how to build websites from scratch using HTML when she was 11 years old and has been coding ever since.

Catherine Wang | VP of Clinical Operations and Diagnostic Partnerships, UHN
Catherine Wang is the Vice President of Clinical Operations and Diagnostic Partnerships for Imaging and Labs and University Health Network. Prior to this, she was the Executive Director for the Joint Department of Medical Imaging for University Health Network, Sinai Health Systems and Women’s College Hospital. She is also appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Imaging for leading clinical practice improvements through research and education. She has held several corporate leadership roles, including Director of Integrated Program Development at UHN, responsible for leading a number of key clinical transformation strategies for the hospital and the province. She has served the McGuinty government as the Senior Policy Advisor for Cabinet Office as well as worked within the Ministry of Health. Her focus throughout her career has been on quality improvement for patients at the hospital and system-level.

Dr. Gelareh Zadeh | Head of Surgical Oncology, UHN, Head, Toronto Central Regional Cancer Program, Cancer Care Ontario, Program Medical Director, Krembil Neuroscience Centre, Toronto Western Hospital
Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), FAANS, is The Head of Surgical Oncology at University Health Network, Head of the Toronto Central Regional Cancer Program at Cancer Care Ontario, and is also the Program Medical Director for the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. She is a neurosurgeon-scientist at the Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She has a dedicated clinical and research program in neuro-oncology and neurosurgery. In addition, she is the Wilkins Family Chair for Brain Tumor Research, the co-Director of the Elizabeth Raab Neurofibromatosis Program, and the Director of the UHN Brain Tumor Biobank. Dr. Zadeh has a dedicated neuro-oncology and skull base practice, which include a number of multidisciplinary specialized programs such as skull base, brain metastases, pituitary tumors, gamma knife and neurofibromatosis clinics. In parallel, she has an active research laboratory focusing on integrated multi-platform molecular analysis of brain tumors, together with a focus on understanding molecular response to targeted therapies, such as anti-angiogenesis and metabolic inhibitors. She is also involved in a number of national and international organizations, like the WFNS, NASBS, and SNO.

Have questions about #PressForProgress: Closing the gap for women in STEM? Contact JLABS @ Toronto

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When & Where

JLABS @ Toronto
661 University Ave
Suite 1300
Toronto, ON M5G 1M1

Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EST)

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JLABS @ Toronto

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS) is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world. JLABS achieves this by providing the optimal environment for emerging companies to catalyze growth and optimize their research and development by opening them to vital industry connections, delivering entrepreneurial programs and providing a capital-efficient, flexible platform where they can transform the scientific discoveries of today into the breakthrough healthcare solutions of tomorrow. At JLABS we value great ideas and are passionate about removing obstacles to success to help innovators unleash the potential of their early scientific discoveries. JLABS is a no-strings-attached model, which means entrepreneurs are free to develop their science while holding on to their intellectual property. JLABS is open to entrepreneurs across a broad healthcare spectrum including pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and digital health sectors. The JLABS flagship opened in 2012 in San Diego at Janssen's West Coast Research Center, and since then has grown to eight locations including the Bay Area, Boston & Lowell, MA, Houston, Toronto and a ninth location, New York City, launching in 2018. For more information please visit

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