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Sara is a PhD student in Dr. Lisheng Wang’s lab working on targeting an aggressive subtype of breast cancer through small molecule inhibitors. Over the past three years, she has been a part of the BMIGSA where she has served as the President and as VP external. Through OSPN, she hopes to channel her passion for bridging the gap between the scientific community and the public and using scientific evidence to shape policies. Outside the lab, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, yoga and binge listening to podcasts.




Thomas is a PhD student in Physics at uOttawa, researching new ways to measure light. He is interested in how governments influence research and deepening the civic engagement of scientists.

Mercedes Rose

Christina Sannan


VP Finance 

VP Admin

Mercedes is a biochemistry PhD student at uOttawa and Health Canada. Her research is focused on developing laboratory models to explore the relationship between air pollution and brain health in humans. She's excited about getting involved with OSPN, and is interested in learning more about how scientific research influences policy, and how young researchers can get involved in the scientific policy process!

Marcelle MacKenzie

VP Francophonie

Alyanna Popatia

VP Francophonie

Kaela O’Connor


VP Social Media

Kaela is a MSc student in Cellular & Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa studying the role of autophagy in degenerative diseases. She is passionate about bridging the gap between scientists and the general public. In order to do so she volunteers with a number of science communication organizations which enable her to speak to classrooms about her own work and facilitate activities based on their current curriculum. More recently she has become interested in science policy and is excited to get involved with the Ottawa Science Policy Network to work towards more evidence-based policy decisions.

Stephen Holland


VP External

Stephen is a PhD Candidate in Dr. Hanns Lochmuller’s lab working on understanding the role of glycosylation in neuromuscular transmission. My work involves with characterizing the effect of deficient expression of key glycosylation enzymes and how it changes the landscape of the neuromuscular junction. Stephen joined OSPN last year and helped with the writing of the National Graduate Student Finance Survey. Through OSPN, I have also established key relationships with MPs and MPPs as we strive to improve graduate student and post-doctoral funding in Canada. Through OSPN, Stephen aims to build on his understanding of science policy and enact changes that can better support the future of science in Canada.

Nathaniel Noblett


VP Internal

Nathaniel is a sixth year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience program at the University of Ottawa. As part of the Colavita lab, he investigates the role of signaling pathways during nerve cord assembly in nematodes. Outside of the lab, Nathaniel is interested in improving equity of science research training and has pursued opportunities with the Genetics Society of America and the University of Ottawa chapter of the University Service of Canada to learn best practices. He is excited to be part of the OSPN as science policy is a key method through which policy makers can improve research and research training.

Sami Aftab Abdul

Kadambari Vijay Sai


VP Events

VP Events

Sami is a clinical epidemiology MSc student at uOttawa. His clinical research focuses on assessment of surgical outcomes and techniques in the fields of Vascular/Endovascular Surgery and General Thoracic Surgery with a focus on peripheral arterial disease and lung cancer management. He is also interested in workforce needs and health services research and is an avid health/science policy enthusiast. He joined OSPN as a member to learn more about science policy, contribute to workshop and events as well as to encourage his peers in joining efforts to lead change at the local and national stage. In his spare time, you’ll find Sami knitting at various cafes across Ottawa or spending quality time with friends and family.

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