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Soapbox Science Quebec City 2022 speakers

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Anne Bernard, Eng.F., PhD - Postdoctoral researcher at Université Laval, Ordre des ingénieurs forestiers du Québec

Anne Bernard, Eng. F., PhD graduated from Université Laval in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Forest Management and Environment. In 2014, she completed a master's degree in Forestry Sciences, also at Université Laval, which focused on deforestation issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo. From 2014 to 2016, she was a research associate and she participated in the development of a program to enable immigrants to become members of the Ordre des ingénieurs forestiers du Québec. From 2017 to 2021, she completed a PhD in Forest Sciences at Université Laval and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in a pan-Canadian project that attempts to develop forestry practices adapted to the changing climate context.


“Because of my academic and professional background in a predominantly male world I believe that sharing my experience with other girls can be relevant. I am actively working to include equity, diversity, and inclusion issues within my professional body. I also work to increase the visibility of girls and women in my professional environment. Beyond visibility, it is also important to accompany young girls in their career choices and when they start their professional life. In this regard, I am also working on developing a mentoring program within my profession”.

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Wendy-Julie Madore, PhD - Defence Scientist, Defence Research and Development Canada. Valcartier Research Centre

Dr. Wendy-Julie Madore received her PhD in Engineering Physics from Polytechnique Montreal, and then finished a post-doc in Imaging from CHUM and is now a researcher in the Electro-optical Warfare section at DRDC Valcartier. She works in the protection of the Canadian Armed Forces platforms.



“This will be an opportunity for me to get back into science outreach activities now that I am in Quebec City”.

Linda Lara-Jacobo, PhD - Scientist at Bureau Veritas and OWSD (Chair)


Linda Lara-Jacobo is a toxicologist developing liaisons between health, environment, gender equality, social inclusion & diversity, indigenous engagement, creativity, and science diplomacy towards a sustainable world. She is currently working as a scientist at Bureau Veritas in Québec. To know more about Linda visit her website https://www.laralrlj.com/


“By participating at the Soapbox Science event, I would like to get young people excited about the subject of poisonous animals as they have a very bad reputation. I would like to show them the interesting side of venomous animals, the ecological importance of these animals, why some animals evolved to have venom, and where they are found on this continent. As well as the biotechnology behind it and their applications.”

Dr. rer. nat. Valerie Clavet-Fournier - Research Professional at CERVO

Valerie Clavet-Fournier obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a master’s degree at Université Laval, studying learning and memory process via glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity in the laboratory of Dr. Paul De Konnick. She pursued her PhD degree in Göttingen (Germany), studying the structural remodeling of synaptic proteins with this new state-of-the-art nanoscopy STED after the activity-driven plasticity of glutamatergic synapses. She is currently working as a research professional in the FLC lab at CERVO - Brain Research Center at Université Laval.


“I am glad to be a speaker of Soapbox Science for sharing my experience and passion for neuroscience with the public and inspire other young women to pursue their dreams in science”.

Katherine Légaré - PhD student in Physics, INRS-EMT

Katherine Légaré received her bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Sherbrooke in 2016. Then, she started a master's degree at the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Center of the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS). She joined a research group specialized in ultrafast science, which is the study of physical phenomena spanning only a few millionths of a billionth of a second. In particular, she studies how laser pulses can induce ultrafast changes in magnetization in magnetic materials. She is currently continuing this research project as a PhD student in the laboratory of Prof. François Légaré.


“Science is often misunderstood. We tend to think that it is reserved for an elite and that it is too difficult for the majority to understand. For me, it is crucial to reconcile the public with science. For this reason, it is also important to humanize science by showing that there are all kinds of scientists and paths possible. I think that Soapbox Science is an excellent way to bring the public closer. By participating in Soapbox Science, I hope to help demonstrate that physics is not as inaccessible as one might think. Moreover, on a personal level, I consider that this experience of popularization would be very enriching”.

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Adèle Beneyton, M.Sc - PhD student in Oncology at Université Laval

Adèle Beneyton received a bachelor's and a master's degree from France (Nantes), after which she started pursuing her doctoral studies in September 2019 in the team of Dr. Jean-Yves Masson at Université Laval (Oncology Axis). Her research work focuses on the study of a protein in DNA repair in breast and ovarian cancers, with the aim of determining, among other things, if this protein can be used as a biomarker to help in more personalized therapeutic choices for patients.

“I think it is extremely important to be able to talk about science and research with as many people as possible, to explain what is at stake, how it works, and what our goals are in research. I think it is also important to show that women from all countries and all backgrounds are present in laboratories and in industrial companies”.

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Jade Brisson, M.Sc - PhD student in Mathematics at Université Laval

Jade Brisson completed a bachelor's degree in Mathematics at Université Laval. Following a student research experience in the summer of 2017, she decided to pursue a master's degree in Mathematics at Université Laval. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Mathematics.


“I find it a nice challenge to explain advanced mathematics to the public, since it requires a relatively advanced knowledge to understand some equations and concepts. However, I believe that the big ideas behind them are accessible to everyone, and I think it is important to show that, by popularizing in the right way, mathematics can be accessible to everyone. For these reasons I decided to be a speaker of Soapbox Science”.

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Researchgate

Alexane Thibodeau, M.Sc - PhD student for the research center in experimental organogenesis of Université Laval

Alexane Thibodeau is a PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology program at Université Laval. Her thesis project focuses on peripheral nerve repair and developing a new clinical tool for nerve repair surgeries. She specializes in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In parallel with her research work, Alexane is actively involved in the Quebec cell, tissue and gene therapy network (ThéCell).



“It's important that women have visibility in science…the research done in Québec is important and has an international impact. It is important that everyone has access to it. I decided to be a speaker at Soapbox Science because I like the presentation context, close to the public, in an environment that encourages questions”.

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Annie Mercier, M.Sc - Specialist in specific risks-lasers and dangerous optical sources at Université Laval

Annie Mercier holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Physics from Université Laval. Since 2009, she holds the position of specialist in specific risks at Université Laval, for the “lasers and dangerous optical sources” sector. She is a member of the Laser Institute and Optica (formerly known as the Optical Society of America, OSA). She is also actively involved with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), which is attached to the International Electrotechnical Commission's TC-76 Committee on Optical Radiation and Laser Safety.


“The concept of bringing together women from all backgrounds to talk about science got me intrigued about Soapbox Science”.

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Emilie Attiogbe, M.Sc - PhD student in Biology at Université Laval


Emilie Attiogbe is a PhD student in Biology and her research work is focused on skin reconstruction in the laboratory of experimental organogenesis at Université Laval - LOEX. The ultimate objective of her research project is to use in-lab reconstructed skin for testing pharmaceutical products and clinical treatments.




‘I want to share my passion for science with the public, and I think that the representation of women in science of different ethnicities is very important to generate interest among young girls.’

Manon Leclerc, M.Sc. - PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Université Laval

Manon Leclerc is originally from France, where she began her academic career with a bachelor's degree in Biology in Bordeaux. She arrived in Québec in 2017 by starting a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in Dr. Calon's laboratory at CHUL of Québec, where she pursued a doctorate in 2019. She studies the interaction between insulin and the blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer's disease, trying to understand the pathophysiology, in order to be able to discover new treatments against this terrible disease.

“I will be happy to participate in Soapbox Science to share our recent advances in the field, and allow people to understand and be interested in science in general. Especially in this time of a pandemic when we see that popularizing and making science accessible is very important. I am proud to represent women in science and to lead people to be interested in science”.

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Valérie Watters, M.Sc. - PhD student in Cellular and Molecular Biology Université Laval

Valérie Watters obtained a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences and a master's degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Université Laval. During her graduate studies, she focused on the study of long non-coding RNAs in brain cancer, and their role during neuronal differentiation. Passionate about this project, she decided to pursue it and she is currently a PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Hussein's at the Research Center of the CHU of Quebec – Université Laval.

“Soapbox Science is a great opportunity for presenting our research in a fun, visual and creative way, we have the power to break taboos and raise awareness about the importance of science. I am also motivated by the fact that this activity represents a great opportunity to share our love of science with the young and to transmit our passion. Moreover, I see Soapbox Science as an opportunity to show the public that science is not a strictly "male" domain and that it is accessible to everyone!”

Soapbox Science Quebec City 2021 speakers

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Audrey Sergerie, M.Sc. - PhD student in microbiology-immunology-Université Laval

Audrey started her career with a bachelor's degree in microbiology at Laval University. During her studies, she did an internship on bioaerosols with Dr. Caroline Duchaine's team. However, when she learned that parasitic diseases affect millions of people every year, and that pharmaceutical companies had little interest in studying them, she became more interested in the world of parasitology. As a result, she began a master's degree with Dr. Dave Richard's team in May 2018, followed by a PhD in January 2020. Her team studies the parasite that causes malaria. Specifically, her project is based on defining the mechanisms surrounding the formation of the apical complex, as this structure is essential for the establishment of infection.

Valérie Langlois, PhD - Full Professor - Director, Intersectoral Centre for Endocrine Disruptor Analysis (CIAPE-ICEDA) - Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) Centre Eau Terre Environnement

Dr. Valérie Langlois is a professor-researcher at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique. She received the Gorbman-Bern Prize from the North American Society of Comparative Endocrinology in 2017, the Prix de l'Université du Québec de la relève scientifique in 2019, and more recently, the Prix du Québec de la relève scientifique 2020 for the importance of her scientific contribution in comparative endocrinology. His research team is dedicated to the study of contaminants in the environment that affect the health of wildlife, such as fish and frogs.

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Veronique Moulin, PhD - Director of the Regenerative Medicine Axis-Université Laval Experimental Organogenesis Research Center-LOEX - Full Professor, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine


Following her training in Paris (France), Dr. Moulin was recruited in 1998 to better understand the complex process of wound healing. Since 1998, she has been a professor at Laval University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, as well as a researcher at the Centre LOEX of Laval University and at the Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval. Her work focuses on the mechanisms of normal and pathological skin healing.

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Laura Martínez Drudis, M.Sc - PhD student in neuroscience Research Centre de recherche du CHU of Québec-Université Laval

During her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain), Laura performed a total of three internships at NeuroPhar laboratory assessing the role of endocannabinoid system in learning and memory processes. She obtained a master’s degree in Neurosciences from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where she pursued an internship focusing on the early synaptic dysfunction occurring in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since 2018, she started her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Abid Oueslati, at the CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center (Canada), unravelling the role of Polo-like kinase 2 in the pathogenesis and treatment of AD.

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Sarah Belhocine, M.Sc. - PhD student in neuroscience Research Centre de recherche du CHU of Québec-Université Laval

Sarah completed a bachelor's degree in Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Lille (France), and a double master's degree in Health Biology and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Pierre et Marie Curie. During her master's training at the Institut Pasteur, she studied the impact of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite on the response of microglia during Toxoplasma gondii-Plasmodium berghei coinfection in mice. She is currently a PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. David Gosselin at the Centre de recherche CHU de Québec-Université Laval, where she specializes in neuroimmunology and neuroepigenomics. Her current work is focused on the study of microglia and more particularly on the study of gene regulation mechanisms that allow the great functional plasticity of microglia during brain development.

Andréanne Deschênes, M.Sc. - PhD student in Biophotonics CERVO Brain Research Centre, Université Laval


Once Andréanne obtained her bachelor's degree in engineering physics at Polytechnique Montréal, she wanted to find a way to apply her technical knowledge in optics to solve concrete problems for the life sciences. She joined the laboratories of Paul De Koninck and Flavie Lavoie-Cardinal where she is collaborating closely with biochemists and computer scientists to develop tools such as super-resolution microscopes aimed at studying synaptic plasticity.

Mélanie Laurin, PhD - Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine ULaval in the Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology

Dr. Mélanie Laurin is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University in the Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology. She is a researcher in the oncology axis at the CHU de Québec – Université Laval Research Center. Her research activities aim to understand the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate the embryonic development of the skin and their contribution when deregulated to the progression of cancer in this tissue. Throughout her career, Mélanie’s work has been published in prestigious journal. Notably, one of her breakthroughs received the CIHR Cancer Institute’s Best Publication Award and was identified as one of the 10 best discoveries funded by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2013. Mélanie is an ardent mental health awareness advocate. In her spare time, she is a proud dog mon and a true crime podcast enthusiast.

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Geneviève Gariépy, PhD - System Engineer ABB

After a bachelor degree in engineering physics, Genevieve decided to pursue graduate studies in physics in Ottawa and Edinburgh, moved by a will to learn more about optical technologies and their applications, and push those technologies further. During her master’s degree, she worked on creating ultra-short light pulses; in her PhD, she developed a high-sensitivity and ultra-fast imaging method to capture light in motion and detect objects hidden from view. She is now working at ABB as a system engineer, leading projects aiming at sending optical technologies to space for Earth observation and greenhouse gases detection applications


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Alisson Clemenceau, M.Sc. - PhD student in molecular medicine Université Laval Cancer Research Center Quebec City University Hospital Research Centre


Alisson was born in France. After completing a Bachelor's degree in Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier, she moved to Canada in 2015 to do her Master's degree in Molecular Medicine at Laval University, successfully completed in 2017. She then continued her PhD adventure in the team of Dr. Francine Durocher and Dr. Caroline Diorio at the CRCHU of Quebec City. She is now working on clinical tools development to better prevent breast cancer in women, but also on the personalization of breast cancer therapeutic options, reducing the relapse rate of this social burden.

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Odessa Tanvé, M.Sc. - PhD student in neuroscience CERVO Brain Research Centre, Université Laval

Odessa is a French student from Rennes and is now a PhD student in Neuroscience in Paul De Koninck's team at the CERVO center. She studies the impact of the intestinal microbiota on the development of the central nervous system, a complex and very interesting subject. To get to this point, she completed a biology degree (biochemistry specialization) in Rennes. She then went on with a master in molecular and cellular biology, still in Rennes. But after her two years of master she was still not satisfied with studying so she went to Paris to integrate the master of biochemistry of the National Museum of Natural History. Then at the end of this second master she finally admitted that she wanted to do research, so she looked for a thesis subject that would fascinate her, and she found it.

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Aurélie De Rus Jacquet, PhD - Postdoctoral researcher Research Center of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval


Dr. Aurelie received a Master's degree in agricultural engineering in her home country of France, and decided to take on PhD studies at Purdue University (USA) to pursue her wish to study botanical medicines traditionally used to treat human diseases, a science called ethnopharmacology. She travelled to Nepal and throughout the United States to interview traditional healers and collect plant samples for testing their neuroprotective activities in cellular models of Parkinson's disease. She then took on a postdoctoral position with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (USA), and now at Laval University. Her career goal is to bridge neurosciences and ethnopharmacology to advance the discovery of new treatments for Parkinson's disease patients.

Soapbox Science Quebec City 2020 speakers

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Samira Rahimi, PhD - McGill University Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of Jewish General Hospital

Dr. Samira Abbasgholizadeh-Rahimi Eng. Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University, scientist at Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). She completed her postdoctoral training at Family and Emergency Medicine Department of Université Laval, and her doctorate studies (in Industrial and System Engineering with a focus on health care systems) at Mechanical Engineering Department of UniversitéLaval. Dr. Rahimi has worked on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-related projects in different contexts, and currently is leading an international Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded project on the use of AI for Cardiovascular disease management among women in primary care. With an interdisciplinary background, Dr. Rahimi is interested in the development, evaluation, and implementation of clinical decision support tools, as well as integrating human-centered AI tools in primary health care. She specializes in computational intelligence, decision making, and applied operational research in health care.

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Océane Hourtané, M.Sc - PhD student-Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) – centre eau terre environnement (ETE), Québec

Océane Hourtané is a PhD student at the Centre eau terre environnement (ETE) of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). She is a chemist by training and has a double master's degree in ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry from the University of Bordeaux (France) and INRS-ETE in Quebec City. During this program, Océane was interested in the impact of platinum from vehicle catalytic converters on ecosystems. More specifically, her research focused on three species of freshwater microalgae. They were exposed to platinum under natural conditions, or at least as close to natural conditions as possible within the constraints of the laboratory. Océane is now continuing her doctoral studies, in order to explain the intriguing results obtained during her master's degree. Indeed, in research, results sometimes raise more questions than they answer.

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Isabel Plasencia Fernandez - PhD student-CERVO Brain Research Centre Université Laval


Isabel is a spanish biologist currently in Quebec. After finishing her studies in biology, with a year of experience in the Czech Republic, she did a master's degree in Neuroscience in Madrid, where she worked on embryonic development and took her first steps in the field of pain. After her master's degree, she packed her bags to start a PhD in Quebec, where she specializes in the molecular changes that lead to the chronification of pain.

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Mélanie Laurin, PhD - Principal Investigator, Centre de recherche du CHU de Quebec Université Laval

Dr. Mélanie Laurin is a researcher in the Oncology axis of the CHU of Quebec – Laval University Research Center. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology at Laval University. Her research activities focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate skin embryonic development and how these can contribute when deregulated to skin cancer progression. Throughout her career, Dr. Laurin's work has been published in prestigious journals. Notably, one of her breakthrough received a best publication award from the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research and was identified as a Top 10 discoveries funded by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2013.

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Floriane Bretheau - PhD student Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec Université Laval


As a biotechnology engineer in France, Floriane had the chance to do different internships that allowed her to understand different fields of life sciences. She is a PhD student who is passionate about research and science and loves to share her passion.

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Amélie Poulin-Brière - PhD student in neurosciences CERVO Université Laval



Fascinated by human biology, Amélie completed a bachelor's degree in medical biology at the Université de Montréal. She then moved to Quebec City to pursue a master's degree in college teaching, her second love! Three years later, she returned to the sciences to complete a Master's degree in neuroscience. Her research project focuses on the use of antibodies as a therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She hopes to combine her two passions by teaching biology at all levels!

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Linda David PhD - Postdoctoral researcher Research Center of the Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval

Dr. Linda David has been a scientist all her life, living her dream of being a researcher for the past fifteen years. These years have seen her study and work in a wide array of subjects ranging from neurogenesis in the adult brain to neurodegenerative disorders like epilepsy, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease and how they come about. In the past five years, she has focused her time and expertise on understanding the neuropathological processes involved in Parkinson’s disease with a goal to develop novel therapeutic avenues. During the same time she was an integral member of a small team setting up a new biotech entity that would be dedicated to the production, testing and marketing of a novel drug for Parkinson's. Her work has also involved understanding the mechanisms by which mutant proteins spread pathology in Huntington’s disease and testing a protein sequestration and clearance mechanism to prevent this spread. Currently, she is working on understanding how the Huntingtin protein spreads in a 'prion-like' manner in non-human primate brains.

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Amanda Gerges - IC Axon, Montreal, QC


Academically, Amanda obtained a Bachelor's degree in Clinical Laboratory Science followed by a specialty degree in Molecular Biology. Shortly thereafter, she was accepted to McGill University on a scholarship to pursue a Master's degree in Human Genetics focusing on the interaction between a transcriptional co-regulator and a kinase on bone genes.

Professionally, Amanda has acquired a variety of skills ranging from project management and business development with additional support in marketing and communication. Currently, she indirectly combine her scientific knowledge with these professional skills.