ABOUT ME

I truly believe that scientific knowledge is fundamental to politics, economics, culture, arts, and public life in modern society and that technological innovation can dramatically improve human condition. As an academic, I am committed to rigorous theoretical and policy-oriented research that empowers citizens in the knowledge-based society, shapes public policy to ensure that the public good is central to science and technology innovation,  and embraces the values of open society - moral universalism, social justice, equity, human rights, diversity, and tolerance. In my current role as the Founder and Research Director of the Canadian Institute for Genomics and Society, a Toronto-based nonprofit organization, I work to advance public engagement with the emerging genomic and stem cell technologies and encourage social responsibility in biomedical innovation. I have previously held several research and teaching academic appointments. As a Research Associate & Sessional Lecturer at McMaster University in 2017-2018, I coordinated and managed research programs in global health ethics and innovation, funded with by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and taught advanced bioethics and science communication in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Interdisciplinary Science. In 2015-2016, I was an Assistant Professor in the Bachelor of Arts and Science Program at Trent University, a new interdisciplinary program with an integrated curriculum that bridges the humanities/social sciences and the sciences. Prior to this, I worked for two years on large multi-disciplinary projects in the health sciences as a Research Associate and Project Manager in the Health Law Institute (HLI) at the University of Alberta, one of Canada's leading research centers in health law and science policy. At the University of Alberta, I also held appointments as the Inaugural Research Director of the Center for Public Involvement (2012-2013) and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Extension (2012-2015). I received my doctoral degree from the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought at York University in Toronto in 2012, with a dissertation on the public communication and bio-politics of human embryonic stem cell research in the United States and the European Union. My research in science communication, public engagement and ELSI research (ethical, legal and social implications of the emerging technologies in biomedicine) has received international recognition through numerous publications in high-impact scientific journals and invited presentations at international conferences and workshops. I have previously taught university courses in bioethics, science and technology studies, science communication, scientific controversies, scientific and technical writing, and research methods at McMaster University, Trent University, York University, and Ontario Tech University.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

EDUCATION

Bioethics

Ethical issues in stem cell research, genomics, life extension and reproductive technologies, abortion, research ethics, clinical trials, religion and bioethics

Science and health communication

Media representations of emerging biomedical technologies, public perceptions and attitudes, framing in science policy debates, risk communication.

Public engagement

Theories of deliberative democracy, the practice of public participation, design and evaluation issues, deliberative forums (citizens juries, panels, assemblies).

Science and Technology Policy

Comparative regulatory and legal frameworks for stem cell research, regenerative medicine, precision medicine and genetic testing

Doctor of Philosophy, 2012

Social and Political Thought

York University, Toronto, Canada

Master of Arts, 2002

Comparative Literature & Ethnic and Pluralism Studies

University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Master of Arts, 1998

Gender and Culture

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Master of Arts, 1996

Cultural Studies & Philosophy (teaching certification)

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia, Bulgaria