Beyond Books: Alumni Panel Discussion for Community Building and Career Development in Biology

The ‘Beyond Books’ Panel Discussion brings together an impressive line-up of alumni panelists who have all applied their biology degrees in various entrepreneurial ventures. These range from research, teaching, and applied science. Bringing together graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, postdoc fellows and professors in biology, the event promotes the recently established Biology Undergraduate-Graduate Student Mentorship Initiative, now also partnering graduate students with alumni mentors.

Program: Beyond Books Alumni Panel Discussion


Organizing Committee

Chair: Arun Dayanandan, Vice-President Internal Affairs, Biology Student Association


Carol Zastavniouk, President, Biology Graduate Student Association

Alexandra Baird, President, Biology Student Association

Jamie Allan, Vice-President Academic Affairs, Biology Student Association

Event Coordinator: Marian Pinksy

Photographer: Franco Alo Photography

Videographer: Ryan Gelinas


Opening Remarks

MC: Aphrodite Salas, CTV News Montreal

Dr. Kim Sawchuk, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies (Concordia University Faculty of Arts and Science)

Dr. Amir Aghdam, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Postdoctoral Studies (Concordia University School of Graduate Studies)

Dr. Patrick Gulick, Chair (Concordia University Biology Department)

Dr. Selvadurai Dayanandan, Graduate Program Director (Concordia University Biology Department)





Dr. Sherin Al-Safadi (Keynote)

Dr. Sherin Al-Safadi completed a B.Sc in Anatomy and Cell Biology, an M.Sc in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MBA and a PhD in Biology, with a focus in the field of Neurobiology. As a Medical Science Liaison at Bayer, Sherin’s career interests lie in creating value-driven innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, by bridging the gap between R&D and commercialization. A sports enthusiast and dedicated philanthropist, Sherin has strong aspirations for a better world.




Dr. Mona Hamzeh

Senior Advisor, Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives, Concordia University




Dr. Tonia De Bellis

Professor, Biology Department, Dawson College




Ms. Caroline Bilhete

Alumni, Biology, Concordia University




Mrs. Sandra Chiovitti

Quality Assurance Manager, InSymbiosis




Dr. Lauren Segall

Research Facilitator, Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, Concordia University




Mr. Robert Carson,

Departmental Teaching and Instrumentation Laboratory Technician, Biology Department, Concordia University