Dr. Lidya V. Salim, PhD (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela and emigrated to Canada in 2011. She earned a BSc in Biological Sciences from Ontario Tech University (formerly UOIT), with a minor in Chemistry, in 2016. During her time as an undergraduate student, Lidya served as a Student Ambassador and provided peer support through Outreach Services and Student Accessibility Services. Lidya served as Co-President for the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Local Committee at Ontario Tech for two academic years (2014-2016) and helped coordinate and oversee the Student Refugee Program, which sponsors students from refugee camps so they can pursue post-secondary education in Canada. Lidya's Undergraduate Honours Thesis focused on the chemical synthesis of γ-Amino-β-hydroxybutyric acid (GABOB) derivatives to target GABAA receptors in parasitic worms.
In 2016, Lidya started an MSc in Applied Bioscience at Ontario Tech and transferred directly into the PhD program after completing her Candidacy Exam in April 2018. Her PhD research focused on improving the cellular delivery of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) as well as developing oligonucleotides with novel sugar backbones. She successfully completed her PhD in July 2021.
Lidya is passionate about STEM education and aims to make science more accessible. Lidya has worked as a Peer Tutor and Peer Programs Assistant for the Student Learning Centre at Ontario Tech. Her experience in program development landed her a full-time summer job at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, ON, Canada in 2016. Through this role, she developed new content and training material for the Thrive program, a day program offering specialized instruction for adults of various ability levels in the areas of life skills, arts, social recreation and sports and fitness. From 2016 to 2021, Lidya developed, coordinated and facilitated the Ontario Tech Science Café program, which provides academic support and mentorship to Science graduate and undergraduate students. Lidya has also taught a variety of laboratory courses at Ontario Tech and Durham College including Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Anatomy.