Lidya V. Salim 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. Lidya's current research focuses on improving the cellular delivery of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and the development of oligonucleotides with novel sugar backbones.
Lidya is passionate about education and science communication 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. Since 2016, Lidya has coordinated and facilitated the Ontario Tech Science Café, which provides academic support and mentorship to Science graduate and undergraduate students.
Lidya is a founding member of the Ontario Tech-Trent Women in Chemistry Chapter (OTT-WIC) of the Canadian Women in Chemistry Network (CWIC) and an executive member of the Ontario Tech Women in Science group.
The Science Café provides additional study space, academic support and mentorship to graduate and undergraduate Science students at Ontario Tech.
Lidya has coordinated this program and served as the Biology TA since January 2016.