Margaret Magdesian, BSc Pharmacology, PhD Biochemistry (University of São Paulo), is the founder of ANANDA and an associate researcher at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and the McGill Department of Physics.
As an Associate Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), her research focused on the identification of early diagnostic markers for neurodegenerative diseases. Interested in the growing applications of nanotechnology in medicine, in 2008 she joined the Neuroengineering group to work as a Visiting Scientist with the director of the MNI, Dr. David Colman. Since then she has been working in the development of new micro- and nanotools to study the mechanism of neuronal degeneration and repair in collaboration with Dr Peter Grütter from the McGill Physics Dept. Margaret has authored several peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and she received an award from the International Brain Research Organization.
Her work combines atomic force microscopy, microfabrication and microfluidic devices to culture different cell types. These miniaturized versions of bioassays offer many advantages, including: more physiological and biocompatible design, low cost, minimal reagent and sample requirements, plus integration with other micro- and nanoelectronic devices. She has also obtained 2 patents in the area of microdevices.
Seeing the opportunity to extend the use of the developed devices and techniques to other fields in medicine, in 2013 Margaret launched ANANDA, a joint venture between the MNI and the McGill Nanotools Microfab to expand the use and development of new microdevices to improve biomedical research and diagnostics. In 2014 she was a winner in the Innovation Driven Enterprise Track of the McGill Dobson Cup start-up competition.
Margaret enjoys learning new languages and she is fluent in English, French, German and Portuguese. She used to work as a translator and an interpreter to pay for her college education. Today she lives with her husband and two kids in Montreal, Canada.
A fun-fact about Margaret: She is an amateur artist and enjoys oil painting, watercolour and sewing. She usually makes her own clothes.