Lebanese-Canadian scientist, professor, and researcher Mona Nemer is a bright mind that has achieved great things throughout her career, the most prominent being a title she earned 3 years ago.
On September 26th, 2017, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau named her Canada’s Chief Science Advisor for a three-year appointment, and he just reappointed her for another 2 years.
The chief science adviser is responsible for a CA$2-million budget. Her responsibilities include helping the government by providing advice for decision-making, keeping the science of the government accessible to the public, and protecting the freedom of the federal scientists.
Shortly after Mona Nemer’s first appointment back in 2017, she released her office’s plans for 2018, which included developing scientific integrity policies and guidelines, recommending guidelines to ensure government scientists can speak freely about their research, and preparing a framework to allow for open public access to federal government science.
The Lebanese-Canadian researcher held many titles throughout the years, excelling in all her positions. She inspired many students from all around the world through her influential scientific articles as well as through her training and teaching.
She was a professor of pharmacology at the University of Montreal, the Director of the Cardiac Development Research Unit at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal (IRCM), and the vice-president of research at the University of Ottawa for 12 consecutive years.
During her position at the IRCM, Dr. Nemr held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Cell Differentiation. Currently, she is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Ottawa.
Being a scientist that specializes in molecular genetics and cardiac regeneration, Nemr won several awards, including the Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 2009 and Member of the Order of Canada in 2014.
Dr. Nemer discovered several genes essential for normal heart development and function. She also contributed to the development of diagnostic tests for heart failure and the genetics of cardiac birth defects.
Like many great Lebanese achievers abroad, Nemer was born in Lebanon but had to leave her homeland during the civil war.
She then got her degree in chemistry at Wichita State University and went on to earn her Ph.D. in bio-organic chemistry from McGill University a couple of years later.
On August 4th, Nemer posted on Instagram a photo of hers during her youth in Lebanon, captioning it with a message to Lebanon:
“Growing up in Lebanon, I learned a lot about the importance of curiosity, diversity, and resilience. Today, I was deeply saddened to hear about the horrible tragedy in Beirut, my first home.”
“My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and my thoughts are with an entire population that has seen so many challenges. May solidarity and compassion see you through this.”