Filipino-Canadian Leaders in STEM

Introducing our second panel… Filipino-Canadian Leaders in STEM! In this panel, we present our innovative speakers: Dr. Phil de luna, Dr. Ryan Figueroa, Dr. Mayrose Salvador, and Dr. M Cynthia Goh.

Moderated by Francis Lao.

Mayrose Salvador is a Filipino-Canadian scientist, innovator, and educator. She received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines and her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Toronto. As a scientist, Dr. Salvador has created advanced materials for solar cell applications , pioneered the use of novel laser techniques to create industrial applications for nanomaterials and contributed to the understanding of the impact of these materials in the environment. 

Mayrose  has led the training of over 3,500 teachers around the world with Pueblo Science, a charity that she co-founded. Appearing in Canadian, Philippine, Guyana and Jamaican media networks she continues to popularize science for the general public. Dr. Salvador is passionate about using technology to solve community problems. She was involved in developing iron fortified snacks for kids and in collaboration with the Impact Centre at the University of Toronto, she also helped deploy affordable solar lighting to the indigenous communities of the Philippines.
Dr. Figueroa is a family physician in Mississauga, Ontario.  He is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and Family Medicine residency training program.   
He was chief resident at Credit Valley Hospital. Prior to his medical career, he completed a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and worked as a research associate in the field of stem cell technology in Aarhus University, Denmark.
Dr. Phil De Luna is currently leading a world-class 7-year $57M collaborative research program on Canada-made clean energy technology as a Program Director at the National Research Council of Canada. His mandate is to develop transformative technologies to help Canada achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. His moonshot is to make renewable fuels and chemicals from air and water. 

De Luna is a pioneering carbontech expert with experience spanning cutting-edge topics such as carbon capture and conversion technologies, clean hydrogen, and artificial intelligence for materials discovery. His research has been published in high-impact journals such as Nature and Science (>5000 citations in 5 years) and has been covered by mainstream media such as Newsweek, CBC, Forbes, Popular Science, and others.
Phil was named to the 2019 Forbes Top 30 Under 30 – Energy list and was a finalist (1 of 10 worldwide) in the $20M Carbon XPRIZE. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto in Materials Science & Engineering where he was a Governor General Gold Medalist. He is Vice Chair of the board of directors of CMC Research Institutes, a carbontech non-profit, a member of the OECD Advanced Materials steering committee, and a member of the Working Group on AI Ethics and Sustainable Development Goals at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. He is also a Mission Innovation Champion for Canada, an Action Canada Fellow, a Creative Destruction Lab Mentor, and a 2x TEDx speaker.
Dr. M. Cynthia Goh is Professor of Chemistry, cross-appointed to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Institute of Medical Science and the Munk School of Global Affairs. She is the founder of the Impact Centre, an institute that aims to bring science to society, and the inaugural Academic Director of University of Toronto Entrepreneurship. Her research interest centers on the interactions and properties of very large molecules, which has impact on nanotechnology, biomaterials and biodiagnostics. Other passions are: the translation of scientific discovery to technology/products that benefit society; the training of scientist-entrepreneurs; and the development of technology for low resource settings. Her research has led to 8 science-based companies, which she has co-founded with her students, including: Axela (medical diagnostics based on diffractive optics), Vive Crop Protection (delivery system for agricultural actives), Pueblo Science (non-profit for science literacy in low resource communities worldwide) and Phantin (nanomaterials coatings for environmental issues). In 2003 she originated Entrepreneurship101, an introduction for students who want to be entrepreneurs, which later moved to MaRS and expanded to thousands registered annually. In 2010 she founded Techno, an intensive training program for scientists/engineers who want to create science-based companies; this program has led to the creation of over 150 student-led start-ups based on university research. Professor Goh has given invited lectures on her scientific research results, on their translation to useful products, and on the process of innovation and the training of scientist-entrepreneurs.


Francis Lao is a second year medical student at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University. He grew up in North York and received his Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University. Since the age of 16, he has conducted research on Kawasaki Disease, a pediatric vasculitis, as a research student at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and McMaster University. He advocates for increased representation of Black, Indigenous and people of color in medicine, ending homelessness in Hamilton, and Filipinx health. He is currently watching Attack on Titan Season 4, loves rock-climbing and eating ginataan.