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Board Meeting

PDAC Executive Board 2023-2024

Meet the Team


Dr. Nynke J van den Hoogen  (She/Her)


Nynke is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Her research focuses on early life exposure to pain and opioids. She is originally from the Netherlands, and completed her BSc, MSc, and PhD in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Nynke has represented her peers throughout her academic career, as student representative, PhD representative, and postdoc representative at different levels. Outside of work, she is an avid foodie and bread baker, loves music, and enjoys hiking in the mountains. She is passionate about advocating for postdocs at all levels and is honoured to represent you as PDAC president this year. She is the primary person responsible for ensuring PDAC functions effectively and efficiently, and her responsibilities include chairing executive meetings, guiding the executive, and acting as a spokesperson for PDAC and its members. This year, Nynke will also be responsible for representing PDAC and its membership through bargaining for a new collective agreement.


  • Supervises and guides the affairs and actions of the PDAC Executive Council

  • Conducts or oversees all negotiations done on behalf of PDAC or its members, including collective bargaining

  • Chairs all meetings of the PDAC membership or Executive, unless delegated to another Executive Officer

  • Acts as an ex officio member of all PDAC Standing or Working Committees

  • Acts as the spokesperson for PDAC and its members

  • Carries primary responsibility for ensuring the effective and efficient functioning of the Executive and the Association and the continuity of PDAC

Presidency started on October 2023


Executive Director & Labour Relations Expert

Kim Smith (She/Her)

With 18 years of Human Resources and Labour Relations experience, Kim’s HR credentials support repeated success, implementing best practices. While building credible relationships and influencing meaningful working partnerships, Kims years of experience working with both small and large brand name companies in various industries, in addition to Aboriginal Communities will bring valuable knowledge to PDAC.

As PDAC Executive Director / Labour Relation Expert, Kim will work closely with the University and PDAC members. Together, they form a vital tripartite agreement to facilitate amicable resolutions, to ensure employees are treated fairly, in accordance with the collective agreement.


Kim's responsibilities will be to ensure continuity by managing the PDAC office. Still, her primary focus will be to ensure fair labour practices, between the University of Calgary, the Board of Governors and the Post Doctoral Fellows. 


Vice President Communications

Dr. Margarita Maltseva (She/Her)

Margarita is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute focusing on epilepsy research. She completed her medical doctorate in Frankfurt, Germany, where she also gained experience as a student representative. Outside the office her recreational passions include music and all kinds of outdoor activities such as climbing, running, skiing. As VP communications, she aims to offer approachable information about PDAC work and to support the postdoc community. This includes being the first port of contact, creating the newsletter and managing media accounts.


  • First port of contact for the members of PDAC

  • Responsible for communicating the affairs of PDAC and the Executive Council to the membership

  • Manages the PDAC office email account and PDAC member mailing list 

  • Creates and disseminates the monthly PDAC newsletter

  • Responsible for designing and updating the PDAC website

  • Manages the PDAC social media accounts

  • Advertises PDAC events and manages event registration

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Vice President Operations

Dr. Stephanie Bishop (She/Her)

Stephanie is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Lewis Research Group in the Department of Biological Sciences. She completed a PhD in Analytical Chemistry at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, BC (2020) and currently uses multi-disciplinary metabolomics approaches to understand the metabolic factors that influence bacterial infections.


  • Organizes Executive Council meetings as well as meetings of the general membership

  • Records and minutes from for all meetings of the PDAC Executive and/or membership

  • Manages the storage and maintenance of all official records of PDAC and the Executive Council, as well as the sharing of those records with members as needed

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Vice President Internal

Dr. Gavin Petrie (He/Him)

My research focuses on investigating how the endocannabinoid system regulates social processing. Specifically, I am exploring how varying levels of natural cannabinoids influence individual socialization. The study involves administering a synthetic version of THC and measuring physiological responses to social situations to comprehend how manipulating this system may alter social behaviors and perception. In addition to my research, I served as the Scientific Outreach Director for the Hotchkiss Brain Institute trainees during my PhD.

Beyond academia, I am passionate about community service and have volunteered with organizations such as the Calgary Humane Society and the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiers.

Hobbies: Outside of my academic pursuits, my recreational passions include climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and enjoying a pint with friends.

As a post-doc, I've observed the under-representation of our community, prompting me to take on the role of VP Internal. In this capacity, I actively advocate for the wants and needs of post-docs at the University of Calgary, speaking up in various university groups to ensure our voices are heard.


  • Acts as the primary liaison between the PDAC Executive and the faculties, departments, institutes, and offices internal to the University of Calgary

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Vice President External

Dr. Vinay Saini (He/Him)

Vinay is an Eyes High Postdoctoral Fellow in the Nanotribology Research Group at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. He earned his PhD in Nanotechnology, specializing in lubricants tribology, from IIT Delhi in 2021 with distinction. Currently, Vinay focuses on solid-state electrolytes for battery materials. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, he employs techniques such as atomic force microscopy and confocal imaging to spatially resolve Li-ion distribution. His research aims to optimize next-generation battery materials. Additionally, Vinay is involved in formulating eco-friendly lube oils and greases for electric vehicles.


  • Acts as the primary liaison between the PDAC Executive and any individuals, organizations, or groups external to the Association and/or the University of Calgary, including other postdoctoral associations at the provincial and national levels

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Vice President Finance

Dr. Ayan Chanda (He/Him)

Ayan is a postdoctoral research associate at the Charbonneau Cancer Institute in the Cumming School of Medicine. His research focus is on understand the mechanisms of oral cancer progression. He is originally from Kolkata, India where he completed his B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees in Biotechnology. He moved to Canada in 2013 to pursue doctoral training in cancer biology at the University of Calgary. Outside work he likes to travel with his family and read fiction. This is his third year as VP Finance at PDAC where he works diligently to manage member dues and collaborate with other team members to make Postdoc life at the university marginally better. He also represents UCalgary postdocs at several university and institutional committees. 


  • Conducts all financial transactions on behalf of PDAC

  • Manages all of PDAC’s financial accounts including the maintenance and storage of financial records and the sharing of those records with members as needed

  • Responsible for developing PDAC’s annual budget in consultation with other members of the Executive

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Vice President Community Engagement

Dr. Liz P. Noguera Z. (She/Her)

Liz completed a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland (2022). She joined the University of Calgary as a postdoctoral researcher (2023) and works to develop global wildlife health surveillance.


  • Actively organizes and engages the community through workshops, social events, and discussions

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Labour Relations Consultant

Terry Sway

Terry is the PDAC Labour Relations Consultant and is a valuable resource for the PDAC Negotiating Team.

Terry has negotiated somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 collective agreements and has represented members in hundreds of grievances.

1983 - Negotiator for first collective agreement at Westerra.

1989-90 - Bargaining Team NASA

1994-95 - Chair of collective bargaining for NASA,

1995 - Vice-President &  Director of Labour Relations ACIFA

In 2016, Terry was awarded the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Donald C. Savage Award for his significant contributions to collective bargaining in post-secondary education.

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