Shawna Pandya, MSS2007

A Canadian export, Shawna Pandya is passionate about technology, innovation and social development. At present, Ms. Pandya is on leave of absence from the MD program at the University of Alberta, having left to co-found CiviGuard Technologies, a start-up based at NASA-Ames in Silicon Valley that leverages smartphones for disaster response. As CMO for CiviGuard, Ms. Pandya handles the formation of new alliances, partnerships and the development of CiviTriage, a smartphone-based patient-triage-and-tracking system.

In her spare time, Ms. Pandya is also launching Space Without Borders, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to leveraging space technologies for global development. She serves as the lead for partnerships development for TEDxSiliconValley. She is also interested in entrepreneurship/innovation (Graduate Studies Program, Singularity University, 2009), and has recently ventured into the world of motivational speaking and innovation coaching.

Shawna Pandya completed the MSS in 2007 and enrolled in the medical program (MD Candidate, 2012) at the University of Alberta (MD, 2011, Edmonton, Canada). She also holds an Honours BSc in Neuroscience. (University of Alberta, 2006). Her research interests are numerous, ranging from space medicine to surgery to the use of telemedicine and technology for ensuring access to quality healthcare. Her publications, related to these fields, include papers on telemedicine in the developing world and a book chapter on space technology spin-offs for medical use.

Shawna has previously worked in the Crew Medical Support Office of ESAís European Astronaut Centre in Germany and carried out pre-clinical testing of the neuroArm (a robot capable of performing neurosurgery) at the University of Calgary. Shawna also founded and currently co-leads the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine Space Medicine (now Extreme Medicine) Club, and previously worked with SEDS-Canada as the VP Research & Development, helping develop that organizationís strategic initiative.

In her spare time, Shawna practices Taekwondo, plays piano and guitar, sings, and writes. She also remains extensively involved with numerous charity organizations within the community, including the SHINE clinic, an inner-city clinic for at-risk youth in the Edmonton area.