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Sikta Chattopadhyaya, a PhD student with the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, is one of 13 award recipients funding women’s leadership training through the Winnipeg Foundation’s Martha Donovan Leadership Fund.

The $250,000 fund was established in 2019 to provide leadership development opportunities for women in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. Recipients are funded to take a leadership course of their choosing, allowing them to develop their skills and advance their careers. Up to $50,000 is awarded annually for five years.

Currently working on research to help find cardiac fibrosis treatments in Dr. Michael Czubryt’s Molecular Pathophysiology lab here at St. Boniface Hospital Research, Chattopadhyaya will be investing her award money to study a leadership course through Harvard Business School. Her long term goal as a researcher is not only to help identify therapeutic strategies to block or reverse fibrosis, but ultimately start her own independent laboratory.

“To lead a lab, I will need to further develop qualities such as good communication skills, adapting leadership styles to different students in crisis, managing a team to elicit their best performance, handling stressful situations, managing and dealing with different personalities, getting people to believe in you, and leading them towards success. This course will help me develop most of these skills and will help me achieve the goals in my chosen career path,” she shared.

Dr. Czubryt explained how leadership capabilities are so valuable for researchers to develop as they pursue their careers, “The Martha Donovan Women’s Leadership Development Award provides a great opportunity for students to build their skills in preparation to become the next generation of thought leaders,” he said. “The course through Harvard Business School will help Sikta identify ways to build on her strengths in order to handle demanding situations while fostering team achievement.”

Chattopadhyaya credited her supervisor for his unwavering support, “I would also really like to thank Dr. Czubryt for his continuous guidance. I am lucky to be his student.”

Congratulations to Sikta and much success in your new studies!