Café Bioethics started as an intellectually accessible forum where individuals, who do not necessarily have a background in bioethics, medicine, or law, can participate in laid-back philosophical discussion. Everyone has a stake in what we talk about, so why not engage with everyone?
Thanks to your support, we've expanded our team and now produce even more content, like publications and podcasts!
We're excited for you to join us as we explore the wondrous tangents that can result from philosophical discussion. Whether it's a Black Mirror episode or a sci-fi film from the 90s, grab a cup of coffee and join us!
Meet The Team
Founder & Host
As a graduate of University of Toronto's MHSc in Bioethics, Nipa continues her role in the bioethics community by working within the Bioethics Department at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto. She also has completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto, double-majoring in Bioethics and Human Biology: Health and Disease.
Nipa is fascinated by pretty much everything; in bioethics, she loves to think about issues related to assisted reproductive technologies and the ways in which such technologies relate to international contexts. Nipa is enthusiastic about teaching and knowledge translation, as she assists in teaching undergraduate and graduate bioethics courses at University of Toronto. Known for her approachability, Nipa loves hosting intellectually stimulating discussions with interesting people in bioethics, offering a platform for everyone to feel welcome to join in.
Her ideal Saturday? Spending time with her puppy Charlie, reading some Malcolm Gladwell, and in the evening, hosting a dinner party where all the best conversations can flourish around her dinner table. You're invited, of course! Hope you love Billie Holiday...
Clara graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology and Art History in 2019. Most days, you can find her glued to her computer and her community at missINFORMED, a not-for-profit health education platform designed to educate and empower women and gender-diverse folks to make informed health care decisions. She is passionate about health, climate change, design and project management, a passion that offers her an interdisciplinary edge.
As an overthinker, bioethics was a field of study that made sense for her - conjuring up all the possible scenarios to find the answer (this never happens!). She is delighted to engage in friendly debate and is always willing to admit defeat (although that also never happens ;) ). As a proud feminist and environmentalist, Clara’s future endeavours include health information distribution, policy-making and retiring on a farm outside of Florence.
Producer & Editor
Editor & Researcher
Roma is a graduate of the Master of Bioethics program at the University of Pennsylvania and continues to do work in research ethics & health policy. She holds a Honours Bachelor of Science from McMaster University.
Roma did her master's research on the ethics of waivers of informed consent in human subjects research. She is currently a research assistant at McMaster University researching public and patient engagement in health policy. Roma is also the Director of Research at missINFORMED, a health education platform for women and gender diverse people.
Roma will be starting her PhD in Health Policy at McMaster University in September 2021. Her extensive background in research and science communication is bolstered by a longstanding passion for health reform and justice. When she isn't researching or writing, Roma is probably reading a book or turning her home into a plant jungle.
As an undergraduate at University of Toronto, Sam majored in Bioethics and Human Biology and minored in Philosophy, finding a passion for leadership as the Vice President of the University of Toronto Undergraduate Bioethics Society and President of the U of T Gospel Choir. He also served as U of T’s Undergrad Representative to the Canadian Bioethics Society and as the Bioethics Liaison to the Philosophy Course Union.
Aside from his academic interests, Sam is an experienced canoeist and enjoys spending time in nature and admires the paintings of the Group of Seven. He is currently assisting Dr. Kerry Bowman with a requested publication on the vital importance of Indigenous sovereignty to the sustained existence of the Amazon.
Producer & Editor
Kirstie obtained her law degree in both civil and common law from the McGill University Faculty of Law in 2021. During law school, Kirstie focused mainly on studying issues at the intersection of law and health. In the summer after first year, Kirstie interned at the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development in Uganda, where she primarily worked on a case challenging the Ugandan government’s failure to provide basic maternal health care on constitutional grounds. During law school, she also worked as an editor for the McGill Journal of Law and Health, interned in the legal department of a major hospital in Montreal, and clerked at the Montreal Municipal Court.
In addition to being a lawyer, Kirstie is also a graduate from the Master in Public Health program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. During graduate school, she mainly worked in quality improvement in health care from both a research and practice perspective.
Kirstie will be attending the Master of Science in Bioethics program at Harvard Medical School in 2023 where she plans on focusing her studies on clinical ethics. In her spare time, Kirstie is usually at the dog park with her dog, Fred, doing pilates, or trying out new restaurants!
Rachel Cooper is a recent graduate of Harvard Medical School’s Master of Bioethics program. Rachel’s graduate school coursework and capstone project research focused on issues of mental health ethics and the ethics of patient engagement – topics inspired by her own experiences of receiving mental health care, her experiences as a caregiver to critically ill family members at the beginning and end of life, and by her work as an educator in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Rachel believes that stories and narrative are crucial to bioethics, and her current work as a qualitative researcher strengthens her resolve to weave first person experiences into her bioethics research and practice.
Rachel takes great joy in mentoring and helping others refine their ideas and arguments, and she’s thrilled to bring this passion to Café Bioethics. Beyond her professional work, Rachel is constantly on the prowl for the best lattes in Toronto and otherwise spends her spare time hanging out with her infant and toddler nephews, who inspire her to be silly and creative in exploring the world and learning new things.
Kayla is a PhD candidate in the philosophy department at the University of Toronto, and is also completing a collaborative specialization in bioethics through the Joint Centre for Bioethics. Her dissertation focuses on respect for persons in medical settings, and in highlighting the gap between principle of respect for autonomy and the principle of beneficence in clinical settings for persons whose decisional competency is compromised.
Notable distractions from writing her dissertation involve teaching undergraduate courses in bioethics at the University of Toronto and working as a Clinical Research Project Coordinator studying ethics framework development and resource allocation at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. She is currently working on several projects for quality improvements in health care delivery to work through pandemic-induced waitlists, and ethical resource allocation and prioritization. The question that is currently top of mind and guiding her research is what a commitment to operationalizing and achieving equity in health care settings entails.
Kayla is passionate about teaching, knowledge translation between the academic world of theory and the ethics of the every-day, and can be found at all (pre-pandemic) times taking no less than 10 minutes before roping her friends into a conversation about all things bioethical over coffee and cake.
Esther is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto's Master of Health Science in Bioethics program. She works as a research assistant at Centre of Pandemics in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She holds a Honours Bachelor of Health Science (Specialization) from Western University.
Esther is currently a Co-Investigator on mixed methods study examining provider preferences at the Hospital for Sick Children, SickKids. She enjoys the process of conducting empirical research, knowledge translation and policy development.
Esther often says that ethics is her “language of advocacy”. Her passionate for ethics and equity-driven healthcare is the foundation for many of the research topics she engages with. Esther will be starting her PhD in Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto in September 2021 with a focus on maternal health and ethics.
Outside of academia, Esther enjoys cooking different dishes and reading engaging memoirs.