Passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship and international development, Catalina has worked in research and innovation for more than 20 years, in 7 different countries, with extensive experience in the academic and private sectors. She has worked with different biotech, pharma and non for profit companies to help advance research and innovation and develop productive partnerships at the national and international level.
Presently, Catalina is the Executive Director of the Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGen) at Genome Canada. Previously, she was the COO at Ruta N Medellin, driving innovation ecosystems to advance social and economical development in Medellin, Colombia and Latin America. Prior to that, Catalina was the CSO at Genome BC and before that the VP/CSO at Genome Quebec. Catalina has also held leadership positions at Informax, deCODE Genetics, and Eli Lilly and has played advisory roles at the European Commission, Innovative Medicine Initiatives and other private and public sector entities working in the application and implementation of genomics technologies. In 2013 Catalina was awarded the National Order of Merit Award in the Rank of Officer by the Republic of Colombia and in 2017 was awarded a commemorative Canada 150 medal from the Canadian Senate.
As part of her commitment with International Development, in 2012 Catalina also funded the non for profit organization ODNS (Organisation pour le Développement avec des Nouvelles Solidarités).
Catalina holds an MD from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia, an MSc in Human Genetics from Paris V University in France, a PhD in Medical Sciences from the KULeuven in Belgium, and a mini MBA from McGill University in Canada.