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CBC: Top 40, part 1

April 4, 2016 — 

CBC Manitoba is again running their Future 40 contest – highlighting the province’s new crop of leaders, movers and shakers under the age of 40.

Three University of Manitoba community members were named in the first batch of finalists.

CBC reports:

Vanessa Martínez-Lagunas

Age: 34
Category: Sports and Recreation

Vanessa Martínez-Lagunas is the head coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s soccer team and a beacon of inspiration for young women chasing their soccer dreams.

Vanessa hails from Toluca, Mexico, and was a member of the Mexican women’s national team. She also played professionally in Germany and served as a coach or assistant coach with teams in the United States and Germany.

She was assistant coach of the U-17 German women’s national team in the spring of 2013. Later that year, she accepted the challenge of head coach of the U of M women’s soccer team — one of the most inexperienced squads in the country.

Her place as head coach has already begun to pay dividends. The team qualified for the playoffs this season and achieved the best team record and winning percentage since 2007.

She’s blazed her own trail in a field typically dominated by men. Vanessa is one of few females to earn the prestigious UEFA Pro Coaching Licence — the highest coaching certification in the world — and has been a FIFA Women’s Soccer Instructor since 2008.


Dr. Marcia Anderson DeCoteau

Age: 38
Category: Teaching and Health Care

Dr. Marcia Anderson DeCoteau recognizes the importance of Indigenous knowledge and traditional healing practices in improving patient care.

Marcia is currently the MD section head of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Health. She is also an assistant professor in the departments of Community Health Sciences and Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba.

Marcia was the youngest Aboriginal graduate from the Facility of Medicine in Manitoba at the age of 24. She went on to receive her master’s degree in public health in 2007.

Marcia is a past-president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada and has received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for her contributions to the health care field. As well, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman named her to the Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle in June 2015.

Follow Marcia Anderson DeCoteau on Twitter: @MarciaDecoteau


Lisa Liang

Age: 28
Category: Science and Technology

Lisa Liang is a PhD student at the University of Manitoba, where she is conducting research to identify the driving force in an aggressive childhood brain tumour, medulloblastoma.

As current treatments are very harmful on the developing brain, it is important to find more effective and safe therapies. Lisa’s work, which was recently published in a high-impact journal, has led to the discovery of a cellular fingerprint that identifies the stem cells contributing to medulloblastoma progression.

Her current efforts in the lab involve testing a drug that can target these cancer stem cells, which she hopes will lessen the toxic effects of current treatments and provide a better quality of life for children with brain tumours.

Lisa has received a Research Manitoba studentship and has presented her work at local and national conferences.

She has also shared her research with the public through platforms such as Café Scientifique and the 3MT competition, where she was one of the finalists.



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