top of page

Biotech Pride: LGBTQ Leaders in the Most Dynamic Industry

Scientists have created millions of mRNA vaccines to save lives, improved cancer drugs are in the works, and gene editing and gene therapies have now become potential cures. Teams of dedicated, intelligent, and inspiring leaders have made this future possible, and many of these people identify as being LGBTQ. As part of June’s LGBTQ month, we would like to highlight 3 leaders who identify as LGBTQ and are using their scientific and business skills to make a difference.

Isabel Aznarez: Co-founder and VP of biology ~ Stoke Therapeutics

After receiving her Ph.D. in human molecular genetics at the University of Toronto, Aznarez is an expert in her field who has been pioneering the work on RNA splicing and medicine for spinal muscular atrophy from Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Biogen. With her leadership at Stoke Therapeutics, the company is now in Phase I clinical development with a lead for children with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy that causes many other prolonged health problems.

“When you’re not at peace or happy with who you are, it’s hard to do anything with confidence.”

~ Isabel Aznarez

Gerald Crowell: Former Former Head, Global Marketing and Communications, Healthcare and Life Sciences at KPMG International.

Gerald Crowell is a communications and marketing leader with national and international experience. As a trusted advisor, his experience with cross-functional teams and stakeholders has made him successful in diverse endeavors. His partner is Ken Aucoin, a former Development Director, University College, University of Toronto, and co-founder of the LGBT Giving Network; Aucoin also currently sits on the board of the CWA Foundation.

Anita McGahan: Academic ~ Professor and Rotman Chair in Management, and formerly Associate Dean of Research, Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto.

McGhan was the Chief Economist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division for Global Health and Human Rights. As the author of several books and over 100 articles, case studies, notes, and other published material, McGhan has written incredible papers regarding competitive advantage, industry evolution, and financial metrics. McGahan received the Irwin Distinguished Educator Award winner in 2010 from the Academy of Management; this was followed by 2012 their Career Distinguished Educator Award. Anita McGahan is the partner of Sarah Kaplan, a fellow academic.



bottom of page