Dr. Stepanova studied at Lomonosov Moscow State University, received her PhD in Physiology from the Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology, Moscow, Russia and was a postdoctoral research scientist in Neonatology at the Columbia University Medical Center. Currently Dr. Stepanova is the Research Associate in Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Her research focuses on uncovering the elusive link between mitochondria, calcium communication, and heart cells’ well-being in patients with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) to identify novel therapies for cardiomyopathy in FA. She volunteers at one of the biggest public speaking clubs in the New York area, Columbia University Toastmasters Club, and serves as an Area Director at Toastmasters District 46. She helps others master storytelling and fortify leadership through communication and connections. When Dr. Stepanova isn’t at the bench or busy with Toastmasters, you can spot her in a dance studio or Central Park, where she prepares for bike rides like the Bike-A-Thon or rideATAXIA. She enjoys baking and reading memoirs or psychology books.