Miss Irma Gvilia is an internationally published Georgian neuroscientist, community leader, and dedicated patriot of both her home and adoptive countries. She enjoys balancing her professional and personal life between being a woman in STEM, a mother, a globe-trotter, and a gym enthusiast.
Her professional career spans over 25 years and 4 continents and, in addition to medical research, has seen her organize 10 international symposiums across 7 countries, teach and mentor students at the post-graduate level, and work in a government advisory committee on national education reform. Throughout her time as Professor of Neurophysiology at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, a Principal Investigator at VAGLAH, and UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Gvilia has maintained contacts and active collaboration with colleagues worldwide. She is a recipient of highly prestigious fellowships and awards from European and American research organizations. Yet, out of all these accomplishments, she is most proud of her two girls.
Dr. Gvilia was born and raised in the Republic of Georgia, a heritage she is immensely proud of. She completed her joint bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biology with Honors at Tbilisi State University in 1991 and her Ph.D. in Biology at Beritashvili Institute of Physiology in 1995.
Dr. Gvilia’s professional field and passion for patriotism crossed paths in 2013, when she led an exemplary professional conference in Kazbegi, Georgia – the first of its kind in the country – where she made sure that the 85+ participants from 23 countries spent most of their leisure time celebrating the rich culture, cuisine and beauty of Georgia. After a wonderful 6 days, they all left finally realizing what their Georgian colleague had been ranting about all these years.
By launching the Georgian Cultural and Education Center, she hopes (1) to bring these celebrations to the small Georgian community in her adoptive home town of Los Angeles, (2) to foster understanding and cultural exchange between Georgian and American peoples living in the county, and (3) to contribute to preserving and promoting Georgian culture and heritage in Southern California. She is genuinely confident that by working together and actively engaging the community, we can bring a little, but authentic piece of “real” Georgia to California! We invite you all to be a part of this journey.