What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?
I am an Associate Professor in the UBC Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. My main responsibility is research; I lead a research program in endometriosis (yonglab.med.ubc.ca). I also participate in administrative activities, and in teaching and supervision of research and clinical trainees. Clinically, I practice as an ob/gyn at the Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis (womenspelvicpainendo.com)
How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?
Current work is as an Associate Professor at UBC and so directly relates to my graduate degree. Key things that I learned from graduate school are: 1) how to conduct an experiment with appropriate controls; 2) essentials of biostatistics; 3) how to evaluate a scientific paper; 4) how to write a scientific paper and proposal; 5) how to present scientific findings
What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?
It is a privilege to be able to participate in science and the scientific method and to also mentor trainees along their career path. I enjoy working with my colleagues, and I am appreciative of the support and encouragement from my university, hospitals, and research institutes. Main challenges are the competitiveness of research funding, and also finding work-family balance.
What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?
Excellent faculty and research opportunities. To be close to family.
What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?
Discovering new things in the lab. Having an amazing supervisor, who is an outstanding scientist. Friendships with other students. Travelling to conferences.
What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?
Worked hard. Found an excellent supervisor. Published as much as possible (I think we have a responsibility to have our work peer-reviewed, and published and disseminated to as wide an audience as possible). Presented at national/international meetings.
What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?
Develop as many skills as possible, especially those that are transferable to other areas of study (e.g. statistics, unique experimental methods). Also, attend conferences and meet and get to know others in the field. Be confident and innovative, and dare to dream big.