Amanda Cheung was a semi-finalist in the 2021 Three Minute Thesis competition, with her presentation, "Monitoring the injured spinal cord."
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Discovery is thrilling! Research is like a puzzle, and I enjoy the process of piecing together answers for a complex problem. It is exciting being one of the very few people developing novel solutions for a specific question that can contribute to advancing medicine/technology and improving the quality of life.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
In addition to being a world-renowned research institute with leading researchers and an outstanding scientific environment, UBC is also surrounded by beautiful mountains, ocean, and forests. It is hard to visit the campus once, and not want to return.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The opportunity to work with my supervisor at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), located at Vancouver General Hospital, was a major aspect. ICORD is a world-class research facility and a leader in spinal cord injury research. The unique scientific and clinical environment at ICORD provides outstanding research opportunities that are not found at other institutes.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Mountains are everywhere! Vancouver is breathtaking, and the easy access to the mountains and beaches are a bonus.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My involvement in research throughout my undergrad prepared me well for research at the graduate level and helped me realize this was the next step I wanted to take.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Outside of my PhD, I am a competitive dragon boat athlete and often train at the gym or on the water in a dragon boat or outrigger canoe.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
1) Take advantage of everything UBC has to offer – you are in charge of the trajectory of your degree. 2) Find your community – grad school does not have to be lonely, talk to your peers and faculty. 3) It’s a marathon, not a sprint… enjoy the journey!