Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I loved the problem-solving nature of research, the process of running experiments, and the thrill of overcoming unique challenges. Graduate school is a place where being curious is strongly encouraged, and I wanted to continue learning and expanding my knowledge after completing my undergraduate degree.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is a leading institute in the field of regenerative medicine and stem cell-based disease modeling. There are only a handful of researchers in the world who are conducting similar work as my co-supervisors Dr. Liam Brunham and Dr. Zachary Laksman. When I was completing my undergraduate degree at UBC, I experienced first-hand how collaborative and supportive the people are. Staying at UBC to continue my studies was an easy decision.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Experimental Medicine program offers an opportunity to learn from a wide range of multidisciplinary researchers and clinician-scientists at various hospitals located across the Lower Mainland. The studies led by the Experimental Medicine Faculty not only focuses on identifying the causes of diseases but also on developing clinically relevant therapies. The translational focus and research-intensive nature of the Experimental Medicine program aligns well with my own interests. Working inside a hospital whilst under the guidance of my supervisors who see patients daily has helped me stay focused on the bigger picture. Every experiment we conduct fills in a small piece of a large puzzle that could transform patient care and improve their lives.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Despite living here for over two decades, I continue to be surprised by the beauty of this land as well as the generosity and kindness of the people at UBC. I am grateful for the opportunity to study in a city filled with people who are diverse in culture, ideas, expertise, and experiences.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I had the opportunity to gain practical research experience through lab courses and co-operative education placements while I was completing my undergraduate degree in the UBC-BCIT Biotechnology program. These experiences helped me identify my strengths, what I liked about research, the fields of study I am interested in, and they helped me develop both soft and technical skills that I use in my research everyday.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee, playing with my dog, reading, and drinking coffee.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Your supervisors and peers are there to help you! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support. Dedicate time to connect with people and pursue your passions outside of your studies. Revisiting a problem with a fresh perspective can often help you reframe the challenge and identify a solution.