Sumreen Javed was a participant in the 2018 UBC Three Minute Thesis competition, with her presentation, “Targeting tumor 'feet' to stop its spread."
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After completing my undergraduate degree in Doctor of pharmacy from Pakistan, I started practicing as a registered pharmacist in the oncology department of a reputed hospital. It was sad and depressing to see numerous cancer patients suffering and helplessly waiting for their end every day. At that time, I realized that I should pursue a graduate degree in the field of drug research and discovery to make a difference in people's lives, no matter how minute, to alleviate the pain and the suffering of those around me.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is a world-class university and pursuing a doctorate degree from this prestigious institute will be a perfect opportunity to help me develop novel strategies in the lab that will contribute to the translational research. This will bolster my ability to contribute in this field of science with more passion and enthusiasm and will bring me a greater satisfaction of applying theoretical knowledge and giving it back to the community.
It’s only after coming to UBC, that I can appreciate the rational and conceptual capacity of a human brain
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC encompasses many research areas and in joining the laboratory of Dr. Karla Williams, I am investigating metastasis and attempting to inhibit this process to impair the spread of breast cancer. Here, I could enhance my skills to discover and drive new discoveries made at the bench into the patient settings. This will be an excellent opportunity to work with such skilled and high intellect professionals to ease the pain of thousands of women around the world.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Oh well, the intellectual capability of everyone here is just mesmerizing. It’s only that after coming to UBC, I can appreciate the rational and conceptual capacity of a human brain. It is truly a “place of mind”.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am looking forward to life in the UBC scientific community and continuing to achieve milestones in cancer therapeutics, under the supervision of Dr. Karla Williams, obtaining world-class training in the university’s state-of-the-art Pharmaceutical Sciences environment.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I volunteer! There is no greater satisfaction than knowing the fact that you are fulfilling one of the prime purposes of your creation i.e. helping your fellow human beings. It is both humbling and satisfying to see that I can be a source of a smile for people around me.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Just hang in there. Don’t ever lose faith in your Creator and yourself. There is a reason behind everything that happens in our lives. Focus on the lesson from the event and move on. Sometimes, it’s ok not to be at the top or be number 1, but the key is that you keep on giving your best and keep on trying again and again and again.