Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I find the unknown to be truly exciting as it offers endless possibilities waiting to be discovered. I believe that biomedical engineering and immunology embody the purest form of scientific exploration, and I am passionate about uncovering their mysteries. My curiosity and drive for discovery are insatiable, and I am constantly motivated to push the boundaries of knowledge. With my ability to design meaningful experiments, I am excited to embark on a journey of discovery, one breakthrough at a time.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is a wonderful university with so much to offer! Its reputation for academic excellence is truly outstanding, and Vancouver is a stunning location to study in. The community at UBC is incredibly diverse and inclusive, providing so many opportunities for research, leadership, and extracurricular activities. But for me, the number one reason for choosing UBC was because of my supervisor, Dr. Kelly McNagny. I feel incredibly lucky to be working with someone who shares the same passion and love for science as I do. Also, my lab mates, Dr. Michael Hughes and Dr. Julyanne Brassard, are incredible mentors. They have provided me with invaluable guidance and expertise that has been instrumental in my academic journey, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from them.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Embarking on a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at UBC means being part of an interdisciplinary community that brings together expertise from various fields, including engineering, medicine, and biology, to offer a comprehensive approach to biomedical research. The program features a team of world-class faculty members who are not only experts in their respective fields but also supportive mentors who are dedicated to helping students succeed. One of the unique aspects of the program is its location at the Biomedical Research Centre, a hub of cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art facilities. These include in-house single-cell sequencing, flow and single-cell mass cytometry, an SPF transgenic animal unit, a genotyping service, and cutting-edge imaging facilities.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
UBC and Vancouver have it all - from the stunning natural scenery to the vibrant multicultural community and the abundance of outdoor activities. And the best part is that the lab where I work is only a few minutes away from the soccer field, which is a massive plus for me since I love playing sports in my free time. Additionally, the graduate students at the Biomedical Research Centre have been amazing! They have created such a welcoming and friendly atmosphere on campus, and I feel so lucky to be a part of such a supportive community. Everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand or share their knowledge, which makes my academic journey so much more enjoyable.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Undertaking a graduate program can be tough, and having a strong support system is crucial. My parents have been an unwavering source of support, instilling in me the values of hard work and belief in my abilities. Their encouragement and financial assistance to attend the University of Toronto have been pivotal in providing me with a strong foundation in engineering and biology principles, valuable research experience, critical thinking skills, and amazing opportunities to work with incredible mentors. The University of Toronto is known for its academic excellence, rigorous research programs, and high standards for scholarship. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to complete several research and academic projects as a leader while at U of T. These experiences have given me invaluable experience in conducting independent research and working on complex projects, and I have been able to apply these skills to my successful academic and research journey at UBC.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
One of the best pieces of advice I can offer to new graduate students is to find a mentor who can guide you through your studies and career. This mentor should be someone who is not only knowledgeable and experienced in your field but also someone with whom you feel comfortable working. A good mentor can help you navigate the complexities of graduate studies and provide valuable insights that will help you succeed. In addition to finding a mentor, seeking feedback from your mentor and peers is also essential. Constructive criticism is necessary to help you improve and grow as a researcher. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback on your work and take this feedback as an opportunity to learn and develop your skills.