Jerry Leung

Using Lipid Nanoparticles to Modulate Platelet Function and Create Designer Platelets
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

It just felt like the most logical next step—with my background being in biochemistry, I was always interested in learning more about the molecular mechanisms driving fundamental biological processes. I also knew that upon graduating I wanted to find a way to give back to the community that has already given me much to be grateful for. Graduate studies, therefore, felt like the perfect way to leverage all these interests and goals, in contributing to the generation of new knowledge while helping others in creating impactful therapies.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

As a world-class university that is also a hub for many collaborative engagements with other researchers, I felt that UBC would be an ideal place to continue my education. UBC is also one of the leading destinations in the world for developing nanomedicines, an area of research I was keen on pursuing heading into graduate studies.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

With the biochemistry program, I was especially attracted to the ability to network with many amazing researchers and students for unique collaborations and opportunities. In particular, was the chance to continue my studies under Dr. Pieter Cullis in the field of lipid nanoparticle technology and combine that with the field of hematology and hemostasis to develop novel therapeutics under the guidance of Dr. Christian Kastrup.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

Despite growing up in and around Vancouver, one of the best surprises is that there always is something new to explore and learn about with the ever-changing face of the city and university.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Having had some previous laboratory and industrial experience with the Co-Operative Education program, as well as further experience in an academic lab for my Honours thesis, definitely helped better prepare me for my UBC graduate program. Not only did these experiences allow me to build the required technical skills that the program demands, but more importantly they helped guide my perspectives and expectations of what graduate studies would be like and how to best manage it even before starting.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

If I am not in the lab, I like to be outside—given how nice the city is—as well as engage in sports such as badminton, biking, and other physical activities. Other times I simply like to pick up a new book, or just sleep.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Keep an open mind, be willing to explore different avenues, don’t be afraid of reaching out to other peers or professors for advice or collaborations, and most importantly engage in the activities that you are passionate about! Graduate studies can be a challenging and self-driven road, but it is just as important to take care of yourself and enjoy the journey as well!


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