Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I graduated with a BSc degree in Cell Biology with Honors from the University of Alberta, but I became interested in Pharmaceutical Sciences when I was graduating, and so I wanted to do a PhD and pursue a career in this field.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I browsed many excellent research topics from the universities in Canada and found myself most intrigued by the work done in the Collier and Coughtrie labs. Also, UBC is one of the top universities in Canada and in the world.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Beside my research interest which was the main reason that I applied to enter the program, there were many aspects that were attractive to me. For example, there were many scholarship opportunities available for me to apply as an international student, and I was fortunate to be the first recipient of the James E. Axelson Award. I also like the environment and facilities within the Faculty.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
UBC is a huge campus with a great diversity in people and culture, and I got to make friends with people from different research disciplines and different parts of the world. This is a valuable experience because it has enabled me to broaden my mind. Vancouver has many things to offer as well, for example it is a great place for hiking, sightseeing, and other outdoor activities.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
As an international student, I am always curious and open minded to get involved in a new environment and face new challenges. Also, I graduated with a first-class Honors degree from the University of Alberta with an average letter grade of A. Beside the transcripts, I had the opportunity of doing research as an undergraduate student in Dr. Gary Eitzen's lab in the Department of Cell biology, University of Alberta.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Hanging out with friends (when it is safe to do so considering the current situation), exercising outdoor by running and (occasionally) hiking and skiing, and indoor by playing JustDance. I also like watching movies, reading fictions, and talking to my dog overseas over the video.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Keep enthusiastic and curious about your research and every day in life.