Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Research is an area of where there is the potential of uncovering fundamental mechanisms that profoundly alter the way we view the world. That alone was exciting to me and made pursuing a graduate degree almost necessary.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
During my undergraduate years, I had a basic understanding of what a synapse was but it seemed like there was still a lot we did not know. For example, what are the constituents of a synapse? How do they interact with each other? Do they differ between synapse types? Through development? Between genders? As I was still a volunteer in the Craig lab, I quickly realized this was where some of these questions were being explored at a high level. Therefore, I very much wanted to be a part of that.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
A comprehensive examination of neurobiological processes by nature requires interdisciplinary approaches. UBC's Neuroscience program is home to outstanding faculty who are trained in a wide variety of disciplines and are among the leaders in their respective subfields. To be able to collaborate and interact with these bright minds seemed like a tremendous resource to me.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Having lived in Vancouver for most of my life, I've always been in awe of the nature that surrounds us. Looking at the mountains from the Rose Garden on campus is breathtaking and surprisingly therapeutic.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I had the opportunity to do research in several labs during my undergraduate years. This allowed me to understand the rationale behind multiple lines of research, and also to get a head start on learning how to think.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Focus on an important problem and remain determined to solving it. Only you are your greatest enemy. Believe in yourself and go for it.