Haiming Luo

Immunomodulation through modification of cell surfaces using polymers
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I completed a thesis and 2 co-op terms during my undergraduate degree. These experiences exposed me to research in academia and in the industry. I found myself drawn to aspects of experimental design and laboratory research, so I decided to pursue a research-based graduate degree.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC since it is one of the top research institutes in the world and it is situated in the beautiful city of Vancouver. I wanted a fine balance of new and exciting academic experiences and life experiences and this university and city provided me with both.

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

What attracted me to do my research here is because my research group focuses on interdisciplinary projects that lie at the interface of chemistry and medicine. I particularly enjoy utilizing polymer chemistry and various engineering techniques to tackle biomedical issues.

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

The best surprise about life at UBC/Vancouver is the ability to have a fine balance between work and play. I am able to fit in a full day of research while catching the sunset at the beach with friends. Or I am able to find new collaborators and exciting research across campus while spending my weekends in nature. There is always something new and exciting around the corner.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

One of my favourite parts about this process is the opportunity to share my research and knowledge to the rest of the research community at conferences. It gives me pride and validation for my work when sharing with those who are pillars in the research field. Also, travelling to new countries and cities is definitely a bonus.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

I think the biggest challenge for me is to spend time to reflect on my strengths (both inside and outside the lab) and identify key job sectors and positions that will satiate my curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

Being a part of the Department of Chemistry and the Centre for Blood Research provides me a multitude of research seminars on various topics while also offering me a great selection of professional development opportunities to prepare me for my future career.

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

I personally felt that the experiences with my co-op positions and honours thesis best prepared me for the UBC graduate program. The invaluable knowledge and indispensable mentors accrued through these experiences not only prepared me for this degree but are still continuing to help me throughout.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I spend my weekends at the beach, hiking in the mountains, or exploring the many neighbourhoods around this beautiful city. During the rainier days, I stay indoors and catch a movie, read a book, or complete a DIY project.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

My advice for graduate students is to not rush into a project or a lab. Take some time to think about what you want out of this chapter of your life. Strike a balance between your professional development needs and your personal growth goals. You need to remind yourself that there is a life beyond the lab.


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