Alvin Qiu

Epigenomic Dysregulation in Synovial Sarcoma
Martin Hirst and Torsten Nielsen
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I wanted to pursue a graduate degree due to my interest in scientific research and its implications. In clinical medicine, it is obvious that so much is still unknown. I believe that graduate school provides a training environment in which one can learn to identify these critical gaps in knowledge, and ultimately make strides through research that may impact patient care.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I chose to study at UBC because I was attracted to the exciting research that is being conducted here. On top of that, having grown up in Toronto and having previously studied in Montreal, this was a great way to experience life in another beautiful Canadian city.

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

I was interested in the MD/PhD program because I wish to pursue a rewarding career in both clinical medicine and scientific discovery. My perception of a clinician-scientist is someone who has the unique opportunity to integrate both research and clinical medicine. In the long term, I aspire to conduct research that has real clinical impact and ultimately improve the lives of patients.

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

Life in Vancouver has been absolutely jaw-dropping. I was never previously a person who was too drawn into the great outdoors. However, since moving here, I have capitalized on the ability to spend time in nature and be active. Outside of school, you can always find me hiking, snowboarding, swimming, biking, or just enjoying the beach.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

I’m a big advocate for work-life balance! I know this term gets tossed around a lot these days. Nevertheless, I believe that in order to remain focused in school, you also need time to recharge. My advice is to be cognizant of the demands of academia, and balance it with a positive outlook to cherish life and live each day to its fullest.


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