Michael Rowley

 
Development of small-molecule inhibitors against Protein Arginine N-methyltransferase 2
 
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences has perhaps the most diverse range of research topics at UBC. Each research group has a unique niche they fill and all of them are essential for successful drug discovery and development. This diversity creates a collaborative environment where the contributions of each group is invaluable.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

During my undergraduate studies, I developed a passion for research through working with different biochemistry and nanoscience groups. These experiences taught me how to apply known methodologies to address some of the unknown mysteries in the realm of protein science. My time in undergraduate studies left me with an appetite for more research, pursuing a graduate career was the next logical step.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I wanted to study at a university with a sterling reputation in the research community that also had a diverse community of peers and well situated in nature. UBC met and exceeded all of these criteria!

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

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences has perhaps the most diverse range of research topics at UBC. Each research group has a unique niche they fill and all of them are essential for successful drug discovery and development. This diversity creates a collaborative environment where the contributions of each group is invaluable. My exposures to various different researchers in the faculty has broadened my knowledge of the pharmaceutical sciences beyond anything a class could provide.

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

I was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming and friendly the community has been. The research supervisors in the faculty and my fellow peers are some of the most passionate and selfless people I have met. The community has really made my introduction to graduate studies and Vancouver a positive experience.

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

I enjoy presenting and discussing my work with peers to troubleshoot and find new innovative ways to tackle complex issues. I look forward to working through my scientific inquiries to find results which will advance the field of rational drug discovery.

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

Time management and networking skills have been two of the biggest assets to my graduate studies. During my first year, I was juggling course work with research, TA work, and my involvement with the pharmaceutical sciences graduate student society. This has been a balancing act and the time management skills acquired in my undergraduate career were essential. Being able to network within and outside of my program has diversified my research and allowed me to come up with novel solutions to difficult questions.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I am a huge outdoors enthusiast! Part of the reason I chose UBC is the combination of mountains and oceans to explore. Specifically I enjoy hiking, kayaking, swimming, and fishing with colleagues. I also enjoy going to the gym and bouldering.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Don't forget to take time for yourself. I have seen many people bury themselves in research to the point where they have no time to focus on their mental health. Graduate studies can be stressful when you do this, so make sure you have a way to focus on your mental health. There are several organizations which host social events (in-person or virtual) to attend, in addition there a variety of different activities to get involved with. Whatever your stress relief is, don't forget to make time for it.

 
 
 

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