Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
In my undergrad, studying Biotechnology concepts, I realized I liked to learn more specific topics in life sciences practically and focus on projects that could be applied and translated to a tangible result. This led me to pursue my MSc studies in Medical Biotechnology and work towards developing a diagnostic tool for early detection of bladder cancer. The joy of designing and conducting a project in a lab and also contributing in a team oriented research, drove me to take next step and start my PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is a hub for scientists from different aspects of life science research, is highly rated for cutting edge scientific achievements and provides such a rich environment for trainees in their professional life. In addition, UBC offers a variety of facilities and also events that support social activities for students on campus.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in UBC is one of the top faculties in the field in North America. Here, we have top notch scientists working in broad research areas from Nanomedicine to Neuroscience. Well rounded courses taught by department professors and collaboration opportunities makes this program very special too. Moreover, faculty offers high technology labs and equipment that facilitates research for trainees. And of course, my amazing supervisor, Dr Karla Williams who is an inspiring scientist in cancer research.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Being in such a multicultural environment was the best surprise and I can tell everyday of school here is full of learning about other cultures and how likeminded people from different places can get together and collaborate. In Vancouver you can do lots of outdoor activities in different seasons and this supports your mental and physical health.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Before joining UBC graduate program, I worked in two biotechnology companies. Being involved in different projects and collaborations helped me to improve my problem-solving skills through field troubleshooting and connected with renowned scientists by participating in international exhibitions. While volunteering at ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries), I helped develop treatments to target wounds by identifying the optimal combination of stem cells and matrix. This was my first Canadian experience and taught me how to adapt to new research settings and the importance of effective communication.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Connect with as many as possible organizations and societies and participate in social activities. Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your other skills than science. I understand that majority of your time might be spent on your thesis but if you find a balance to join a sport team on campus or find a hobby it'll help your mental health.