Michael VanInsberghe

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Development of single cell microfluidic technologies for the analysis of miRNA expression
Carl Hansen
Killam Doctoral Scholarships

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I became really addicted to research during my undergraduate degree and I've always had a passion for science and education; pursuing a PhD seemed like a natural fit.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I was attracted to UBC's Genome Science and Technology graduate program as its interdisciplinary nature allows me to pursue research at the interface of biology, engineering and physical science with world-class researchers. Additionally, their lab rotation program introduced me to a variety of different research directions before having to commit to a thesis topic.

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

I am continually surprised at the amount and variety of activities that UBC and Vancouver have to offer. Through UBC alone, there are endless chances to audit classes, teach school students, supervise undergraduate teams, and participate in student government and an endless list of clubs.

What do you hope to accomplish with your research?

Over the course of my research I hope to both create tools to enable new types of single-cell measurements and apply these tools to examine cellular heterogeneity in early hematopoiesis and acute myeloid leukemia.

What has winning a major award meant to you?

Receiving an award that recognizes academic potential and community involvement is both encouraging and validates the importance of doing more than bench-work. Receiving these awards will make it easier to pursue my research and extracurricular activities without further added financial distractions.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take advantage of what the university and city have to offer! It's too easy to get caught up in working on your thesis project, so make sure to get involved in other activities, even if some of those look like extra “work”. Also, don't forget to Storm the Wall.