Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I wanted to dive deeper into academia and explore research at a higher level. Personally, I enjoy the process of learning new things and solving problems of various complexities. I love the challenge that comes along with it, which is why research excites me. It is a thrilling experience to explore unchartered realms and potentially discovering novel solutions that can positively impact the world. One of my greatest desires is to improve the quality of life of people and animals who are in need. I believe that graduate school is providing me with the opportunity to further develop myself and grow as a person, as well as helping me to reach a level, where I am able to achieve my goals. For this reason, I decided to advance my studies and pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I decided to study at UBC for its excellent research environment, diversity and global reputation. UBC is a world-renowned university with brilliant researchers and distinguished alumni, beautifully located in Vancouver. The campus itself offers a unique and serene natural atmosphere which further impressed me.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My interest revolves around science and technology in the medical and healthcare space. The School of Biomedical Engineering at UBC offers a unique program that brings together the best of Engineering and Medicine, perfectly aligning with my interest. The research environment fostered by my program is interdisciplinary, which encourages collaborative work within the school, leading to exciting research and discoveries. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with my supervisors, Dr. John Madden and Dr. Babak Shadgan, who are two highly respected experts in their fields. I am able to conduct my research at outstanding research facilities that provide exceptional research opportunities on the Point Grey campus and at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). These facilities being the Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL) and Quantum Matter Institute (QMI) located at Point Grey, and the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD) at VGH.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The first time I stepped foot at UBC, I was overwhelmed by its size and all it had to offer. UBC is pretty much a little city of its own, which offers countless amazing events throughout the year and opportunities to explore new interests. Besides UBC, Vancouver is an exciting place to live in that infuses nature and city life together. As a city of great diversity, Vancouver provides as well a wide range of culinary delicacies from all over the world.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I enjoy working on my research project and collaborating with research experts and medical professionals at UBC, ICORD, VGH, GF Strong and Praxis Spinal Cord Institute. I am excited to see where my research will take me and looking forward to presenting my discoveries at conferences and publishing them in journals.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at UBC while completing my Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. This opportunity exposed me to my first real encounter with research in academia, where I ended up with my first co-authored journal publication. This experience sparked my interest and inspired me to further pursue my research at a higher level.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I love to stay active. Most of my free time is spent on playing sports, going on hikes and working out. For relaxation, I love spending time with my family, going out to the movies, working on my photography skills and taking naps (very important for recharging!).
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
- Explore UBC and Vancouver. You are at a prestigious university in an amazing city, which has a lot to offer. Take advantage of it!
- Connect with people in your field and beyond. There are many interesting people whom you can learn from.
- Have an open mind, be resilient and let your creativity blossom.
- Put some time aside for yourself, where you can recharge. Work-Life balance!
- Most importantly, find the right project that motivates you and that you enjoy. Graduate school is a journey. Enjoy the ride and make the most out of it!