I am currently pursuing a PhD degree in Surgery (Transplant Immunology) at University of Cambridge in the UK. In my research, I am interested in understanding how our immune system balances fighting off foreign pathogens and minimizing collateral damage. I graduated from UBC in Honours Microbiology & Immunology in May 2016. My past research experience include developing a flagellin-specific chimeric antigen receptor for regulatory T cells, studying effects of iNOS & TNFa on IgA CSR, and ALS neuroimmunology. Having been involved in research early on, I have grown to love it and wish to pursue a research career. Beyond the bench, I enjoy playing & teaching violin especially improvising on my electric violin, competitive swimming, and the typical outdoor activities (camping, kayaking, hiking, biking).
What are some of your accomplishments?
I was fortunate enough to receive several awards for my research including Ivan Beck Memorial Summer Studentship (awarded to top applicant in the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology & Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada Summer Student Scholarship competition), and McGill Faculty of Medicine's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Undergraduate Student Research Award. I was heavily involved in promoting undergraduate research including creating new grants for fellow undergraduate researchers, and teaching violin to elementary school students during my time at UBC. I was also awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship in 2016, which enabled me to pursue a PhD at the University of Cambridge in the UK. To support my final year of my PhD, I have also been awarded NSERC PGSD as well as the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund.
Describe one transformative experience that you have had.
I used to be a competitive swimmer (20+ hours of training per week for 10+ years) and after I stopped due to an injury, I had to essentially "re-discover" myself outside of the pool. This abrupt change allowed for an unprecedented freedom in my schedule, and I was able to join and start student clubs & dedicate more time in my immunology research. Unexpectedly, I also expanded the limits of my comfort zone. Tasks that used to be nerve-wracking such as length conversations with professors are now things I actually look forward to doing.
What are somethings you would really like to share with others?
Research is not synonymous to science. There are many avenues of research across all faculties including applied sciences, arts (from sociology to English literature), and kinesiology. If you enjoy creating new knowledge, then consider taking a closer look at participating in research at university.
What are you passionate about?
I enjoy research (both doing research and explaining various aspects of research to the public), playing violin (typically, improvisational busking on my electric violin), and quoting BBC Comedy Panels
Published Articles on NSN
September 2012 - May 2016
Honours Microbiology & Immunology
Other classes beyond MICB include mathematical biology and UBC Symphony Orchestra.
University of Cambridge
October 2016 - present
PhD in Surgery
Pursuing a PhD in surgery, studying the immune system in the context of transplantations
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
April 2014 - May 2016
Co-President (was Science Branch Coordinator)
Undergraduate Research Opportunities (URO) is an AMS-constituted student club at UBC that is designed to facilitate the entrance of undergraduate students into research and connect with researchers. If students are interested in research but not sure where to start, URO is a great way to start.
Shine On Music
April 2013 - May 2016
Our club is dedicated to promoting the joys of music and providing quality music education to children in a fun environment by focusing on improvisation. Currently, I help with logistics and teach weekly group violin lessons to elementary school children.
September 2014 - December 2016
with Dr. Neil Cashman (UBC Brain Research Centre)
Currently, my research focuses on ALS and looking at a mis-folded protein called SOD-1 that has prion-like properties.
May 2014 - August 2014
with Dr. Jörg Fritz (McGill University, Montreal)
My research project evolved around an antibody called IgA and what causes white blood cells to start making them specifically iNOS.
July 2012 - May 2014
with Dr. Megan Levings (Child & Family Research Institute, Vancouver)
My research project evolved around developing an “immunotherapy” for Crohn’s Disease by inserting a genetically-engineered protein into a white blood cell known as regulatory T cells to suppress inflammation in the gut.