“You will truly get what you put into graduate studies in the Neuroscience program. The possibilities are endless for collaborations, but you have to seek them out. My advice is that you should be prepared to think, work, and put yourself out there in your graduate training environment, and you will be rewarded for doing so.”
Supervisors: Dr. Arthur Brown and Dr. Michael Strong
What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
The faculty is approachable and helpful for personal, academic and professional matters.
Describe your research in 100 words or less.
I study the role of tau protein in neuronal toxicity causing neurodegenerative diseases. Using cell culture, animal models, and human tissue from a variety of neurodegenerative diseases I am investigating one pathway to neuronal death and linking this to potential therapies for the treatment of disease. These studies will ultimately culminate in clinical trials potentially leading to the treatment of disease, but will also teach us about the ageing process in the brain, cellular stress responses, as well as differences between neuronal populations in the central nervous system. A thorough knowledge of the brain at the systems level, as well as molecular level is necessary for this research, as possible only through the neuroscience program.
What idea, suggestion, or comment would you like to share with the Western graduate community?
We are truly privileged to be graduate students here. The campus is beautiful, the people are friendly and helpful, and the research environment is energizing and world class. It is something to be proud of.
Do you belong to any university or community groups?
I am part of a radio show called GradCast
. I am a member of the Schulich Graduate Students’ Council, a member of Making Waves
, and a member of Let’s Talk Science
What are you most passionate about?
Research. It is truly thrilling to know that when I look through the microscope and see something for the first time, I am the first person in the world to know what I know. However big or small the finding turns out to be, for a moment in time, I am the only person who knows it. It is a thrilling thought, and one I have always dreamed of having. It is the closest thing I can think of to being a modern day explorer, blazing a trail through unchartered territory.
What one thing would you like people to know about you?
I love animals. Except snakes. They scare me to death.
What’s your favourite book?
by Oliver Sacks. It is a mix of neuroscience and humanity that first showed me how beautiful both science and people are when combined.