Nilesh Talele

​Alumnus (2015), PhD, ​​Dentistry​

The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry has a diverse and interactive multidisciplinary program; especially in the field of bioengineering. The constant collaborations across disciplines give rise to brilliant scientific and commercial innovations, which sets U of T apart from other graduate programs in dentistry.

The highlight of my U of T experience was my contribution to the Canadian Connective Tissue Conference in Toronto as a member of the organizing committee. Organization of such event has given me tremendous breadth in my grasp of science, while simultaneously helping me improve my organization, public speaking, and event management skills. Additionally, many events held at U of T give unique opportunities to develop vital contacts in academia as well as industry, which act as a stepping stone to a future career.

I completed a BSc at the University of Central Lancashire (UK) and an MSc in Stem Cell Technology at the University of Nottingham (UK). I undertook doctoral research into mesenchymal stem cells under the supervision of Professor Boris Hinz, world-leading scientist in the myofibroblast and fibrosis field. My work was funded by a European Commission and a University of Toronto Open Fellowship.

Supervisors in general encourage graduate students to get funding to attend conferences and present their data to get important feedback from the international peer community. I was fortunate to attend eleven such conferences in the USA, Canada, Netherlands, France, Spain, Israel, United Kingdom, and Switzerland. I have won nine presentation awards, which is immensely satisfying at this stage of my graduate career.

To students considering graduate study, I would say: go for it. Strive for it. Turn your motivation into achievements. It will be a struggle, but eventually you will emerge mature, skilled, and competent. With great passion and hard work, it is possible to achieve even dreams you haven’t yet dreamed.