Master's (2019), Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
“I love living in Toronto — there is never a dull moment and always something fun to do. ”
I earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of Guelph. I am currently doing a Masters of Science in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology [LMP]. My research is focused on identifying predictive biomarkers of response and toxicity to an immunotherapy called immune checkpoint blockade.
I chose U of T because it is known for its cutting-edge research and because it has a huge variety of program choices. LMP in particular had very appealing research focuses, such as cancer or infectious disease. I also wanted to come back to Toronto, to be close to my family and friends.
What I like most about my graduate school experience is the flexibility to plan my day in the lab however I want — filled with experiments, reading the literature, or preparing presentations. My program is great because even though all the students are separated in labs across different hospitals, we get to see each other at weekly seminars, fun departmental events, and intramural sports.
My experience at U of T so far has been great due to the awesome extracurricular options. The Confederation of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (CLAMPS) has been a great way to meet people and participate in departmental events. Furthermore, I love living in Toronto — there is never a dull moment and always something fun to do.
I also represented U of T on its Varsity tennis team. I actually hadn’t competed in tennis since high school, so I was very keen to be on a team and play competitive tennis again. Our season was very condensed and started right as the school year did. We competed on weekends, practised on weekday evenings, and I went to lab on weekdays. I had little free time, but it was totally worth it. Being part of a varsity team is an amazing way to make new friends and have some stress relief from a busy school week. I would suggest it to anyone contemplating being part of a varsity team. It takes some time management skills but it also teaches you how to have a healthy balance of commitments.
I hope to attend medical school once I graduate. I would love to be a pediatrician because I have a lot of experience with children, through being a tennis instructor for many years. Alternatively, I could continue my research to obtain a PhD and try to get a job with the World Health Organization.
My advice to any prospective graduate student in sciences is to thoroughly investigate the potential host laboratories, to find the perfect match in terms of supervisor and research topic.