About being a Vanier Scholar.
What does receiving a Vanier Scholarship mean to you?
I am honoured to be a Vanier Scholarship recipient amongst a legacy of talented leaders and scholars. Receiving the award has led me to feel incredibly grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Guillaume Paré, and mentors Dr. Bruce Carleton and Dr. Catrina Loucks for providing me with the opportunities and encouragement to pursue research.
Tell us about your Vanier research.
Using large datasets with clinical, genetic, and biomarker measurements, my research focuses on creating a novel approach to identify individuals who are differentially affected by risk factors for cardiac and metabolic diseases. This approach will help clinicians better understand who benefits most from interventions for disease treatment and prevention. Ultimately, those who are predicted to derive little benefit can be withdrawn from therapy to avoid adverse effects.
This work is a step towards helping patients less well-represented in clinical trials the best treatments for their unique circumstances.
About graduate student life
What inspired you to pursue a postgraduate degree?
During my undergraduate studies, I developed a keen interest in precision medicine, whose tenet is to better tailor treatments to individual patients. I decided to pursue doctoral research in conjunction with medical studies to obtain the technical skills and clinical insight needed to investigate research questions which impact patients the most.
Why did you choose to study at McMaster?
I grew up in British Columbia and wanted to experience life in a different part of Canada. I was drawn to McMaster due to the expertise of my supervisor, Dr. Guillaume Paré, and availability of large biobank-scale databases to our research group.
What do you love most about your graduate program?
I enjoy being part of a small, tight knit community of students who are passionate about research and creating positive change in medicine.
What is your favourite thing about McMaster and the broader Hamilton community?
I like getting to know the different neighbourhoods in Hamilton and their unique flavours. The colours at Dundas Peak are also quite spectacular during the fall – I had never seen anything like it!
When you’re not busy being a graduate student, how do you like to spend your free time?
I spend my free time walking my dog around the streets of Hamilton.
Beyond Grad School
What do you see as the next step in your life journey?
I hope to integrate my research experiences and clinical knowledge to develop precision medicine approaches that can be translated to direct benefits for patients.