Integrated Science (concentration in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences) McMaster University
PhD Program: Department of Microbiology & Immunology (University of Western Ontario)
Supervisor: Dr. Bryan Heit
Program Stream: 2-3-2
Anticipated Graduation date: 2014-2021
I completed my undergraduate degree in Integrated Science with a concentration in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, where I completed an undergraduate honours thesis in macrophage cell biology. It was during that time that I became interested in translational medical research, having worked with a number of excellent professors who emphasized the importance of creativity and big-picture thinking in science. I came to develop an appreciation for the importance of basic science in advancing clinical theory and practice, something I am taking with me as I enter into the MD/PhD program.
As an immunologist I am consistently amazed at the amount of progress we've seen in this field. We know know so much more about human immunity, but much still remains to be done. There have been tremendous advances in our understanding of the immune system's role in the pathogenesis of several major diseases. As a clinician-scientist, I hope to be in a position to apply this new understanding in developing novel means of diagnosing and treating patients in the clinic.
A major challenge of any MD/PhD program is striking a proper balance between research and clinical training. It's difficult during the medical portion of the training to find the time and motivation to work on research and vice versa during the research portion. Your time is limited and it is a struggle to keep on top of both things at once. My strategy has been to set aside some time to do some reading for my research during my medicine years and making plans to set aside some time during my research years for clinical work, which has had mixed success so far.