Graduate Student Profiles


Chelsea McLeod

mcleodMy name is Chelsea McLeod and I am a 2nd year student in the Pathologists' Assistant program at Western University. I graduated from the University of Guelph in Human Kinetics. My passion for human anatomy started when I was enrolled in the undergraduate human anatomy course. Following graduation I worked in the human anatomy lab and this experience is what initially drew me towards the PA program. I have always found the human body so fascinating with its many intricacies and thought the PA program would be a perfect fit for me. The program offered at Western University has many unique hands-on opportunities, located in many different hospital settings. Currently I am completing my practical rotations in Toronto at Mt Sinai, Toronto Forensic Unit and SickKids. 

MClSc-Pathologists' Assistant Candidate 2016

Alyshia Phillips

phillips.jpgAs a 2018 graduate of the MClSc. Pathologists’ Assistant Program, Alyshia Phillips has a fulfilling career at London Health Sciences Centre as a Pathologists’ Assistant (PA). As an integral part of the healthcare team, Alyshia is able to provide the highest standard of patient care with the knowledge and skills she gained as a graduate student at Western University.

This highly specialized program offered at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry combines didactic educational learning with clinical hands-on training. The program teaches students surgical and autopsy pathology dissection skills in diverse clinical settings, ranging from academic and tertiary care and the provincial forensic pathology unit, to community hospitals throughout all of Ontario.

Alyshia fulfilled the research component of the program by investigating stem cell antigen expression and demonstrated laboratory techniques including quantitative polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemical stains and RNA isolation. Students have the opportunity to hone their research abilities in various topics including basic science, quality assurance, educational and clinical studies.

Graduates in this program are required to compile a surgical case report with a resident or pathologist mentor. With the support of her supervisors and colleagues, Alyshia was able to present her unique case report on Hirschprungs’ Disease at the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistant Annual Conference in New Orleans in 2018. As a student, Alyshia and her peers also had the opportunity to attend conferences and continuing education lectures including the Ontario Association of Pathologists Meeting and the Canadian Association of Pathologists Meeting.

The expertise acquired during her training has enabled Alyshia to be a positive contribution to the PA profession, where lie ample opportunities to teach, continue learning and grow as a key part of the healthcare team.

Xusheng Zhang

zhangMy name is Xusheng Zhang, a current PA student. I graduated from Tianjin Medical University, China and proceeded to work in a hospital for several years. I came to Canada and joined a research lab at the University Hospital in London and I got a research based Master’s degree in Pathology at Western University in 2011. Having worked in a hospital, I fully understand the important role of pathologic findings plays in early detection, in diagnosis and in drawing up treatment plan. The PA works under the direct supervision of pathologists and provides the detailed gross description and tissues submission required for the pathologists' diagnosis. I am passionate about helping people improve their health and well-being, and have always pursued a career in which I can accomplish this. In the clinic, I worked to help patients recover from their diseases. In research, I investigated novel therapies for allograft rejection, cancer and autoimmune disease that may one day progress into the clinic. All of my clinical and scientific experiences make me want to pursue graduate studies in the PA program, to learn how to make use of pathology to improve patient care.

MClSc-Pathologists' Assistant Candidate 2016