Graduate Program: Cellular & Molecular Medicine
Year of Entry: 2012
PhD Supervisor: Dr. Alex MacKenzie
I was raised in Ottawa and I attended the University of Ottawa for my baccalaureate in Biochemistry with a minor in Business Administration. I have been fascinated by medical science since high-school when I participated in and won many science-fair competitions. My interest in being a clinician was ignited when one of my grandmothers was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The training I am receiving through the University of Ottawa’s MD/PhD program will give me the necessary tools to achieve my dream: to work with patients who have brain-related diseases and use my research to better their care and treatment. I am currently in the final year of my doctoral studies and will return to finish the last two years of my MD training in August 2017. When I’m not studying medicine and neurological diseases, I love spending time with my amazing and supportive wife and our very energetic 20-month-old daughter.
The focus of my doctoral thesis is the study and treatment of rare genetic neurological diseases. Over half of the ~7,000 rare diseases have a known cause, yet disease-modifying drugs are available for only 5% of them. Although these diseases are individually rare, they are collectively common and pose a very large personal and public burden. The goal of my research is to develop treatments for these disorders by finding new purposes for old drugs, a strategy that is commonly called “drug repurposing”. Repurposing clinically-approved drugs dramatically reduces the cost of drug discover and often speeds up the pharmaceutical approval process, thereby bringing life-changing treatment to patients in a timelier manner.
2014 - CIHR Vanier Scholarship
2013 - Doctorate Admission Scholarship
2012-2014 - MD/PhD Program Grant