Melissa Sen PHUONG


Melissa Sen PHUONG
Graduate Program: Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology

Bachelor of Science, McMaster University (2016); Honours

Melissa Sen Phuong


Year of Entry:  2016

PhD Supervisor:  Dr. Subash Sad

Personal Background:

I was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario and completed my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences (Honours) at McMaster University in 2016. Throughout my undergraduate education, I was fortunate to work at Public Health Ontario Laboratories during the summers and participated in observerships at the Tropical Disease Unit in Toronto General Hospital. Furthermore, my background in health sciences allowed me to foster my passion for learning and teaching, as I was a teaching assistant for anatomy and physiology and a peer tutor for a course on clinical communication skills. As a first-generation Canadian of Vietnamese refugee, my family’s experiences as well as my clinical and research exposure inspired me to pursue an MD/PhD at the University of Ottawa. Outside of school and research, I enjoy watching films, especially comic book movies. I also love to spend quality time with my family and often take lots of photos to capture these special moments.

Research Focus:

My previous work at Public Health Ontario Laboratories generally revolved around the laboratory diagnosis of malaria among travellers. Specifically, this included the optimization of diagnostic assays as well as analyzing differences in diagnostic performance of assays among different species of Plasmodium and in recovering patients. In addition to working in the lab, I have also conducted literature searches on topics such as the laboratory diagnosis of leishmaniasis and patient management for Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone. For my thesis, I`m looking forward to continue working in the field of microbiology and immunology in Dr. Subash Sad`s laboratory. My work will involve studying interactions between pathogens (i.e. P. aeruginosa and S. aureus) and innate immune signaling mechanisms during the stable, exacerbation, and convalescent phases of cystic fibrosis using human cell lines and primary cells.

Scholarship Support:

2018-2021 – Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CIHR)

2018-2021 – Excellence Scholarship (University of Ottawa)

2018 – Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CIHR) - Master’s (declined)

2018 – Ontario Graduate Scholarships (declined)

2017 – MD/PhD Program Grant

2017 – Admission Scholarship (University of Ottawa)

Fields of Interest

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology
Back to top