Graduate Program: Cellular & Molecular Medicine
Year of Entry: 2016
PhD Supervisor: Dr. Duncan Stewart
Although raised in Toronto, Ontario, my dedication to a life of clinical practice and research developed during my undergraduate education at Western University. While serving as an ambassador for Western on a global health team in Nicaragua, a child was diagnosed with kidney failure. We were unable to offer any curative treatments and I struggled to understand why. As I continued my undergraduate studies, I learned that medications for chronic kidney disease (CKD) are limited to alleviating symptoms and accompanied with many adverse drug events. This experience inspired my commitment to 4 years of research to improve the drug management and quality of care for CKD patients. My graduate thesis at Western attempted to optimize clinical practice by characterizing the efficiency of drug removal by hemodialysis in end-stage renal disease patients.
My broad experiences with both basic and clinical studies at Western has developed into a passion for translational research. My enthusiasm for clinical translation and my interest in therapeutics naturally led me to pursue my doctorate degree under the supervision of Dr. Duncan Stewart in the Regenerative Medicine Program. I plan to use in vivo models of acute lung inflammation and pulmonary hypertension to investigate the biotherapeutic potential of cell therapy. The expertise that surrounds me in translational biotherapeutics research will be invaluable in helping me proactively plan around common issues that delay novel therapies from reaching clinical trials. Specifically, Dr. Stewart is currently leading an early phase clinical trial to determine the efficacy of stem cells in myocardial infarction and septic shock. My hope is to one day become a successful bench-to-bedside scientist in order to help patients beyond the clinic.
2017 - MD/PhD Program Grant