Graduate Program: Cellular & Molecular Medicine
Year of Entry: 2011
PhD Supervisor: Dr. M. Schlossmacher
Born and raised in Ottawa I completed my undergraduate degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Ottawa. There I gained a well-rounded training in chemistry and biochemistry. Having interest in applied organic chemistry, I joined Dr. Robert Ben’s research team in 2008 and worked on understanding how naturally derived antifreeze glycoproteins function and how to modify them for use in human tissue. There I gained valuable experience in Organic Synthesis while completing my Master’s Degree. Having a father with Multiple Sclerosis I have always had an interest in neurology. Soon after being accepted into medical school I joined the Schlossmacher Lab to work on my PhD. I hope to someday lead my own research team and focus on finding a cure for MS and other debilitating neurological diseases.
In the Schlossmacher Lab I am currently working on deciphering how mutations in the Parkin protein causes early-onset Parkinsonism. Here I am able to put a bit of my chemistry skills to work since we are trying to understand how thiol-based chemistry is altering Parkin’s ability to protect cells from oxidative damage. A major hurdle in Parkin research is the lack of tools, specifically antibodies for detecting this protein in human brain. My goal is therefore to: 1) better understand Parkin’s role in normal human brain and 2) develop better tools to further Parkin research.
2015 - Awarded CIHR MD/PhD Program Grant – 2014
2015 - Audrey Grant Research Scholarship- Parkinson’s Research Consortium
2014 - Ontario Graduate Scholarship