Austin YAN


Austin YAN
Graduate Program: Biochemistry

Master of Science, McMaster University (2015)
Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science, McMaster University (2013)

Austin Yan


Year of Entry:  2015

PhD Supervisor:  Dr. Alain Stintzi

Personal Background: 

I was born in Scarborough, Ontario as a second-generation Taiwanese-Canadian. After graduating from Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute as the All-Round Scholar, I studied at McMaster’s Arts & Science Program where I developed an appreciation for interdisciplinary collaborations. I decided to pursue bench-to-bedside research to combine my clinical and scientific interests. I was drawn to the University of Ottawa because of its strengths in both MD and graduate programs and for the opportunity to call the nation’s capital my home. Aside from my MD/PhD studies, I am actively engaged in advocacy through the Ontario Medical Students Association and the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada, and have lobbied at both Queen’s Park and U.S. Congress for patient care and human rights issues. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, playing piano, and exploring the city.

Research Focus:

I started my research career at McMaster’s Institute of Infectious Disease Research where I studied antibiotic resistance under Dr. Gerry Wright. For my Master’s thesis, I explored drug inactivation in the human gut microbiota, which led me to my interest in understanding how our gut microbes affect our health. At the University of Ottawa, I hope to build on the ongoing collaboration between my supervisor, Dr. Alain Stintzi, and Dr. David Mack, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. I will be investigating how the gut microbiota may be involved in triggering chronic bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with the help of the Stintzi Lab’s expertise in systems biology and next-generation sequencing. This training will be my foundation in my pursuit to be a clinician-scientist with a focus on gastroenterology and the human microbiota.

Scholarship Support:

2018 - CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral

2017 - Ontario Graduate Scholarship

2016 - Doctoral Admission Scholarship

2016 - CIHR MD/PhD Program Grant

Fields of Interest

  • Human Gut Microbiota
  • Gut-Host Interactions
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
  • Antibiotic Resistance
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