Supervisor: Kevin Bennewith
Short bio:My main research interest is cancer immunology. More specifically, I am interested in the how immune cell infiltrates, within the primary tumor site and pre-metastatic niches, promote breast cancer metastasis, as well as the specific mechanisms cancer cells use to dampen the host immune response. I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2015. Prior to starting graduate studies this fall, I spent two years working for a small biotechnology company, with a focus on developing cancer therapeutics to target myeloid-derived suppressor cells. After completing my graduate degree at UBC, I am interested in pursuing a career in industry as a research scientist. When I’m not in the lab, I love to knit, read, and practice yoga. I chose to pursue graduate studies at UBC, specifically through the Department of Pathology because the department is interdisciplinary, therefore there are more opportunities for collaboration between researchers and trainees from a multitude of different research backgrounds.
Supervisor: Mari DeMarco
Short bio:My current area of research is pathology and laboratory medicine. Specifically, my master’s project involves looking at the protein composition of the most common form of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. I recently moved to Vancouver from Saint John, New Brunswick, where I attended The University of New Brunswick and received a bachelor’s degree in biology-psychology with a minor in chemistry. When I’m not at school, my personal interests include hiking, the gym, and being with friends and family. Professionally, I aim to stay in the field of research. I chose UBC because I really clicked with my supervisor and was extremely interested in the research going on in her laboratory.
Supervisor: David Huntsman
Short bio:My interest in pathology stemmed from my experience in UBC’s Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) program within the same department. The program showcased both the research and clinical aspects of the discipline and how they are connected. Seeing this link is what made me decide to continue my education in pathology. Through BMLSc I was also given the opportunity to connect with Dr. David Huntsman’s lab to do a directed studies project. I became excited about the research he and his lab are doing for ovarian cancer and I greatly enjoyed working with the team, so I determined I wanted to pursue my graduate studies in his lab. I began my Master’s project in September and my research focuses on relating the presentation of normal tissue in the female reproductive tract to the development of ovarian cancer, as well as looking at possible protection of oral contraceptive pills against the development of high grade serous ovarian cancer. When not working on my classes or research, I enjoy working with and teaching children, which I do as coordinator of the Sunday School at my church and an outreach volunteer with Let’s Talk Science.
Jennifer (Xiaoye) Ji
Supervisor: David Huntsman
Short bio:Under the mentorship of Dr. David Huntsman at the BC Cancer Research Centre, my research focuses on the proteomic, metabolic and translational aspects of clear cell ovarian cancer. Clear cell ovarian cancer is the second most common subtype of epithelial ovarian cancers, the chemoresistant nature of this malignancy urges further detailed molecular characterization and the development of targeted therapeutics. Prior to graduate school, I completed a Bachelor of Science Honors in the UBC-BICT joint Biotechnology program. Using the skills obtained from a combined MD/PhD degree, I aim to become a clinician scientist at the forefront of medical advancement. Outside of academia, I enjoy painting using both traditional and digital media. I choose UBC for its excellent research and medical community as well as its many inspiring mentors.
Supervisor(s): Natalie Prystajecky (Helene Cote)
Short bio:During my BSc in Microbiology and Immunology at UBC, I developed an interest in emerging infectious diseases and how they ‘spill-over’ from wildlife into humans. When I learned researchers at the BC Centre for Disease Control and Ministry of Agriculture were studying avian influenza outbreaks in BC, I was eager to get involved with their project as a graduate student. We are currently using next-generation sequencing technologies to detect and sequence avian influenza genomes in sediment from wetlands inhabited by infected wild birds. We hope this information will protect commercial poultry flocks from disease outbreaks and allow us to monitor the risk to humans from potentially dangerous zoonotic strains. Outside of research, I enjoy volunteering with organizations that make science accessible to wider audiences and get people engaged in research. I also enjoy spending time in the mountains, especially backpacking, scrambling, and rock climbing. The proximity to mountains, along with the opportunity to do exciting research while experiencing the inner-workings of a government disease control agency are what drew me to the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine program at UBC.