The summer weather has been picture-perfect since my last post, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Work in the lab has been intense, which fortunately for me is exactly what I signed up for! I’ve been eagerly trying to learn as much as possible and delve into as many topics as I can during my time here, so I’ve taken on a new project working with homology modelling and the visualization of protein mutations. I’ve been putting my python skills to the test and honing my abilities in the context of a real, cutting-edge research environment.

My train home leaving the station

My train home leaving the station

With regards to how environment affects me, the chance I’ve been given to hop into daily life in a completely new country is one that I absolutely don’t take for granted.  There’s an undeniable invigoration I feel when submerged into the complex layering of textures, sights, sounds and flavours of a place I’ve never been. London is also just one of those cities that everyone should visit if given the chance, especially if you’re like me and can’t escape the need to explore and discover in the hopes of enriching your life with new and lasting memories.

The cat that greets me every morning on my way to the lab

The cat that greets me every morning on my way to the lab

I’ve also been given the chance to step into the shoes of a UCL and School of Pharmacy student as well as a flag-flying Ryersonian, giving me the unique opportunity to be part of two awesome schools at the same time. Ryerson’s meteoric rise over the past few decades and the inventive ways we’ve taken Toronto, whether it’s the people, cultures or places around us, and augmented and incorporated them as resources for education make me proud to be a student. I find that though UCL is far older as an establishment in comparison, the same passion for openness of culture and oneness with the city it is part of has never been forgotten. 

I’ve learned during my time here and at home that the best schools and environments for discovery don’t live within a vacuum in their surroundings. Instead, it’s embracing rather than rejecting the richness, history and combined human experiences of our cities that helps make our schools as exciting and innovative as they are. On a personal level, the bus I take each morning has a second floor at the height of the trees that line the roads. It rides right through the heart of London to Euston station, and I’ve found that some of the best breakthroughs in my projects have come to me while meditatively watching the city rush by – taking it all in and getting lost in a new world, only to find what I was looking for.  

Until next time,

James

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