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Monthly Archives: September 2016

My Summer of Science

I have just returned home from the UK by the time I am writing this. The last month has been a whirlwind of growth and hard work, blowing past goals and milestones that I had set for myself when I landed and adding many more along the way. I’ve spent the last part of my time here collaborating on a fascinating new project in molecular modelling that allowed me to put my coding and computer skills to the test with a dash of creativity and problem-solving to make it’s completion even more fulfilling. This experience has opened my eyes to an entire area of research and discovery that I didn’t even know existed, let alone be immersed in and love every second of.

Signing the guestbook at E.A. Bowles' gardens, surrounded by old data logs and historic documents

Signing the guestbook at E.A. Bowles’ gardens, surrounded by old data logs, photos and historic documents

One of my personal goals here was to explore what it was really like to apply myself in a functional lab setting.  I’ve always been keen to take things apart, build them back up, question everything and strive to decode the intricacies of the world around me. Since I was a kid I’ve always known that I wanted to “do science”. Even though that goal was nebulous and probably written in crayon at the time, I never really lost my motivation towards the idea of scientific exploration. I’ll never give up on being a backyard scientist (sorry mom and dad), but it was incredible to be entrusted with a real task or problem – something beyond just my own curiosity – and be allowed to funnel my energy into solving or creating something tangible with the resources I needed. I feel so lucky to be part of the GSC program looking back. My time as a GSC participant helped crystallize the fact that scientific research is what I’ve always wanted to do, and in one summer has helped imbue my passion for the future.

Fascinating talk on immunotherapy & cancer genome evolution with UCL

Fascinating free talk on immunotherapy and cancer genome evolution. One of many available for students of all faculties at UCL.

It’s also amazing to me that I’ll be starting the next semester and my final stretch of my undergrad in less than a week’s time. Even though I’ve been working hard all summer, I feel like I’ve come out of this experience even more excited, curious and driven than when I started.  

I really would like to thank my supervisor and mentor Dr. Shozeb Haider for seeing in me someone who wanted to be challenged, and trusting me to be able to meet the challenge head on given the outlet. I also wanted to thank the amazing friends and colleagues that I had the honour of sharing my summer of science with – your passion, ideas and friendship made this one of the best summers of my life. And lastly I want to thank everyone at Ryerson and UCL involved in the GSC program for organizing this entire endeavour and allowing me to fulfill my dreams on behalf of the school I’m proud to call my home. I can’t wait to share more about my research, and I hope you’ve enjoyed following me and my UK journey as a GSC ambassador.