I am an enthusiastic Science Communicator nearing the end of my PhD at the University of Toronto. My doctoral research focuses on brain development and stem cell biology, under the supervision of renown scientist Dr. Derek van der Kooy.
The science done in labs like ours around the world generates new knowledge for the benefit of all people. And it strongly depends on public support. I believe social media offers fantastic opportunities for public engagement to help us get more people excited about learning science and giving it the support it needs. For this reason, I am very passionate about creating new lines of communication between the public and scientists using social media like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
I am passionate about education, personal health and nutrition, social justice, food, and (of course) science. When I am not in the lab or online, I love to experiment in the kitchen, infinitely inspired by the creative cuisines in excellent restaurants all over Toronto. I've been playing soccer since before I knew how to pipette, but nowadays I give my sweat to training in muay Thai martial arts.
I love making new friends so please don't ever be shy to say hello!
Video summary I made highlighting a day spent taking science from the lab to the streets for North America's first ever Soapbox Science event! Soapbox Science is an annual event from the UK that aims to engage the public with science, and showcase the less-represented faces of scientists to encourage more diversity in STEM fields. I was 1 of 12 Canadian Soapbox Scientists chosen to post up in a lab coat at one of Toronto's busiest intersection, Yonge & Dundas square.
I have been experimenting and asking "why" and "how" my whole life, though my formal science training officially started at the University of Toronto. I earned my Honours Bachelor of Science degree by completing the Neuroscience Specialist and Cell & Molecular Biology Major within the Life Sciences program.
Following my undergraduate degree, I joined the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, where I now hold status as a PhD candidate. Alongside my studies I have been employed as a Pedagogical Research Assistant for a foundational neuroscience course at the university, and am also currently a Teaching Assistant for introductory neuroscience and introductory genetics courses.
I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of exciting laboratory environments throughout my training, including a human psychology lab at OISE where I studied learning disabilities and ADHD in adolescents, and a lab at the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases studying aberrant protein interactions that lead to amyloid beta accumulation in Alzheimer's disease. I currently research how brain stem cells build the brain during embryonic development, and how the same populations of stem cells persist into the adult brain where they can maintain the diversity of cell types needed for brain function.
You can learn more about my current research here.