Graduate student stories


Past & Present

Grant Brassem is part of the third cohort of students to embark on the Quantum Technology specialization within the Master of Science in Physics program. This new 12-month, course-based degree lets him utilize the state-of-the-art IQC laboratories for independent projects and make meaningful connections with industry mentors, startups, and a community of over 300 quantum researchers.

Fatima Abrar’s research focuses on how protein mislocalization affects autophagy in Huntington disease (HD). Autophagy is the process of removing and recycling old and damaged cell parts—you can think of it as quality control for cells. It is an essential process that helps maintain cellular health and optimizes cell performance by removing toxic and non-functional parts in the cell.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Amplifying diverse voices in STEM

STEM with Disabilities was inspired by the frustration of being a student with disabilities and the epiphany of the power that comes from community. Through sharing lived experiences, the visibility project connects scientists, engineers, technologists, and mathematicians with disabilities, offering diverse role models for postsecondary students.

Vision impairments are on the rise, propelling the global ocular implants market to unprecedented growth, from $14.1 billion in 2022 to a monumental $22.1 billion by 2030. Yet, many potential breakthroughs stumble in clinical trials, often due to unforeseen toxicity and efficacy in preliminary research studies. Megala Ramasamy is developing a low-cost fabrication method for silicone polymers used to create advanced in-vitro eye models that simulate features of the human eye.

Have you ever noticed green scum on the surface of a lake? Cyanobacteria are a type of algae that can cause harmful blooms. Harshina Brijlall, a PhD in Biology student, is working to identify potential algal toxin-producing markers and understudied bacterial communities to aid in lake management.

Jane Ye’s research interests lie in how contaminants and nutrients move around and interact in soils, sediments, surface water, and groundwater. Her master’s research project focusses on petroleum hydrocarbons and how they naturally biodegrade into carbon dioxide and methane in soils under different temperature and moisture conditions.