I’m Vera-Ellen (or rather, just Vera), a PhD Candidate in Victoria Claydon’s lab. I have a long history of GSA involvement including a 3-year stint as President, a more-recent term as GPC Rep, as well as helping to organise BPK Research Day from 2017-2020. I completed my kinesiology degree at McMaster in 2015, where I worked in a vascular dynamics lab and volunteered in a spinal cord injury rehab/fitness centre. My experiences here had me interested in pursuing graduate studies in the field.
What you do?
My PhD investigates the consequences a spinal cord injury has on the autonomic nervous system, and more specifically, on autonomic cardiovascular control. I am really interested in how the effects of these injuries evolve over time and what we can do to improve cardiovascular control and quality of life for individuals living with a spinal cord injury.
Any advice you would give to starting graduates?
My biggest advice would be to explore all your options and take advantage of all the opportunities graduate life affords.
If you could visit one place in the world, where would it be?
Prior to travel restrictions I had some lofty post-PhD travel goals including scotch drinking my way through Scotland, climbing in Wadi Rum, Jordan, and paddling the Great Bear Rainforest.
This post was originally posted to the SFU BPK Instagram on February 9, 2021.