My name is Raffaele Massarotto, but most people call me Raffy (yes, a ninja turtle or a famous children’s entertainer – depends on the day). I am a PhD student, currently working under the co-supervision of Dr. Anita Cote and Dr. Victoria Claydon. I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and made the transition to the “West Coast life” in September 2020. With my brother as my co-pilot, we drove across the country in the middle of the pandemic - never thought I’d ever say something like that.
Prior to coming to SFU, I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto and my masters at Brock University, both in kinesiology. During my undergrad, I was a student researcher at the Hospital for Sick Children, working under the supervision of Dr. Jane Schneiderman, an exercise physiologist in the Respiratory Medicine and Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab. This experience completely ignited my passion, steering me towards studies and research in paediatric exercise physiology.
What you do:
My masters research focused on paediatric exercise physiology, more specifically studying potential sex-related differences in the skin blood flow responses to various vascular perturbations in pre-pubertal children. Presently, I am striving to expand on the previous research conducted during my masters and planning to examine the cardiovascular adaptations that may occur as a result of acute and chronic physical activity in both health and disease. Exploring the possible changes in both the heart and the vasculature can highlight structural and functional differences that may occur, between individuals of different sexes, ages and fitness levels.
Any advice you would give to grad students:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who will decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss
Which do you prefer – dogs or cats?
Dogs-100%. I had the opportunity to grow up with two St. Bernard dogs. You know how some owners tend to look and act like their pets - I can definitely relate.
This post was originally posted to the SFU BPK Instagram on April 8, 2021.