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SFU PhD Candidate, BPKGSA President

Senior Supervisor: Dr. Victoria Claydon

Who are you (what you study, what interests you in that study area, etc.)?

I grew up in a little prairie town - Wetaskiwin, Alberta. I didn’t grow up on a farm, but yes, I can operate a tractor. My parents met at SFU and had such fond memories that I applied too …now SFU can’t seem to get rid of me.

I did my B.Sc (Honours) here in BPK and did a USRA research term. I loved how research put my new understanding and skills to use, to contribute new knowledge to the world. These experiences opened my eyes to research as a career path.

What do you do (in the context of the research)?

My PhD work examines the autonomic control of blood pressure and cerebral blood flow in recurrent fainting disorders (syncope). I am investigating mechanisms underlying faints in children, and in faints provoked by emotional stimuli. I am identifying novel markers of syncope susceptibility to develop new diagnostic techniques to improve the diagnostic process. My work has determined that intermittent calf compression is an effective way to improve blood pressure control and this technology may one day be incorporated into a wearable device for patient use.

Any advice you would give to starting graduates?

No two grad school experiences are the same, and you have a unique opportunity to explore your interests and make this journey your own. Take a break from your data to attend that seminar you were interested in, join a committee, sign up for a workshop – your graduate education is so much more than what you pick up in the lab.

What is your favorite quarantine snack?

Tucked away in the residential area near my apartment, there is an incredible bubble tea shop. I am addicted to their mango smoothies, and would often stop by after my afternoon Burnaby mountain hikes throughout the summer.

This post was originally posted on the SFU BPK Instagram on December 8, 2020. 

SFU PhD Candidate, BPKGSA President
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Feb 3, 2022