2015-2016 Johnathan Chan

Published on February 25th, 2016 | by Sonya Kim

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Jonathan Chan

Could you give us a quick overview of what your project is about?
My project is looking at the effect of HEB gene knockout in human embryonic stem cells and how it might affect the lineage commitment of human embryonic stem cells.

What’s your favourite thing about your project?
The feeling of satisfaction after the experiments that I planned are finally successful, because research is all about perseverance ultimately

How has your research experience influenced your future plans?
This research experience allowed me to experience the livelihood of a medical science researcher and has sparked my interested in becoming one myself

Do you have other research experiences as well?
Just this past summer, I won the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship as a member of Trinity College to conduct immunology research and health justice work in New Delhi, India. My project there was on the effect of human chorionic gonadotropin on common chemotherapeutic drugs like tamoxifen. I was also a Science Abroad student in China two years ago, conducting research on the role of SOX4 in prostate cancer.

Are you involved in other activities outside the lab?
I play football for the University of Toronto Hong Kong Student Association, volunteer at Mount Sinai Hospital, and served as a director and moderator for the annual University of Toronto Model United Nations. I am also a DJ outside school and in my spare time, I maintain a monthly podcast on the latest tracks in electronic dance music, which you can check out right here: https://www.mixcloud.com/JonathanChan/

What advice would you have for other students looking to get involved in research?
The undergraduate immunology research project is a good stepping stone towards figuring out one’s interest in research. No matter what the end goal is, give your full effort and try to enjoy the ride. Like life itself, research is mysterious and unpredictable. Once you manage to raise more questions than answers, you will realize just how interesting research can really be. As for getting a position, ask the professors in-person early and do not lose hope.

How did you get your current research position?
I asked Professor Zúñiga-Pflücker nicely early on that I wanted to work on developmental immunology and he agreed to take me in.


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