My background in 


University of Calgary

Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience

Around 1 in 50 people have brain aneurysms that can have devastating results if they rupture. Life-long deficits in about 50% of patients and a death rate as high as 42% are among the consequences. Brain aneurysms involve the breakdown of a blood vessel wall, leading to obvious bulging of vessels. A procedure called endovascular coiling is often performed to prevent rupture. This technique involves tracing a small tube that is inserted into the leg or the arm up to the aneurysm location, and filling it with metal coils. Although this procedure is the preferred method, there is up to a 30% chance that the aneurysm will return after treatment. If the aneurysm does return, patients will often undergo multiple procedures. So, there is an urgent need to identify other treatments to lessen both the return and rupture of brain aneurysms. Our lab has recently learned that placing adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) inside the aneurysm results in more closure over the aneurysm entrance. This allows for regular blood flow to be re-established. While these outcomes show MSCs as a potential addition to traditional endovascular coiling, little is known about the how these stem cells assist in repairing aneurysms or the ideal conditions under which this happens. Recently, MSCs originating from bone marrow have become a commercialized biotherapeutic for the use in many brain related clinical trials. The use of fat derived MSCs is a newer field and therefore less understood, but is more translatable due to their easy collection and extensive abilities.  My research aims to improve current models of aneurysms to lay the groundwork for studying the effect of stem cells originating from fat. I propose to use fat derived MSCs to improve current technologies to heal aneurysms more effectively. This research will be a critical step towards a solution to create an aneurysm treatment that reduces the need for recurrent surgeries, decreasing the burden on the healthcare system and improving the quality of life and prognosis for patients.

University of Calgary

Graduate Student Certificate in University Teaching and Learning

As education has become a large part of my career, I decided to also pursue a certificate in university teaching and learning from the Taylor Institute at the University of Calgary. This program allows me to learn about teaching skills that are relevant across all disciplines. This program is aimed at increasing understanding of students learning, success and engagement. At the end of the program I will have built a robust docier that reflects my evolving experiences, goals and skills as an educator.

University of Calgary

Bachelor of Science In

Biological Sciences

I had the opportunity to pursue research in multiple capacities while completing my bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences. In my first year while studying at St. Mary's University in Calgary, I studied the invasive hemiparasitic plant Thesium Arvense, in an attempt to discover a way to stop it from invading further into Fish Creek Park, Alberta. In my final year at the University of Calgary, I shadowed Dr. Alim Mitha and researched ways to create stem cells that express fluorescent proteins.

University of Calgary

Minor In

Visual Arts and Art History

While completing my bachelor's degree in biological sciences, I pursued a minor in visual arts and art history. This involved taking both Art History classes as well as Fine Arts classes. My specialty in fine arts is comprised of silk screen printing. My art history background is quite diverse and allowed me to study many cultures from a myriad of countries including Greece, Rome, France, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Canada and the United States among many others. This background in the arts has helped me in my science career as a graphic designer.

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