Stéphanie Duhamel - 2006 Winning Essay

Ever since I was a child, I dreamt of being involved in research. My principal ambition is to have my own research laboratory. For that purpose, my short term academic objective is to finish my Doctor's degree in biochemistry. I am currently working on a project in the characterization of the intracellular means of controlling the mobilization of mesenchymatose stem cells (MSC). If I achieve my goal, that will make it possible to use the MSC as therapeutic molecules for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases or diseases of the central nervous system. My choice of career is also based on the idea that my work must be concrete. Having worked as health care assistant, I wish that my work had an impact on the quality of the care patients receive.

In order to achieve my goals, I initially made a bachelor degree in molecular biology, training by problem solving, with a specialization in biotechnology. It was very demanding at the beginning because I had serious health problems, and I had to undergo three surgical operations because of a cancer. I then completed a Masters degree in molecular biology, which I passed with distinction. I worked on an antiretroviral treatment which was the object of an article submitted to the renowned review Nature Medicine; two patent applications on this treatment are currently in negotiation. I since sought to diversify my knowledge, and this is why I now turn to cellular signals for my doctorate, which I undertook in September 2005, at the University of Quebec in Montreal.