Anam Qudrat - 2018 Winning Essay

Leadership is having the courage to take initiative. To become a leader in scientific innovation, I have excelled in research, teaching and volunteerism as a 4th year direct-entry Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. I have published 10 first-authored publications (6 research articles, 3 reviews and 1 book chapter) in renowned scientific journals such as ACS Synthetic Biology and Cell Chemical Biology.

Trained as Protein Engineer, I want to launch an established career in developing therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease. My vision is develop cell-based, viable therapeutics to improve the quality of life for patients. I hope to integrate my doctoral training in bioengineering with my future, postdoctoral training in translational sciences at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to build a comprehensive research program.

To train for a research-intensive career, I have presented over 15 projects in international research conferences. Further as a university instructor, I have developed and taught multiple undergraduate courses in bioengineering, neurodegeneration and rehabilitation. I have also completed various professional developing programs such as Advanced University Teaching Training and Prospective Professors in Training. Coupled with this, I have been a strong advocate for STEM outreach programs and citizen science serving as an event coordinator for national organizations such as Let’s Talk Science and Science Rendezvous. Throughout my academic career, I have been keen to take initiatives to establish myself as a well-rounded, dedicated and compassionate scientist and I hope to build on that, moving forward.