Faculty of Applied Sciences

Salem Malikic receives Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

September 24, 2015
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Congratulations to Salem Malikic, a PhD student in SFU's School of Computing Science who received a prestigious three-year Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for 2014/15.

Researching new cancer treatments and winning several medals at various international mathematical olympiads would be impressive enough, but Salem Malikic has done both those things despite completing much of his education in an area often lacking in educational infrastructure.

Salem grew up in the aftermath of the Bosnian War, and not only thrived in his own academic pursuits but also worked tirelessly to ensure that others in his home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina were allowed the same opportunities to explore their academic talents.

Before he started his post secondary career, Salem participated in many prestigious mathematics competitions. By the time he became an undergraduate student at the University of Sarajevo, Salem branched out and started a program for aspiring scientists to train for competition. This program produced several medalists, but Salem was concerned about the lack of interaction and understanding between different ethnic groups. Hoping to remedy this, Salem organized scientific camps for students from all groups across Bosnia and Herzegovina to not only have access to the best scientific coaches, but also to learn empathy and interact with students from different ethnic groups.

Of the initiative Salem says, “I believe that it is very significant, especially considering the fact that the most of these kids are among the best mathematicians in their generation and many of them will take the leading positions in education and public life.”

Currently, Salem is working on creating new developments in cancer treatment with the Lab for Computational Biology in the School of Computing Science. Salem’s research focuses on developing new computational methods to determine the best treatment for a cancer patient, dependent on the evolutional correlation and clonal composition of their cancer’s cells. This composition is an essential component of how the cancer cell will respond to a given treatment, allowing the patient to have a much more tailored and ultimately successful treatment regimen.

Salem Malikic is a PhD student in the School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University. He is one of six students at SFU in 2014/15 to receive a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, which are granted to graduate students studying in Canada based on their academic excellence, research potential, and leadership contributions.

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