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Student Profile: Cesar A. Jimenez-Gonzalez
Mechatronics Systems Engineering master's student in the Faculty of Applied Sciences
I am a first-year master's student working on research of spinal cord injury mechanics at the NeuroSpine Lab. I recently moved to Canada and have been very happy with the experience so far. Beside doing research I enjoy listening to music, going hiking, playing basketball, and getting to know the wonderful natural places BC has to offer.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant at SFU during my bachelor’s degree, thanks to the MITACS Globalink Research Internship Program. During that time, I worked on an interesting project related to spinal cord injuries with highly qualified investigators like Dr. Sparrey and Dr. Jannesar. The internship helped me develop new skills, networking with other researchers, and defining my wish of pursuing an academic career. Therefore, I decided to apply to the MASc program at SFU and continue working on the understanding and treatment of human injuries at the NeuroSpine Lab.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
Spinal cord injury is usually the result of an event that transfers a mechanical impact into the spinal cord, e.g., falling from the stairs, a car crash, sports injury. This impact triggers a series of degenerative responses that end up in different symptoms through the body. A step towards the prevention and treatment of this type of injury, is understanding how the mechanical event that caused the lesion, translates into the neurological damage in the cord’s tissue. One of the current approaches to study the problem is the use of animal computational models to simulate the injury process and compare the results with experimental data. My research focuses on improving those models to have more accurate results, that eventually could allow us to predict the injury progression after a specific impact.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
What I’m enjoying the most is the opportunity to work with such a qualified group of people, and networking through this immersive academic environment. Also, the engineering tools that I’m learning/applying are making my studies at SFU more interesting.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
Yes, I have received the Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship. Thanks to this award, even with the pandemic entry requirements, my arrival and settling in Canada was easier.
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