"I chose SFU because my program provides an ideal environment to continue my development as a scholar. Due to its renown in biomedical engineering curriculum and research prowess, SFU provides an opportunity to expand my capabilities and specialize in cancer imaging."

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Student Profile: Eric Brace

February 15, 2022
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Engineering Science doctoral student in the Faculty of Applied Sciences

I am an Engineering Science PhD student in Simon Fraser University’s Interdisciplinary Oncology program. I hold Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Applied Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, where I benefited from the co-op program to gain valuable industry experience prior to starting grad school. At the BC Cancer Research Institute’s Optical Cancer Imaging Lab, I study the clinical utility of multimodal endoscopic optical coherence tomography for biopsy guidance and surgical margin detection of oral cancer. Outside of my research, I have a passion for teaching, with a focus on continuous learning and improvement, both in myself as an instructor and in my students. In my personal time, I enjoy rock climbing, and playing saxophone along Vancouver's false creek.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose SFU because my program provides an ideal environment to continue my development as a scholar. Due to its renown in biomedical engineering curriculum and research prowess, SFU provides an opportunity to expand my capabilities and specialize in cancer imaging. Through leveraging the multidisciplinary network available at SFU and the lab at BC Cancer Research Institute, I benefit from the knowledge of experts in the field to gain technical and clinical insight to reach innovative and impactful research outcomes.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

I work with miniature probes that use light, in a way similar to ultrasound, to look at the layers of tissue in the body to help identify and treat early cancer. My main focus is combining this with two other technologies. Firstly, I'm working with a computer program to find and highlight blood vessels that grow as cancer develops. Next, I am adding another type of imaging that can take a snapshot of how much energy cells are using to see areas that might be growing too quickly.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

Beyond the excellent team environment at the Optical Cancer Imaging Lab, SFU offers great resources for teaching and research collaboration. I had the great privilege of participating in the Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning, in which I joined an amazing cohort of fellow PhD students to refine our teaching and focus on reflective practice.

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.

I am honoured to be the recipient of the BC Graduate Scholarship, as well as SFU's Graduate Fellowship. These awards enabled the flexibility to focus on my research and teaching, funding additional lab and computing equipment.

 

Contact : ebrace@sfu.ca

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