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Student Profile: G. L. Thushani De Silva
Engineering Science master's student in the Faculty of Applied Sciences
I am a master’s student in the School of Engineering Science at SFU. I was born and raised in the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka. Since I was a little girl, I was inspired to become a scientist one day. I earned my BSc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Colombo, and my first MSc. from Southern Illinois University. Being accepted to SFU was a dream come true. When SFU presented me the opportunity to pursue research in biomedical engineering, I had a flash-back on my near-death experience. I still owe my life to those who invented the temporary pacemaker (and many more!). So I decided to take this opportunity, hoping maybe someday my inventions would save many lives.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
SFU is a world-renowned university that has produced many scientists who are conducting cutting-edge research. I consider it a privilege for being able to secure a graduate position here at SFU where I get to grow under the supervision of such excellent professors, including my supervisor Prof. Michael Adachi.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among the young and elderly. However, with the aid of new medical advances, cancer can be cured if they are diagnosed early. An elevation of certain biomolecules in body fluids is an indication of failing health conditions including cancer. Our goal is to develop a micro-scale biosensor capable of detecting any abnormal increase of these biomolecules, which can be used in early diagnosis applications.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
SFU has opened doors for me to study under many outstanding professors. Specifically, my supervisor has been so supportive and encouraging throughout my journey. I have access to many advanced facilities and equipment at SFU. Last but not least, my amazing teammates have made every minute most enjoyable.
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 was awarded the graduate fellowship (2020 & 2021). It gave me a sense of financial security which allowed me to completely focus on my studies and research.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?
The nano-device fabrication group focuses on the fabrication of 2-D material devices for different applications. Our cleanroom (at Engineering Science) and other labs (including SFU 4Dlabs) are equipped with many state-of-the-art facilities for synthesis, fabrication, and characterization applications. Since our research is often multi-disciplinary, we have several collaborations with other departments.
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org