"We are able to see the human brain with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). When you learn a new skill, a variety of changes occur in the brain. We use MRI to track these changes."

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Eric Kirby

January 17, 2024

Special Arrangements doctoral student in the Faculty of Science

Tell us a little about yourself, including what inspires you to learn and continue in your chosen field

I enjoy the mountainous landscapes and hikes of British Columbia, maintain an active lifestyle, and am a passionate sports fan with a background in hockey. The emerging research in concussion in sports and neurorehabilitation has inspired me in my chosen field of neuroscience and neurotechnology.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

The outdoor/active lifestyle of British Columbia grabbed my attention to the province and SFU's work in innovation and knowledge translation is the main reason why I ended up at SFU.

How would you describe your research or your program to a family member?

We are able to see the human brain with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). When you learn a new skill, a variety of changes occur in the brain. We use MRI to track these changes.

What three (3) keywords would you use to describe your research?

neuroplasticity, white matter, MRI

How have your courses, RA-ships, TA-ships, or non-academic school experiences contributed to your academic and/or professional development?

These opportunities help connect me with other researchers, as well as give me an opportunity to learn from others. This learning primarily stems from getting another point of view of topics from others.

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 been the recipient of multiple graduate fellowships, as well as an NSERC CGS M award. These have added additional motivation to my studies, as receiving these awards act as support both financially and mentally, knowing that my research has been noticed by other governing bodies.

What have been the most valuable lessons you've learned along your graduate student journey (or in becoming a graduate student)?

A character trait that I have always known and has just been reinforced by my graduate studies is to work hard. No one is going to do the work for you.

How do you approach networking and building connections in and outside of your academic community?

I see networking/building connections as a must. The best way to learn is to see what other people are doing and their point of view on topics. Networking is the easiest way to do this.

What are some tips for balancing your academic and personal life?

Set hard stop points in your daily life. There are points of the day when you HAVE to pull yourself from your work/research. Go outside, go try a new restaurant, step away from work.


Contact Eric:erick@sfu.ca

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