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Student Profile: Katja MacCharles
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry master's student in the Faculty of Science
I grew up here in the lower mainland, I completed my undergrad at SFU and I am currently working towards a Master's degree in developmental genetics in the Verheyen Lab. In my spare time I love to add to my ever-growing houseplant collection and I never leave the house without a knitting project.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I wanted to stay close to my family for my undergraduate degree and during that time I had the opportunity to work in Esther Verheyen's lab through the NSERC USRA program, I loved the lab and my project so much that I never left and I was fortunate enough to be able to continue my research as a graduate student.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
In my project I study fruit flies to learn more about how their cells communicate with each other as they grow and become adults in order to have a better understanding of human development and diseases that arise when the cells do not coordinate with each other properly.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I have really enjoyed having opportunities to work and collaborate with other female scientists in my field. Historically, women have been underrepresented in STEM jobs and so to be able to work and connect with women from all over the world that are pursuing science is one of my favourite parts of my studies.
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.
CIHR CGS Masters Scholarship. This scholarship has given me the opportunity to pursue my research without distractions.