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Student Profile: Qurat Ul Ain Qureshi
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry master's student in the Faculty of Science
I moved to Vancouver from Pakistan in 2015 for my bachelor’s and have lived here since. Currently, I am an MSc. candidate conducting cancer research under the supervision of Drs. Tim Audas and Ryan Morin. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, bird watching, and painting.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I completed my undergraduate honours research project with Dr. Morin's group. The project broadened my understanding and made me very interested in cancer research and precision medicine. This together with the support I received from my supervisor and fellow lab mates during the time was what ultimately led me to stay on for my masters.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
Cells use the process of gene regulation to choose which genes to express at any one time. We often think of genes as either being “on” or “off”, but in actuality, gene expression is more of a spectrum, modulated by many factors to maintain the appropriate cell-specific levels of each. Every step between DNA, messenger RNA, and protein can be modulated to affect the ultimate amount of gene products. In cancer, this process is frequently dysregulated which may result in the disruption of genes important for normal cellular behavior. My project aims to identify such dysregulation in lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, and functionally classify them and their impact to the transcriptome. These findings may then be leveraged for patient benefit.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I really enjoy the collaborative nature of research in my department.
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 have recently received the Weyerhaeuser graduate scholarship and the MBB graduate fellowship. These awards have provided me with a means to support myself financially through my graduate education.