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Student Profile: Liana Zaroubi
Chemistry doctoral student in the Faculty of Science
My family and I immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in 2014 for a better future. We moved to Montreal where I completed my BSc in Biochemistry at Concordia University. I graduated with honours and a minor in multidisciplinary studies in science which allowed me to partake in diverse research projects throughout my undergraduate degree such as science journalism, organic synthesis and studies in diabetic neuropathy. Working in these disparate topics allowed me to have a better view on how diverse fields of science connect and how interlinking different disciplines enables greater communication and understanding for research. This made it clear that I wanted to engage in a degree where I would be able to touch on various areas of science. As a result, I pursued an MSc in the Findlay lab at Concordia University where I worked on the screening and understanding of the ecology of natural products. More specifically, I determined the chemical ecology of geosmin, a natural product responsible for the earthy smell after the rain, which resulted in a publication in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. During my MSc I kept exploring research outside of my comfort zone with collaborations within the faculty allowing me to improve my critical thinking and creative skills as well as my troubleshooting and management skills. I believe that this perspective is a real game changer as it opens doors to potential breakthroughs, not limited to a particular subfield. Taking this into consideration, I decided to pursue a PhD at Simon-Fraser University in the Linington lab which encompasses different fields of science such as chemical biology, metabolomics, and drug discovery.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
My decision to apply for a PhD degree in Chemistry at Simon-Fraser University is motivated by the level of excellence and admirable learning experience the faculty offers. My main goal was to join the Linington lab where drug development against cancers and pathogens as well as the determination of the mode of action of natural products are made using a high-throughput approach. The Linington lab also develops new methods allowing effective characterization of complex natural product mixtures using NMR spectroscopy and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry. The knowledge and skills I will acquire from my PhD will definitely prepare me well for my career path in industry.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
"Remember in TV shows like CSI New York when an investigator takes a sample and runs it through a machine that tells him exactly which components are in that sample? That is not yet possible to do and this is what our lab aims to achieve!" This is how my supervisor and lab would describe what we do.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
The friendliness of my colleagues and the faculty at SFU!
Contact Liana: firstname.lastname@example.org