Venus Lau

Venus started as a Master’s student in Dr. Fiona Brinkman’s lab in 2017. By 2019, she transferred to the PhD program. She received the CIHR Canada Graduate Student doctoral scholarship and the NSERC-CREATE Bioinformatics scholarship. Venus also completed her BSc in MBB with a minor in Health Science at SFU, making her a seasoned SFU academic. Going on to apply her undergraduate knowledge, she worked as a Research Technologist for a local biotech company for two years before returning to SFU for graduate school.


Venus’s PhD thesis project assesses functional trends and evolutionary dynamics of genes associated with bacterial pathogens. Particularly, the multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antimicrobial resistance is continuously emerging while novel antibiotic drug discovery has declined over the past few decades. Thus, better understanding of determinants of bacterial virulence is crucial to implement more effective public health intervention strategies against infectious diseases. Using large-scale microbial genomics data, Venus will try to detect genomic difference that may contribute to virulence by comparing genomes of closely related bacterial pathogens and non-pathogens.

Outside of research, you can find Venus hiding from the cold in hot yoga studios, either practicing in class or occasionally teaching a few classes herself. Venus also enjoys exploring new hiking trails and dog parks with her husky puppy