Joban Machhiana

For as long as I can remember, one of my primary goals in life has been to help people. I’ve always been an inquisitive person by nature. Inevitably, this curious nature of mine propelled me towards the field of science. Throughout my high school years, I became fascinated with the microscopic reactions that take place within this complex structure we call the human body. I wanted to be able to attain knowledge that would allow me to make a difference in the world.

During my first two years at SFU, I was taking general courses to fulfill the requirements for a degree in the natural sciences, not specifically knowing what I was going to pick as my major. After several ups and downs, I ended up taking a couple of MBB courses. I remember taking MBB 308 with Dr. Stephanie Vlachos and loving everything we did in the lab. It was interesting, it was a place where I could perform more hands-on work, and it helped me understand the real-world applications of what I was studying.

I declared as an MBB major at the end of my second year and became heavily invested in ensuring that I made the best of my time at SFU. I became involved in the Science Peer Mentorship program to help students have a more fluid transition into university life than I did. To date, I have been a mentor for 2+ years, and have continued to take part in many volunteer activities including hosting the university’s very first virtual Welcome Day.

I became focused on gaining more wet lab experience and acquired a position as a Research Assistant in the lab of Dr. Caterina Ramogida. Thanks to the experience I gained in the lab, I went on to complete a co-op work term with a biotech company where I was able to work on independent projects, and gain leadership skills by training new co-workers.

I took MBB 463 – Forensic Genomics with Dr. Sophie Sneddon and was further exposed to the importance of the material that I was learning in the real-world. This influenced my decision to pursue a certificate in Genomics, in addition to my MBB major. The MBB program at SFU is an interdisciplinary program that offers the very best for its students. With its highly qualified professors, advisors that are always available for help, and a diverse student body, I am very proud to be a part of this department.