Throughout my academic career, the five-year period (2000-2005) I spent as an IMS Graduate Coordinator was by far the most rewarding. I was able to directly serve our graduate students and together with my colleagues, we helped our students overcome challenges, achieve their goals and become scholars in medical science.
My most memorable story is of IMS alumni Lesley Ward (pictured). Lesley is Deaf, however, she was determined to study medical science, specializing in bacterial infection. She communicated efficiently through an American Sign Language interpreter, which was provided for her classes and meetings. She was supported fully by her lab members, supervisor and program advisory committee, of which I was a member. She did excellent research and presented her work at the American Microbiology Association Annual General Meeting. She completed her Masters of Science in the IMS and currently works in an Immunology lab at UofT.
At the IMS we have developed a culture of “putting students first” through student-centered training, research and activities. Today we have an exceptional student body – IMSSA (IMS Students Association), the student-run IMS Magazine, student-initiated UofT Talks and the Raw Talk Podcast. Working with students makes me feel young!
Our Graduate Coordinators, staff and faculty in the research stream and professional masters programs interact with and support our students on a daily basis. I am proud to be a part of this great team.
Photo: Mingyao Liu and Lesley Ward. Taken by Mikaeel Valli.