iSci Alumni Profiles


Concentration: Earth and Environmental Sciences (Minor in Geographic Information Systems)

Title of Thesis: A Regional Study of the Quaternary Geology of the Niagara Peninsula

Enrolled in: Masters of Science, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary

I originally chose the Integrated Science Program because I genuinely enjoyed all of my high school science classes and had no idea of my future career path. Four years of iSci did not lessen my appreciation for all of the scientific disciplines. However, it did help me decide which area of science I liked best and wanted to pursue in the future. Personally, I found learning about the Earth and the processes that have shaped it fascinating, especially by examination of the rock record. The numerous group and independent research projects completed in the iSci program also made me realize how much I enjoy research. For these reasons I was inspired to apply to graduate school in the field of geology.

Emily Kramer Switzerland Interlaken

Concentration: Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour

Title of thesis: Multimedia teaching in older and younger adults

Enrolled in: Master's in Neuroscience at the University of Geneva in Switzerland

The Neuroscience program is research based with a course load in a broad number of subject areas. I am currently working on a thesis that investigates individual differences in tonic dopamine in relation to learning and memory. I decided to complete my master's outside of Canada because I was particularly interested in the research of my current lab, and I knew that I would gain a wide variety of experiences and opportunities that can only come from moving across the world.
One of the major advantages that I felt going into this master's program was the broad background of studies I had completed in iSci. As neuroscience integrates research from many disciplines of science, I felt that I had an undergraduate experience that gave me an advantage in graduate level neuroscience courses. Perhaps the most important thing I have gained from my iSci experience is the practice gained in giving scientific presentations, whether they are in lab meetings, journal clubs, as poster presentations, or formal talks.
As well as studying, I have had the chance to travel to a number of countries, including Germany, France, Spain, and Ireland.

Two photos - Top: Switzerland, Interlaken. Bottom: Ireland, Cliffs of Moher

 Emily Kramer Ireland Cliffs of Moher

Concentration: N/A (Biochemistry Minor)

Title of thesis: Pattern associated modelling for discovery of novel protein motifs in the macrophage scavenger receptors (URL:;legid=jimmunol;192/1_Supplement/62.4)

Current occupation: Research Intern, Biomedical Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)

Enrolled in: Masters of Science (M. Sc.), Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Alongside technological revolution in the 21st century, the world has inevitably entered the new era of medicine, where solution lies in collaboration and interdisciplinary studies. Medicine is no longer a singular entity that focuses on primary health-care, instead, it now encompasses a diverse range of sectors. Unfortunately, even as of today, there exist discrepancies between researchers and physicians, where researchers are unable to translate their knowledge for clinical purposes. For this reason, I have enrolled in M.Sc./Ph.D. program at University of Toronto to specifically research tumour immunotherapy. While being involved with the translational research, I hope to become either researcher or clinician-scientist within the field of tumour immunology.

The 4 years of iSci curriculum played critical roles in shaping my values and obtaining skills necessary. The program enabled me to realize the potential behind interdisciplinary studies, and to generate questions from an alternative approach which is often required in the 21st century. The inquiry-based curriculum, group work and research projects enabled me to thrive within communities/organizations around me, and served as important stepping stones towards my future ambition.

Concentration: Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Thesis: Signal Transduction Mechanisms of the Macrophage Scavenger Receptor A (SR-A)

Current Occupation: MD/PhD Candidate at Western University

The lab will always have a special place in my heart. Ever since I first stepped foot in the lab as a confused and clueless high school intern, I knew that science and research was my calling. But I grappled with the lack of connection between the basic research I loved and the real-world application I wanted my research to have.

I will be continuing my career in research as a MD/PhD candidate at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, where my PhD will be in immunology and cell biology. I am extremely excited to be in the MD/PhD program because I see it as an ideal way for me to bridge basic medical science and its real-world application in improving bedside care. My ultimate career goal is to be a clinician-scientist running a translational research program in infectious disease.

In many ways iSci was the ideal program to prepare me for the MD/PhD. Beyond its focus on research-based learning, independent inquiry and exploring the role of science in society, iSci’s real strength is bringing together a group of talented, passionate and driven students to challenge and inspire each other to dream bigger and go further. I am grateful to have been a part of this amazing program.

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