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This is my path

Leola Chow, Ph.D.

Starting at the age of 6, my favorite subject was science. As I entered high school, I was already deeply interested in genetics. Following my passion, I completed my BSc. and Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Alberta. Afterwards, I was awarded a Canadian Blood Services Post-doctoral fellowship where I studied a bleeding disorder known as Immune Thrombocytopenia. Thereafter, I began my research associate position at the University of Manitoba where I studied allergic asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Following this, I started my post as an associate scientist at the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) where I engage in the research and development of novel therapeutics for various human diseases.

Leola Chow

I love science because my career allows me to learn something new and exciting every day. One of the most unique experiments I directed was for my Ph.D thesis where I engineered mutant fruit flies to study development genetics. One surprising result was an eye outgrowth as illustrated in the image below. Healthy fruit fly eyes are round instead of triangular in shape.

 Healthy fruit fly eyes are round instead of triangular in shape.

My role model and source of support has always been my mom and sister who were there for me at every success and failure. I was also very fortunate to have supervisors who were always willing to give me a chance at every stage of my career. One of the biggest challenges I overcame was transitioning from academic research into a more translational research setting and finding a career that I am excited and passionate about. I found this at CDRD.

I stay on track of my career path by setting goals, seeing every mistake as a learning process instead of failures and surrounding myself with positive people who continue to encourage me to achieve my best. I utilize setbacks to motivate myself even harder. I also learned that networking is one of the most powerful tools in my career development. To give back, I am also a volunteer for the Society for Canadian Women in Science & Technology (SCWIST) where I network with likeminded individuals and more importantly where I hope to inspire the next generation of STEM Femmes.

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