Search impact stories
Video Content: 
0
December 2012

Award Winner Interview: Joanna Triscott

Mitacs would like to recognize the work of Joanna Triscott, from the University of British Columbia Child and Family Research Institute who partnered with BC Children’s Hospital through a Mitacs-Accelerate internship to conduct research involving the personalization of treatment for pediatric brain tumors via the nanoString technique which examines the expression of genes in fixed tissues at nanoscale levels with great accuracy.

Because of this research, BC Children’s Hospital can how examine all new cases of pediatric brain tumors throughout the entirety of Western Canada with precision and accuracy – thus reducing the (often excessive) intensity of treatment for children with cancer while still effectively treating the disease.  Below is an exclusive interview with Ms. Triscott, who won the Mitacs Graduate Award for Outstanding Research Achievement, as presented by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification at the 2nd annual Mitacs Awards Reception, held November 28th in Ottawa.

What is the greatest advantage you feel you gained by participating in Mitacs Accelerate?

Participating in Mitacs Accelerate has made me realize that both university and industrial institutions have influential roles in developing the future of the biomedical field. In becoming aware of the existing support for young scientists in biotechnology companies, I feel I have developed new avenues for employment after my studies which I had not previously considered.

Which skill do you think is most important for graduate students to learn before entering an industry environment?

I think the ability to ask for help or admit to making a mistake is extremely important. In all professional research institutes, it is important to keep your activities honest and transparent. Also, remaining organized and conducting oneself in a professional manner is essential for building a good rapport within the industry environment

What advice would you give graduate students currently considering participating in Mitacs Accelerate?

I think it is most important for students to always keep an open mind. A person who is interested in research does not always have to take conventional paths. The Mitacs-Accelerate program gives students the best of both worlds when it comes to academia and industry-driven research and development.

What are your future plans?  Where do you see yourself in five years?

In the next five years, I plan on completing my PhD, which I am currently working on. During that time I would ideally like to publish at least another 2 first-author research publications based on my work studying the molecular oncology of brain tumours. Following this, I see myself continuing in the research path and extending my studies as a post-doctoral fellow. I really enjoy the field of neuro-oncology, bioinformatics and therapy development, so I intend on developing my career in these areas.