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September 2013

A passion for medicine

Ever since she was a little girl, Globalink Research Intern Laura Lopes has dreamed of becoming a doctor. In her home country of Brazil, Laura spent countless hours studying to be accepted into São Paulo State University’s Botucatu Medical School. But the chance to come to Canada through Mitacs Globalink and contribute to her field on an international scale was an opportunity she couldn’t miss.

Working alongside Dr. Tim Storr in Simon Fraser University’s Department of Chemistry, Laura and her team of colleagues are screening compounds that bind metals, such as zinc and copper, to look for therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease. For Laura, the hands-on research and interactive laboratory setting has been a rewarding experience. “Collaborating with my labmates has been truly inspirational. We’re tackling the project from different perspectives and sharing our methods of research.”

Outside of the lab, Laura has been developing her professional skills by participating in workshops on networking, project management and teamwork. She also got to meet with industry leaders and tour local companies. The combination was a big draw for Laura. “I believe that knowledge is not just attained within the classroom but also in the real world. Developing skills outside of a laboratory is a modern way to build open-minded and engaged researchers.”

Laura looks forward to returning to Brazil for her fifth year of schooling, equipped with new skills and many fun-filled Canadian memories.

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec,the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

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