Post-BMLSc Pursuits

Brian Wong (2001)

Following graduation, Brian completed his PhD in our department. During his graduate training, he received doctoral research awards from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Vesalius Research Center (Belgium) and is the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the FWO (The Research Foundation – Flanders).

“BMLSc was a great mix of basic science theory and clinical laboratory tests that provided both fundamental knowledge of techniques and science, practical knowledge of many techniques useful in the clinical and biomedical research laboratory, and also very useful courses that were structured in a problem-based learning format. Classes were filled with practical knowledge that was mostly framed around health and disease. The most valuable experience was completing a directed studies course (PATH 438) with Dr. Bruce McManus, who later supervised my PhD studies. “

Brenda Farnquist (2000)

While working as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in Ontario, Brenda began her BMLSc studies by distance education, and then moved to Vancouver in 1997 to complete her degree as a full-time student. She obtained her MD at UBC and went on to pursue a Radiology Residency at Queen’s University (Kingston) and a Women’s Imaging Fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Brenda is currently a Staff Radiologist and Assistant Professor of Radiology at Queen’s University (Kingston) doing a Musculoskeletal Imaging Fellowship.

“[How did my BMLSc degree prepare me for my current career?]  First, it fulfilled most of the pre-requisites I required for medical school. Secondly, it has served quite useful in the radiologic/pathologic correlation of the studies I assess and biopsies I perform as a radiologist. The most valuable experience I gained from my studies in the BMLSc Program was definitely the research experience, for the development of inquisitive thought and introduction to research techniques. What I enjoyed most about the program was my fellow students and instructors for their comradeship, support and direction.”

Caroline Nakatsuka (2000)

In addition to her BMLSc degree, Caroline completed an MSc in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene at UBC, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Education from SFU, along with her teaching certificate. She currently works for the BC provincial government as the Manager of Occupational Health for the Mines and Mineral Resources Division of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

“My BMLSc prepared me for my MSc as it helped me to better understand the potential effects of worker exposures to occupational health hazards, and I use this in my current job as well. The most valuable experience I gained was the variety of lab experiences, projects and information. It provided a broad experience which has been extremely helpful in my MSc studies and my current work.  I enjoyed that there was so much to learn and that so many different areas were covered – not just theory but a lot of hands-on work and transferable skills.”

Merrilee Hughes (1999)

A successful BMLSc graduate with a talent for writing, Merrilee completed the Master of Journalism Program at UBC, specializing in health reporting.  Some of the positions she has held include Staff Writer for Canadian Blood Services (Ottawa) and Copy Editor for Springer-Verlag (Germany); she also worked as a freelance journalist and received her Diplôme de Langue from the Université d’Aix-Marseille. At UBC, Merrilee was employed as Research Coordinator in the Faculty of Medicine and she currently holds the position of Grant Facilitator in the School of Nursing.

“This degree [BMLSc] has informed my work across a variety of fields – health journalism, academic publishing, research project coordination, and grant facilitation. I am well-acquainted with a wide range of biomedical research and health care issues. My studies during this degree underpin my current understanding of the scientific process, pathology, epidemiology, and statistical analysis. It is also the framework that I have built on in subsequent degrees and in my career.  [What I enjoyed most] was the small class size, engaged professors, hands-on instruction, and enthusiastic, committed peers.”