ULethbridge is the perfect university for Emily Hagens because it is big enough to offer students great opportunities but small enough to allow students to make the connections they need in order to take advantage of those opportunities.
I have participated in multiple independent studies and a summer research term in the Mohajerani lab, where I conducted research relating to Alzheimer’s Disease. Throughout my time in the Mohajerani lab, I had the opportunity to contribute to multiple projects, allowing me to gain a variety of skills and learn techniques useful in neuroscience research.
Meet Emily | Conscientious. Motivated. Persistent.
Program: Bachelor of Science | Major: Neuroscience
Have you participated in work-integrated learning at ULethbridge? If so, please tell us about these opportunities.
I have participated in multiple independent studies and a summer research term in the Mohajerani lab, where I have participated in research relating to Alzheimer’s Disease. Throughout my time in the Mohajerani lab, I had the opportunity to contribute to multiple projects, allowing me to gain a variety of skills and learn techniques useful in neuroscience research.
I am also a student leader for the ULethbridge iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) team, where I participated in an independent study course and the Agility trailblazing program as a part of my involvement on the team. iGEM is a competition where students worldwide design synthetic biology solutions to local problems. This year, we designed a system in which phage-like particles deliver Cas13a and the microcystin-degrading enzyme mlrA to cyanobacteria cells to cause cell death and degrade microcystin toxins released into the water by the cells.
My involvement in the Mohajerani lab and on the iGEM team have been my most memorable ULethbridge experiences so far.
What is the most important lesson you have learned so far at ULethbridge?
Don’t let the fact that you don’t yet have relevant experience in an area deter you from getting involved in something that interests you; you will pick up the skills you need as you go.
Is there someone specific who has had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
Dr. Majid Mohajerani has given me a lot of great opportunities to do research in his lab. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know and work with all of the Mohajerani lab members, especially Dr. Brendan McAllister, Mojtaba Nazari, and Behroo Mirza Agha, who I’ve learned a lot from through the projects we’ve worked on together. As well, I’m thankful to the ULethbridge iGEM team’s advisors Fabian Rohden, Marcel Koupantsis, and Kristi Turton, as well as our PI Dr. Angeliki Pantazi, for all of the time and effort they put into supporting the iGEM team.
Is there anything you wish you knew in your first semester that you know now?
There are lots of opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research at the U of L, and it is much easier to get involved than you would expect.
What advice would you give to those about to begin their ULethbridge journey?
ULethbridge provides a very supportive environment for students to try new things, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. I’m grateful for all of the professors, TAs, iGEM advisors, and lab supervisors who were extremely patient in helping me learn new skills.
Favourite class: Genetically Engineered Machine, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, Human Neuropsychology
Favourite social activity at ULethbridge: iGEM
Favourite place to study: Science Commons, especially the 8th-floor neuroscience area
- Paid work terms
- Hands-on career & research experience
- International study
- Awards, scholarships and a range of student support