Meet Mami—Putting pulmonary hypertension in its place.
Q: What is your role in health research?
A: I work in the BC Pulmonary Hypertension clinic as a clinical research coordinator. My role is to facilitate the studies our investigators are leading.
Q: What is your research area of interest, and what led you to that interest?
A: My research area of interest is pulmonary hypertension, a rare and progressive lung disorder characterized by the presence of high blood pressure in the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension affects between 5,000 and 10,000 Canadians. I was introduced to this field through my work at The Lung Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, where I was a clinical trials coordinator. I had never heard of pulmonary hypertension previously and it piqued my interest.
Q: What is the best part about your research job?
A: The people are the best part—our clinical team, the research participants and the members of the pulmonary hypertension community in Canada. The community is small but is made up of incredibly lovely people and I feel fortunate to be involved with them.
Q: What does your average day at work look like?
A: It varies quite a bit. Some days are spent with research participants, while other days I am in meetings, completing applications for ethics and funding, and working on the logistics of launching new studies and maintaining existing ones.
Q: What is one of the biggest accomplishments or proudest moments of your research career?
A: When I saw my first study to completion. Big research projects require a lot of time and effort; there is real satisfaction in seeing a study finally in print or presented at a conference.
Q: Who inspires or motivates you?
A: In life, it would be my family who have helped shape my foundation as a person. In work, I’ve been very lucky to meet people who have taken the time to teach me and help me grow. They inspire me always to do better and to be generous with my time as they have been. Two people who have been influential for me are orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Jeff Pike, who was one of my first mentors in medicine, and Freda Tom, who was my supervisor at The Lung Centre.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
A: I love to travel all over but my first trip post pandemic will be Japan. My family is originally from there and my grandma still lives near Tokyo. She’s 96 and since the pandemic we’ve been FaceTiming weekly. I would love to see her in-person as soon as we are able.
Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
A: Learning from mistakes is beneficial. Beating oneself up over them is not. Try not to be too hard or overly critical of yourself.