Q: What is your role in health research?
A: I’m a research assistant at the Vancouver Stroke Program Research Office. I coordinate and handle different clinical trials led by Dr. Thalia Field.
Q: What is your research area of interest?
A: My main interest is in stroke research. I used to be a stroke neurologist before I immigrated to Canada, so anything related to stroke and vascular neurology fascinates me.
Q: What is the best part about your research job?
A: Being a part of cutting-edge clinical trials is thrilling. But the best part for me is getting to interact with patients, and the subsequent relationship that develops between research coordinator and participants. I love explaining our research studies and letting participants know how their involvement can potentially help them and future patients. During the course of study follow up, which can sometimes extend over several years, you get to know patients better and they become like family.
Q: What does your average workday look like?
A: My days are full of answering emails, enrolling participants and arranging study visit appointments, entering e-data, anonymizing and uploading neuroimaging to core lab and doing follow-up visits with study participants.
Q: What is one of the biggest accomplishments or proudest moments of your research career?
A: One of the research studies I’m currently working on is a 30-day heart monitoring study aimed at detecting atrial fibrillation (AF) and determining the holter and echocardiogram characteristics to predict AF. Because not all cardiodiagnostic centres offer longer than two weeks of heart monitoring, I am pleased that we can offer stroke patients this month-long monitoring. This service will certainly benefit a lot of patients, especially those at high risk for AF.
Q: What do you do for fun in your spare time?
A: Since I was young, I’ve been a voracious reader and to this day I always read before going to sleep. With the advent of social media, I have created my own bookstagram account where I post my book reviews and book recommendations. This hobby allows me to let out my creative side through my bookish pictorials and posts, and it is a good way for me to unwind at the end of the day. It’s a lot of fun and I really enjoy getting to meet fellow book nerds.
Q: Who or what inspires or motivates you?
A: My family definitely inspires me. They motivate me to always be the best version of myself.
Q: What is your favourite book?
A: My all-time favorite book is the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I have read his stories so many times and watched all the different movie adaptations.
Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
A: Always wear sunscreen and put it on two to three times a day!