Meet the incoming class of 2021

In September, BME welcomed 100+ students into our graduate programs. We asked some of these students why they chose our programs, and what they are looking forward to in this unusual year. Here's what they have to say.

photo credit:
Qin Dai

Saba Abtahi
MEng Program

I decided to come to UofT because of the unique curriculum offered by the MEng program.

I hope to bring this skill set to the workplace.

Shana Alexander
PhD Program

I chose BME at the University of Toronto because I was attracted to its location in the heart of a biomedical and biotechnological advanced city. Additionally, the flexibility to work and collaborate across multiple disciplines, hospital partners, and start-up companies.

I’m looking forward to meeting like-minded individuals, expanding my professional network, and creating lasting memories, all while conducting meaningful research.

Vanessa Cristini
MEng Program

There were many reasons I chose UofT! Firstly, each and every course offered piqued my interest! From Regenerative Medicine to Clinical Instrumentation, I wanted to take them all. I also love how UofT values practical experience and incorporates a one-term internship into the degree!

I’m most looking forward to building on my undergraduate engineering knowledge and learning more about the endless opportunities in the biomedical engineering field. I’m also excited to make connections with peers and professors!

Shaurya Gupta
PhD Program

The intersection of two fields often provides various avenues for growth and innovation. Knowledge from one field is used to solve problems encountered in another – ultimately leading to the advancement of each individual field. The Institute of Biomedical Engineering provides a unique opportunity to study this intersection between engineering and biology. Choosing to study at the University of Toronto provides me with access to world-class faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities. Combined with great peers and a rigorous curriculum, graduate studies at UofT provides the best environment to conduct independent research and opportunities to grow as a scientist.

I look forward to further developing my professional skills and making significant contributions to the scientific and social community.

Yaji Ke
MEng Program

I was in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto and I chose bioengineering as my minor. I always had an interest in biology and wanted to make the world a better place. After having my PEY in the bio-field, I wanted to study more about biomedical engineering and decided to pursue a master’s degree.

I look forward to learning new techniques in the field of biomedical engineering.

Shawn Khan
MD/MEng Program

As a medical student, I am constantly brainstorming ways in which we can improve aspects of patient care. While I have recognized the way that technology is rapidly transforming medicine, I felt limited in my own capacity to enact change and to innovate. As such, I concurrently enrolled in the M.Eng program to gain a sense of agency in my ability to develop new solutions to old problems. I hope to explore methods of designing and implementing biomedical devices, with a focus on incorporating artificially intelligent systems. 

I am really looking forward to learning as much as I can from my colleagues. In particular, I am excited to be learning about AI and robotics where my group is conceptualizing an autonomous colonoscopy system that can identify suspicious colorectal polyps. In doing so, we hope to increase accessibility to colorectal cancer screening and push the boundaries of what is considered possible in medicine.

Anchana Kuganesan
MASc Program

While completing my undergraduate degree in Life Sciences, I knew I wanted to pursue research in graduate school. I chose Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto because I saw that I could use my background and experiences to take a more technical approach to solve problems in medicine. The endless opportunities for collaboration with all of the different institutions in the city led me to select UofT.

I am looking forward to so much this year! I am hoping to learn more about my research focus, work with other BME students and my lab team, and explore the city.

Benedikt Licht
MASc Program

I am strongly connected to the University of Toronto through family, which includes current students and alumni, as well as the varsity volleyball team. My experience at this university throughout my undergraduate career in the Life Science program has really inspired me and made me excited about being able to contribute to scientific knowledge and progress. The Institute of Biomedical Engineering offers research opportunities that allow me to apply my knowledge and creativity while working on developing therapies for important diseases. Furthermore, the positive environment at this institute with all the extremely helpful and friendly staff, fellow researchers and PIs encourages me to want to learn, ask questions, and get involved. I first experienced this while working in the Sefton Lab for an undergraduate project. I was therefore thrilled when I got accepted to continue my project at the Sefton Lab as a Masters of applied science (MASc) student with the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.

I am excited about the opportunity and challenge of contributing to developing new therapies for important diseases. I am hopeful that this will have an impact on clinical treatment and improve the lives of patients and their families. I am also looking forward to developing my research skills and becoming an expert in my field of study.

Janice Pang
PhD Program

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering offers a network of scientists and clinicians conducting leading research in the field of nanomedicine. This program is also in close proximity to accelerator programs that will enable me to commercialize my biomedical innovations.

During my Ph.D., I look forward to interdisciplinary learning and networking with scientists and clinicians in nanotechnology and beyond.

Megh Rathod
MASc Program

I am fascinated by the intersection of engineering and medicine at BME. I am really curious about the various projects going on at the University of Toronto and its close collaboration with clinicians, scientists and engineers within Toronto and beyond. I felt that as long as I put the work in, there would be a higher ceiling at UofT, and that’s exciting.

I’m really looking forward to furthering my scientific training, developing niche skills, and really being able to dive deep into a project and chase my curiosity. Also, just being a sponge and soaking up all this unique experience has to offer.

Danielle Ribeiro
MEng Program

I first became interested in engineering to learn more about designing and developing solutions to assist my uncle who has cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic. Living with someone who has a disability makes you think more about the design, usability, and accessibility of devices to aid individuals. After completing years of education and extra-curricular projects in assistive device research and design, I realize my passion is building solutions to create opportunities for individuals with chronic diseases and disabilities. Through the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Toronto, I hope to learn how to take a human-centred approach to design and develop assistive devices for improved quality of life.

I am looking forward to learning more about medical device design and development with the goal of becoming a Clinical/Rehab Engineer and an innovative leader. I also hope to meet new people and make new connections during my time at UofT.

Meghan Rothenbroker
PhD Program

I chose UofT because of the faculty, the research, and the city!

I’m looking forward to conducting impactful research and making great friends.

Darshpreet Sangha
MEng Program

UofT is a world-renowned university with professors that have connections around the world. They have amazing industry partners that would really help propel my career forward.

I’m looking forward to developing real-world skills that I can apply to my internships.

Morteza Sarkari
MEng Program

I’ve always been fascinated with medical technology and see this as a way to help improve the health and lives of people through scientific innovation.

I’m looking forward to networking with people in the field and getting introduced to real-life examples of biomedical engineering in action.

Danielle Serra
MASc Program

I chose BME at the University of Toronto because it allowed me the perfect opportunity to combine my research interests in regenerative medicine with the upcoming field of synthetic biology. Grateful to work with world-re known scientists, the university allows me to learn from the best as well as provides opportunities to embark on entrepreneurial ventures within the institute.

I am looking forward to meeting like-minded people as well as generating meaningful networking connections. Additionally, I am excited to grow as a person and scientist to become an expert in my field.

David T. Taylor
PhD Program

I was born and raised in Toronto. Whenever I had the opportunity to visit a research facility at UofT, I was always inspired. I chose the Biomedical Engineering program because I feel that training at the institute will allow me to make an impact in the biomedical research community and form long-lasting relationships with like-minded people.

I want to expand my research abilities that can contribute impactful new information to the research community, and I hope that my training will provide me with a variety of potential career paths in the future.

Laura J. Wheeler
MASc Program

The quality mentorship, courses, and interdisciplinary collaboration available compelled me to choose Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.

I am looking forward to collaborate with skilled and passionate academics.

Jonathan Wu
MASc Program

I want to expand my technical knowledge with medical devices and take advantage of UofT’s entrepreneurial environment to embark on a start-up.

I am hoping to expanding my network and getting my hands dirty with some research work!

Zi Xuan Zhang
PhD Program

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, so it was an easy choice to continue my academic career in the same supportive, nurturing, yet intensive environment.

I’m looking forward to growing as an independent researcher and making meaningful connections with like-minded peers!