Did you know my students blog?

Shayen Sreetharan is a new MSc student in the WilsonToxLab this year but he isn’t really new to us.  Shayen started working in the lab during the 3rd year of his undergraduate degree and we have convinced him to stay.  His first project involved describing Lake Whitefish development, a project that has lead to a publication in the Journal of Fish Biology.  Now undergrads that publish are not rare in my lab but undergrads with first authorship on a published paper prior to graduation?  That is very special.  Shayen did his senior thesis in my lab in 2014-2015, working on a multiple stressor effects in the rainbow trout cell line, RTG-2.  Now he has started graduate school but doing it in his own way.  Shayen’s project is a bit of a stretch for us fishy folks because he is working on mice in a  collaboration between the WilsonToxLab and Dr. Doug Boreham’s lab at NOSM.  Below is a post from Shayen, describing his new science blog:

Dose, Dose Rate & Depolarization: A Blog of Science

I started the blog: Dose, Dose Rate & Depolarization on my website as a means of sharing interesting papers, news or just random thoughts on the two (albeit unrelated) areas of radiation biology and paediatric cardiology. I’ve always been interested in blogging and seeing the appeal of blog posts by Dr. Joanna Wilson here on the WilsonToxLab website helped make the decision to create one of my own!

Being co-supervised by Dr. Douglas Boreham, Director of Medical Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) for the past few years, I have had a growing interest in radiation biology. Previously, my academic background prior to joining the lab was focussed on physiology (including whole animal/human anatomy and physiology, cell physiology, pathophysiology and physiological adaptations to stressful/novel environments). As I learned more through reading papers for my undergraduate thesis and just working alongside Doug’s graduate students, I gained an appreciation for the intricacies of radiation biology. What was truly of interest to me was not only the biological effects of ionizing radiation exposure but the area of low dose radiation biology. The harmful effects of high doses of radiation are well known, however there is active discussion regarding the effects at the low dose and low dose rate region.

The other half of the blog features a rather different area: paediatric cardiology. Working for Dr. Robert Hamilton , a cardiologist (electrophysiology) at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto should make my interest in the field self-explanatory. My supervisor focuses on various rhythm disorders in children including a number of diseases that I’ve been a part of: ARVC/D, Brugada Syndrome  and Long Q-T Syndrome. I have been fortunate to be involved in both wet-lab (working on CRISPR/Cas9 of a cardiomyocyte cell line) and clinical research experience allowing me to be involved in ameliorating patient care from the lab bench.

Feel free to check out the blog and leave any thoughts or questions in the comment section!