Next up in our series of brilliant SFU scientists, we introduce Parmida Atashzay!
Name: Parmida Atashzay
Faculty: Molecular Biology and biochemistry
Year of Study: 4th
Supervisor: Dr. William Davidson
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I have always wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 years old and I always worked hard to reach that goal.
Q: How did you get involved in research?
A: I knew research will be one big step for me to get close to my ultimate goal so I started going to different seminars when I was in high school and I kept asking around to see if any of the professors need a volunteer. Finally, the head of the microbiology department from Michael Smith Lab at UBC accepted me and asked me to volunteer at Michael Smith Labs. This is how I got into getting more experiences and getting the job I have right now.
Q: What is your research about?
A: I am currently working on interaction between two specific proteins at Dr. Davidson’s Genetic Lab and I will be continuing to work on this project until I find a answer. Also, I will be working in Dr. Audas lab as well this summer as a research student.
Q: What is a typical day in the life for you in the lab?
A: My typical day since I started working in the lab is that I usually wake up early and come to the lab and start working on different experiments, then i will go to my classes and I will come back in the Lab to finish my experiments. Basically, I am in the lab over 8 hours a day and have full time course load which makes it a bit difficult but still manageable.
Q: Favorite course?
A: One of my favourite course that I took at SFU is MBB 463 Forensic Genomics. If you haven’t taken this course I highly recommend it. This course is reason why I have my current research job.
Q: What scares you the most in the lab?
A:What scares me the most in the lab is to fail and not be able to continue with the project and also I keep asking myself am I working hard enough? Or is my supervisor happy with my work? However, there is one thing i have learnt from masters and PhD students in my lab, they said “every experiment fails 80% of the time and you are lucky if everything works out well the first time you try it”. So if your planning on working in the lab always keep that in mind and never give up