James Lisondra, a student at Ontario Technological University, has achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first student from his university to participate in the prestigious Amgen Scholarship program. Administered by Harvard University and hosted by the University of Toronto, this scholarship provides an incredible opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in cutting-edge biomedical research.
Lisondra, who recently completed three years in the Faculty of Science’s life sciences program, is embarking on an exciting journey this summer as part of the Amgen Scholars Canada Program. This fully funded program offers selected students from universities across Canada a 10-week research experience at the University of Toronto. Along with a $6,500 stipend, participants also benefit from professional development activities and social events.
His interest in research blossomed during his time at Ontario Techand he will be pursuing medicine at the University of Ottawa starting in September. Initially unfamiliar with research, Lisondra decided to participate in undergraduate research awards while studying at Ontario Tech. He completed 12 weeks of research under the guidance of Dr. Ginny Brunton from the School of Health Sciences and also undertook a Biological Science Research project course with Dr. Janice Strap from the College of Science.
Through these experiences, Lisondra gained exposure to working in laboratory environments and developed a particular interest in HIV infections. This newfound passion led him to apply for Amgen’s fellowship program where he is currently conducting research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto as part of the MAP Center for Urban Health Solutions.
The focus of Lisondra’s research project is HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and its impact on kidney function among LGBTQ+ patients primarily based in Toronto. His work holds both clinical significance and societal importance as it aims to improve current clinical practice related to patient-centered and cost-effective PrEP care.
Furthermore, Lisondra had the privilege of participating in the Amgen Symposium held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This gathering provided him with an opportunity to meet students from esteemed institutions such as Harvard and Princeton. He also took the chance to showcase Ontario Tech and discuss the research conducted at his university.
Lisondra expressed deep gratitude towards Ontario Tech for the support he received during his studies. He believes that the vibrant community and academic experience at his university played a significant role in inspiring him to pursue this scholarship. The opportunities available to students at Ontario Tech have been instrumental in shaping his journey towards medical school.
As Lisondra looks forward to starting medical school, his time in the Amgen Scholars Canada Program has ignited a new ambition within him. He now envisions a career path that combines research and clinical practice, reflecting Ontario Tech’s emphasis on experiential learning. His future plans include obtaining a PhD alongside his MD, allowing him to become a clinical scientist.
James Lisondra’s participation in the Amgen Scholarship program is undoubtedly a testament to his dedication, passion for research, and academic achievements. It also highlights the exceptional opportunities available to students at Ontario Technological University. Based on the news, this milestone achievement serves as a celebration for both Lisondra and Ontario Tech University itself.
Source: (Ontario Tech University celebrates first Amgen Scholar)(https://news.ontariotechu.ca/archives/2023/08/ontario-tech-university-celebrates-first-amgen-scholar.php)