Sheena is a first year PhD student in the Department of Immunology at the University of Manitoba. She studies the neurological disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) under the supervision of Dr. Renée Douville through the University of Winnipeg. Sheena became interested in the field of health sciences, especially neuroscience, at a very young age. Throughout high school and university, Sheena continued to volunteer for several health organizations, including the Health Sciences Centre and ALS Society. Her interest in ALS research began when she witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of this disease in a member of her community. Driven by her personal motivation to help people living with ALS, Sheena found her purpose and passion in medical research aimed at gaining a better understanding of ALS so that effective treatments can be developed for this incurable disease. Sheena obtained a BSc. Honours degree in Biochemistry, and a MSc. degree in Bioscience, Technology, and Public Policy from the University of Winnipeg. Her training in ALS research during this time helped lay a solid foundation for her current research project. As a PhD candidate, she continues to further explore the mechanisms underlying ALS neuropathology with the ultimate vision to make ALS a treatable, not terminal, disease.
Throughout her university years, she has been extensively involved in her academic community. At the University of Winnipeg (UW), Sheena has served as an instructor for various biology courses. She has also been actively involved in the Let’s Talk Science program at UW and a tutor to undergraduate students in a variety of courses offered at UW. The impact of her endeavours is reflected by the fact that some of her tutees are successfully pursuing professional programs and have themselves become devoted peer tutors. Her devotion to community service outside of academia is exemplified by her involvement in the ALS Society of Manitoba and the Sikh Society of Manitoba. She helps collect donations, which are used by these organizations to improve healthcare systems in Canada or abroad. For the past seven years, she has given academic advice to new immigrants and her community members. She has helped them improve their writing and communication skills, as well as how to go about pursuing higher education. Many individuals whom she has assisted now have successful careers, ranging from medical lab assistant to working for Canada Post.
Her dedication and passion for her work has been acknowledged by several prestigious awards. In her MSc. studies, she received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Master’s Award and Manitoba Graduate Scholarship. In her PhD studies, she received the Sir Gordon Wu Graduate Student Scholarship and University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship. She has also received many recognitions for her research presentations. This includes having won first place in 3-Minute Thesis competition. Currently, Sheena is also a candidate for the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.
Apart from being involved in research and the community, Sheena loves to dance, play piano, and paint.
Project Pulse Winnipeg is very excited to have Sheena as a guest speaker at their 2016 event!