Hanie, Nicole, John

December 1 is Giving Tuesday, a global philanthropic movement that’s driving community change. With the support of generous donors, students in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy are moving science and health in local and global communities.

After moving to Canada, Nicole Chang remembers how her community pharmacist helped her family navigate health-care system complexities. She plans to provide the same accessible care with her PharmD degree, especially to those most vulnerable.

After graduation, fellow PharmD candidate John Huynh will return to his hometown of Ottawa to provide pharmacy services in his community.

PharmSci student Hanie Yousefi is developing innovative diagnostic tools that she hopes will help Canadians live safely in their homes for longer with the support of health monitoring devices.

Chang, Huynh and Yousefi are three of hundreds of students benefitting from the support of donors, many of whom made a gift in honour of Giving Tuesday.

“As we close out what has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone, I hope everyone in our community will consider making a donation that will support scholarship and research for future pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists,” said Lisa Dolovich, Professor and Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

On this day of global giving, learn more about the impact that future pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, including Chang, Huynh and Yousefi, hope to have on local and global communities.

Click here to support Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy students

Nicole Chang

What impact do you hope to make on pharmaceutical science and society broadly?

My main goal as a future pharmacist is to make improvements in societal health outcomes by providing collaborative care. I believe today's pharmacists play a crucial role in improving patient care through their drug expertise and optimization of chronic medication regimens.

Pharmacists also bring great value to patient-care teams because helping patients understand their medication is an excellent opportunity to improve health outcomes. I hope to continue to advocate and create awareness about the role of pharmacists in healthcare. Through greater collaboration between other health professionals on interprofessional teams, I believe that society can benefit from a more holistic approach.

Nicole Chang
Fourth-year PharmD student

How does donor support (through scholarships/bursaries/student life and learning fund) impact your study or research?

My family of five moved to Canada from India seven years ago. My parents worked hard to provide food, shelter and education for my siblings and I. Wanting to do my part to support myself, I have worked as many as three part-time jobs simultaneously throughout my undergraduate and pharmacy studies.

Scholarships and bursaries have helped lighten this financial burden and allowed me to focus on learning at school. I am immensely grateful for the generosity of donors that continue to help students like me achieve their career goals!

Why is this research or field important to you?

One of the first challenges my family faced after arriving in Canada was navigating the complex healthcare system. The healthcare professional that made the biggest impact on my family was our pharmacist. They were friendly, approachable and accessible. Through their efforts, my family felt safe and cared for and they were no doubt instrumental in helping us navigate the system. 

In the same way, I hope to continue to be an accessible healthcare provider who can help guide patients, especially at their most vulnerable.

John Huynh
Third-year PharmD student

How does donor support impact your study or research?

Donor support in the past has helped me finance my education. I am not from Toronto and had to rent. It has helped with the burden of balancing tuition, rent, student life expenses, groceries and allowed me to focus on academics.

What impact do you hope to make on pharmaceutical science and society broadly?

I am from Ottawa and want to give back to my community after graduating by providing pharmacy services.

Why is this research or field important to you?

I have always been passionate about science and healthcare. Pharmacy would provide me with the opportunity to use my expertise to provide care for others.

John Huynh
Hanie Yousefi

How does donor support impact your research?

As s researcher, it is always important to have secure financial situation. With support from donors, students can focus on their research and explore all the opportunities to do successful research.

I am received the 2019-20 Edward A. Simmons Pharmacy Fellowship. This award has enabled me to focus on my research and as a result I see great outcome out of this year’s research. As another example, donor supports can facilitate students to travel and participate in scientific conferences.

What impact do you hope to make on pharmaceutical science and society broadly?

I am bringing my engineering knowledge to pharmaceutical sciences to solve important problems in diagnostics that need engineering knowledge and innovation. My goal is to combine effective leadership and scientific innovations to bring new opportunities to our society. My research outcome directly affects our society by enabling patients to know their current health status in a timely manner, and great accuracy.

Hanie Yousefi
Third-year PharmSci PhD student

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a third year PhD candidate at in the Kelley laboratory. My expertise is in developing biosensors for detection of infectious microorganisms. I am a chemical engineer by training and completed my undergraduate studies at Sharif University of Technology, Iran. I continued my studies at McMaster University where I did my Master’s of Chemical Engineering and developed food wraps that detect bacterial contaminations.

My research is focused on personalized devices that enable health-care monitoring and disease diagnostics in locations with no laboratory set ups such as homes. Most recently, I developed reagent-free electrochemical sensors to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral particles in COVID-19 patients’ saliva samples.

Why is this research important to you?

My research holds great potential to push the diagnostics industry forward to deliver advanced healthcare devices to society. Seeing this potential encourages me to dedicate my efforts on daily troubleshooting that lead to my final goals. I hope to see a day, that every individual can monitor their health with in-house devices.

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