Maitri checks in

(Editor’s Note: We recently got this note from Maitri Makwana, one of our undergraduate honour students from last year, in the mail (real mail!). We are always excited to hear what our lab alumni are up to after they move on, and how they’re using what they learned in the lab in the next steps of their career. Maitri gave us permission to share her update here on the lab blog. Enjoy!)

Hey Kerfoot Lab! How are you guys?! I haven’t had the chance to visit London since I left, is I’m sending this souvenir -a new addition to the freezer collection- as a memory from my trip to the Blue City this summer.

 #GirlPower 🌸💪🏾  (Maitri 3rd from the right)

#GirlPower 🌸💪🏾 (Maitri 3rd from the right)

  (Ed. note: Kate started a lab tradition where we add a magnet to the freezer door to commemorate any trips)

(Ed. note: Kate started a lab tradition where we add a magnet to the freezer door to commemorate any trips)

Project Women Empowerment was a real eye-opener and an incredibly gratifying experience; I wish I could tell you in person just how impactful it was. From teaching Science and English to girls raised in poor communities of Jodhpur, I learned a great deal about their culture, values, struggles and just how humbled I am for the privileges and endless opportunities I have here in Canada. Apart from surviving 45-degree weather and adjusting to the not-so-luxurious lifestyle, I met some inspiring individuals along the way, travelled a fair bit, ate lots of spicy street food and learned how to speak (broken) Hindi.

 Team Women Empowerment  (Maitri is in the front row, 5th from the right)

Team Women Empowerment (Maitri is in the front row, 5th from the right)

Since I got back, I’ve been finishing off some med school applications while doing a research internship at ApoPharma Inc. We’re currently doing metabolism and toxicity studies for drug candidates that could be used to treat iron dysregulation in Parkinson’s Disease. My supervisor’s a hardcore chemist which means I’ll be learning some fancy HPLC/LCMS techniques. Pharma research definitely has a different feel compared to academia, but it’s been great so far -everyone’s helpful, the work is stimulating, and I get to use some of the skills I’ve learned from you guys at the Kerfoot Lab.

Hope to hear back from you soon!

-Maitri