Student Name: Derek Tsang
Derek completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in immunology and physiology in 2018.
As an undergraduate in the Department of Immunology, Derek discovered his passion for fundamental research in host-microbe interactions and gastroenterology. Derek began exploring his interests in fundamental research under supervision of Dr. Patricia Brubaker in the Department of Physiology through the Research Opportunity Program. He studied the mechanisms behind the intestinal growth effects of glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) in cell-lines and mouse models. Following, Derek completed his fourth-year research project under supervision of Dr. Dana Philpott, studying the role of NOD proteins in intestinal stem cells and colon cancer. Through his involvement in research, Derek has received summer fellowships from the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, Endocrine Society, and the University of Toronto. In addition, he was the second author on a primary research paper published in the American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.
In addition to his involvement in research, Derek has been actively involved in student life at the University of Toronto. Derek has volunteered as the Co-Director of the University of Toronto International Health Program (UTIHP), the Vice-President of the Immunology Student Association. In addition, Derek has been a peer-mentor for the Trinity College First-Year Learning Community (FLC) program that helps first-year life science students in their transition into university.
In the fall, Derek will be pursuing his PhD in the Department of Immunology under supervision of Dr. Dana Philpott with funding from the Canadian Graduate Scholarships - Master’s Program. He hopes to further understand how microbes and their communities play a role in mediating gut health.