Nicholas James, Nutritional Sciences/Human Biology
Student Name: Nicholas James
Country of Origin: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Undergraduate Department: Nutritional Sciences/Human Biology
I first became interested in the effects of nutrition on health while in grade 12, when I rather randomly bought a book entitled Brain-Building Nutrition on the impacts of nutrition on the brain. This was an entirely new concept to me, and it immediately sparked my interest. It was in this book that I first read about omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their crucial role within the brain. This initial insight into the relationship between nutrition and health and disease drove me to major in Nutritional Sciences and Human Biology: Health & Disease here at the University of Toronto. Since then, I have developed a passion for nutrition, and I am fascinated by its effects on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In my undergraduate degree, I have been extremely fortunate to have the chance to get involved with the Bazinet Lab here at the Department of Nutritional Sciences. I coincidentally met Dr. Richard Bazinet through a first year foundation program at Victoria College (Vic One). This year, I have been completing a research project under Dr. Richard Bazinet and Kathryn Hopperton, investigating the effects of brain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels on astrocyte response in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. This project has opened up the world of research to me, and I am now seriously considering a future career in research.
The connection between the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine is perfect for my interests, as I am passionate about nutrition and have been hoping to pursue a career in medicine for a quite a while.
In the upcoming years, I hope to either be completing my medical degree here at the University of Toronto, or a master’s degree in either nutrition or paleoanthropology. I am seriously considering the MD/PHD program here at the University of Toronto, as it would allow me to pursue my interests in both medicine and scientific research.