Trainee at GlycoNet: Ninoschka D’Souza

Posted: May 3, 2021

Where do you work, what is your position, and who is your advisor?

I am a first-year PhD candidate at Dr. Michael Riddell’s lab at York University.

Tell me about the project you’re working on.

A: My current project involves drug development research with a somatostatin receptor 2 antagonist for the prevention of hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes. My previous work involved investigation of the same drug for type 1 diabetes which is currently in phase 1 trials.

Other than glycomics, what areas of research do you think is important in advancing healthcare?

I think stem cell research is a pretty cool area that extends into practically every disease area and seems to have some very novel therapeutic options. I find the whole field of stem cell research very interesting and of extremely high potential.

Tell us a “Eureka!” moment in the lab.

It is hard to pick one but perhaps when I found a certain injection spot helped better with diabetes induction and I stopped having to do re-injections anymore on my animal models.

What do you do when you are not in the lab?

Outside of the lab, I love community outreach, travelling and trying new foodswhether that’s new recipes in my kitchen or a new restaurant. Trying new experiences in general are quite exciting to me!

How do you fight procrastination and stress?

Lots of to-do lists and organization! Knowing what I have yet to finish and tracking the progress I’ve made definitely helps fight the stress and keep me feeling in control of my schedule. This also helps with procrastination but I also schedule in something I am looking forward to doing as a self reward for when I am done my noted tasks for the day.

If you had to choose a completely different career path, what would it be?

I would probably pick marketing or management consulting. I am definitely a people person and love problem solving. These have both been areas I was involved in as extracurricular activities in my younger student years which I quite enjoyed.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I have always loved teaching at the university level and clinical research so I picture myself being established in both within 10 years.

About Ninoschka

Ninoschka originally came to Canada on an exchange scholarship from India and then stayed on to do her Master’s degree and now her PhD at York University. Ninoschka’s master’s degree focused on a metabolic link to neurodegenerative diseases which later became her link to diabetes that now forms a major part of her research focus. She also enjoys the mentoring aspects of research as her way of paying forward all the wonderful opportunities she has received.

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