Pharmacology and Toxicology

Angela Zhou

Student’s name: Angela Zhou
Supervisor’s name: Dr. Walter Swardfager, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dr. Amy Caudy, Department of Molecular Genetics

Angela is a recent Honours Bachelor of Science graduate (2021) in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology where she pursued a Pharmacology Specialist.

Angela was highly involved in research during her undergraduate studies. Through the research opportunity program, she conducted studies under Dr. Amy Caudy elucidating novel enzymes pathways involved in parasitic helminth survival. In addition, she completed a 4th year project course with Dr. Walter Swardfager conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of blood inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes and depression. Angela also participated in a Professional Experience Year where she worked in Dr. Jeffrey Karp's lab working on the development of devices for enhancing the viability of stem cell- derived pancreatic beta-cells for type 1 diabetes therapeutics.

She also received multiple awards during her undergraduate degree including the GLSE student leadership scholarship, St. Michael's College Silver Medal, and Fr. Robert Madden Leadership Scholarship. 

Outside of academics, Angela was highly involved with the University of Toronto Synchronized Swimming team. Additionally, she was a peer mentor and senior peer mentor for the Learning Communities program at U of T. 

Angela is currently a first year MD student at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine in the combined MD/PhD program. She aspires to be a clinician-scientist bridging both research and medicine in her future career. 

Nicole Machado

Student name: Nicole Deborah Machado
Supervisor name: Dr. Geoffrey Higgins, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford Department of Oncology

Nicole graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science with high distinction in Spring 2021, completing a specialist in Pharmacology.

Throughout her undergraduate degree Nicole has engaged in several research projects pertaining to drug discovery and development. After her second year, she joined the Salmena Laboratory to investigate the role of cellular phosphatases and microRNA as therapeutic targets in acute myeloid leukemia. She then completed a Professional Experience Year at MIT in the Langer Laboratory developing an RNA-based drug delivery system against toxicities associated with radiation damage. Lastly, for her fourth-year thesis project she joined the Santerre Laboratory to help develop stem cell and polymer scaffold-based vascular prostheses. Her research endeavours have resulted in two publications.

Beyond her research, Nicole is passionate about volunteering in her community. She was a hospital volunteer at North York General Hospital for 5 years, working in the outpatient pharmacy and visiting and supporting elderly patients. At the university, she was an executive member of the U of T Drama Coalition, as well as a Peer Mentor with the Learning Communities program.  She has also been an active volunteer with her local church and Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter in Boston.

Nicole has been the recipient of multiple academic awards and scholarships. She has received the Life Sciences Ontario Scholarship (2020), the GLSE Undergraduate Leadership Award (2021), the SMC Silver Medal Award (2021), the Fr. Robert Madden Leadership Award (2021), and the SMC Principal’s Award (2021). She was also named a finalist in the inaugural McCall McBain Scholarship which recognizes emerging leaders with a passion for making a positive change in global and local communities and funds graduate studies at McGill University.

Currently, Nicole is pursuing her Master of Research in Oncology at the University of Oxford. Her project focuses on developing inhibitors of cellular metabolism to overcome tumor hypoxia and improve the efficacy of radiation therapy. After her education, she hopes to work in the pharmaceutical industry to continue developing new therapies in oncology.