Sruti Prabakaran

Sruti Prabakaran, seen from the chest up, wearing a black blouse and long black hair

Name: Sruti Prabakaran

Researcher/Supervisor: Dr. Kelly Metcalfe (supervised by Ms. Ellen MacDougall)

Area of Research: Familial Breast Cancer

Sruti Prabakaran, seen from the chest up, wearing a black blouse and long black hair

What or who inspired you to join the Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP)? 
It is not often that high school students are able to glimpse the world of research, and with the limited knowledge being taught at school about this topic, the potential interest in research for students is left unnurtured. Women’s College’s Emily Stowe Scholars Program provided me with an opportunity to explore the research field early on, which is why I was drawn to this program from the start.

What was your first impression of Women’s College Hospital?
It was unnerving stepping into Women’s College Hospital and meeting hard-working, intelligent healthcare personnel who are constantly innovating the healthcare sector. Many of them have pursued much higher education and/or experience in their respective fields, which made the meeting that much more nerve-wracking. However, it only took a few minutes to realize how eager and passionate they are about speaking with students and mentoring them to investigate the healthcare field. Thanks to the kind staff at Women’s College, I felt welcomed and excited to join this fascinating group of people, right from the first day of my program!

What interests you most about the area of research that you’re working in?
Familial breast cancer studies the genes that cause hereditary breast cancer when they undergo mutations, such as BRCA1&2. The increase in risk as a cause of these mutations was fascinating to learn about. What I enjoyed even more was the different methods of studying these risk factors, from blood & tumor samples to questionnaires & clinical information. I loved applying this knowledge by working in a research laboratory to prepare kits to collect these samples. Overall, I enjoyed exploring the genetics of this project immensely!

What do you think you will enjoy the most about being part of ESSP?
I believe I will love meeting different types of people in the healthcare field. The presentations and meetings that ESSP students are able to attend enrich my perspective of the various personalities that make up a healthcare facility. The backgrounds, histories and opinions are so diverse at Women’s College that it is always a pleasure to hear more.

Personal or professional answers welcome: What is something that makes you smile?
The friendliness of my team always puts a smile on my face. Besides the donuts and little treats they spoil us with weekly, they are always there to help us and answer any question, even the most common-sense type ones. It almost feels like they have adopted us puppies into their warm family with the cheerfulness and joy they treat us with. It is more than enough to make me smile!