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My Journey from Sri Lanka to a Career in Cancer Research

July 8, 2015

Hello! My name is Dr. Rasika Rajapakshe, and I am honoured to be this month’s guest blogger.

During my time as an undergraduate student in Sri Lanka, I planned on pursuing a degree in elementary particle physics. However, my time in university also showed me the importance of helping others, and that my work and actions affect those around me.

I decided that I wanted to have a positive effect on people. I knew that the field of health care was centred around helping people, but I was also passionate about physics – I wanted to find a way to bridge my two interests together.

And so, I moved to Canada and began my PhD in Medical Physics at the University of Manitoba. Living in Canada was difficult at first, as I was adapting to a new language, culture and lifestyle, in addition to completing my graduate studies. However, I was lucky to have a strong and insightful supervisor, Dr. Shlomo Shalev, who always challenged me to be the best I could be and to strive to be at the forefront of knowledge. Looking back, I now call it “character building”. This is something I always stress to my students if they are having a difficult time with their research – it is all about “character building”.

I’ll be happy to tell you all about my work at the BC Cancer Agency and our Early Detection Research Group in my next post!