Dr. Jade Lasiste, a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Miguel Burnier at the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Pathology was recently awarded the Member-in-Training (MIT) Outstanding Poster in the Lens subspecialty category at the annual conference of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held in Baltimore from May 7 to 11, for her work “Metformin inhibits epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in lens epithelial cells.”

“ARVO is the biggest conference, in the world, on eye and vision research,” says Dr. Lasiste. “To be selected to present a poster is good; to be selected as a finalist for the MIT Outstanding Poster Award is even better. But to have been awarded this prize is an honour and a privilege, both for me and for our laboratory, as it affirms the significance of our work and at the same time opens the door to further opportunities.”

Dr. Lasiste completed her Doctor of Medicine at the University of the Philippines in 2013 and moved to British Columbia soon after. Having decided long ago that she wanted to pursue specialty training in ophthalmology, she dedicated the next two years towards advancing her knowledge of the clinical, research and public health responsibilities related to eye care. “In early 2015, upon learning that Dr. Miguel Burnier offered research fellowships in ocular pathology, I inquired and applied via distance,” explains Dr. Lasiste. “Thankfully, he granted me not only an opportunity for a fellowship but for a graduate degree.”

Dr. Lasiste’s research interests include anything related to the eye. Her MSc thesis was on secondary cataracts and she has ongoing projects in uveal melanoma.  “My future plans involve getting into ophthalmology residency and obtaining a PhD,” she says. “The academic degrees are important, as I see myself in the future as a practicing clinician and surgeon who’s also involved with research and teaching.”

Congratulations Dr. Lasiste!

May 25, 2017