As part of our Spring Convocation 2024 coverage, we asked graduates from our six Schools to share their experiences of completing a degree in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Here, we meet Class of 2024 member Diego Loggia, from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the School of Biomedical Sciences. Diego completed his MSc in Pharmacology degree. Congratulations Diego!


Name: Diego Loggia 

Degree: MSc, Pharmacology & Therapeutics 

Hometown: Montreal


What did you love most about studying at McGill and in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences?  


I love that the Department of Pharmacology at McGill has such a strong sense of community. I consider myself fortunate to have built connections with peers and professors that will stay with me for the rest of my career. 


Can you summarize your thesis project for us? 


My work uncovered a new role of citrate in human sperm capacitation, a process that is essential for male fertility. Through my research, I was able to identify that citrate mediates low levels of nitric oxide production within the sperm cell, which can then be used to support capacitation. 


How will your choice of degree or your research project have a positive impact on society? 


By understanding the role of citrate in male fertility, we can further investigate how this process can be dysregulated in infertile men to help in their diagnosis. We may also be able to supplement spermatozoa with citrate prior to conventional assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in an attempt to improve their success rates!


If you could change one thing in the world to make it better, what would you choose? 


I believe that scientific research should be readily available and understandable for everyone. If I were to change one thing in the world, it would be to normalize the communication of our work for a lay audience in public news outlets in an engaging and informative way. 


Please share a particularly proud or challenging moment from your degree. 


On the day before my big committee meeting, we had held a funeral for my grandmother who had passed away the same week. Needless to say, it was a challenge to get into the right headspace for my milestone event. But sometimes, things like this happen and the best thing to do is to maintain composure. Fortunately, I was able to pass my committee meeting despite the circumstances. Nonna, I love you and I hope you’re proud of me.


Your fave hangout on campus? 


It would definitely have to be Thomson House! You just can’t beat hanging out with a couple Pharm buddies over a Mac & Cheese after a long day of research. 


Any shoutouts? 


As students in STEM, we need a good support system. Sabrina Romanelli has been my partner since high school, and she really deserves a shoutout here. Not only is she a brilliant scientist but also an amazing person. I honestly couldn’t have done this without her. 


Top tips for incoming students in your program?  


  1. Teamwork can go a long way in research; most problems in the lab can be solved by asking a peer or professor in the department. 
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others in the field and acknowledge what you achieved.


Anything you’ll miss? 


I’ll miss my lab neighbours (shoutout to Elaine, Neha, Yanchen, and Sayaka). I’ll miss my amazing peers from my lab (Caleb, Chika, Olivia, and Steven…it was a pleasure and privilege to work with you all!). But most of all, I’ll miss the $5 union meals at the RI-MUHC.


What’s next for you?  


At this stage in my career, I find myself wanting to develop my understanding of a different field of research within the Department of Pharmacology. This year, I’ll be starting my PhD in Pharmacology in Prof. Terry Hébert’s lab, with the goal of understanding how cardiomyocyte function is impaired in dilated cardiomyopathy. I look forward to learning new things and meeting new people!