University Panel

University Panel

Alina Kunitskaya

Alina Kunitskaya is in her last year of chemical engineering with a specialization in biomedical engineering. Pursuing her passion for biotechnology, Alina completed a 12-month internship with BioMarin Pharmaceutical, a California-based biotechnology company developing therapeutics for life-threatening rare genetic diseases. Alina is also passionate about solving challenges related to space exploration. She was a part of the University of Calgary International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition team as an undergraduate researcher in 2014, 2017 and as an advisor in 2016. Alina’s passion for promoting space exploration had inspired both the 2016 and 2017 iGEM Calgary teams to pursue projects with applications in space exploration. As a member of the 2017 team, she worked on developing a process to produce bioplastics on Mars, which can be used to 3D print useful items for astronauts, from solid human waste using genetically engineered bacteria. Alina’s dream is to become as astronaut. She volunteered for the University of Texas Medical Branch Spaceflight Research Program, where she completed a simulated sub-orbital space flight in a centrifuge-based flight simulator at the National Aerospace Training and Research Center in Philadelphia.

Tefani Perera

Tefani is currently in her third year studying Neuroscience at the University of Calgary. Tefani is involved in research where she specializes in clinical epilepsy research focused on improving pre-surgical localization of the seizure onset zone using different imaging modalities to promote better patient outcomes. She also joined a neural plasticity laboratory in Calgary and she will be investigating how certain pharmacological agents can prolong life in mouse models of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Tefani aims to purse graduate studies in neuroscience and eventually enroll in medical school. Tefani is very excited to answer all your questions!

Sagar Grewal

Sagar is a third-year Kinesiology student at the University of Calgary, majoring in Biomechanics; a field which uniquely blends together the disciplines of Kinesiology and Engineering. His passion for athletics, and this interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human body, is what drew Sagar to pursue Kinesiology. However, his learning experiences don’t end in the classroom, as Sagar continuously applies his Biomechanics knowledge through completing research projects at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre. His pursuit of experiential learning opportunities led to investigating topics such as overuse injuries, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, and wearable devices in sport from a Biomechanics perspective, as he continually searches for connections the worlds of Injury Prevention and Healthcare.

Jessica Revington

Jessica Revington is a fifth year undergraduate student at the University of Calgary pursuing a degree in Nursing (BN) and a degree in Biological Sciences (BSc). Her passion for patient-centred healthcare, patient advocacy, and health research originated from completing an internship at the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) in high school. She currently specializes in medical research at ACH, and is researching the improvement of pain outcomes for children admitted to emergency with limb injuries. Jessica’s love for healthcare also centres around the field of oncology - she is currently completing a 250 hour hematology/oncology clinical placement at Peter Lougheed Hospital, and is a dedicated hematology/oncology volunteer at ACH. In the future, she hopes to work in the field of pediatric oncology as both a healthcare professional and a clinical researcher.

Jarin Thundathil

Jarin is a fourth year Health Sciences student at the University of Calgary, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. He is an advocate for being engaged in campus activities and getting the most out of your degree. To that end, he has been involved with many extracurricular initiatives and research projects. Last summer, Jarin’s research focused on developing a sustainable ex-vivo photoreceptor culture system for retinal disease modelling. He worked with the same research group to develop a mathematical model describing oxygen perfusion in tissue culture systems to inform research methods. Recently, he has joined a research group attempting to understand the mechanisms of CD4+ T cell mediated immunity to better inform vaccination strategies against tropical diseases. Besides research, Jarin has also been involved with Reforming Education on Drugs (RED), where he tours elementary and junior high classrooms to educate youth on the science behind drug use. He was also involved in a global health initiative with VIDA, a campus club that travels to Nicaragua in the summer to assist mobile medical clinics that provide healthcare to rural Nicaraguans. In ManUp for Mental Health, Jarin works to promote physical fitness, foster companionship, and address issues such as substance abuse, alcoholism, and depression among men at the U of C. Most recently, he has also sought to expand his business portfolio through involvement with the DeNovo Student Investment Fund, which is a student run non-profit at the university.