Marlena Scaffidi is a 2020 Canada Student Merit Award winner. She achieved this award for obtaining the highest standing of her class in the fourth and final year of her degree. Here is a brief biography of the winner.
My passion for science began early on in high school, and I knew that pursuing a degree in this field was right for me. I started my journey at the University of Ottawa in the biopharmaceutical sciences program, but I quickly realized that my interests were in biochemistry, particularly in immunology.
This led me to complete my 4th-year honours thesis in the lab of Dr. Rebecca Auer at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute studying cancer immunotherapy. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree at the University of Ottawa in June of 2020.
I was honoured to receive the Society of Chemical Industry Plaque in Biochemistry, as well as the Faculty Plaque in Biochemistry at our virtual convocation. I am now working on my master’s degree with Dr. Rebecca Auer. My project is focused on developing novel therapies that can help to boost the immune system of cancer patients following surgical removal of solid tumours. I am very excited to continue on this path in graduate school.