Topaza Yu is heading into her fourth-year of kinesiology at USask.

Kinesiology student awarded Amgen Canada Scholarship

Heading into her fourth-year in kinesiology, Topaza Yu, has been accepted into the Amgen Canada Scholar Program for the summer in Toronto, ON.

The Amgen Scholars Canada Program is an immersive, 10-week program of research experience, professional development, and social activities. The scholars will have the opportunity to conduct research with a leading University of Toronto faculty mentor, attend professional development series, present their research findings at the Amgen research day, and connect with other bright-minded scholars from across Canada. 

“I saw the ad on Facebook and decided to apply,” said Yu. “I have always been highly interested in pursuing a medical degree or graduate degree after finishing my undergraduate degree in kinesiology.” 

With that goal and objective in mind, Yu believed the Amgen Scholars Canada Program would offer her opportunities to gain a more in-depth look into research, help her better understand her research interest, and network with mentors and other scholars. 

Yu will work in Dr. Reina Bendayan’s lab and will look at HIV and COVID-19 coinfection pharmacological treatment successes and failures. They will perform a comprehensive literature review of viral mutations, drug resistance, drug interactions with several membrane-associated drug efflux transporters impairing their trafficking into target infected cells and tissues, and the drug-drug interactions when treatments are used in combination. 

“This opportunity means that I can further explore my curiosity and passion revolving around research, graduate studies, finding effective ways in conducting knowledge translation, and how to cultivate healthy lab environments where everyone involved can feel safe and included,” said Yu. “I look forward to applying the valuable skills and knowledge that I will gain from the Amgen program back to my studies in the College of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan.”

The program began on May 31 and will run until August 6. Yu is the only USask student who received the scholarship.

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