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Alessia Portante, HBSc

Graduate Student - PhD

HBSc, University of Toronto

MSc, University of Toronto

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What’s your background?

I’m from Woodbridge (slightly north of Toronto) and I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. There, while majoring in both biology and psychology, I discovered my passion for genetics.

Why science?

I get really excited about learning new things and, in science, you get to learn something new every day. There’s a thrill with being able to discover why or how something happens, and knowing that it could make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in a career in research?

If you’re interested in a career in research, volunteer in some labs that do different types of work. This will allow you to not only make sure you know what’s involved with research (experiments very rarely work out flawlessly!), but also to help you figure out which field you like best!

What do you like to do for leisure?

I absolutely love watching hockey – the Leafs are my favourite team, but if they aren’t playing that night, I’ll definitely watch another game. Grabbing a coffee or a bite and catching up with friends and family is also a great way I spend some of my time. I also really enjoy books, reading mostly murder/thrillers and sci-fi.

Any song or book recommendations?

Songs – I listen to mostly everything (apart from country and heavy metal), but right now I have "Saturday Night" by the Arkells, "Cool" by the Jonas Brothers, and "Perfect Symphony" by Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli playing pretty often.

Books – The One by John Marrs, or anything by Kathy Reichs

If someone were to make a movie about your life, what would the title be?

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool

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