Kyungsoo Shin, (BSc, Combined Honours, 2011)

A day in the life

Kyungsoo Shin, (BSc, Combined Honours, 2011)


If something works and works well, you want to just keep working at it.

A learning addiction

For Kyungsoo "Kyung" Shin, studying Biochemistry & Molecular Biology was more than just an opportunity to get a degree. It was also a habit-forming experience.

“It can get kind of addictive,” he says of the experiments he’s conducted in Dal’s laboratories. “If something works and works well, you want to just keep working at it.”

Kyung graduated with a combined honours degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and  Microbiology & Immunology in 2011. He now feeds his research addiction as a Master’s student in Dr. Jan Rainey’s lab. He’s studying a hormone called Apelin in a project that could point to new treatments for cardiovascular conditions.

Dr. Rainey and Dr. Younes Anini got Kyung hooked. After his second year, they gave him a summer project where he learned high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), a technique used to study the components of chemical mixtures.

“I got exposed that year to having a project to call my own, to not have someone looking over my shoulder telling me what to do,” he says.

While Kyung enjoyed his independence, he also appreciated the support he got from Dr. Rainey and Dr. Anini, who assured him success doesn’t always come easily in research.

“They taught me that research is about troubleshooting and trying to make it better every time you do an experiment,” he says.

Kyung tries to apply the same philosophy to life in general.

“If I do something wrong in my life I can just say it was a mistake and something I can learn from, and then I can make myself that much better in the future.”

Kyung, who moved to Halifax from Korea when he was 10, took every opportunity to better himself in and out of the classroom as an undergraduate. He spent three years as a residence assistant, helping students ease into life at Dal. In his third year he served as the sports representative for the Society of Immunology & Microbiology Students (SIMS), putting together intramural sports teams. Later, he became the SIMS president.

“I became more confident in my abilities to communicate with people and lead them,” he says of his extracurricular experiences.

Kyung expects his Master’s work could lead into a PhD, or maybe medical school.

“There are a lot of possibilities with this degree,” he says. “There’s a lot you can do, but it's up to you to look for it."