Alumnus Profile

Dr. Khalil Rawji

December 19, 2019

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge , UK

1. You were involved with the Alberta MS Network (endMS)during your time as a PhD student at the University of Calgary. For you, what was the most beneficial aspect of the Network? 

The Alberta MS Network is an excellent organisation that is well-managed and creates very meaningful opportunities for trainees to engage with other researchers and most importantly, patients. For me, it was the one-to-one interactions I had with patients with MS that was the most significant aspect of the Network. Learning about the daily struggles patients with MS face on an ongoing basis was very humbling and always inspired me to work hard in the lab to hopefully one day help these patients. The minor hiccups we face in the lab pale in comparison to the real physical, mental, and emotional challenges these individuals face every day. These interactions provided a glimpse into the challenges faced by these very resilient and inspiring individuals.

2. Can you tell us a little more about your current position and the work you are doing? 

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof.Robin Franklin at the University of Cambridge. I am very fortunate and grateful to be funded by an EndMS postdoctoral fellowship. In this work, I am investigating how the ageing process impacts remyelination, with a specific focus on whether the ageing astrocyte population contributes to the age-related impairment in remyelination.


3. Do you have any advice for our trainees?

My advice is to be passionate about the work you are doing and always remember the big picture goal of being able to hopefully help patients suffering from MS in the future. Scientific curiosity, passion, patience, and resilience will help you get through the many days and weeks where experiments are not working out. Also remember that a negative result is still very meaningful and opens up further avenues and questions for exploration.


4. Any other information that you would like to share.

It was a privilege to be a part of this wonderful network with excellent management, trainees, and principal investigators. The journal clubs, seminars, retreats, and patient engagement opportunities I had through this network were certainly a highlight of my PhD program at the University of Calgary.



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