This month’s BIOCAPS Spotlight is on Dr. Eden Fossner-Dupas, our newest faculty member!
Tell us about your background and how you got to where you are today.
I completed my PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto in the lab of Dr. David Bazett-Jones. I had the very good fortune to have an excellent supervisor and landed a fantastic project. We used a specialized type of electron microscopy and combined it with tomography in order to *see* our genome – beautiful 10-nm chromatin fibres inside the cell in three dimensions for the first time. I then went on to two postdocs, one in the lab of the late Dr. Anthony Pawson where I studied protein phase transition and the second in a very young lab of a mathematician where we looked at the pathways involved in regulating both cell size and cell cycle – here I overcame my fear of computers and picked up some invaluable tools for image processing. Throughout all these fun years of working at the bench I was incredibly fortunate to have advisors who really valued and supported my passion for teaching. I was a teaching assistant throughout grad school and had the opportunity to be course coordinator for a lab course at U of T during my postdoc fellowship. I turned towards the classroom entirely a few years ago – and have been enjoying it ever since – initially at the University of Toronto in the Department of Biochemistry, last year at TMU (formerly Ryerson) in the Faculty of Science and now here in the awesome Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UBC.
What course will you be teaching this fall/winter?
I’ll be teaching BIOC302 this year, it’s a course designed for students from diverse backgrounds in science and expands their understanding of metabolism and introduces them into the world of molecular biology.
What excites you most about teaching university students?
I really enjoy sharing my passion for science and letting students in on the absolute beauty of the molecular world. I enjoy watching students grapple with and then grasp difficult concepts and cheering them on through the challenge that is an undergraduate experience in the sciences.
What are you most looking forward to living in BC?
Everything. Being a part of such a vibrant and interesting Department filled to the brim with outstanding science and teaching. And more broadly just about the environment here – honestly, coming from Toronto, it seems like Disneyland here on the UBC campus. Everything is gorgeous. The mountains, sea air, forests – it still seems surreal.
What do you enjoy outside of work.
Easy answer; I love spending time with my family. My partner and I have two great kids. Our oldest is at the moment really into Pokémon and Minecraft and the little guy likes “swimming” aka wading into the ocean up to his belly and leaping over the small waves.
Message to everyone
We’ve all just arrived in Vancouver a few weeks ago and welcome new friends. Come say hello.