Canada Student Merit Award Recipient, Hetvi Shah

14 April 2023

Hetvi ShahHetvi Shah is a 2022 Canada Student Merit Award winner. She achieved this award for obtaining the highest standing of her class in the fourth and final year of her degree. Here is a brief biography of the winner.

Hetvi is a passionate and ambitious young researcher who received her Specialised Honours Bachelor of Science degree with Co-op in Biochemistry from York University in 2022. Hetvi graduated with first class distinction and was a member of Dean’s Honour roll for her academic excellence. Hetvi also received Faculty of Science Entrance Scholarship, York University Continuing Student Scholarship, York University Student Life award and York University Automatic Entrance scholarship which supported her academic journey.

Hetvi moved to Canada with dreams of becoming a scientist to help discover new drugs. She embarked on this journey as a research practicum student in Dr Ryan Hili’s Lab and supported an on-going DNA encoded library (DEL) project where she optimised automation of the split pool synthesis of small molecule DEL generation. Hetvi continued her work in the Hili lab to pursue her undergraduate thesis where she utilised photoredox reactions to develop a novel DNA compatible organic reaction to expand the chemical space of DEL, enabling further exploration of targets of interest.

Hetvi has a passion for peer networking and science education. Hetvi took on multiple course representative roles to build an efficient communication bridge between professors and students. She also tutored university students to provide support and help. Hetvi was also an active member of student community where she took on event director roles in Chemistry Society of York University and TechLife. She orchestrated Chemistry lab tours which provided students an opportunity to meet with professors and learn about their research.

Currently, Hetvi is pursuing her MSc in Pharmaceutical Science at University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr Carolyn Cummins where she is understanding the role of Liver X Receptor b in mediating the metabolic side effects elicited by glucocorticoid exposure. These studies will allow for a potential therapeutic target which could help improve quality of life of patients dependent on glucocorticoids.

In her spare time, Hetvi enjoys hiking, dancing, exploring new activities and reading novels.

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