PhD student’s unique journey includes stops in U.K. and India

Inaugural Surviving Graduate School Boot Camp welcomes grad students

Ayushi Shukla is one of the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) newest graduate students. Born in Mumbai, India, her journey to the CSM has already taken her to a few locations around the globe.

She is supervised jointly by Dr. Catherine Lebel, PhD, and Dr. Keith Yeates, PhD, both members of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.  Shukla is studying the impact of concussions and mild traumatic brain injury on pediatric brain function. 

In early September, she participated in the Surviving Graduate School Bootcamp. The orientation event was the first of its kind, hosted by the CSM’s Graduate Science Education Office, research institutes and the Council of Foothills Graduate Association. This two-day event provided workshops and guidance for 80 new master’s and PhD students.

“During the past few weeks, I have experienced first-hand how friendly Canadians are. My interaction with supervisors, lab members and everyone at the orientation boot camp has been great and made the move from India to Canada feel less daunting.”

Shukla’s education has already taken her across the world. Educated in India, she moved to England where she completed her Master of Science degree in Neuroimaging at King's College in London, U.K. She then accepted a position as a research assistant at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India.

“I worked with patients suffering from schizophrenia, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to examine brain plasticity and the effects of long-term cognitive training and physical exercise on brain structure and function,” explains Shukla. Coming to Canada has been her goal for the past year since reading about interesting research in developmental neuroimaging taking place at the University of Calgary. 

“When I read about Dr. Lebel’s lab with children and adolescents, I knew it would be a perfect fit for me,” Shukla says. “I decided I wanted to pack my bags and move to Calgary.”

Ayushi Shukla

Ayushi Shukla was among 80 new students to attend the CSM’s Surviving Graduate School Bootcamp.

ACHRI