Mar 28, 2024

Humans of LMP undergrad special! Linus Schweizer

Programs: Undergraduate, Agile education, Inclusive community
Linus Schweizer

Each month we speak to a member of the Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology community and find out more about them as part of an initiative from our Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (WIDE).

This month we feature several of our undergraduate students in the Specialist Program in Pathobiology as we celebrate the graduating class of 2024. You can see a video (Youtube) and photos (Flickr) of our graduation celebration.

Meet Linus Schweizer!

What are you studying at LMP and why are you interested in studying it?   

I joined the LMP undergraduate program because it offered an integrated approach to biomedical research by combining fields like microbiology, biochemistry, and immunology - areas I was passionate about. Moreover, I sought a tight-knit community within the broader university campus and have found exactly that over the past three years by forming friendships with like-minded peers that I hope to maintain beyond graduation. 

Throughout my time in the program, I have also been fortunate to learn from inspiring faculty researchers, physicians, and clinician-scientists in the LMP department. Their guidance and mentorship have provided invaluable insight into the various paths in scientific research, further fueling my desire to pursue a career as a clinician-scientist bridging the gap between basic and translational research. 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at LMP?  

I have had the pleasure of being the External Affairs Officer for the LMP Student Union (LMPSU) over the last two years. During this time, we have organized two successful conferences, “Making Sense of Senescence: Aging through a Microscopic and Macroscopic Lens” and “Why Brain Matter Matters: Navigating Neurodegeneration”. Both events saw record turnouts, a testament to the dedication of our team. It was inspiring to listen to the ground-breaking research being conducted on campus and I look forward to attending future conferences!

What was the best career advice you ever received?   

At the 2024 LMP Undergraduate Specialist program annual graduation celebration, our cohort received a valuable message from LMP Department Chair, Dr. Rita Kandel. She emphasized that "you only regret the things you don’t do". This resonated with me, especially in the context of research. By not attempting something, you deny yourself the opportunity to learn and grow. Even if you are unsuccessful, valuable insight will have been gained from the experience. 

What has been an important learning experience in your life?   

If you strive for what you love, success will naturally follow. 

Who is an influential person in your life and why?  

One of the individuals who has profoundly impacted my life is Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, an author, cancer physician and researcher. Renowned for his books, “Emperor of All Maladies” and “The Gene”, which sparked my childhood interest in science, he has had a significant influence on my career path. I aspire not only to follow in his footsteps as a clinician-scientist but also to embody his ability to translate and communicate complex scientific concepts to the public. 

What would it surprise people to know about you?  

One interesting fact about me is that I speak three languages: German, Japanese, and English.

Another surprising fact is that, despite being a competitive sailor, I suffer from seasickness. 

What activities do you enjoy doing outside of your studies?  

Outside of work, you can catch me gliding on two physical states of water: sailing on Lake Ontario or skiing the slopes of the Rockies.

I have also recently started an expedition to find the best burger shop in downtown Toronto! 

What is your favourite album, film, and novel?  

Album: Songs of Innocence (U2)

Film: The Intouchables 

Novel: When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi)

Who would be your dream dinner guests? 

Leonardo da Vinci, Ludwig van Beethoven, Rosalind Franklin, and my older self. 

Where/what is your favourite place?  

My favourite places are hike-in mountain summits in the Rockies or Alps. There’s simply no better feeling than reaching the peak of a gruelling hike and enjoying a panoramic view above the clouds, with some trail mix in hand.  

If you were stuck on a deserted island but had all your basic needs taken care of (i.e. food and water), what two items would you bring with you and why? 

I would bring a sailboat and snorkel. The sailboat would be my ticket to getting off the island ASAP, but not before enjoying a swim to take in the underwater beauty!

Visit the Humans of LMP page to read more stories and nominate yourself or others to be featured.