Angela Sekely, M.A.
Graduate Student, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Supervisor(s): Dr. Kim Edelstein and Dr. Konstantine Zakzanis
My research investigates the effects of tumor- (e.g., size, location), and treatment- (radiation, surgery) related factors on cognitive function in meningioma patients. For example, one aspect of my research explores the impact of radiation on cognitive outcomes. As survival times for brain tumor patients are increasing with advances in medical treatment, a greater understanding of the effects of radiation on cognition and patient centered outcomes is needed to identify patients at risk for late effects associated with treatment. This research may contribute to the development of supportive care interventions that minimize adverse consequences associated with the medical treatment of these tumors.
Keywords: Cognition; anxiety; depression; radiation; brain tumors
What sparked your interest in science or in your specific research area?
I first became exposed to the brain tumor population while doing a clinical rotation at the Pencer Brain Tumor Center at Princess Margaret, where I was supervised by Dr. Kim Edelstein. I really enjoyed working with this patient population, and the more I interacted with these patients, the more I was motivated to conduct research in this area. I became very interested in how ones thinking abilities are impacted by not only the tumor itself, but also the medical treatments that they are exposed to. The resilience of these patients, combined with my fundamental curiosity for the field, are the reason I began to develop my research program in this area.
What do you like to do outside of your research?
Outside of research, I enjoy being active. This includes walking my dog, going on hikes, playing tennis and running. These activities help me destress and give me time to clear my head and reconnect with my goals and values. I also look for ways to engage with members in my community. For example, I have a therapy dog, and we visit elderly individuals at a long-term care facility. These visits often decrease feelings of isolation, foster joy and provide comfort to the individuals that we visit. These small moments are what keep me going!
- The Terry Fox Foundation Strategic Training in Transdisciplinary Radiation Science for the 21st Century Program
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship – Masters