Zoe Lofft, Nutritional Sciences

Zoe LofftZoe Lofft Year of Study: Second
Student’s Name: Zoe Lofft
Graduate Department: Nutritional Sciences
Country of Residence: Canada

Why Faculty of Medicine: The Faculty of Medicine at U of T is renowned for producing high-quality research and collaborating with leaders of innovation across the globe. The Medical Sciences Building itself is centred in Toronto’s Discovery district, surrounded by networks of hospitals, and many other research institutions- an exciting place to be! I came to the Faculty of Medicine to learn what it means to be in the field of research, and I am continually finding out as I am repeatedly challenged to think critically and collaborate with others to build answers to the complex research questions we ask.

Why this Department: The Department of Nutritional Sciences has so many diverse research areas, ranging from epidemiology to animal models. I see the varied research areas as a unique and valuable asset to this department because it has allowed me to learn about topical areas in nutrition apart from what my project focuses on.

Current Research Experience: My master’s project is about the effect of a polyphenol from cranberry, proanthocyanidin, and two of its microbial metabolites on intestinal microRNA signatures in vitro. This project has allowed me to learn a range of lab techniques- mainly focusing on cell culture, nucleic acid isolation, and gene expression. Beyond work in the lab, this project also has a bioinformatics portion, where gene targets and pathways are predicted in silico to garner the biological relevance of the results.

Future Education Plans and/or Career Goals:
The field of nutritional sciences is so multi-faceted I feel like as though I have only scraped the surface! So, I hope to continue my education in the field of nutritional sciences by completing a PhD. My current main interests pertain to nutritional biomarkers, nutritional epigenetics, and machine learning.

Contact Ambassador Zoe Lofft