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Convocation 2017 Spotlight Series I Liane Kang

Congratulations to Liane Kang, she started with us here at CSAR as a Summer Student in 2013.

Scientist. Pediatric researcher. ‘Gutsy’ maternal and infant health advocate. Liane Kang found her calling in clinical research through summer student research position at the Royal Alexandra NICU.

By Ali Dotinga with files from Judith Chrystal on June 8, 2017

Laine Kang completed her Master of Science in pediatric research.

Liane Kang is one of two pediatric graduate students crossing the Jubilee stage for spring convocation with a Master of Science in pediatric research. It’s been a long journey, but her time at the University of Alberta has given her invaluable experience and relationships that will carry her into her career.

Kang admits that her parents really hoped she would pursue a career in health care, and when she talked to her friends who wanted to study medicine, she felt that she had to take a serious look at the field and find her calling in it.

“I was actually really drawn to clinical research,” Kang says. “I got started with a summer student research position at the Royal Alexandra NICU in 2013. I was able to see the lives of clinician-scientists, and I really enjoyed reading the research happening in the clinical area.”

Kang’s summer position had her working closely with department members Georg Schmolzer and Po-Yin Cheung on a project that monitored lung aeration in preterm infants; the experience showed her the importance of perinatal factors on the later development of children. “That experience is why I continued down this road,” she says. “I want to improve the development and growth of children.”

She chose the Department of Pediatrics’ graduate studies program, and supervisor Anita Kozyrskyj, because of UAlberta's strong research record. “I know there’s a lot of support for research here,” Kang says. “I had a lot of connections here as well, and I didn’t want to break those by going somewhere else. The U of A is close to home.”

After convocation, Kang won’t be leaving the UAlberta; she’s sticking around for the summer to continue work as Kozyrskyj’s research assistant, studying the association between maternal distress and the infant gut microbiome and immunity. After that, she looks forward to pursuing employment with the Government of Alberta or Alberta Health Services. Either way, she will not be too far from campus and the lifelong connections she has made here.

Congratulations to Liane Kang (M.Sc.) and Arnaldo Perez Garcia (PhD) from the Department of Pediatrics, and to all students in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry who will convocate on Friday, June 9.

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