Dylan Bradizza’s ability to reflect, learn and share has earned him selection for the Leslie Paul Nyman Scholarship. He felt exhilaration and pride when he was informed of this honour, recognizing the importance of this award and gaining affirmation for his dedication to studying plant science.

In first and second years, Bradizza struggled to find a path to scientific research. “You’re put into this new university environment. You really have no idea what’s going on. What should I be putting my time towards? I finally figured out there was a need to apply to do research, but my first efforts were really bad when I look back.”

Eventually Bradizza learned enough to find a project in the laboratory of Professor Shelley Lumba. Reflecting on his struggles, he set out to guide fellow undergraduate students towards exciting opportunities available at the university, city and hospitals in Toronto.

Bradizza examined the skills and actions that made him succeed and developed a presentation for first- and second-year students so that they could avoid the struggles he faced. The critical skills he shared included finding research projects, cold-emailing and writing cover letters. “When you approach professors, highlight what you bring to the table. You could express interest in one of their techniques or curiosity about one of their papers.”

Bradizza’s commitment to helping others in the community was an important criteria in awarding him the Nyman Scholarship. His presentation was the culmination of his work as an active member of the CSB Student Union. As Third Year Representative, he took the initiative in core events like the club fair and Fall Campus Day and has been elected Fourth Year Representative for the upcoming year.

The Nyman Scholarship also considers applicant’s commitment to plant science. Bradizza’s studies in Professor Tammy Sage’s BIO251 course sparked an interest in plant science and introduced him to labs and plant concepts at a university level.  

Bradizza is fascinated by the use of plants as excellent model systems. In his research project, he studies fungal responses to plant hormones, applying all the exciting techniques he learnt throughout his education, including CRISPR, reverse genetic screens, and RNA sequencing analysis.

Following his passion in biological sciences, Bradizza is intent on pursuing further studies in masters and PhD programs. Bradizza notes that “There’s always going to be setbacks and troubles that you face, but it’s exciting when something finally works. That feeling of satisfaction that your efforts have paid off is such a great feeling, so I think I’m not too put off by the bumpy road of research.”

Congratulations, Dylan Bradizza!