Grace Lee, who has recently founded the University’s first Alumni Club in Vancouver, tells us how personal tragedy, respect for others, and a penchant for sheep have led her to a successful career in investigating brain imaging.
|Name||Dr Grace Lee|
|Degree Course||MSc Neuroscience|
|Year of Graduation||2005|
Your time at the University
During my childhood I was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left me with a serious occipital-cervical dislocation and the loss of my mother due to irreversible brain trauma, leaving me orphaned.
These experiences fuelled my interest in everything related to neuroscience. Having already travelled around Asia and North America, I was yearning for a new adventure in a foreign continent where I could enjoy being an international student and experience a new culture. Around that time I was following the research of Dolly the sheep and the idea of living in the UK started to intrigue me. So I confirmed where I could do a good neuroscience degree and, eventually, came to Edinburgh.
My most notable experiences of being a student at Edinburgh are the ones that every student enjoys while living in halls of residence. Every day was an opportunity to interact with brilliant people from around the world, each with their own unique story. I particularly enjoyed Ceilidh nights at the Caledonian, Burns Suppers, and visiting the Highlands where I learned to sail and saw lots and lots of sheep!
Every day was an opportunity to interact with brilliant people from around the world, each with their own unique story.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
After finishing my Masters, I decided to return to Vancouver to complete a doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia. I received a full 4-year scholarship from the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of Canada. I also obtained a certificate in medical ethics from the University of Washington. My aim was always to commit my life to the field of Neurology.
My passion is to help improve the care for patients with traumatic brain injury. Currently, I investigate the development of brain imaging technology, and its applications in diagnostics, informed consent, treatment decision-making, and end-of-life care.
In my role, I oversee the strategic direction of a Canadian-based investigation assessing social, ethical, and legal issues intersecting brain imaging and clinical health care for patients with disorders of consciousness from brain trauma.
My work is so different from when I was at Edinburgh, but I still speak fondly of my experiences there, and I’m proud to be leading the effort to start a University of Edinburgh Alumni Club in Vancouver.
I also write recipes and home kitchen recommendations for my food blog (Graceful Cuisine) and I’m co-founder of Krimson Marketing, a consulting firm to help businesses develop marketing strategies for dramatic growth.
I launched these initiatives during my studentship as ways of generating income. These experiences have allowed me grow, both as a professional and as a person. I’ve always been independent and a compulsive organiser - it comes from having been completely on my own and self-funded since the age of 11.
My childhood and adolescence were peppered with tragedy and challenges. Throughout these hardships, I found clarity and direction by focusing on my education. I allowed myself to dream and have been true to my desires and values.
My wide ranging experiences help me relate to people who come from various backgrounds and have taught me to empathise more, and judge less.
I would say there are two things that define one’s success: the way you manage when you have nothing, and the way you behave once you have everything. Learn to respect all kinds of people because everyone is fighting their own unique battles. Everyone has problems, a bad side, and bad days, but there is so much behind all of it that we cannot see.
Use your successes to be kind to others because admiration for oneself is short lived compared to gratitude from others.