In the latest episode of our Emerging Researchers Series, we talk to Emily McIntosh (@MCINTOSE) a recent Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. Living less than an hour from Toronto, she is a big Leafs fan (that is the Maple Leafs for all you non-hockey listeners.)
Emily earned her doctorate in biomechanics after studying age-related muscle loss and how that influences balance and mobility. As she says, it seems so intuitive, but she wanted to know why this happens. Emily began her work with elderly people as part of a summer research project just before her senior year in undergrad. She went on to get her master’s and eventually started her Ph.D. studies. And that’s when the story got quite a bit more interesting.
Emily had gotten a piercing headache that went away in a day or so. It was bad enough that she was worried but not so bad to call the doctor. She attributed it to dehydration and stress. When it happened again, she did call a doctor and was referred to a neurologist who found what he thought was a benign tumor in her brain.
After getting a somewhat different and scarier second opinion, Emily used her well-earned scientific skills to start learning as much about this type of tumor as possible. It was this initiative and her ability to think clinically about her own condition that may have saved her life.