Frances Xia

frances xia
  • Position: graduate student

  • Originally from: Vancouver, BC

  • Degree(s): BSc

  • Joined in: September, 2012

Where did you study before coming to Toronto: ­­I studied pharmacology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C. before coming to Toronto.

Currently working on: I’m interested in looking at how sleep may facilitate memory reorganization over time.

Favorite paper: The one that comes to mind is the paper that got me hooked on memory in the first place: Fear memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval, by Nader et al. (2000). It elegantly showed how even long-term consolidated memories become labile during recall, and can be wiped out by disrupting protein synthesis during this time. It challenged my traditional views of memory consolidation, and was a definite eye-opener for me.

Why science? If I weren’t a scientist, I would be… Science is the place where I can be the most curious and open-minded. I can ask any number of questions, and actually learn how to answer them. It gives me the space and tools to spring an idea to life. If I weren’t a scientist, I would probably be an architect. The process of transforming rough pencil sketches into stunning real-life structures involves both creativity and logic, much like science.

Interests outside the lab: I love traveling, reading, photography, trying out different types of food, getting lost in a new city but finding my way eventually …

Favorite place in Toronto: I haven’t fully explored Toronto yet, but right now I really like taking walks around the Harbourfront area.