Ms Junyao (Cindy) Zhang - 2023

During MDRS, I completed my project under the supervision of Professor Justin Yeung at Western Health. For my project, I investigated how intermuscular fat deposition measured on CT scans affected the long-term survival outcomes and short-term postoperative outcomes in non-metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

As someone with limited research experience, the thought of carrying out my own research project was daunting at first. However, at every step along the way, Professor Yeung and the clinical school provided the right amount of support for me to not only fulfil the requirements of the MDRS, but also develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the scientific process of research.

For my self-initiated project, I had the opportunity to decide my own research topic depending on my area of interest. I was encouraged to think independently, but was always provided with adequate direction and structure to guide me in determining my research topic and aims as well as carrying out the desired research. When I expressed any concerns or difficulties I had encountered, Justin was more than happy to assist with his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field. Timely and consistent feedback was given to help me identify potential shortcomings and fine-tune my project. Throughout the whole processes, Justin was always able to set time aside for frequent, regular meetings to discuss the progress of my project and answer any questions- I always felt welcome to reach out and contact him should I need his help.

Overall, I can confidently say that my experience with Prof. Yeung’s research group has been very rewarding component of my medical degree. I would fully encourage any future MDRS student, whether novice or experienced researcher, to consider completing research with the Department of Surgery.