Born in South Korea, John moved to Vancouver at a young age, where he attended St. Georges School for his primary and secondary education. There, he was actively involved in the academics, arts and sports; John was a school Prefect, the captain of the varsity rugby team and the recipient of the Senior Ceramics Prize, while graduating on the academic honour roll.
After graduating from high school in 2007, John attended McGill University in Montreal to pursue an honours biochemistry degree with a minor in management. During this time, he developed a keen interest in scientific research; as a summer student under Dr. Michael Hayden at UBC, John’s research project studied genetic mutations underlying codeine-related toxicity in infants of breast-feeding mothers. John also continued his passion for rugby as a member of the McGill varsity team. As a starter for 4 years, he helped his team win 4 Quebec University championships and was named twice to the Quebec Provincial All-Star team and Principal’s Student-Athlete Academic Honour Roll.
Following university, John moved back home in 2012 to a start a MSc. degree at the Child and Family Research Institute (UBC). Under the supervision of Dr. Hayden and Dr. Colin Ross, he led a large Canada-wide study investigating genomic variations responsible for serious adverse drug reactions in children treated for cancer. After successfully defending his thesis in 2014, John started his MD degree at the UBC medical program and just recently finished his first year of studies.
In his spare time, John likes to relax with his friends and family. He strives to balance his academic workload by being an active member of his community, namely through his involvement over the years with Big Brothers, Best Buddies and the Vancouver Native Health Youth Initiative. He is a big foodie and needs to play sports like basketball and tennis to stay in shape!
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