Arcturus Phoon has been accepted into the Materials Science & Engineering, Master of Engineering Program!

823 1030 DaCosta Lab
We are extremely happy to announce that Arcturus has been accepted into the Materials Science & Engineering, Masters of Engineering Program at the University of Toronto! Congratulations, Arc!!

Arcturus joined the lab as Research Technician in February 2020.  It became immediately apparent that Arcturus’ diverse background and experience in materials science played a vital role in our clinical study.  Our first-in-human phase II clinical trial evaluates a medical imaging device that uses fluorescence image-guided technology to visualize carcinoma in breast tissue in real-time during breast conserving surgery.  Arcturus was responsible for operating the device in the operating room and in the surgical pathology suite, as well as training the surgical and research staff on the use of the device and problem-solving when issues with the device arose.  Using his fundamental understanding and knowledge in materials science, he was able to act as a liaison between the clinical team and the technology development team by determining how the device fit in the surgical workflow and improvements that it required, and then relaying this information to the engineers.  He worked with our industry partner, SBI ALApharma Canada Inc., alongside the software and hardware teams, to optimize elements of the technology as a means of developing the next-generation device.

Only after 1 year of working in the lab, Arcturus was promoted to Research Analyst.  Arcturus’ role was extended to work alongside the lab engineer and PhD student to help overcome challenges in creating a unique and novel microfluidics chip that would be a component of a breast tissue phantom.  Arcturus was determined to face these challenges head-on and find a solution.  He applied his foundational knowledge in materials science and invented a novel and unique design using capillary tubes incorporated into the microfluidics chip, which he fabricated using a casting method. 

In addition to playing a pivotal role in our clinical program, Arcturus was able to work with and provide vital assistance to the team in our preclinical program.  Under the supervision and training of senior members, Arcturus helped to complete wet-lab experiments for upcoming grant applications.  He successfully completed experiments and produced impressive results that were essential to the grant submissions and he did so within tight time frames.

Arcturus has been an essential member of the lab and has made significant contributions to our research programs. He is extremely knowledgeable, innovative, motivated, hard-working, skillful, and talented and fortunately for us, he plans to continue to work part-time in the lab while completing his Master’s degree. We are excited to see what Arcturus achieves through his graduate studies and we know that he will apply his newly acquired knowledge and skills to the lab’s ongoing projects.

Congratulations, Arc, and all the best wishes from all of us in the lab!