Join the lab

We are always looking for highly creative and driven people to join us. We strive to create a collaborative and supportive environment for research & innovation. We value sharing, communication, and collaboration over secrecy and competition. See also our mentorship policy below. If you’re interested in joining us, read the following instructions. Hint: if you send a blatantly obvious copypasta email, it will probably be ignored :-)


If you are interested in our research and you have a recent PhD degree in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular or cell biology, proteomics/genomics, engineering, or computer science, please send Leo an email and discuss your research interests (also include your CV and contact details of three references). It would be great if you can suggest potential topics you are interested in working on. You’re certainly not bound by this, it is merely a starting point of conversation.

Graduate students

If you are interested in joining the lab, please send Leo an email explaining your interests. Please also include digital copies of your up-to-date transcript and CV. Also, have a look at the University of Toronto IBBME graduate program to familiarize yourself about the application process. Below are answers to some FAQs that I’ve received from students in the past:

How do I connect with professors? (AKA how do I find a supervisor?)

Just email us. Introduce yourself and the reason you are reaching out. Be specific. Attach your CV and updated academic transcript as part of your email. Show passion and why you will be an asset to the team. Professional etiquette is appreciated (Hi or Hello or Dear, not Hey, Yo…etc.). Showing maturity and professionalism goes a long way…

Professors won’t answer my emails, what should I do?

Email us again. 80% of the time the lack of response is simply because you caught us at a bad time. IF you have followed up again and still no response, it’s probably a bad fit either way.

How do I build my network?

Secret to networking is to not network. Reach out because you are geniuinely interested in a topic, story, or thing. Over time, you will surround yourself with colleagues with similar interests and goals. They become your “network”.

How much do grades matter for getting into graduate school at IBBME?

There is a departmental minimum. If you meet the requirement, it depends on the PI. If you don’t, it depends on the PI. So ya, it’s up to the PI.

How can I tell which professor is still taking students?

Most of the time, you can only find out by emailing and inquiring about positions.

What careers do students pursue after graduate school?

It varies. To name a few: professional scientists and engineers at biomedical companies, biotechs, national labs, hospitals… etc; Consulting (both tech-focused and management), venture capital firms, lawyers (e.g. IP), lab managers, professors, entrepreneurs (start-up companies), policy makers (e.g. government, shaping science policy), communications, journalism, scientific outreach, scientic branding, and many others.

What background do I need to join biomedical engineering?

Any background. So far, we have taken on students from engineering, molecular biology, biochemistry, and psychology. We will gladly consider other disciplines, e.g. chemistry, computer science, physics, math, etc. What’s important to us is that you are passionate and self-driven.

Undergraduate students

We often have openings for USRA-funded projects. Email us to inquire. Our lab is also happy to mentor student teams wishing to participate in BIOMOD, an annual, international DNA nanotechnology design competition. If you are interested in organizing a team, send Leo an email.

Mentorship policy

Science is hard, but it should also be really fun. You could be doing many different things in life, and you chose science, so we are here to make sure that that choice is as rewarding as can be (and it will be!). To do that, we work together to create a lab environment that is supportive, collaborative, and dynamic, and ensure that all of its team members are driven, curious, passionate, and participatory.

For students just starting out, we take time to carve out starter projects so they don’t feel overwhelmed. We are also keen on supporting student club participation in international competitions. We empower students to have ownership over these projects, while developing strutured training plans so that there is systematic learning. At the same time, we keep communication channels open so there is plenty of room for feedback. For more experienced reserachers, we grant the freedom to explore, chart new territories, and take creative risks while providing guidance and career development opportunities. In addition to scientific excellence, our goal is to make every one of our team members become the best version of themselves through this training experience.