30 Under 30: Patrick Taylor
High school: R.A. McMath
Hitting the books and listening to lengthy lectures to learn about the sciences was hardly inspirational for Patrick Taylor, and it reflected in his grades.
But as soon as his university classes shifted towards more laboratory works, he found his calling, and his academic performance suddenly soared.
Today, he’s 18 months in to a two-year masters program in microbiology and immunology at the University of B.C., and his thesis project is studying a deadly bacteria with wide-ranging tools for fighting off antibiotics.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium commonly found in soil, fresh water and sea water, is one of the prevalent pathogens found in hospitals, and can cause deadly consequences for those who are immuno-compromised, have cystic fibrosis, or suffer from burn wounds.
He is studying the genetics of the bacterium, and the poorly-understood mechanism behind its ability to resist antibiotics. He’s also researching the reason why in some cases bacteria become only somewhat antibiotic resistant, while in other circumstances, they transform into a completely antibiotic-resistant super bug.
Inspiration: “I’m inspired by my family; they’ve always believed in me and challenged me. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities in life thanks to them and that drives me to improve the world around me.”
Most proud of? “I take the most pride in knowing that by sticking to pursuing a career in science over the years I’m now making a contribution to our understanding of human diseases.”
What is your advice for others? “I never liked science in the classroom and my grades showed that, but I enjoy being hands-on with science and I’m good with research. My advice is to always keep working to your talents and you’ll be able to enjoy making a living and give something back to the community."