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About the Institute

Profile of Lindsay Jibb

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Lindsay Jibb, RN, M.Sc.

By: Justin Faiola

Lindsay Jibb, RN, M.Sc.

  • PhD Student

1. Where are you from?/Where did you study?
I grew up north of Toronto in Vaughan before moving to Kingston to complete my undergraduate degree in biology at Queen’s University. When I finished at Queen’s, I moved out West to complete my master of science in biochemistry at The University of British Columbia. My M.Sc. focused on a biochemical adaptation of a certain protein in coordinating cellular survival in low oxygen conditions. I loved my master’s degree, especially being engaged in the research process. I also loved living in such a beautiful place like Vancouver (the skiing is amazing!), but I knew I wanted to pursue a clinical career. My family also lives in Ontario, so I decided to return to Toronto to complete a two-year Bachelor of Nursing degree at The University of Toronto. I then began working as a Registered Nurse in The Division of Hematology/Oncology at SickKids and started my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Stinson shortly after.

2. What are you researching right now?
My thesis focuses on the development and preliminary testing of a smartphone-based app that will aid adolescents with cancer in managing their pain outside the hospital. Not a lot is known about the pain experience of adolescents with cancer when they aren’t under direct care at the hospital. For adults who have cancer, pain is the number one reason why they show up at emergency departments. Research has shown that adolescents with cancer do report having pain at home that is sometimes significant and this pain may be undermanaged. The app that Dr. Stinson and I are working on will be capable of providing adolescents with cancer with advice on how to manage their pain at home the moment it occurs. We understand apps are technology adolescents are interested and engaged in so we see this as an opportunity to help them stay in tune with their own health and healthcare.

I am also part of another project looking at synthesizing the current published qualitative data on children’s experiences during cancer treatment. There are quite a few studies that have used interview-based methods to gather information from children about what it is like to have cancer.  We’re now interested in identifying all of these studies and merging their results to look for patterns and discrepancies in cancer experiences across different variables like culture, age and care centres.

3. Who is your all-time favourite scientist and why?
I would have to say Rosalind Franklin. Franklin was a scientist at important schools in the United Kingdom, including Cambridge University and King’s College London during the 1940s and 1950s when women weren’t engaged in science. She played a critical role in the discovery of the structure of DNA alongside Watson and Crick but for many reasons, she didn’t get the same recognition as Watson and Crick. Franklin inspires me because she was a real trailblazer for women in science. Not only was she so talented and motivated, she was able to break down barriers so future generations of women could engage in science and research.

4. What are your major interests outside the lab?
I love to spend time with my husband and family. My husband and I are both foodies so we enjoy trying all of the different restaurants Toronto has to offer. We like trying restaurants in the junction because they offer such a variety of food and cuisines. Right now I really enjoy eating Indian cuisine and one of my favourite restaurants is Curry Twist!

I also enjoy indoor cycling and I try to cycle as often as I can. Every class is a challenge and I love the intensity of interval training. I think it’s a very meditative experience because when you are working that hard, your mind can’t think of anything other than catching your breath!

Gardening has become another passion of mine. Living in an apartment doesn’t allow us to have more than a potted garden in the summer, but we keep a pretty large vegetable garden at my parent’s house. It’s great because we get all the benefits of the garden but get to skip out on some of the work!

5. Why science?
I’ve always been interested in science, even when I was a young child. I really like the challenge of developing research questions and finding appropriate ways to answer these questions. I also feel really lucky to be part of a process of discovery that ultimately may create new knowledge and make a difference in the lives of children.

6. Why SickKids?
SickKids is an institution whose reputation precedes it. It’s world famous for its research and clinical care and gives you the feeling that you’re part of something special the moment you step through the doors. I had several student placements here when I was in nursing school and I knew immediately I wanted to work here. Also, the fact that Dr. Jennifer Stinson is here is a big draw. We need more nurse-clinician researchers like Dr. Stinson because these individuals can bring experience, knowledge and expertise from the bedside to the research facility. I am very pleased that I get to work with Dr. Stinson as I complete my PhD.

7. What is the most controversial question in your field right now?
I’m not sure it’s a controversial question, but it is certainly an important question that looks into the pain and symptom experiences of children and adolescents with cancer during the course of the disease and its treatment. We know that children and teens with cancer experience several symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and pain but the problem is we don’t know how severe, how often or how bothersome these symptoms are, especially outside of the hospital. Using devices like smartphones to collect this information routinely can give us better knowledge of these symptoms and how best to control them.

8. What are you reading right now?
I just started reading a book called Cuckoo’s Calling. It’s by J.K. Rowling the famous author of the Harry Potter series, but it is published under her alias, Robert Galbraith. I loved reading Harry Potter, so I’m excited to see how Rowling’s new book compares.

9. If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a research career, what would it be?
I would offer two pieces of advice. The first is to seek out a great mentor. This is absolutely key since the road to research success can be rocky. It is important to have smart and successful people to model yourself after and who you can seek out for help when you need it most. The second piece of advice is to focus your research on a topic that you are truly passionate about. Loving your work makes the process more enjoyable and it will make you a more engaged researcher.

10. What does the SickKids Centre for Research and Learning mean to you?
The centre is a bright and inspiring place to conduct research. The atmosphere is open and welcoming, which really fosters a collaborative environment. I’ve been lucky throughout my training to be able to discuss ideas and get feedback from scientists and fellow trainees, which has been extremely beneficial to my research and to me. The environment at the PGCRL means that will continue to happen.

May 2014