One Good Teacher Made All the Difference

After being set down the critical-thinking path in high school, this scientist is now seeking out ways to improve lives around the world.


Darryl Leong is an Associate Professor at McMaster University and a Scientist at the Population Health Research Institute whose research focuses on clinical epidemiology. We asked him everything from his inspirational grade 11 English teacher to playing tennis in his spare time in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What do you like most about being a researcher?

I most enjoy discovering new information that could help us make recommendations to improve the lives of people in our community and around the world.

What advice would you give young researchers?

Find good mentors. Be careful in choosing your mentors to ensure that their advice is not coloured by their personal interests and that they are really thinking of what is in your best interests.

What inspired you to become a researcher?

My grade 11 English teacher, who inspired us to think critically about the world around us and not to accept what we are taught as dogma.

What do you like to do for fun?

Playing tennis, and anything with my kids.

What’s your favourite cuisine?

Any. I love food in general!

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?

A writer.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?

Albert Einstein. Any insight into how he thought would be profound.

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Research2Reality is a groundbreaking initiative that shines a spotlight on world-class scientists engaged in innovative and leading edge research in Canada. Our video series is continually updated to celebrate the success of researchers who are establishing the new frontiers of science and to share the impact of their discoveries with the public.