Penney M. Gilbert is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. We asked her everything from why she became a researcher to what she does for fun 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 inspired you to become a researcher?
I got the itch later in life than most of my colleagues. After college I was a research technician. I had a really great mentor and my experience with him helped me to see that I was addicted to research.
What do you like most about your work?
Every day is different and I learn new things.
How will your research make a difference in people’s lives?
Our goal is mobility throughout life. Humans are living longer than ever and we hope that our research will contribute to ensuring that we enjoy it to the maximum!
What advice would you give to young researchers?
You will always excel if you follow your passion. Figure out what gets you up in the morning and create your own career.
What do you read?
I’m a big fan of audiobooks. I gravitate towards books about start-ups. The tips are so useful in a lab setting.
What natural talent would you like to be gifted with?
If I could swallow a pill and wake up with the ability to play the guitar my life would be complete.
What’s on your music playlist?
Pink, The Cure, Teena Marie
If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
A farmer. I would love to learn all of the science necessary to live off of the land.
What do you like to do for fun?
Anywhere I travel I try to get in a local hike or long walk. I’m also a big fan of Karaoke.