Adam Doelman is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Brian Kwon at ICORD. Adam’s research involves the assessment and treatment of patients after spinal cord injury to answer some of the questions Dr. Kwon encounters when treating injured patients. More specifically, Adam assesses bladder function after spinal injury by working with wireless pressure sensors which can continuously record bladder function without the use of catheters. We caught up with Adam to learn more about his research interests and passions in neuroscience.




What is your educational background?
I completed a BSc in Health Sciences at Bishops University before pursuing an MSc degree in Physiology at the Université de Sherbrooke. I then started a PhD here at UBC in September 2019.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and while I miss my family, my dog and the winter sunshine, I definitely do not miss the cold weather.

What other research projects have you been involved in?
I was fortunate to start my PhD journey working on a project investigating the effects of spinal cord injury on the gut microbiome, specifically looking at how the microbial environment changes over time after injury. I also helped complete a study using an experimental therapy to treat acute spinal injury in a preclinical model using nanoparticle-mediated antioxidant delivery.

Why did you choose Neuroscience?
My curiosity about the brain and spinal cord has its roots in my background in sports, particularly in the realm of interlimb coordination. It’s clear that injuries to the spinal cord can be a significant barrier to typical neurological function. What I find truly fascinating is the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon and the remarkable potential for recovery in certain individuals.

What do you like to do outside of research?
Outside of research, I like to keep things balanced. I’m a big sports fan – which usually involves golf/cycling in the summer and hockey/skiing in the winter. I also like to lift weights, hike, read and check out local restaurants and breweries with friends.

What advice do you have for students interested in graduate school?
For aspiring grad students, my advice would be to approach your academic journey with a curious and open mind. Remember that setbacks are a natural part of any journey so view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Pursue your passion relentlessly!


Do you have a favourite inspirational quote?

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill