James grew up in North Vancouver and spent most of his time playing sports and competing in soccer tournaments. James attended Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver and excelled in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Math. In 2009 James went to the University of Guelph for their highly competitive environmental sciences program, but quickly changed his program after realizing his passion for genetics and molecular biology. James completed his undergraduate degree with honors in 2013 and graduated at the top of his class.
In the summer of 2013 James travelled to Tanzania where he volunteered at a rural hospital in the town of Iringa for one month before coming to UBC to start his PhD at the BC Cancer Research Center. Having a passion for teaching and research James began volunteering with Genome BC and Let’s Talk Science UBC where he taught many programs in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and bacterial growth. James stands out among his peers at the BC Cancer Research Center, as he has taken many leadership roles including becoming the president of the BC Cancer Agency Graduate Student and Post Doctoral Fellow Society (GrasPods) and being elected three years in a row as his program representative on the UBC Graduate Student Society.
James recently submitted his PhD thesis and is hoping graduate in early 2018. In his spare time, he loves to cook, run and stay up to date on current scientific literature. At Rasul Learning Group, James enjoys instilling passion for science within students and helping students to realize their goals.