Faces of U of T Medicine: Ghazal Haddad

Aug 23, 2018
Julia Soudat
Before starting medical school, Ghazal Haddad studied immunology and molecular genetics, and working on computational biology research at Professor Fritz Roth’s lab. At the Roth Lab, Haddad’s research was focused on computationally determining how the dynamics of interactions between human proteins get altered in the context of breast cancer. Now, she gets to combine her passion for research and medicine as an MD student with the Class of 2T2.

What made you want to become a doctor?

Growing up, I knew I loved learning about the human body and really enjoyed talking to people. As I learned more about medicine throughout my undergraduate career, I was strongly drawn to the leading role physicians play in managing the well-being of patients and was intrigued by the science swaying medical practices. My experiences came together in a deep desire to become a doctor and to contribute to real, positive changes in the well-being of individuals and communities.

Have you had mentors or role models who’ve helped you along the way?

Absolutely! My mother has been an invaluable role model from the beginning. She practices medicine in a developing country and has always amazed me with her dedication to her patients’ well-being and her tenacity as a female academic in her male-dominated field. She’s been a constant inspiration! As an aspiring scientist, I’ve learned a lot from my mentor at U of T, Dae-Kyum Kim, who’s always been an amazing teacher and role-model.

How did it feel when you got your acceptance letter?

It was one of the strongest feelings of joy I’ve ever felt. Attending UofTMed has been a dream for a long time and I’ve since been feeling very grateful for every person and circumstance that has helped me to get here.

Why did you choose U of T?

U of T is at the forefront of biomedical research in Canada and it is very important for me to maintain a strong component of research throughout my training. Being a big school in the dynamic city of Toronto, U of T offers numerous opportunities to explore and develop my passions. Also, I love Toronto and the vibrant culture this city offers and am excited to get to spend another four years here.

What are you most looking forward to as a UofTMed student?

I’ve always found that I learn a lot by talking to my peers and I’m very excited to get to know and learn from all my classmates, who will surely play important roles in my personal growth and my path to becoming a physician.

What do you think the biggest challenges will be?

One big challenge will be getting to know myself deeply enough to be truly confident in my selection of a specialty. Balancing medical school and research with recreational activities may also prove to be challenging. However, I’m sure that with the support of my mentors, friends and family, I will be able to meet these challenges over the next four years.

What do you like to do outside of school?

I love dancing and am looking forward to continuing belly dancing outside of school and learning other dance styles. I also have a lot of fun exploring the Toronto food scene and coffee shops with my friends and love getting lost in a good science fiction book during my downtime.


Faces of U of T Medicine introduces you to some of the interesting people studying in the Faculty of Medicine. From advising political leaders to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, members of our community are having an impact at home and around the world.

Do you have an interesting story to share? Contact us at medicine.communications@utoronto.ca.