From science student to award-winning entrepreneur. How Jessica Jenkins is developing a simple test to save lives
An eye-opening seminar turned scientist Jessica Jenkins (BSc 2021 UC, MHSc 2023) into a student entrepreneur. Energized to solve a deadly problem—people with spinal cord injuries dying from urinary tract infections—the MHSc student and two classmates launched a startup, Specifix Dx, to translate their research into a practical, life-saving tool.
As University of Toronto innovators push the boundaries of what’s possible at Collision Conference this June, Jessica shares her journey from imaginative scientist to award-winning entrepreneur, with support from the True Blue Fund.
I thought I was going the conventional academic research route… until the pandemic.
I was very excited when I got into U of T for my undergrad in neuroscience and psychology. I love the energy here. But when the pandemic hit, it forced me to reflect on my motivation. As cliché as it sounds, I realized that what really excites me about science is its potential to change lives in the real world. It was a no brainer to start my master of health science in the Translational Research Program—which involves identifying problems by talking to real people, then using science and innovation to address those problems.