Meet Mohit Sodhi, a neuro-ophthalmologic researcher and charity co-founder

An owner of many hats, UBC Psychology alumnus Mohit Sodhi is making the most out of his BSc degree in Behavioural Neuroscience.

Mohit Sodhi

Sodhi received his BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience in 2016, and is currently pursuing his Master’s of Science in Experimental Medicine at UBC. His research focuses on the analysis of prescription drugs, working to explore the safety and power of prescription medicine across millions of patients. Sodhi’s findings have been published in a number of top medical journals.

Alongside his studies, he is a behaviour interventionist for children with autism and works as an event paramedic. Sodhi also co-founded a charity called YNOTFORTOTS. YNOTFORTOTS equips underprivileged children in the Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland with the resources they need to play and learn.

 

 

In this Q&A, Sodhi shares the pivotal moments in his psychology career and how his time as an undergraduate psychology student shaped his ventures today.

Sodhi, center left, celebrates the donations provided to a local school.

What is your degree and what year did you graduate?

I completed by BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience in 2016.

What is your current career?

I am a Master’s of Science student in Experimental Medicine (in neuro-ophthalmology and neuropharmacology). I conduct large phase IV drug studies using databases of millions of patients to determine the safety and efficacy of many prescription drugs. To date, I have 7 publications, some of which are in the world’s top medical journals in their respective fields (such as Neurology and Clinical Infectious Diseases). I also work as a behaviour interventionist for kids with autism, an event paramedic, and co-founded a charity, YNOTFORTOTS, that helps out underprivileged schools and kids in the lower mainland.

Why did you choose to study behavioural neuroscience at UBC?

Ever since I was a kid I was always interested in neuroscience and neurology. I was inspired at a young age to pursue this career path because of my 19-year-old sister who is a quadriplegic with Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, seizures, and sensory perception disorder. I felt that this degree was the only one at UBC which best fit my interests and expectations for a degree and to an extent, it helped me understand my sister’s disabilities on a more scientific level.

Was there a psychology professor who inspired you? How were you inspired?

I have to say I was most inspired by Dr. Stan Floresco. I was totally star-struck when I first met him after reading about some of the work he’s done in his lab. His charisma when teaching and speaking really made me love learning in his class (PSYC 462) and he made a great keynote speaker at the 2016 Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference.

What is the most important thing you learned during your time as a psychology student?

Never underestimate the power of true friendships. Whenever venturing into new waters, it’s so important to have at least one person you can trust to go along in your journey. It makes the venture so much more fun, productive, worthwhile, and less scary.

What advice would you give to students considering studying psychology?

Do what you love and love what you do. If you don’t do what you love, you’re not going to enjoy yourself and not feel like you’re getting anywhere with what you’re doing. Nothing beats the feeling of waking up every morning and looking forward to your life and work.

In your experience, how does the value of a psychology degree translate into the real world?

I feel my undergrad degree had a really good balance of looking into neurobiological mechanisms of behaviour and touched upon other aspects of psychology and human behaviour. It helped me understand why people do what they do.

Sodhi painting with two kids during the YNOTFORTOTS SuperYOU Days

What’s been the most exciting part about co-founding YNOTFORTOTS?

I think the most exciting part has to be seeing all the kids so excited to use equipment that we donated; equipment they would not have been able to use otherwise due to their school’s tight budgets. It’s incredibly rewarding to see; it really melts my heart.

Do you have a motto?

My personal motto is “go own the day.” In my experience, I have found that life is all about taking things step by step, and day by day. This motto reminds me of that and keeps me sane when the going gets tough.

How can people help YNOTFORTOTS?

Feel free to check out the YNOTFORTOTS website if you have any of the items that local underprivileged schools have requested on ynotfortots.com/item-registry. If you would like more information, feel free to contact me at info@ynotfortots.com or watch our CBC interview or read up about us in some articles that were featured in the Vancouver Sun, CTV, the Globe and Mail, the Daily Hive, News 1130, or the Ubyssey!

To stay updated with the organization, follow YNOTFORTOTS on Facebook and Instagram.