Dr. Kiran Soma’s pioneering research is vital to understanding the behavioural effects of steroids


Using a multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Kiran Soma and his research team at the Soma Laboratory are exploring the important roles of steroid hormones, such as testosterone and estradiol, in regulating brain, behaviour, and immune function.

In order to conduct high-throughput steroid profiling, the lab is pioneering the use of mass spectrometry, an emerging and high-impact analytical approach in the areas of behavioural neuroscience and endocrinology.

“One of the things my lab has been pioneering in the last couple of years is using mass spectrometry as a method for measuring hormones. It’s a very powerful technique and we’re still on the front end of that learning curve, but it shows a lot of promise and is something we’re looking forward to in the next few years.”

The lab consists of a diverse group of researchers, from undergraduate and graduate students—to postdoctoral fellows, such as Dr. Daniel Tobiansky, who is also a teaching fellow at UBC. Work in the Soma Lab positions students and post-doctoral fellows for success in their careers in academia or beyond. Over 80 undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians have worked or trained in the lab and many have gone onto a variety of careers in academia, hospital labs, medicine, law, business and pharma.

“The Soma Lab is the perfect environment for mentoring undergraduate students, we get several applications a semester and we usually take a good amount. We’ve had incredible experiences with undergraduates here, they are all just wonderful to work with.”

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