A thirst for learning 

By Dawn Wiseman

Malone Medal winner David Cyr is ready to give back. Magnifying glass

Malone Medal winner David Cyr is ready to give back.

David Cyr (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is finishing his honours degree with “more of a thirst to understand and explore the world than I had when I started.” If his undergraduate record is any indication, at this point he must be parched.

He is the recipient of this year’s Malone Medal, awarded at convocation to the undergraduate graduating student whose efforts and dedication best exemplify the values of the university within the internal Concordia community.

The multi-award winning student chose Concordia because of its Co-op program and Science College. Either program is challenging, he pursued both concurrently.

“[Both programs] allowed me to get hands-on experience through internships and research projects. The chance to work in my field while earning a salary to help pay my tuition was a bonus,” he said.

Last summer, through the German Academic Exchange Service program along with funding from the Reactive Intermediates Student Exchange (RISE) program, a Concordia’s Daniel Harrison International Work Term Grant and the Co-op Student of the Year Award, Cyr undertook a three-month placement at the Center for Cardiovascular Research and the Center for Gender in Medicine at the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, Germany.

“For my project I had to master a challenging heart surgery on mice known as transverse aortic constriction, which basically involves tying a knot around the ascending aorta to constrict the blood flow, and induce myocardial hypertrophy, or enlargement of the heart.”

Because much recent research indicates that cardiac disease manifests differently in males and females, the goal of the project was to compare differences between diseased and normal hearts by gender.

For Cyr, the project clarified his goals.

“My plans for later on are to get my MD/PhD so that I can work as a humanitarian doctor in crisis and conflict zones, after which I would like to devote my time and energy to medical research.”

His immediate plans however are to take a year “off,” while still satisfying his thirst.
“This summer I’m taking a few photography courses and getting my scuba diving certification, and in the fall I’ll be starting Arabic and German classes at night. Next year I plan on going to Africa for charity work and will hopefully get to do some travelling as well.”


Concordia University