It all began in January 2000 when the late Aubrey Foy was on a recruiting trip to Quebec and a friend of a friend recommended that the Lord family bring their son Louis-David ’04 to speak with him about what St. Andrew’s had to offer.
“He loved it,” recalls Louis-David’s father Sylvain. The family had never heard of St. Andrew’s before, but the next year they visited both Upper Canada College and St. Andrew’s, and right away, Louis-David knew SAC was where he wanted to be.
“It was like magic for Louis-David as well as his parents,” recalls Sylvain. “All the potential we knew about him as a young teenager … St. Andrew’s further developed what we had started … SAC was the true factor in making him realize his dreams.”
Louis-David received a generous academic scholarship, as well as financial aid, in order to make attending St. Andrew’s a reality. And what a great investment it was. This year, with the financial support of many Andreans, young and old, St. Andrew’s has been able to award more than $1.5 Million in financial aid to deserving students from across Canada and the world.
While Louis-David, known by his friends as LD, was at St. Andrew’s for only two years, he packed a lifetime of memories into that short time. He was Co-Head of Memorial House, played on 1st Football and 1st Rugby, was Memorial Company Sergeant Major, and graduated as an Ontario and St. Andrew’s Scholar. He topped it off by winning the most prestigious award given at St. Andrew’s at Prize Day – the Macdonald Medal. He then headed off to Bowdoin College, a well-respected “little Ivy” in Brunswick, Maine.
In short time, LD’s potential was recognized and he was awarded Bowdoin's most competitive Fellowship for Neuroscience research. The 'Paller' Fellowship covered his research expenses for the following summer and academic year, provided him with a substantial stipend and covered the totality of travel expenses to several conferences all over the country. He later received a Pre-Doctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and presented the findings of his honors thesis (investigating the rapid effects of steroids on the visual system and their potential impact on social regulation) at two international conferences: one in Washington, DC and the other in The Netherlands. LD graduated with an honors degree in neuroscience, completed the premedical curriculum, and conducted independent studies in statistics and philosophy in addition to his senior thesis in neuroscience.
Following graduation in spring 2008, he enrolled in a condensed one-year MSc course in neuroscience at Imperial College London (UK), a world-leading institution in the biomedical field. “I conducted my master’s level research in the Clinical Neuroimaging department and used functional MRI and graph metrics to characterize brain networks in individuals at risk of developing schizophrenia,” said LD. “This had never been attempted before.”
LD returned to London in September to defend his master’s thesis, and in his words, “was fortunate enough to earn a final grade of ‘distinction’ on this course, which exceeded my expectations.” Only two students have achieved this level of recognition since the course was first offered at Imperial College a decade ago.
His academic focus for the next two years will be working under the tutelage of Dr. Tatiana Sitnikova, a Neurology Research Fellow at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging in Boston, MA. The Martinos Center is a world-leading neuroimaging center affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Massachussets General Hospital. Together Dr. Sitnikova and LD will be looking at how genetic background influences brain function in schizophrenia.
As LD continues to ascend to greater heights, he strikes a thoughtful balance between focusing on his current endeavors, as well as setting his sights on the future. “I wish to combine my interests in clinical work and neuroscience research,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do so, but it will almost certainly involve several additional years spent in school. I am leaning towards combining a medical degree with a doctoral degree.”
Time will tell, but this is a fine example of one Old Boy bound and determined to make a difference.