Home > Study: Arts & Science > TRINITY ONE > Anne Steacy Biomedical Health Stream

Anne Steacy Biomedical Health Stream

The Anne Steacy Biomedical Health (BH) stream is targeted towards students with an interest in Life Sciences and scientific research. Students examine some of the most challenging issues that confront modern science around human health. From the understanding of disease mechanisms through the development of innovative therapies, the pace of scientific discovery is accelerating towards greater understanding at the cellular level of what constitutes “health” and how it can go wrong.

Students may be interested in this program if they would like to examine the scientific principles underlying contemporary issues in health science and use these as a platform that builds towards understanding the process of scientific discovery from initial idea to public dissemination of the results. Only students who are in the life science admission category are eligible for the BH stream is limited to students who are entering the life science program.

This stream is sponsored by Anne Steacy and complemented by the Basic Science Departments of the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Toronto Affiliated Hospitals and by programs such as the Human Biology Program of the Faculty of Arts & Science.


Students in the Biomedical Health stream enrol in two seminar credits in their first year as part of the typical 5.0 credit load in first year. These two courses include: TRN125Y1: Contemporary Issues in Health Science and TRN225Y1: The Art of Health Discovery. Each of these courses amounts to 1.0 FCE and will continue throughout the fall and winter semesters. To learn more about each course, click below:


Students who complete the Biomedical Health stream are well-equipped to pursue further studies in related academic disciplines as they have gained skills in critically analyzing science research and reading/writing academic papers. Students may apply concepts and skills learned in the BH stream during upper year studies of their life science degree.

Students from this stream will typically be those who are looking to graduate with a major or specialist degree from one of the Basic Science Departments of the Faculty of Medicine, or from the Human Biology Program in the Faculty of Arts & Science. The Biomedical Health stream is particularly suited to students who may be considering a career in medicine or medical research.


Your stream mentors will support you throughout the academic year by hosting workshops and activities to assist you with course assessments and to facilitate community building. They will be your first point of contact should you have any academic concerns or questions about student life! Meet your stream mentors below!

Christina Tao, Trinity One Senior Mentor, 2023-24

Christina Tao

Program(s) of Study: Neuroscience (Major), Pharmacology & Toxicology (Major), Psychology (Minor)
Hometown:  Richmond, BC
College: Trinity College

Christina found participating in the Trinity One program an unparalleled and enriching experience in her first year. In weekly seminar classes, through focusing on contemporary health issues and composing an artificial scientific manuscript, she developed a profound and vivid understanding of the scientific process in today’s ever-changing world. As a first-year Life Sciences student, she genuinely appreciated the opportunity to improve her research, critical thinking, and public speaking skills that are invaluable in her future academic pursuits. Christina extends a warm welcome to all incoming Trinity One students and she wishes for each student to embrace the opportunities that Trinity One offers.

Gabriel Ma, Trinity One Second Year Mentor, 2023-24Gabriel Ma

Program(s) of Study: Biochemistry (Specialist), Mathematics (Major), Statistics (minor)
Hometown:  South Surrey, BC
College: Innis College

TRN125 and 225 undoubtedly stand out as the most useful courses Gabriel has taken during first year. On top of making valuable friends, he’s enjoyed learning several useful skills such as evaluating scientific literature, performing literature reviews, writing a research paper, and engaging in seminar presentations. The applicability of these skills has helped earn him the honor of preparing two manuscripts for submission to high impact factor journals as well as gaining other opportunities typically reserved for upper-year students. Gabriel is thrilled to be a Mentor this year.  He can’t wait to share his thoughts on first-year undergrad, research life, study strategies, and anything else that incoming Trinity One students may ask him.



Hear from graduates of the Trinity One program – Biomedical Health stream!

Nicholas Damiano and Rhitida Saha | 2023

This year we are lucky to congratulate the graduating class of 2023 after their first full year in-person! I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicholas Damiano and Rhidita Saha from the Anne Stacey Biomedical Health (BH) stream about their undergraduate experiences at UofT.Trinity One Alumnus - BH Stream - Nicholas Damiano Headshot

Nicholas and Rhidita discussed TRN125, Contemporary Issues in Health Science, and the benefits of exploring new career paths and small group discussions. This small class gave them a sense of community which contrasted the large classes of the introductory life sciences courses. Nicholas expressed that Trin One “taught me to put myself out there. It’s okay to be wrong and learn from your mistakes because you don’t know everything”. Entering a course where there is new terminology, a new environment, and new people can be intimidating, but it helps students learn to be better communicators and think critically about science. Rhidita shared that BH helped her to “always think about the perspectives involved and expand my scope of knowledge. This has helped me to understand how different perspectives shape different ideas in science literature”. This reasoning is used in her regular activities such as doing research, watching the news ,and studying for upper level classes.

COVID-19 began at the end of the alumni’s first year and  continued through to third year with back-and-forth online and in-person classes. Despite the isolation and social distancing, Rhidita and Nicholas reconnected with the relations they made in Trin One to find a new sense of community in a virtual environment.

Trin One Alumna (BH Stream) Rhidita Saha

Rhidita saw an opportunity to co-found a club, with another Trin One alumna, called Women Stronger Together (WST). This club, with some executive positions filled by other Trin One alumni, focused on creating a nonjudgmental, motivational online community that helped with fitness programming. For her work in the club, Rhidita received a student leadership award from UofT. Taking a different approach, Nicholas became a mentor in his upper years with Trin One to be a support system for incoming first year student and share his knowledge. Some of his fondest memories were formed at the peer support group meetings for various streams and the first year learning communities that he hosted. These experiences made him more confident and inspired him to always find a connection back to Trin One in his undergraduate career.

As a lasting message, the alumni wanted to highlight the importance of looking for new experiences such as Nicholas’s continued mentoring or Rhidita’s research abroad. They highly recommend going for new opportunities which are fruitful, exciting, and unique during your undergraduate studies because of the support available and the network of amazing people that you can meet.

Thank you again to Nicholas and Rhidita for your time and words of advice. We wish you the best in your future endeavours while you seek more opportunities to uplift those around you.

Written by: Maria Acosta, Trinity One Program Assistant, Medicine and Global Health ‘23.

Clara Hick | 2022

June 22, 2022

This year we are excited to celebrate our first in person convocation in over two years! The graduates of 2022 have had an experience unlike any other, requiring them to adapt to ever changing circumstances and yet they continued to persevere through the many hurdles they had to overcome. This past week I had the opportunity to talk with Clara Hick, about her experience at UofT and what will be next now that she is graduating with her Honors Bachelor of Science degree after completing a specialist in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology.

Clara completed the Anne Steacy Biomedical Health stream in 2020. She felt that she had a great experience with the Trinity One program and believed that it provided her with many insights into the field of science. She touched on how TRN225 “The Art of Health Science Discovery”, a course in which students design a research proposal, sparked her interest in getting involved with research and made her eager to learn more about the research process. She felt the stream helped open her eyes to how broad the science field could be and allowed her to explore paths she might not have found otherwise.

Trinity One was only one aspect of Clara’s UofT journey that enriched her experience. She described how getting involved both on and off campus was a crucial part in making her time at UofT as enjoyable as it was. Clara had an opportunity to participate in research at UofT but also join a jazz acapella choir and it was these experiences that she felt helped to enhance her time at UofT. Clara felt that being able to balance your academic studies while also finding ways to have fun and distress was critical to her success at UofT.

As we ended our conversation we had a chance to chat about what advice Clara might have for incoming students. She reflected and felt that being at such a large school like UofT can be challenging especially at first, but it is the people around you that make such a large place feel so much smaller. Trinity One allowed her to have a smaller group of people who she might recognize in her larger classes but she also had many friends around her who she was able to lean on for support. An undergraduate experience can be filled with many ups and downs and Clara felt that it was the people she met who helped her get through the tougher times.

After Convocation, Clara will be attending McMaster University Medical School this coming August. I would like to thank Clara for the wonderful conversation we were able to have and wish her all the best on the next chapter of her journey. We would like to congratulate Clara along with all the other new graduates of UofT and we are excited to see what they do next!

Written by: Nicholas Damiano, Trinity One Program Assistant, Biomedical Health ’20

Melisa Gumus | 2019

What are you studying now?

I am a master’s student at the Institute of Medical Science, conducting research at the intersection of neuroscience and mathematics and trying to solve some of the mysteries of the brain specifically in neurodegenerative diseases. My undergraduate studies in math and neuroscience as well my research experiences may have prepared me for a career in research in computational neuroscience, but the Trinity One Program taught me one of the fundamentals in conducting research; how-to do-good science.

Having been part of the Biomedical Health Stream as a student for 2 years and serving as a mentor for 2 more years, the Trinity One Program was one of the highlights of undergrad. Most science courses in undergraduate would teach you mechanisms involved in biological processes, or help you develop scientific literacy skills. Yet, very few will tell you about the contemporary issues in medical sciences or how and why ethics is very fundamental in research, or how scientific findings influence health policy. The Trinity One offers a very unique training in gaining such scientific knowledge as well as developing skills from critical thinking to public speaking that was condensed into 2 years, which, in real life, may take many many years to acquire.

Trinity One had such a significant role in my studies and career, and it was such a pleasure to mentor new cohorts, offer guidance and share my experiences. Mentoring Trinity One students challenged me to learn and provide more since students were always thirsty for new knowledge and ready to discuss any topic any time. It was a wonderful experience to witness how they developed important skills necessary in sciences, and how confident, fearless, and ambitious they were to speak about their ideas, follow their dreams and always advocate good science.

A million thanks to Trinity One Program, I am a better reader, mentor, scientist and person now. When I read a paper, I must question the analysis and how they came to the conclusion. When I teach a class, I must know all aspects of the topic. When I conduct research, I must think about how my project will influence the public. When I am passionate about an idea for a good cause, I must advocate. Trinity One was not just part of my undergrad, everything I was taught shaped my career, future and even my personality, and I will always be grateful for having had such a special opportunity to be part of it.

Bianca McLean | 2017

Trinity One student Bianca McLean asks “How Well Do You Know Science?” from TRN125Y: Issues in Health Science.

How do we stop the HIV epidemic in Africa?
Why do people believe vaccines cause autism despite contrary evidence?
Why do respected newspapers misreport science?

Science literacy is an extremely important, but often lacking skill in the general population. Science literacy allow readers to understand the world around them, and it is also necessary for appropriate decision making on how scientific discoveries will impact our lives in the future.

We are constantly bombarded with jargon and it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Does the Facebook ad claiming detox tea is crucial for weight loss have any scientific foundation? Probably not. What about an article with anti-vaccination content in the Toronto Star? Even generally well educated people often have difficulty knowing when they are reading reliable and replicable scientific truth.
In TRIN125: Issues in Health Science, we study the principles that lead to good science. This knowledge has wide-reaching application, from understanding scientific journals, to designing experiments, to determining when treatment is necessary versus when treatment is profitable. Before taking TRIN125, I looked at a science article and saw the conclusions. Now, I see crucial details about experimental design, the motivation behind the experiment, possible conflicts of interest, and data that can easily be manipulated to suggest very different conclusions.

A well-known, but often misunderstood example of the harmful impact of bad science is the anti-vaccination movement. After a paper published by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 suggested that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism, the vaccination rate plummeted. Subsequently, measles and mumps outbreaks began infiltrating major cities. Not only did this add huge costs to the healthcare system, it also put millions of children at risk of deadly disease. The world is still recovering from this outcome. While vaccination rates have started slowly increasing again, the damage caused by Wakefield’s paper was immense.

It was later found that Wakefield had falsified his results, lied about acquiring ethical approval and did not declare his conflicts of interest. Wakefield’s study was the epitome of bad science, as he disregarded every value at the core of scientific research. However, the media’s trust of Wakefield’s study, and the public’s inability to decipher clear indications of fraudulent science is, to me, more shocking.

Had the reporters been more scientifically literate, Wakefield’s study would have been quickly dismissed and never been disseminated to the public. Further, if the general public had been better educated in looking for indications of bad science, the flawed study would never have convinced so many to make choices that threaten public health.

TRIN125 encourages students to look at science with a critical eye. As future leaders in medicine, research and politics, we must not only acquire the skills needed to understand science, but also to explain it to our fellow citizens. Public health depends on being able to convert results from legitimate experiments into health policy. Although many courses may teach about science, few actually teach the practice of good science. TRIN125 pushes students to challenge our current ways of thinking about scientific knowledge.

Contact Us:

Sharon Reid
Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program Coordinator (Acting)


Have a question? Ask a mentor!