Second-Year Learning Communities: Human Biology

By joining the Human Biology (HMB) Second-Year Learning Community (SLC) you will be surrounded by a small community of second-year students who are learning to navigate their academic and co-curricular pathways to make the most of their experiences as an HMB student. The SLC program is designed to help you make the most out of your degree by engaging in various social, academic and professional development opportunities.

Please note, as a second-year HMB student you will not take a Human Biology course until the Winter term. By joining the HMB SLC you will have the opportunity to connect earlier with your HMB community starting in the Fall.

For more information about Human Biology, visit the Human Biology website

Apply to a Human Biology SLC

SLC applications are currently closed for the 2023-24 academic year, and they will reopen in Summer 2024. 


To be eligible for the HMB SLC you must be a second-year student enrolled in any of the following HMB programs:

  • Fundamental Genetics and its Applications Specialist (Science Program)
  • Global Health Specialist (Science Program)
  • Health & Disease Specialist (Science Program)
  • Neuroscience Specialist (Science Program)
  • Fundamental Genetics and its Applications Major (Science Program)
  • Global Health Major (Science Program)
  • Health & Disease Major (Science Program)
  • Human Biology Major (Science Program)
  • Neuroscience Major (Science Program)

SLC Course Overview

Students in the Human Biology SLC will meet at a welcome session during the first week of classes and then every other week starting September 18, 2023.

Time: Every other week on Mondays from 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Location: TBD

Your SLC Team

Headshot of SLC Faculty co-advisor Alistair Dias

Department: Human Biology

Title: Associate Professor, Teaching Stream

Years worked for your current department and/or U of T: 14 Years

Undergraduate major/specialist: Biological Chemistry

Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

Why you decided to serve as a faculty advisor: It provides me a chance to connect with students at the second-year level (I teach exclusively third-and fourth-year courses). It also gives me an opportunity to provide key advice on how to navigate courses in upper years and look for research positions.

One piece of advice for a second-year student: Keep your options open and explore the depth of courses U of T has to offer. You never know what might pique your interest and what you might become passionate about pursuing as a career path.

Hobby or interest: Playing ball hockey/collecting hockey memorabilia

Headshot of Naomi Levy Strumpf, Human Biology SLC Faculty Co-Advisor

Department: Human Biology

Years worked for your current department and/or U of T? Seven years

Undergraduate major/specialist and institution: Weizmann Institute of Science

Hometown: Haifa, Israel

Why you decided to serve as a faculty advisor: I am happy to support students' learning journey in any way I can! The SLC is a great initiative that I am delighted to be part of.

One piece of advice for a second-year student: Enjoy your learning journey and keep your mind open to all the possibilities!

Hobby or interest: Hiking and architecture

Headshot of Dana Patterson, Human Biology Staff Advisor

Department: Human Biology

Title: Undergraduate Administrator

Years worked for your current department and/or U of T: 17 years

Undergraduate major/specialist and institution: Biochemistry Specialist, Western University, Biochemistry Masters, University of Toronto

Hometown: Stoney Creek

Why you decided to serve as a staff advisor: I love working with students to find their passions and navigate their education to make the most of it.

One piece of advice for a second-year student: You won't like everything, pay attention to what you do like.

Hobby or interest: Theatre

Selfie of Alex giving a thumbs up

Title: Peer Mentor

Program: Psychology, Neuroscience Major

Year: Third Year

College: Trinity College

Hometown: Oakville, Ontario

An interesting fact: I really love listening to music and analyzing lyrics! 

Studies: I really love getting to explore a subject from multiple perspectives. I, for some reason, enjoy that in my field most questions don't have one clear answer.

Hobby or interest: Probably just studying, I need to find more hobbies!

Ella sitting on a rock outdoors

Title: Peer Mentor

Program: Health & Disease and Pharmacology

Year: Third Year

College: University College

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

An interesting fact: I could talk about my mini schnauzer for hours on end and will immediately love you if you ask about him and show your pet :) 

Studies: I've been very interested in learning about the latest medical advancements in treating understudied diseases. It's fascinating to see how specific molecular mechanisms lend themselves better to certain treatments and how we can use disease physiology to improve them.

Hobby or interest: I enjoy going on walks and checking out new coffee shops! I can’t really tell the difference in taste, but I love seeing how each shop is unique. Otherwise, I enjoy reading books and creating art with different mediums, including watercolours, pastels and digital art.