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Youngest Canadian to finish university wants to help patients with Parkinson’s

Last June, Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis from Ottawa, Ontario, became the youngest Canadian to graduate from university at the age of 12. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in biomedical science at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network’s Krembil Brain Institute. Anthaea hopes her research will eventually contribute to better treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Anthaea’s exceptional talents were recognized early on by her mother, who provided her with advanced educational materials from the age of four, before she even began formal schooling. When Anthaea entered elementary school at four, she was already placed in the second grade. Anathea’s hunger for knowledge only grew stronger with time as she started studying alongside fourth graders by the time she turned six. She had to be homeschooled by her parents to accommodate her rapid pace of learning.

By the time Anathaea turned eight, she started her university education at the University of Ottawa, specializing in biomedical science. Throughout her studies, Anathaea has demonstrated an exceptional level of maturity and dedication even while studying with students twice her age. In June 2023, Anthaea became the youngest Canadian at the age of twelve to proudly walk across the stage, receiving her bachelor’s degree in biomedical science.

Under the mentorship of Professor Antonio Strafella at the University of Toronto, Anthaea is currently working towards her dream of earning her Ph.D. and becoming a professor. Her current research on Parkinson’s disease involves developing a computer model that could significantly improve early detection and treatment strategies.

Despite her impressive accomplishments, Anthaea has faced skepticism and doubt about her abilities. She stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and enjoys playing the violin, watching TV, and spending time with friends.

Source: CBC