For close to a decade now, Forbes magazine has been recognizing 30 individuals under the age of 30 who are making a mark in various fields and categories. In the 2020 issue that was released this past December, two University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) alumni have been named: Daniel Almeida in the science category and Keizac Lee in the games and immigrant categories.
Daniel Almeida is currently a Ph.D. candidate in neuroepigenetics at the Douglas Mental Health Institute at McGill University. Almeida graduated from UTM with high distinction from the comparative physiology program in 2014 and has been making strides in mental health research since.
In an interview with U of T Alumni Magazine Almeida stated, “U of T is where I first fell in love with research and developed a capacity for critical thinking, and for that reason it will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Almeida’s research focuses on abuse and mental trauma faced in childhood and how it affects adult mental illnesses. He studies discrete molecular changes in the brain of those who have died by suicide and have a history of childhood abuse.
“Being selected for Forbes 30 under 30 in the science category is a tremendous honour,” said Almeida in an interview with U of T Alumni Magazine. “The nature of our work makes it easy to visualize the impact that our research may one day have on the lives of individuals suffering from mental illness. I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing team and to share my research with the world.”
Keizac Lee is the youngest partner of Kowloon Nights, an investment fund that supports independent game developers at a global level. Lee graduated with distinction from UTM in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree from the Communications, Culture and Information Technology (CCIT) program.
To the U of T Alumni Magazine Lee shares, “I am humbled by the Forbes recognition. I share this honour with the mentors and team members at Kowloon Nights as well as the game developers we support.”
Lee currently works on the early stage investments in PC and console games globally, overseeing a portfolio of game titles and managing platform relations like Google, Nintendo, and Twitch. Lee has been working with start-up investment since 2015 when he started working with BNP Paribas, then moved onto Convoy Financial Group before finally landing with Kowloon Nights where he is able to practice his passion.
Speaking on his transformation to turn his gaming addiction into a successful career venture Lee said, “when I was younger, I had a dysfunctional relationship with gaming; I was addicted. But as I grew up, that relationship transformed into a more positive one, and I began to rely on games as a support system during tough times, and as a way to socialize. Gaming has some negative connotations […] but I strongly believe that it can be a force for good.”
Lee was also listed in the immigrants category of Forbes’ 30 under 30 with other notable names, like Latino singer-songwriter Maluma.