A fourth-year UBC Okanagan student came away with a top prize at the recent Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego.
Heather Hackett, a School of Health and Exercise Sciences student, attended the annual conference in April, presenting her research on an ultrasound contrast agent that identifies the presence of intra-cardiac and intrapulmonary shunts. Up until now, measuring irregular blood flow within the heart and lungs has has been a challenge. Hackett’s study is among the first to identify a new non-invasive technique to do this, which involves an ultrasound and dye injection procedure. Her poster presentation won the David S. Bruce Undergraduate Abstract Award.
“Being able to present my research at Experimental Biology in San Diego was a highlight of my undergraduate training,” says Hackett. “The award illustrates my commitment to research and helps me realize the importance of continuing to advance science and be a life-long learner.”
Her supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Glen Foster, who teaches in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Science, is thrilled for Hackett’s success, noting the award recognizes the strong research conducted by undergrad students at UBC Okanagan.
“Winning this type of award, highlights the opportunities that UBC Okanagan makes available for undergraduate students to participate in research on an international scale,” he adds.
The annual award goes to the winning undergrad who is submitting their first abstract and research presentation at the annual Experimental Biology event.
Hackett has won a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award and plans to spend the summer working in UBC Okanagan’s Cardiopulmonary Laboratory for Experimental and Applied Physiology.
With more than 97 applicants, six from Canadian universities, Hackett’s project best honored the late David S Bruce in his commitment to promotion of undergraduate student involvement in research. The David Bruce Award is named after a former of professor of physiology at Wheaton College who was committed to promoting undergraduate student involvement in scientific research.