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UBC Okanagan student wins international award

A research project presented by a UBC Okanagan sports science student has earned her top honours at a major international conference.

School of Health Sciences and Exercise Sciences student, Heather Hackett attended the annual Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego in April, presenting a unique study that could better ultrasound testing in the future.

Hackett presented research on an ultrasound contrast agent that identifies the presence of intracardiac and intrapulmonary shunts. Prior to Hackett’s research, measuring irregular blood flow within the heart and lungs has been a challenge.

<who> Photo Credit: UBC Okanagan </who> Heather Hackett and her supervisor UBC's Assoc. Prof. Glen Foster.

The UBC Okanagan student was among the first to identify a non-invasive technique to measure blood flow in the heart and lungs. Using an ultrasound and a dye injection procedure, Hackett’s study was recognized as awarding winning at the recent conference. Her poster presentation won the David S. Bruce Undergraduate Abstract Award.

“Being able to present my research at Experimental Biology in San Diego was the highlight of my undergraduate training,” said 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.”

Hackett’s supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Glen Foster, said not only is the award a great honour, it demonstrates the strong research being done on the Okanagan campus.

“Winning this type of award, highlights the opportunities that UBC Okanagan makes available for undergraduate students to participate in research on an international scale.”

Almost 100 applicants from six Canadian universities competed for the David S Bruce award.

Hackett has also won a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research award. She plans to spend her summer working in UBC Okanagan’s Cardiopulmonary Laboratory for Experimental and Applied Physiology.

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