Innovation Anthology

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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #331
Program Date: 08/17/2010
Program Category: Health and Medicine, Science Communication

HYRS Program Mentors Student Heart Researcher

A unit on the heart in Grade 11 biology has possibly changed the life path of Edward Spink.

Barely 16 years old, this student from JH Picard high school in Edmonton is spending his summer working in a cardiac research lab at the University of Alberta.

Edward is one of 45 students from across Alberta chosen to participate in the Heritage Youth Researcher Summer Program.

Under the watchful eye of Dr. Gary Lopaschuk and his team of cardiac researchers at the University of Alberta, Edward is learning gels, proteins, and experiments on the heart.

EDWARD SPINK: So what I’m specifically looking at is a cardiac disease called cardiac hypertrophy and due to different causes such as high blood sugar, valve disease or even genetics, it can become enlarged. And because its enlarged it requires more energy to function because its less efficient at producing energy. So what we’re trying to look at is what exactly are the changes in the energy metabolism of these enlarged hearts, and what exactly are the key molecules that cause these alterations of the energy metabolism in these hearts.

Edward Spink says thanks to the HYRS program, he’s now considering a career in medicine as well as engineering.

Thanks today to Alberta Innovates Health Solutions.

FOR INNOVATION ANTHOLOGY
I’M CHERYL CROUCHER

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Edward Spink

Edward Spink

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