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Research Day 2023
We are excited to announce Dr. Peter Tierney as this year’s Keynote Speaker. His talk titled “Academia, Sport, Industry, why choose just one?”, will chronicle Peter’s unique career path and his research in three seemingly separate arenas.
Peter Tierney is a Senior Researcher at lululemon, currently working in the Product Innovation Team. He is also a consultant Sports Scientist & Performance Coach having previously worked at Leinster Rugby (rugby union) and at The English Football Association (soccer), and in Gaelic Football, weightlifting and swimming.
He has enjoyed “hybrid” roles, which have broad responsibilities and blend together research and applied work. This has allowed him the opportunity to not only consider problems through a research lens, but also apply results into practice.
Whilst working in sport, Peter was also keen to continue learning and upskilling, and completed a research MSc, Professional Diploma in Data Analytics and a PhD in sports science.
Some of Peter’s academic work has been published within the areas of GPS technology in team sports, training load management, resisted sled sprinting, hamstring & ankle injuries, and improved understanding and application of sports science data. Other work he has disseminated has been in relation to sleep & recovery, wearable technology, reducing mortality risk, & overall health promotion for both elite athletes and general population.
Outside of work, Peter has enjoyed partaking in a variety of sports including basketball, soccer, rugby, weightlifting and running & cycling. He has also picked up skiing since relocating to Vancouver.
He loves food, so is open to some good restaurant recommendations after this talk!
Signal Complexity of local field potentials during sleep reflects both sleep stage and learning
Anis Zahedifard, MSc Candidate
Neuroscience Research Lab
Supervisor: Dr. Randy McIntosh
Have you ever experienced the phenomenon of increased retention of information after a brief nap during a study session? This observation may have triggered your curiosity regarding the underlying mechanisms involved during sleep that facilitates this memory consolidation process. My current research endeavors to investigate the neurological processes that occur during sleep, which contribute to enhanced memory retention. Specifically, I am investigating which sleep stage is the most crucial for consolidating memories. By examining the sleep patterns of rats, which share similar sleep cycles to humans, I aim to determine whether alterations in brain signals during post-learning sleep sessions are indicative of memory consolidation. The significance of my study lies in the potential to demonstrate that taking a nap after studying can improve information retention by elucidating the changes that occur in the brain during sleep.
Understanding the Mechanisms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy using hiPSC-CMs
Yasaman Maaref, Phd Candidate
Cellular and Regenerative Medicine Center at BC Children's Hospital Research Institute
Supervisor: Dr. Glen Tibbits
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heritable cardiovascular disease and often results in cardiac remodeling, an increased incidence of sudden cardiac arrest and death, especially in youth and young adults. We aim to investigate the mechanisms of the pathological consequences of the HCM causing R278C+/- mutation in TNNT2 which encodes for cardiac-troponin T(cTnT) protien. To measure the kinetics of contraction of the WT and R278C+/- 2D monolayers, SarcTrack, a Matlab algorithm was used. Since immature hiPSC-CMs fail to recapitulate the physiological complexity of intact cardiac system, a physiologically relevant substrate was generated using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Studying the alterations in cardiomyocytes' function set the stage for identifying new therapeutic targets for the clinically challenging disease.
Contraceptive choices and perceptions of impact on training and performance: a survey of canadian athletes
Allison Campbell, Phd Candidate
TWU Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology Lab and SFU Cardiovascular Physiology Lab
Supervisors: Dr. Anita Cote and Dr. Victoria Claydon
Almost all female athletes have to navigate training and performing around their menstrual cycle and some female athletes are taking hormonal contraception, which alters their hormonal profile and can regulate period symptoms. My project aimed to establish the contraceptive choices of Canadian female athletes and their perceptions towards hormonal contraceptive use while training and competing. We did this by distributing a survey to Canadian athletes and asking questions about their menstrual cycle status, contraceptive use and other related health issues. This information provides a solid foundation for future research by depicting of how female athletes in Canada manage their hormonal contraceptive usage, and menstrual cycle status, symptoms and irregularities around their training and competition.
Self-confidence about walking on terrain impacts gaze and walking descisions
Vinicius da Eira Silva, Phd Candidate
Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab
Supervisor: Dr. Dan Marigold
When deciding, we must first understand our options. Complex environments like busy streets or hiking trails present numerous sources of information that compete for our attention. To make the best decision, we shift our gaze to extract timely, high-resolution visual information about our surroundings. When decisions are made during walking ,there is limited time to gather information, whch requires a trade-off between visually exploring several areas and fixating on a restricted area. Self-confidence about walking on the terrain ahead may influence the decision to acquire further information about action alternatives. Thus, we hypothesized that self-confidence about an action choice—in our case, which path to walk—influences gaze behavior in addition to path choice.