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Hoiland, Ryan

Profile Ryan HoilandResearch Title:  Carbon Dioxide Mediated Vasomotion of Extra-Cranial Cerebral Arteries: A Role For Prostaglandins

Research Location: UBCO Centre for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health

Research Supervisor: Dr. Philip Ainslie

Research Description:

Working under Professor Ainslie has lead me to gain interest in several research fields. My main focus throughout my Masters degree has been to better our understanding of the regulation of brain blood flow. By using drug interventions that inhibit the activity of specific molecules in healthy humans I have been working to gain insight into the primary factors involved in the brain blood flow response to changes in arterial blood gases. In addition to this focus I have been involved in several other projects including an expedition to work at the EV-K2-CNR Italian Research Pyramid laboratory near Mt. Everest base camp and research on elite breath hold divers in Croatia, who can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes! Irrespective of the research model used (high altitude, extreme breath hold, or computer controlled manipulation of the air an individual breathes) the collective focus is to further understand the integrative regulation of physiological systems and how they function in both health and disease.

Home Town:  Kelowna, BC

Country: Canada

Faculty/School: Faculty of Health and Social Development

Program: Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

As previously mentioned, I attended the UBC Okanagan Mount Everest Research Expedition led by Professor Ainslie in the summer of 2012 as a third year undergraduate student. It was on this expedition that I knew without a doubt I wanted to pursue a career in research, and one day run my own laboratory. Through this specific experience, as well as conducting a research practicum with Prof. Ainslie's lab in my fourth year as an undergraduate I discovered several things about research I loved. First, I loved the people I worked with and the environment I had grown accustomed to over the last year and a half of my undergraduate degree. Second, I love the dynamic aspect of research, in that everyday was a new task that was different from the day prior. Lastly, research implores curiosity.

Why did you decide to study at UBC's Okanagan campus?

I chose UBC Okanagan for my Ph.D. studies specifically to work with Prof. Ainslie. He is currently the Canadian Research Chair in cerebrovascular physiology, and the topic I wanted to pursue for my Ph.D. is the mechanistic regulation of cerebral blood flow during hypoxia (reductions in blood oxygen) and in clinical patients (i.e., Chronic lung disease). Therefore, I will have access to what is in my opinion the best training environment for my topic in Canada.

What impact do you hope your research will have?

Through my research I hope to improve the basic understanding of what physiological, or pathophysiological, mechanisms are responsible for the changes in cerebral blood flow that result from changes in arterial blood gases in healthy and clinical populations. There is already a wealth of information on cerebrovascular function, however, it has primarily been collected in dish preparations or anesthetized animals. Thus, my goal is to extend our current understanding to living humans, where data can then be used to guide clinical treatments etc.

What has been your most memorable Okanagan experience so far?

Traveling to Nepal in 2012 with the UBCO Mount Everest Research Expedition is the most memorable experience related to my studies at UBC Okanagan. It was both an intellectual and cultural growing experience that I am grateful to have experienced.


NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship





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