Hilary Bews

Researcher Profiles

Hilary Bews

Hilary Bews, 4th year, Biochemistry Major

Briefly describe the professor and research project you are working with.

I am conducting my research under the supervision of Dr. Charles Wong.  Dr. Wong focuses his research on identifying and quantifying trace pollutants in the environment. Environmental pollutants are of increasing concern as more is learned about their toxic effects. I am involved in a research project investigating the potential for simvastatin, a drug currently used to lower cholesterol, in the treatment of asthma.  My specific role is to develop and apply an analytical method in order to quantify levels of the drug in the test subjects.  Doing so is important as it will provide a better understanding of the behavior of the drug in the body, an important consideration in the investigation of novel drug use.      

Why do you want to do this kind of research?

Around three million Canadians suffer from asthma.  Our research involves seeking to improve the lives of those with lung disease.  My work has the potential to contribute to Canadian HealthCare, as well is an area of study I hope to pursue following my undergraduate degree.    

How do you think this research benefits you in developing your skills and abilities?

Taking part in research at UWinnipeg has enabled me to gain numerous skills to supplement my classroom learning.  First and foremost, I have gained firsthand experience working in a modern laboratory using state of the art equipment.  I was able to hone my analytical chemistry skills to the point where I was able to take on a leadership role in the project. In addition, I gained invaluable experience in presenting scientific material.

What is the best part, or what has surprised you in doing this research?

Conducting research has been most helpful personally in building my confidence in public speaking, which can at times be intimidating. It is an extremely important skill that will remain useful throughout my life regardless of my ultimate profession. My involvement in a UWinnipeg research project has provided me with opportunities to better my skills, in front of audiences of more senior scientists.   

What would you say to students thinking about attending UWinnipeg regarding research opportunities here?

There are many reasons to attend the University of Winnipeg but one that definitely should not be overlooked are the numerous research opportunities available in diverse areas of study.  These programs offer not only a chance to apply knowledge acquired in the classroom but serve to foster public speaking and leadership skills. As I have learned firsthand, they offer invaluable opportunities which can benefit students regardless of their plans following graduation.

What are your personal goals, how do you hope to use your education down the road?

Following graduation from The University of Winnipeg, I am hoping to pursue a career in medicine so that I can continue to contribute to the health and welfare of Canadians. This career will provide me with the opportunity to be involved in research focusing on improving patient care.