Calgary’s Mount Royal University unveils new laboratories

Two new laboratories at Calgary’s Mount Royal University (MRU) are pushing the scientific boundaries of studying environmental forensics and foot and ankle injuries.

The university says the Environmental Forensics and Arson Lab and the Foot-Ankle Stability Lab (FASt Lab) will “enable cutting-edge research in areas making a real difference to the lives of Albertans.”

The Environmental Forensics and Arson Lab will support the work of Dr. Gwen O’Sullivan, whose research focuses on what she refers to as environmental “crime scene investigations.”

Her research involves analyzing “complex organic contaminants at low levels” to help with arson, biomonitoring, occupational exposure, risk assessment, and liability investigations.

The Environmental Forensics and Arson Lab has already helped with cases in Canada and the U.S. relating to pipeline and offshore oil spills.

The FASt Lab is led by Dr. Michael Asmussen, whose research focuses on the coordination required across the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems for people to walk and run.

The university says understanding the structure, function, and neural control of the foot and ankle during movement in healthy, injured, and diseased states is the key to treating foot and ankle injuries.

Dr. Jonathan Withey, dean of the faculty of science and technology at MRU, says the labs will “serve as transformational spaces for discovery and collaboration.”

“The work undertaken in these labs will strengthen relationships with industry and government partners, as we mobilize knowledge, solve problems, and improve lives,” Withey said. “At the same time, these spaces will create bold learning, engagement and training opportunities for our students, which is very much a signature of the MRU experience.”

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