Working with Indigenous communities, University of Lethbridge professor Dr. Roy Golsteyn (BASc (BSc) '84) and his research team, including undergraduate and graduate students, are investigating how Prairie plants and their chemical properties may contribute to future medical treatments.

“Studying in Dr. Golsteyn’s lab has been an absolute pleasure,” says Haley, a biological sciences major and principal investigator in the Natural Product and Cancer Cell Laboratories. “I’ve learned more about the scientific process and gained experience conducting my own research, working in a laboratory and refining my skills.”

Located in the new Science Commons, their state-of-the-art lab extends into the surrounding coulees. The research team fosters different ways of studying Prairie plants and their impact on human cells, specifically cancer cells. The laboratory can also be a space for students who wish to blend scientific approaches and traditional knowledge to study plants further, leading to opportunities to exchange knowledge with Blackfoot communities.

“In addition to setting up experiments and investigating the plants we work with, I’m going back into the community to speak with medicine men and Elders to learn more about the traditional uses of each plant,” explains Haley.

Haley’s hard work has led to scholarships and research funding, which she says have made a tremendous difference as she completes her Bachelor of Science degree.

Scholarships and research funding have enabled me to focus on my academics and participate in hands-on research investigating prairie plants for their medical qualities. This support has truly encouraged me to move forward to reach my goal of becoming a family physician.”

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