Program 49


PROMO: Astronomer Sun Kwok on his new book Cosmic Butterflies
The AHFMR unveilsTC mentorship program
Dr. Larry Wang helps replant forests along the Yangtze River

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TITLE: Dr. Sun Kwok, Professor of Astronomy, University of Calgary
SUBJECT: #49 Planetary Nebulae
SYNOPSIS: Sun Kwok is well known around the world for his research on planetary nebulae. These are stars heading towards death. And one day, our sun will face the same fate. The first planetary nebula was discovered about 200 years ago, but it is only in the last 20 years that scientists have begun to understand their evolution thanks to instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Sun's new book Cosmic Butterflies: The Colourful Mysteries of Planetary Nebulae tells the story of this complex and astronomically short lived phase in a star's life. It is graced with over 100 photographs of the ephemeral and fantastically coloured gaseous stars, many which come from Sun's own work on the Hubble Space Telescope. The book is published by Cambridge University Press and is available from



TITLE: Linda Humphries, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Technology Commercialization, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
SUBJECT: #49 AHFMR Forefront Mentorship Program
SYNOPSIS: As if researchers don't have enough on their plates already, now they are expected to enter the commercialization fray once they have made an important discovery or developed a new technology. But most researchers do not have the skills or knowledge to leap into the marketplace. As Linda Humphries explains, that's why the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research has developed the Forefront mentorship program. Not only will the AHFMR help fund research, it will also partner scientists with people in the business, investment and legal communities who can help them develop the necessary skills to ensure the successful commercialization of their innovations.



TITLE: Dr. Alan Dobbs, President, DriveABLE Assessment Centres Inc
SUBJECT: #49 AHFMR Forefront Mentorship Program
SYNOPSIS: Alan Dobbs is one researcher who benefitted from this mentorship. His research project turned business provides a science based approach physicians can use to determine whether their patients are capable of continuing to drive. He found the mentorship provided by the AHFMR invaluable in easing the transition between research lab and marketplace.



TITLE: Dr. Larry Wang, Professor in Biological Sciences and Advisor to the President on International Affairs, University of Alberta
SUBJECT: #49 Uof A ECO Fund to save Yangtze River Forests
SYNOPSIS: Generations of farming on the banks of the Yangtze river have denuded the landscape and contributed to soil erosion in the order of 1.4 billion tonnes per year. This is exacerbated by the building of the Three Gorges Dam. The loss of the beauty of the Yangtze River so distressed a childhood friend of Dr. Larry Wang, that he pledged his life savings to doing something to restore the Yangtze. This rocket scientists based in California first approached his alma mater the UCLA, for help but was turned down. Then chance meeting the two boyhood friends started the ball rolling an an international rescue program coordinated by the University of Alberta. Under the banner of the Ecological Conservancy Outreach Fund (ECO Fund), Dr. Larry Wang assembled a team of scientists from the forestry, agriculture, rural economics, and biological sciences departments at the U of A as well as the Sustainable Forest Management Network. They formed a cooperative partnership with scientists in China. And now they are working on an innovative project to restore forests to the Yangtze as well as establish a new economy for the farmers who live there.