2011 Finalist: Leaders of Tomorrow sponsored by Advanced Education and Technology
Young Leader Excels In Science And Communication
Patrick Boyle is a natural leader and undoubtedly a rising star. Recently awarded his PhD in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Calgary, Dr. Boyle excels in computational physiology research. He is respected among students for his leadership in campus organizations. He is also an exemplary teacher’s assistant and has contributed as a journalist for on- and off-campus publications.
In all areas Dr. Boyle employs his exceptional communication skills to forward the causes he believes in and the projects he is involved in.
The Difference 10 Minutes Can Make
Dr. Boyle’s research investigates advanced computational methods to gain insights into the nature of the cardiac function in health and disease. He was inspired to enter the field, switching from his undergraduate studies in computer engineering after a 10-minute meeting with his future supervisor, Dr. Edward Vigmond.
“He showed me a model on his computer screen of the human heart’s electricity,” Dr. Boyle recalls. “My curiosity quickly drew me in. I realized there were many unanswered questions about how humans work, and as engineers we can delve deeper into those mysteries than in mainstream medicine.”
Dr. Boyle has received national scholarships for his M.Sc. and PhD studies from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). He was recently awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to support a position at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, where he will be a critical player in one of the leading labs in his field.
He is already contributing significantly to the field. He is the only PhD student whose contributions have been accepted in the code base of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Package (CARP), the most advanced simulation environment worldwide for cardiac electrophysiology simulation. Dr. Boyle has made significant contributions to this sophisticated simulation tool and is able to communicate them to make a difference. Presenting his research to a group of clinicians at the Foothills Hospital, he was able to effectively translate his results.
“I feel that I’m part of building relationships between people who provide healthcare,” he explains. “It all starts at the bedside with clinicians, who work with patients every day. In biomedical research our job is to work with them to get a deeper understanding into clinical problems. Moving forward we can cross-pollinate ideas, create new knowledge and better solve problems to help patients.”
Dr. Boyle is equally skilled at working with his fellow students.
Making a Difference
As a member of Graduate Students Association (GSA) Dr. Boyle set out to reform the association’s outdated and cumbersome by-laws. This turned out to be a significant task, taking two years and including multiple rounds of consultation with Service Alberta, the branch of government responsible for nonprofit organizations. Once committee recommendations were implemented, clarity about by-laws greatly helped how the GRC was run.
In 2010, Dr. Boyle was awarded an Alberta Graduate Citizenship Award in recognition of his outstanding service as a volunteer. Then, in 2011, the GSA executive awarded him with one of two inaugural and highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Looking at his long list of accomplishments, it is clear that this is just the beginning of a successful career for such a talented, dedicated and hard working individual.