2023 Finalist: Alberta-wide Community Champion of Innovation
Finalist: Dr. Belinda Heyne, Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Calgary
Initiative: Lighting the Way: Methylene Blue, Light, and Sustainable Mask Decontamination
Dr. Belinda Heyne completed her doctoral studies in Science at the University of Liège (Belgium) in 2004, focusing on the field of singlet oxygen photosensitization in artificial membranes. Afterward, she moved to Canada and served as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa, where she collaborated with the widely acclaimed Prof. J.C. Scaiano, a renowned figure in the field of modern photochemistry. In 2007, Dr. Heyne embarked on her independent career at the University of Calgary, where she now holds the position of a full Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Throughout her professional journey, Dr. Heyne has actively advocated for the inclusion of women in science, spearheading initiatives such as the Woman Global breakfast in Calgary to foster connections and eliminate barriers in women’s careers in chemistry.
Dr. Heyne is an expert in using nanotechnology to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance by studying the effects of singlet oxygen photosensitization at the nanoscale. In 2020, recognized as a global authority in light-activated antimicrobials, Dr. Heyne was chosen to steer an international, interdisciplinary study backed by the World Health Organization. This pivotal research devised innovative methods to decontaminate face masks in response to the global shortage amid the COVID-19 pandemic.