014aOn Tuesday, 11 February 2014, members of the ELITE Ice Hockey League team Dundee CCS Stars visited GRE labs and the CLS light microscopy facility. PR director Steve Stirton and team photographer Derek Black accompanied Canadian players Dan Bakala (goaltender) and Dylan Quaile (defenseman) and British players Bari MacKenzie (forward) and Paul Swindlehurst (defenseman) on their visit to the CLS and GRE.

Members of the Rocha Lab were excited to host their first visit from a professional ice hockey team. The visitors were briefed on the group’s research on hypoxia (low levels of oxygen) and response to changes in oxygen availability. Hypoxia, which is present in diseases such as cancer, stroke
004aand heart disease, is also particularly relevant to elite athletes, given the oxygen imbalances created by intense exercise. The players also toured the light microscopy facility, where members of the Open Microscopy Environment team introduced them to the range of microscopy and image analysis resources available to the GRE and CLS.

Steve Stirton, the Stars’ PR director, commented that the visitors were highly impressed with the technology and resources at the GRE. “We were all unaware that such major breakthroughs in the fight against cancer and other diseases were happening on our doorstep,” he said. “The dedication of the teams shone through, and they are a credit to the University and indeed the city of Dundee.”

Sonia Rocha, GRE Deputy Director and well-known Stars supporter, said: “This was a very exciting lab visit for us, being fans of the sport. We hope that further visits will take place, exposing the ice hockey community to the excellent science Dundee has to offer and the local science community to this extremely fast and exciting sport. Dundee is a unique place; for such a small city, it can boast of its excellent science, culture and sport. This was one event where science met sport.”

Dundee CCS Stars is a professional ice hockey team hosted by the Dundee Ice Arena. The team competes in the ELITE Ice Hockey League, the top professional league in the United Kingdom.