image of a lab

Fundamental Discovery Week

Celebrating the groundwork of innovation

April 29 - May 3

Welcome to Fundamental Discovery Week – a celebration of curiosity, exploration, and the pursuit of knowledge. From April 29 - May 3 we pay tribute to the foundational research that propels us towards a brighter future. This week-long initiative is dedicated to recognizing the invaluable contributions of basic science to society. From unravelling the secrets of the cosmos to deciphering the complexities of the microscopic world, basic science forms the base upon which all other branches of research grow. 

What is basic science?

Basic science research—often called fundamental or bench research—provides the foundation of knowledge for the applied science that follows. It includes activities like the discovery and analysis of single genes or genetic markers of diseases, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, and more. Through the discoveries made in basic science, researchers are able to understand causes and treatments more effectively. 

Why celebrate basic science?

Basic science lays the groundwork for transformative breakthroughs in every field imaginable – from medicine and technology to environmental science and beyond. By fostering a deeper understanding of the natural world, fundamental research fuels innovation, inspires creativity, and drives progress.

Featured Trainees

Julien Rimok

Julien Rimok, BEng, MSc


Julien is passionate about finding ways to improve the well-being of people with spinal cord injuries. Coming from a background in engineering, neuroscience, and data science, he hopes to combine knowledge from these fields to develop novel technologies, which leverage brain-computer interfaces, to help those with spinal cord injuries regain autonomy in their daily lives. 

Recipient of the Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CIHR). 


Donovan Smith

Donovan Smith, MSc

Donovan earned his BSc (Hons) in Biomechanics at the University of Calgary in 2019, focusing on computer modeling of rabbit tibiae that could predict failure under mechanical loading. Transitioning to neuroscience, he pursued an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience exploring ipsilesional arm impairments in subacute stroke survivors, quantifying motor impairments and the factors that influenced them.

Now a PhD candidate in Clinical Neuroscience at the Phillips Lab, Donovan is currently involved with both the preclinical and clinical aspects of the lab, with the overarching theme of his work being the restoration of blood pressure stability following spinal cord injury through novel technologies.

Recipient of NSERC Brain CREATE - PhD Funding and Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship.

Help us shine a spotlight on the importance of basic science by sharing your experiences, insights, and enthusiasm on social media using #FundamentalDiscoveryWeek. Together, let's celebrate the unsung heroes of research and inspire future generations to pursue their curiosity fearlessly. 

Follow HBI @hotchkiss.brain to see features all week long!