Graduate student research

Graduate student research


Chemistry PhD student’s work a study in contrast

July 28, 2015

Anyone who uses a camera knows the importance of contrast quality - the definition of brights and darks - for a picture image.

Emma Stares, a PhD student in Chemistry and finalist in Brock’s 2015 Three Minute Thesis Contest, is working on improving contrast quality as it applies to MRI - magnetic resonance imaging - scans.

MRIs are used to take pictures of tissues and organs in the body to detect and diagnose major diseases such as cancer. Last year, more than 1.5 million MRI scans were performed in Canada.

Stares says most MRI scans involve the use of chemical compounds called contrast agents that are injected as part of the scan process to enhance the image by making “the bright parts brighter and dark parts darker.”

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Meet Scott Behie, President’s Surgite Award winner

July 6, 2015

You can inspire and lead someone with words and with setting good examples, says Scott Behie, a 2015 winner of the President’s Surgite Award. But now and then, he says, it’s a “kick in the bum” that makes all the difference.

“I don’t have a leadership philosophy per se, as everyone needs something different,” says the PhD student in Biological Sciences when asked about his personal leadership skills.

“I guess I just try to make people comfortable with me, set a good example, and try to inspire the people around me to do well. I think a good leader is someone who can recognize when a student, or friend, or colleague needs a push, when they need a soft approach, and when they need a kick in the bum.

Behie has had a stellar research experience at Brock with an impressive list of publications.

“The best example of how I have contributed to Brock would be my academic publications,” says Behie. “With my supervisor and research team, we have published in a number of international journals, Science being the most notable. Our research has therefore been noticed internationally. It’s really exciting that I was able to add to the research profile at Brock.”

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PhD student trades plant science for neuroscience

June 22, 2015

As a horticulturist, Jonathan Simone is familiar with the principle of grafting, in which you take a shoot from one plant and connect it to another to create new growth.

That’s what he’s done on a personal level to go from a career in the nursery and landscape business to doctoral studies in neuroscience and physiology in Brock’s Department of Biological Sciences.

The grafting seems to have taken quite well.

Simone, who is originally from Vaughan, is among six Brock graduate students to be awarded NSERC funding that was announced Monday by the federal government. In a very competitive funding environment, Simone has been recognized with a prestigious 2015 NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship. The scholarship will provide him with $35,000 per year for the next three years to support his research.

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Conference helps grad students shift from school to career

April 22, 2015

Aidan Smyth views his time in grad school as an opportunity to “to develop, learn and reflect on many important transferrable skills, and learn how to market them.”

That’s why the incoming Graduate Students Association president plans to attend “SHIFT: From Learning to Earning,” a conference for graduate students that brings together in-house experts at Brock for a day of teaching and learning about changing gears from student life to career life.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Vitae Essential Skills programming for graduate students is presenting the conference, which happens Thursday, April 30, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pond Inlet.

SHIFT offers 11 career development workshops that will include presentations by Vitae campus partners Career Services, A-Z Learning Skills, Student Development Centre, and the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation. The Faculty has also recruited workshop facilitators from the Centre for Lifespan Development Research, and Youth University and Community Learning.

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Nikitczuk readies for provincial 3MT finals

April 21, 2015

Matthew Nikitczuk, Brock’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) champion, will compete at provincial finals being held April 23 at Western University in London.

The Earth Sciences master’s student will compete against 19 other graduate students from universities across Ontario. The competition will begin at 3 p.m. and will be streamed live online.

Judging the Ontario finals are Rob Baker, guitarist for the Tragically Hip; Paul Jenkins, former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada; Eric Lindros, retired NHL player; Christine Magee, co-founder and chair of Sleep Country Canada; and Adrian Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Cognition and Neuroimaging at Western University.

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