Creating a device to detect prostate cancer. Determining how and why perfectionism impacts adolescent health. Understanding the process that leads to children forgetting to carry out a future intention.
These areas of interest will be pursued by three Brock University researchers thanks to a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Feng Li is one of the three who received funding this year under the Ministry’s Early Researcher Awards program.
“These rare and prestigious awards are reserved for early-career researchers whose innovative work is recognized as crucial to the social, cultural, economic and intellectual future of Ontario,” says Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon.
“For a university of Brock’s size to receive three awards in one year is amazing and will definitely turn some heads. But it is not surprising to anyone who knows the incredible research talent that Brock has been recruiting for years.”
Li and his team of four graduate students will develop a single device that will examine blood and urine samples for the presence of certain proteins and nucleic acids that are present in the early stages of prostate cancer.
The device will give results in about an hour. Li previously created a three-dimensional, nano-sized robot that detects disease, which the new device, made out of paper, will read and interpret.
At the moment, testing for these proteins and nucleic acids is done separately and requires highly complicated, time consuming and expensive equipment and processes.
“You would use this device like you would do a pregnancy test,” he says. “You mix your samples with the 3D robot and load it onto the paper device. You would see coloured strips, just like in a pregnancy test,” says Li.
The Early Researcher Awards program enables new researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research institutions to build research teams.
Read about the other researchers’ work here