Articles tagged with: Biological Sciences

  • August 2: Master of Science thesis defence

    Biological Sciences student Moustafa Zeidan will defend his Master of Science thesis, “Testosterone’s regulation of the HPA axis differs for adolescent and adult male rats” by via conference Thursday, August 2 at 11 a.m. in MC H313.

    The examination committee includes Kirill Samokhin, chair; Ashley Monks, external examiner (University of Toronto); Cheryl McCormick, supervisor; Gaynor Spencer and Glenn Tattersall.

    August 2 Thesis Defence

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Events

  • FMS Student Among Winners at International SCAN Health Virtual Business Case Competition

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    WINDSOR, May 7, 2018 – The Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health (SCAN Health), proudly hosted by the Odette School of Business, University of Windsor is pleased to announce the winning teams of the inaugural SCAN Health Virtual Business Case Competition. Outstanding students from leading business schools around the world are recognized for their exceptional innovative thinking and practical approaches to scaling supply chain transformation across the United Kingdom’s National Health Services (NHS) Scan4Safety initiative to 148 trusts of NHS England. Congratulations to the winning teams:

    1st Place – Tied
    Mariska van der Feen, Tessa Jansen, Eva Jelovčan (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    James J. Hall, Olivia Poulin, Matthew McGarr, Michael Tolentino (Brock University)

    Michael is a Biomed student at Brock University.

    3rd Place
    Scarlett Kelly, Chris Smith (Dalhousie University)

    Prizes courtesy of TECSYS Inc. are awarded to the top three teams. Winners also receive an invitation to the Annual SCAN Health Global Networking Event in Alberta, Canada on June 5, 2018. This exclusive event provides an opportunity to engage with global leaders from industry, health systems, government and academia to examine key dimensions of supply chain infrastructure to improve health system sustainability, population health and economic growth.

    Proposals were judged by an esteemed international panel including Chair Dr. Kevin Schulman of Duke University (US), joined by Mr. Robert Drag of Salisbury NHS (UK), Mr. Desmond Griffiths of Electromac (CAN), Mr. Richard Martin of TECSYS (CAN), Dr. Liz Mear of the Innovation Agency (UK), Mr. Graham Medwell of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS (UK), Dr. Libby Roughead of the University of South Australia (AUS), Dr. Karin Schnarr of Wilfrid Laurier University (CAN) and Dr. Dave Williams, Canadian astronaut, physician and CEO (retired).

    This unique virtual competition enables emergent leaders from business schools around the world to compete and demonstrate their exceptional skill, knowledge and innovative ideas to advance health sector supply chain innovation. The competition encourages cross-disciplinary teams from business and health sciences to collaborate to build leadership capacity in health sector supply chain. To further strengthen knowledge of business processes in health systems each team has access to a panel of internationally renowned leaders and experts in health system supply chain and logistics strategy. The next SCAN Health Virtual Business Case Competition will launch Fall 2018. Details and updates can be found at www.SCANHealth.ca.

    About SCAN Health

    SCAN Health is an international knowledge translation organization funded by the Government of Canada, Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) and hosted by the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. Spanning five countries, including Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada – and with over one hundred partners from industry, healthcare, government and academia – SCAN Health will advance global capacity to adopt and scale best practices in healthcare supply chain to offer traceability of products and care processes from bench to bedside to patient outcomes.

    – 30 –

    SCAN Health Media Contact:
    Kathryn Cox
    (905) 213-8384
    Kathryn.Cox.SCANHealth@uwindsor.ca

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: News

  • FMS student videos among Top 15 of national science research contest

    A Brock University student has scored third place in a national science research video contest, with two other Brock student videos among the contest’s Top 15 finalists.

    Science, Action! features student-produced, 60-second videos on research projects funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), one of Brock’s major research funders.

    Taylor Lidster took third place with her video, On the Fly. Two other videos – produced by Matthew Mueller and the team of Zakia Dahi and Jina Nanayakkara — were included in the Top 15 of finalists from universities across Canada.

    All four students are from the Department of Biological Sciences. Mueller, Dahi and Lidster are master’s students, while Nanayakkara has just completed her undergraduate degree.

    “It’s wonderful to see Brock student researchers being recognized nationally, both for the excellence of their research projects and for their ability to explain the impact and significance of their work,” says Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon.

    “The remarkable extent of Brock students’ success in the Science, Action! program is a powerful indication of their calibre, and a great credit to the training and research mentorship they receive from Brock University professors,” he says.

    Lidster’s On the Fly shows how the fruit fly is used to study inflammation in the gut. The researchers use genetic techniques and microscopy to see any changes in the gut environment, good or bad.

    Mueller’s Cell Talk explains that the root cause of several contemporary diseases is a disruption in communication between cells, examines the language that cells use to talk to one another, and describes how this changes in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.

    DNA: A Mobile Molecule, by Dahi and Nanayakkara, explores how DNA sequences that move around – called “jumping genes” – copy and paste themselves into different parts of our genomes. The research aims to understand how “jumping genes” have led to human variation and disease.

    The Science, Action! contest enables students to present their NSERC-funded science research to a wide audience.

     

    Students entering the contest faced some big challenges. In mid-February, NSERC posted 75 video entries from students across Canada; seven of these videos were from Brock. The 25 videos with the most views by March 2 would then make it to the next round. Five Brock videos made it into the Top 25. From there, a panel of judges selected the Top 15.

    Read the full story here

    Tags: ,
    Categories: News

  • FMS students receive President’s Surgite Awards

    They’re student leaders who have made significant contributions to Brock University or the wider community, and on Monday they were honoured with the President’s Surgite Awards.

    Ten Brock students from across the University’s seven Faculties were given the awards in recognition for the work they’ve done during their time studying here.

    “Students at Brock are supported and encouraged to develop their leadership, academic, student life and community engagement skills and contributions,” said President Gervan Fearon. “The students receiving these awards have excelled at these activities and exemplify the values of being outstanding students at the University and across the broader community.”

     

    Tom Dunk, Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic, said the awards are meant to be an extra achievement students can use as they head out into the workforce.

    “We recognize in that doing what you’ve done, it’s good for your resumés, but you’ve also improved the lives of our students and life at Brock, and in some cases, within the broader community. We recognize your contribution to making everyone proud of Brock locally, nationally and beyond.”

    2017-18 President’s Surgite Award winners:

    • Allison Flynn-Bowman, Community Health
    • Aniqah Zowmi, Social Justice and Equity Studies
    • Evans Boadi, Mathematics and Statistics
    • Sarah Mohammed, Child Health
    • Nicholas Lepore, Accounting
    • Michael Tolentino, Biomedical Sciences
    • Aynsley Maves, Concurrent Education
    • Christine Saleeb, Medical Sciences
    • Vanessa Cservid, Medical Sciences
    • Matthew McGarr, Medical Sciences

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: News

  • Brock research examines messaging to encourage less red meat consumption

    With the beef industry acting as a major contributor to greenhouse gasses, Brock University researchers are examining what can be done to cut down on the consumption of red meat by Canadians.

    Brock food scientist Gary Pickering and graduate student Samantha Stea are examining what type of messaging works to encourage people to either lessen their red meat consumption or stop eating it all together.

    The duo asked 593 red-meat eaters from across Canada why they eat beef, pork, lamb and other red meat, as well as how much they know about the environmental impacts of red meat farming.

    “Taste and quality are the most important motivators when it comes to consuming red meat,” says Stea, who recently completed a Master of Sustainability degree.

    Interestingly, the fourth-highest motivation for eating red meat was for health reasons, going against “traditional wisdom” that consuming too much red meat is actually bad for human health, says Pickering, a Professor of Biological Sciences and Psychology, as well as in Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre.

    “Concerns around the ethics and morality of eating red meat were very low,” he says.

    Participants read a list of 13 environmental impacts — including global warming, deforestation, overuse of land, acid rain, soil contamination and others — and ticked off those they thought were associated with red meat consumption.

    Pickering and Stea then presented the red meat eaters with one of six message types that contained information about the environmental impacts of red meat production.

     

    The researchers then asked participants several questions about their intended future red meat consumption.

    Participants also re-read the list of 13 environmental impacts and once again ticked off those they thought were associated with red meat consumption. In all 13 categories, the red meat eaters’ knowledge and awareness of the environmental impacts of red meat farming increased.

    The researchers say several important lessons can be drawn from their study, “Optimizing Messaging to Reduce Red Meat Consumption,” which was published earlier this year in the journal Environmental Communication, and won the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Food and Agriculture Technologies in Bali, Indonesia last year.

    Stea says the results paint a hopeful picture of what can be done to protect the environment.

    Read the full story here


    Tags: ,
    Categories: News

  • Brock-led study examines role of protein levels in preterm birth

    A Brock-led international research team is developing an approach to predict if women in the early stages of pregnancy are at risk of experiencing a premature birth.

    The team, headed by Professor of Health Sciences and Biological Sciences Jens Coorssen, discovered that the levels of certain proteins found in the mother’s blood during the first trimester can potentially act as early predictors or biomarkers of premature birth.

    “There aren’t any good markers of preterm birth, even in the second and third trimester,” says Coorssen. “The idea was, can we identify markers in the blood samples of women taken during their first routine checkup between 11 and 13 weeks?”

    Preterm birth, which occurs before 37 weeks, is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five, according to the World Health Organization.

    The research team, consisting of Coorssen, PhD student Arlene D’Silva and University of Sydney researcher Jon Hyett, analyzed blood samples from 20 women who were each around 12 weeks pregnant.

    The researchers examined the total set of proteins contained in a part of the blood called serum.

    “We were looking to see if there are different levels of specific proteins in the blood of women who go on to have a normal term delivery versus women who go on to have a pre-term delivery,” he says. “That way we can identify women at risk early and cut down on emergency interventions, and the complications often associated with premature birth.”

    Those women subsequently experiencing a preterm birth had significantly higher or lower levels of 30 different protein species, 20 of which included specific modifications that can alter their functions or locations.

    They also have lower levels of complement C3, a protein that, when activated, kills invading microbes without damaging surrounding tissues. The protein becomes active when encountering a bacteria, virus or other harmful substance.

    These and other findings are in the team’s paper, “Proteomic analysis of first trimester maternal serum to identify candidate biomarkers potentially predictive of spontaneous preterm birth,” published Feb. 13 in the Journal of Proteomics.

    Coorssen says researchers don’t know what causes these protein levels to change, or which of these proteins might be linked more directly to cellular processes that may cause preterm labour.

    “Understanding the cellular and molecular processes involved in preterm labour, which is also part of the ongoing project, is the only route to developing new, targeted medicines,” he says.

    “What we’re immediately interested in right now, though, is if there is a way to identify these women at risk early so that they can be better monitored and managed so as to avoid a preterm event.”

    Coorssen says future research would focus on expanding the number of research participants and focusing more on mechanisms as well.

    The World Health Organization says 15 million babies — one in 10 — are born too early every year, with one million children dying each year due to complications of preterm birth. Many survivors face a lifetime of disability, including breathing issues, learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems. The agency lists a number of measures during pregnancy to avoid preterm births, such as antenatal steroid injections, nutritional counselling, avoiding tobacco and drug use, and “a minimum of eight contacts with health professionals” to identify risk factors.

    Tags: ,
    Categories: News

  • Record crowd expected for MNK Conference

    The Faculty of Graduate Studies will host the 13th annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference on Thursday, April 12.

    The day-long event will be the largest in the conference’s history, with more 135 graduate students presenting either an oral or poster presentation. For the second year, the conference will also welcome ten undergraduate thesis students in their final year to present oral presentations.

    Kicking off the event will be a keynote address from Brock Professor of Sociology, June Corman. A past winner of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Graduate Mentorship Award, Corman will share stories of her personal mentorship experiences during her time as a graduate student, and how those experiences shape her teaching and supervisory philosophy today.

    “MNK gives graduate students the opportunity to present, some of them for the first time, in a friendly, encouraging environment,” says Diane Dupont, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies. “We want students to get comfortable talking about their research, no matter what stage of their project they may be in. While MNK is largely an opportunity for professional development, it is also a chance for students to see how their individual studies are part of a larger community of research at Brock.”

    The conference will celebrate the graduate studies community with the FGS awards ceremony from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The ceremony will include the presentation of the Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award and Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Awards, and special recognition of graduate students who have been selected to receive the 2018 Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards.

    All members of the Brock Community are invited to attend the conference or awards ceremony. For a detailed conference schedule, visit the MNK website.

     

     

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: News

  • Brock mosquito expert Fiona Hunter to conduct Zika research in Dominican Republic

    To medical entomologist Fiona Hunter, the Dominican Republic had always been a place of rest, with its warm breezes, snow-white beaches and turquoise waters. Two years ago however, the Brock University Professor of Biological Sciences saw another side to the popular holiday destination.

    Faced with the prospect of a Zika outbreak in the country, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) and the Research Institute of Microbiology and Parasitology (IMPA-FC) invited Hunter to train a research group on how to recognize mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

    “At the time, Zika was just coming through,” says Hunter. “The country had just been battling with chikungunya and dengue, both mosquito-borne diseases. The team was getting a program up and running to do mosquito surveillance.”

    The week Hunter and Brock alumnus Alessio Gasparotto (BSc ’05), who manages the professor’s Entomogen consulting firm, spent travelling with the University’s researchers was an eye-opener. Hunter witnessed first-hand how homes in the Dominican Republic lacked window screens, air conditioning, mosquito repellent and other “First-World” ways of protecting against mosquito bites.

    That visit, along with subsequent activities, have culminated in a US$250,000 grant from the Dominican Republic government for a mosquito surveillance research project.

    Hunter and her (UASD) co-investigator, Modesto Cruz, applied for a three-year National Fund for Innovation and Development of Science and Technology grant for their project titled “Zika Virus: Factors Influencing Vector Competence in the Dominican Republic.”

    Starting in April, the two will work with additional researchers and students from the Dominican to conduct field research which involves identifying and collecting mosquitoes from sites all across the country.

    Once treated with a substance called a lysis buffer that inactivates any viruses they may be carrying, the dead mosquitoes will then be shipped to Brock University’s laboratories, where they will be tested for mosquito-borne viruses that cause diseases such as West Nile, dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

    “This will give us a greater understanding of geographic patterns of transmission and the mosquito species that are present there,” says Hunter.

    In the two years since her visit, Hunter and her Canadian and Dominican colleagues have worked hard to pave the way for the successful grant.

    Shortly after her return, Hunter, along with then-Interim Vice-President, Research Joffre Mercier and Faculty of Math and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed, funded the purchase of a dry ice maker that UASD researchers could use to attract mosquitoes to the mosquito traps as well as preserve and ship biological specimens in dry ice.

    Hunter also took some older dissecting microscopes from her teaching labs to the Dominican researchers.

    “Those tiny little investments have blossomed into this new grant,” she says.

    She met with many senior officials in the government and at the University and, with Cruz, crafted a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between Brock University and UASD. The Dominican Republic government urged the duo to apply for the Innovation and Development grant.

    Read the full article here

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: News

  • Brock earns five semifinal spots in Canada-wide student research competition

    Five Brock University student research videos have made it to the semifinals of a national competition that showcases science research being done in universities across Canada.

    The Science, Action! competition features student-produced, 60-second videos on research projects funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), one of Brock’s major research funders.

    After University students from all over the country submitted videos in January, NSERC chose 75 entries, including seven from Brock, which the agency posted on its website. NSERC then announced the Top 25 list of semifinalists, which includes five Brock videos:

     

     

    The students’ ability to convey key messages behind their research to the general public impressed Marty Mako, Acting Manager at Niagara Region Public Health. The organization is a key knowledge mobilization partner for a variety of Brock-based research projects.

    Mako said students took the challenge of explaining their work in simple terms and ran with it, creating “well done” videos that were enjoyable and informative to watch.

    The knowledge mobilization process is typically informed and shaped by those who would use the research, said Jayne Morrish, Knowledge Mobilization Officer with Brock’s Centre for Lifespan Development Research.

     

    Next month, a panel of judges will select the Top 15 from the 25 videos. The first-place winner will receive $3,500; second place, $3,000; and third place, $2,750. The remaining dozen will receive $2,500.

    Read the full story here

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: News

  • FMS student research highlighted in national competition

    Seven Brock University entries have made the first cut in a national competition that showcases science research being done across the country.

    Science, Action! features student-produced, 60-second videos on research projects funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), one of Brock’s major research funders. This year’s competition includes 75 entries from all over Canada.

    Between now and Friday, March 2, the 25-most viewed videos will make it to the next round, where a panel of judges will then select the Top 15 for prizes.

    “We’re very proud of our students’ videos in the NSERC national competition,” says Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon. “The quality and number of Brock entries attest to the talent and ambition of our students, and the central role that research plays in their education. It also indicates the strength of the research mentorship they receive from Brock faculty.”

    Brock University’s research videos are:

     

    Cell Talk (Matthew Mueller, Biological Sciences)

    Says that the root cause of several diseases today is a disruption in communication between cells and examines the language that cells use to talk to one another, and how this changes in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. “It can sometimes be a challenge to share my research with others in an understandable way. For me, this competition means that more people can simply see and understand what I do at the lab and why it is important.”

    DNA: A Mobile Molecule (Zakia Dahi and Jina Nanayakkara, Biological Sciences)

    Explores how DNA sequences that move around – called jumping genes” – copy and paste themselves into different parts of our genomes. The research aims to understand how “jumping genes” have led to human variation and disease. “Highlighting our work through a short video in this competition has helped us to get our family & friends excited about what we do,” says Nanayakkara.

    Jack Pine Growth, NT (Dana Harris, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre)

    Shows the role of weather on the production of cells (xylogenesis) of jack pine in the taiga shield of the boreal forest. The aim of this research is to better understand cell production rates of jack pine in high latitude regions of Canada and define the climate-growth relationship of this species. “Being able to share my research across Canada in a simple short 60 second video is amazing, especially to the residents of the northern regions I work in; I I have already received feedback from community members who are looking forward to hearing more about what research is taking place in these regions.”

    Memory and Intent (Sarah Henderson, Psychology and Biological Sciences)

    Explores how we experience both spontaneous and intentional memories as we age. In investigating the brain activity associated with both types of recall, we are hoping to counter common stereotypes of aging by showing that some aspects of memory are preserved with age. “Having my research be a part of NSERC’s Science Action contest is hugely important to me because it will allow me to get people thinking of aging in a more positive light which has been shown to promote positive mental and physical health outcomes.”

    Old Crow’s New Arctic (Brent Thorne, Earth Sciences)

    Shows the impacts that land cover (ie vegetation, soil, and permafrost) have on lake and river water chemistry in Old Crow Flats, Yukon. This research is crucial for understanding how lake rich Arctic regions will continue to change in response to longer warming periods as well as providing key insights to the local Vuntut Gwitchin community who live off of the land. “This competition provides my research an opportunity to increase resources spent on acquiring larger datasets which ultimately provide better insight on our study region.”

    On the fly (Taylor Lidster, Biological Sciences)

    Shows how the fruit fly is used to study inflammation in the gut. The researchers use genetic techniques and microscopy to see any changes in the gut environment, good or bad. “Having my video in the top 75 is extremely exciting because I am proud of my research and I enjoy explaining it to others, making it in the top 25 would be nothing short of amazing!”

    Wildfires of Yellowknife (Josef Viscek, Earth Sciences)

    Focuses on the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories region’s increasing wildfires in recent decades. The research involves monitoring how wildfire and drought conditions may be impacting the hydrology of northern boreal lakes. “The NSERC video contest is a great opportunity for us to showcase our Brock scientific research in an informative, one-minute promo that everyone can understand and appreciate.”


    Tags: , ,
    Categories: News