Welcome to the world of University of Saskatchewan discovery, creativity, and innovation. Explore covers the latest research results, societal impacts, and outstanding people who are part of the Uof S's $130-million-a-year research enterprise.
Contents - Winter 2008
Vol. 1 No. 1
Read about some of the U of S faculty and students who have recently been in the news for outstanding research and scholarship.
Education Professor Honoured With National Award
Professor Marie Battiste has been named a recipient of a 2008 National Aboriginal Achievement Award (NAAA) for her work in the field of education.
Battiste, academic director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre and co-director of the national Aboriginal Learning and Knowledge Centre, is deeply committed to Aboriginal knowledge, learning, and anti-racism. A past recipient of the U of S Distinguished Researcher Award, her scholarly works have influenced educational thought and practice.
The fifth U of S individual to win a NAAA, Battiste will be honoured at a televised event next March in Toronto. Previous winners are author Maria Campbell, neuro-psychiatry researcher and Canadian Senator Lillian Dyck, engineering student Matthew Dunn, and chemistry associate professor Lee Wilson.
Research Team Discovers What Makes Dogs Black
The prestigious journal Science recently reported that U of S molecular geneticist Sheila Schmutz and a Stanford collaborator have discovered that a dominant mutation of the gene beta-Defensin 103 is the cause of black coat color in the majority of dog breeds. See http://homepage.usask.ca/~schmutz/dogcolors.html
As well, the team has developed a series of DNA tests that will help dog breeders determine whether black coat color will be the only color expressed in a litter. In some breeds, certain colors are more desirable in the show ring than others. In a few cases, coat colors are also linked to certain health conditions such as excessive hair loss. These tests are offered by HealthGene, a Toronto molecular diagnostic and research firm.
Music Education Graduate Demonstrates Talent for Composing
2007 U of S music education graduate Paul Suchan excels not only at playing the saxophone but also at composing a wide variety of music – for jazz, wind instruments, and choir. Over the past year, his original compositions have been featured on all three CDs produced by the College of Arts and Science Jazz Ensemble, Wind Orchestra, and the Greystone Singers Choir. These outstanding ensemble groups helped celebrate the U of S Centennial with special performances and events.
President MacKinnon Named To National Advisory Council
U of S President Peter MacKinnon has been appointed to a new 17-member Science, Technology and Innovation Council set up by the federal government to provide policy advice on science and technology issues critical to Canada’s economic development and social well-being. It will also produce regular national reports that measure Canada’s science and technology performance against international standards of excellence. “This council will have a strong voice and will be a great asset to the government as we consider the best way to move our S&T agenda forward,” said Industry Minister Jim Prentice.
U of S Engineering Students Win Space Competition
The U of S Space Design Team (USST) achieved its third first-place finish in as many years in the prestigious Elevator:2010 competition held Oct. 19-21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The competition showcases technologies that could one day transport people and payloads into space without the use of rockets. The USST’s technology focused on what the team describes as “the world’s most powerful non-military beaming device” to send a robotic climber up a carbon-fibre tether anchored to the ground and suspended by a crane. The group has been invited to speak about their technology at an upcoming European aerospace conference.
U of S Scholars Named to Royal Society of Canada
U of S historian Bill Waiser and English professor Len Findlay were recently inducted into the Royal Society of Canada, the nation’s highest body of distinguished scientists and scholars.
Waiser is author of the highly acclaimed Saskatchewan: A New History (2005) and Looking Back: Saskatchewan History on CBC television (1999-2001). Findlay is director of the U of S Humanities Research Unit and has served as the Northrop Frye Professor of Literary Theory at the University of Toronto.
U of S Scientist Wins Gold in Remote Sensing
Steven Franklin, geography professor and Vice-President Research, has been awarded the Canadian Remote Sensing Society’s Gold Medal, the highest award for remote sensing in Canada. The award recognizes Franklin’s “leadership and significant contributions in remote sensing research, education, and professional service.” Franklin specializes in applications of satellite and aerial remote sensing to forest ecology and wildlife management.
2007 Distinguished Researchers Connect their Research to Communities
As part of “Connecting Research with Communities” Health Research Week, two health scientists who are recipients of the 2007 U of S Distinguished Researcher Award, shared their findings with the public at special events.
Dr. Gregg Adams, professor of veterinary biomedical sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, shared stories of working with animals of all sizes to unravel long-standing mysteries about fertility, puberty and reproductive aging in animals and humans. The audience toured the new Westgen Research Suite where graduate students were on hand to demonstrate the science.
In a lecture targeted at public health nurses, family doctors and other health practitioners as well as new or expectant moms, Jane Alcorn, associate professor of pharmacy, discussed the risks to the breastfed baby when mothers need to take medications.