UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN October 25 , 2005 Issue 13
OVPR Executive Franklin and Chad Relocate to College Building
With the re-opening of the College Building, Steven Franklin, Vice-President Research and Karen Chad, Associate Vice-President Research, have moved to new offices in the historic building. All other units of the Office of the Vice-President Research will remain in their current locations. Karen Chad and Research and Administrative Assistant Alice Der are now located in Room 201.1 and 201 respectively. Steven Franklin is now located in Room 201.2 and Sharon Munger-Osborne, Senior Administrative Assistant is in Room 201. Telephone numbers remain the same; the fax number is now 966-8736. The mailing address is Office of the Vice-President Research, 107 Administration Place S7N 5A2.
Cannabinoid, Anxiety and Depression Research Draws World-Wide Interest
U of S associate professor of psychiatry Xia Zhang and his research team in the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit have discovered that HU-210, a synthetic version of a chemical found in marijuana, stimulates brain cell growth in the hippocampus of rats. The development suggests new directions to develop possible treatments for anxiety and depression. The research, published in the November 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and publicized in part by Research Communications, excited interest from around the world. Media outlets carrying the story included the National Post, Globe and Mail, numerous other Canadian dailies, and international dailies such as The Australian and The Independent (UK). All three Canadian broadcast networks carried the story, as well as international outlets such as BBC and CNN. As of October 20, 2005, a Google search of “Zhang, marijuana, HU-210, anxiety, depression,” yielded more than 800 hits. Discovery Channel carried an interview with paper co-author and graduate student Jamie Van Cleemput (pictured here with Zhang), which continues to be available online.
Kinesiology height prediction study receives international attention
Have you ever wondered how tall your child is going to be? You’re not the only one. A new method to predict the adult height of healthy children is receiving international media attention. Research group leader Adam Baxter-Jones, PhD student Lauren Sherar (pictured here with Lachlan Baxter-Jones), and Bob Mirwald presented their novel, non-intrusive, inexpensive method of predicting the adult height of children between the ages of eight and 16 in this month’s issue of the Journal of Pediatrics. Their prediction method, publicized by Research Communications, was featured in the Star Phoenix, the Globe and Mail, on CBC’s As it Happens, and on several major international news networks including CNN, Reuters, NBC, MSNBC, and BBC. Baxter-Jones’ group also designed a simple online tool that utilizes their prediction formula, which has led to increased traffic on the kinesiology website. To predict a child's adult height, their age, height, sitting height and weight are entered into the group's formula. The tool is located at http://www.usask.ca/kinesiology/research_index.php.
Robert Calder to deliver Distinguished Researcher Lecture Nov. 3
“Writers and War” is the theme explored by English professor Robert Calder in the 2005 Distinguished Researcher Lecture. The event, organized by Research Communications, will take place on Nov. 3rd at 7:30 p.m. at Convocation Hall in the College Building. A nation at war creates a special dilemma for its writers: to what degree should they abandon their traditional role of objective observers and critics of their society in order to use their skill with words to help win that war? How do they determine that any particular war justifies their unqualified support? To what degree should they allow themselves to become embedded? Calder will discuss the responses of authors in Great Britain, the United States and Canada to the Second World War, and he will comment on the role of writers and artists in such contemporary ventures as the American-led invasion of Iraq.
Industry Liaison Office Establishes Satellite Offices
The Industry Liaison Office (ILO) has launched its first three satellite offices. Located in the Colleges of Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, and Engineering, the offices are designed to foster interaction with the research community on campus and further its mandate to educate faculty, staff, and students about intellectual property matters and ILO’s programs to add value to U of S inventions. Further offices are planned for the Colleges of Medicine and Arts & Science as space and personnel become available. You are invited to visit the three new offices: Diane Harms – Technology Transfer Officer Room 4112 Western College of Veterinary Medicine Phone: 966-2451 Karl Miller– Technology Transfer Officer Room 2C78 Engineering Building Phone: 966-1988 Bin Yan– Technology Transfer Manager Room 2D08 Agriculture Building Phone: 966-5875
Recruiting and Retaining Women in Science and Engineering Public Lecture
Professor Anne Condon from the department of computer science at the University of British Columbia will present a public lecture “Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Women in Science and Engineering” on Oct. 31 in Biology 106 at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow in the Geology Atrium. Condon will discuss the slow progress in increasing representation of women in science and engineering, even though many academic institutions have the goal of increasing female participation. She will discuss the importance of continued work towards this goal, provide perspective on the achievements to date, and describe new efforts at institutions across North America that are making a difference. Condon currently holds the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the British Columbia and the Yukon regions. She has been a member of the Computing Research Association's Committee on Women (CRA-W) since 1994. Educated at University College Cork, Ireland and the University of Washington, Seattle, her research interests include computational complexity theory, design and analysis of algorithms, and prediction of RNA structure.
VIDO Director Wins Prix Galien
Lorne Babiuk, director of the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), has been named the 2005 recipient of the Prix Galien Canada Research Award which honors a leading researcher judged to have made the most significant contribution to pharmaceutical research in the country. Babiuk, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Vaccinology and Biotechnology, is being honoured for his visionary research into the mechanisms by which infectious organisms cause disease and mammals respond to infection. A professor of veterinary medicine with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, he is interested in “natural” immunity and its potential to improve vaccine efficacy and complement or replace antibiotics. The Prix Galien caps a banner year for Babiuk and VIDO. In March, the federal government awarded $24 million towards a new International Vaccine Centre to be built adjacent to VIDO by 2009. In June, Babiuk and his team were awarded $6.9 million by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to develop vaccines for newborns. In August, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Henderson receives Montaigne Prize for Erasmus Paper
English professor Judith Rice Henderson has received The Montaigne Prize from the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies (CSRS) for the best paper presented by a non-student member at its annual meeting, held at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Western Ontario. Henderson’s paper finds a common argument in two works on grammar published together during the Reformation. In these dialogues, the famous Dutch biblical scholar Erasmus took Rome to task for encouraging Church disunity. He implied that Roman Catholic leaders unintentionally encouraged Luther's revolt by claiming Italian superiority in Latin, although there were many different ways of pronouncing the language throughout Europe. He argued the classical pronunciation of the Church's language should be restored so that Europeans could talk to each other. The paper, “A Dialogue Between Dialogues: Erasmus's ‘De recta pronuntiatione’ and ‘Ciceronianus,’” was praised as “a substantial contribution to Renaissance scholarship.” Henderson is past president of the CSRS and has published numerous articles on Erasmus's grammar and rhetoric.
Four U of S Faculty Admitted as Fellows in Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
Four faculty members have been admitted as Fellows into the newly formed Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). Drs. Jawahar (Jay) Kalra, Jim Dosman, Roger Pierson, and Dean of Medicine Bill Albritton were elected based on a rigorous peer review. Albritton, a professor of pediatrics, has special interest in frequent infections, immune deficiency states, including HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of pediatric care delivery issues. Dosman is founding Director of the Institute of Agricultural Rural and Environmental Health, renowned for its research and extension programming regarding the health of farmers, farm workers, and their families. Kalra, a professor of pathology, has been extremely active in leadership roles at the university and various professional organizations; his major research area is oxidative stress in relation to heart and stroke. Pierson, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, is a world leader in women’s health research, pioneering novel ultrasound imaging techniques to directly visualize human ovulation and in the process fundamentally change understanding of the female reproductive cycle. The induction took place Sept. 21 in Vancouver at the Inaugural Meeting of the CAHS featuring federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh (pictured here with Kalra, left, and Albritton, centre), and Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. CAHS develops informed, strategic assessments on urgent health issues and provides a recognized and authoritative Canadian health science voice internationally.
Psychology Prof named Champion of Mental Health
Psychology professor and medical anthropologist James Waldram has been named a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) for his work in understanding Aboriginal mental health. Waldram, (pictured here with presenter Bill Mussell and CAMIMH president John Service) is currently working on sabbatical from the U of S at the University of California - Los Angeles. The only university-based researcher to be named as a Champion this year, Waldram shared the podium with fellow Champions federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh, TV personality Vicki Gabereau, Senator Romeo Dallaire, mental health court judge Ted Ormston, and Bill Wilkerson, co-founder and CEO of the Global and Business Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health. The award was presented at a ceremony at Ottawa's Chateau Laurier as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week from October 3-10. It recognizes Waldram's research and publications in the area of Aboriginal health and his significant contributions to the understanding of culture in psychiatry, psychology, and anthropology.
Monique Dubé Co-recipient of NSERC Synergy Award
Monique Dubé, Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Ecosystem Health Diagnosis at the University of Saskatchewan, was a co-recipient of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council’s 2005 Synergy Award in Halifax on October 19. Dubé’s former employer, Environment Canada’s National Water Research Institute (NWRI), the University of New Brunswick and Irving Pulp and Paper Limited jointly received the award that honours outstanding university-industry research and development partnerships. The award recognized the collaborative research of Dubé and Mark Hewitt, then both with NWRI, on pulp mill effluent and its effects on fish reproduction. The researchers and their partners pinpointed the source of pulp and paper mill compounds that cause reproductive changes in fish. During their seven years of research, the partners also validated a reliable technological remedy to the problem. Dubé is now a faculty member at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, and works with the U of S Toxicology Centre.
English undergraduate student publishes first book of poetry
English undergraduate student Jennifer Still has recently published Saltations, her first book of poetry, with Thistledown Press. Saltations investigates the ancestral forces and early family memories needed to form the self. A series of Still’s poems were dramatized for Globe Theatre’s 2003 On the Line festival and another series will be broadcast on CBC radio in 2005. Her creative non-fiction has been broadcast on CBC Radio and her poetry chapbook, Remnant, was published in December 2002 by JackPine Press, which she co-founded. She lives in Saskatoon with her husband and daughter.
Engineering students reach for the sky in NASA sponsored robotics competition
Five engineering students from the University of Saskatchewan (Edwin Zhang, Devon Loehr, Remko van den Hurk, Clayton Ruszkowski and Jeff Nattress) have returned from California where they competed in a NASA sponsored robotics competition. NASA was looking for outside innovations in an attempt to develop and build futuristic concepts such as space elevators and solar-powered satellites. The students had a chance to win a $50,000 prize in the Beam Power Challenge. Seven teams vied for the $50,000 first prize, five from across the U.S. and two from Canada. In the challenge, they had to design a robotic climber, a Mars roverlike machine that has to be capable of lifting the heaviest weight possible to the top of a 50-metre cable in less than three minutes. The team had the best-performing robotic climber, reaching the highest altitude under beamed power, about one third of the required distance for the prize money. The team’s feat was featured in a story on the much-visited space.com website.
English graduate students to launch new literary journal
Graduate students in the English department have announced The Fieldstone Review, a new online literary journal accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from around the world. The Review is calling for submissions until January 31, 2006. The first issue is expected in March. Editor Holly Luhning, a PhD student in English, is a promising young Canadian poet. Her first book, Sway, was published by Thistledown Press in 2003. For more information or to submit a piece of writing see the call for submissions on the department website.
Bookmark: Online Guide to Researching International Science and Technology Opportunities
The Government of Canada recently launched a comprehensive, searchable online database on opportunities for funding international collaboration. The Funding Guide for International Science and Technology Cooperation is searchable by country and funding agency. Opportunities are divided into three sections: grants and bursaries, post-doctoral fellowships, and major international prizes for which Canadian researchers may apply. The grants and bursaries section includes support for collaborative research projects and support for visits ranging from a few weeks to a year. It also includes information on funding for workshops, seminars, conferences, and travel. The post-doctoral fellows section include fellowships in Canada or with foreign organizations.
Nutritionist joins Prairie Swine Centre
Belgian animal nutritionist Pascal Leterme has joined the Prairie Swine Centre as Research Scientist - Nutrition. He will contribute to all aspects of nutrition research at the Centre, and take a leadership role the research program on ingredient utilization. Pascal received his training in Gembloux, Belgium, where his research focused on protein metabolism. From there, he moved to Palmira, Columbia where he developed a new laboratory and research program on feed ingredients at the National University of Columbia. Four years later, he returned to Europe to teach at the National Veterinary University in Lyon, France. Pascal has a very strong background and publication record in ingredient evaluation, including the role of diet on gastrointestinal function and the impact of antinutritional factors, especially in legumes.
New faces in Research Services
Marcia Main has been appointed as a Programs Officer in the Innovation Programs Unit. Marcia provides administration support for the Canada Research Chairs and Canada Foundation for Innovation programs, functions formerly handled by Magel Sutherland. Marcia comes from her former position with Purchasing Services as the assistant to the project administrator in charge of procurement processes arising from CFI funds. Marcia has a U of S B.Ed. with specializations in French and Music. Anne Neufeld has been appointed as a Research Facilitator in the International Research Unit as of November 1. Anne will identify international research opportunities and help develop proposals. She comes to the position from the College of Medicine where she is the assistant to the dean, supporting the implementation of the College’s integrated plan, including the internationalization initiative, Aboriginal initiative, primary health care and rural health. Anne is completing her doctoral program in interdisciplinary studies at the U of S.