News

Drug design earns honour for computational chemist

Drug design earns honour for computational chemist The Chemical Abstracts Service has named UWindsor post-doctoral researcher Aziz Abu-Saleh one of its 2024 Future Leaders Your next treatment for anxiety or cancer may be residing right now on Aziz Abu-Saleh’s computer. As a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of professor John Trant, Dr. Abu-Saleh specializes in computational chemistry, leveraging advanced computer modeling techniques and machine learning to design drugs targeting a range of health issues, including anxiety, cancer, COVID-19, and obesity. “My research involves computer modelling of biological systems to solve challenging problems,” he says. “We want to target those health issues without affecting other functions.” The computer models simulate real-world effects of his designs. Promising solutions are handed off to partners to synthesize the materials, test them, and then provide feedback for further refinement. His work has won him notice from the Chemical Abstracts Service, a division of the American Chemical…

Funding to advance neutron research program

Funding to advance neutron research program Drew Marquardt took another step toward bringing neutron scattering to material research and cancer treatment in Windsor. Drew Marquardt took another step forward in his quest to bring neutron scattering to the forefront of material research and cancer treatment in Windsor when he received the Early Researcher Awards (ERA) program from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. The five-year award comes with $140,000 along with an additional $50,000 funded from the UWindsor Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “Since Canada’s major neutron beam source facility closed down in Chalk River in 2018, researchers have had to travel to international facilities to conduct imperative research,” says Dr. Marquardt, acting head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “My lab is building a research program that will hopefully result in bringing a compact accelerator-driven neutron source, or CANS, infrastructure to Windsor. This funding shows that the broader community…

April networking event to bring together health research community

April networking event to bring together health research community WE-SPARK Health Institute hosts monthly networking events for members of the Windsor-Essex health research community to get to know one another through fun and casual conversations. There is no formal agenda, and all are welcome.  This is an opportunity for anyone interested in health research to make connections in an informal and enjoyable atmosphere.   The next event will be held Thursday April 4th from 5-8pm at the Bourbon Tap & Grill, 1199 Ottawa St, Windsor. No RSVP is required. WE-SPARK Health Institute is supported by an innovative partnership between the University of Windsor and Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, and Windsor Regional Hospital that brings together health research strengths, expertise, and infrastructure from across the WindsorEssex region.

Caught on camera: University of Windsor researchers want to know 'what’s happening with kids’ heads'

Caught on camera: University of Windsor researchers want to know 'what’s happening with kids’ heads' Dave Andrews, Kinesiology Professor at the University of Windsor The H.I.R.T. (Head Impact Research Team) videotaped 21 minor hockey games in Belle River looking for head impacts to young athletes. “Most of the work that's been done so far has been done on older athletes and using techniques that are really expensive to outfit a whole team if you wanted to follow what’s happening with their heads during a game,” says Dave Andrews, a Human Kinetics professor and researcher at the University of Windsor. His class of graduate students form HIRT and with the help of a grant from WE-Spark Health Institute, they created a “novel multi-camera method” to learn about “conspicuous head impacts.” “Those aren't necessarily concussive hits,” says Masters student Emily Roberts. “It's just anytime that head is having a direct contact with something else.” Roberts says most impacts are from checking because they videotaped three teams in the U15 and U16 divisions, where…

Program boosting participation in clinical trials among Canadian cancer patients

Program boosting participation in clinical trials among Canadian cancer patients A program helping cancer patients find clinical trials of treatments is expanding. A local research team has been leading a made-in-Windsor program to help connect cancer patients with clinical trials nationally. Only seven per cent of Canadians with cancer end up enrolling in a clinical trial, and the rate is lower in small cancer centres that run fewer trials than larger hospitals. Caroline Hamm, a medical oncologist at Windsor Regional Hospital and clinical associate professor in the UWindsor Department of Biomedical Sciences, has spent years investigating why more people don’t participate in clinical trials, and exploring ways to increase patient accrual — the number of patients who have completed or are actively in the process of completing a trial. “Clinical trials represent hope for many cancer patients, offering access to promising new treatments and a chance to impact the future of cancer care,” says Dr. Hamm. Access to trials depends on where the patient lives and whether…

WE-SPARK Director appointed Vice President, Research and Scientific Director at St. Joseph’s Health Care

WE-SPARK Director appointed Vice President, Research and Scientific Director at St. Joseph’s Health Care University of Windsor Distinguished Professor Dr. Lisa Porter is expanding her research reach with an exciting new leadership role. Dr. Porter has been appointed Vice President, Research and Scientific Director at St. Joseph’s Health Care London, effective late February. Excerpt from UWindsor Daily News: Distinguished Professor, Dr. Lisa Porter, is expanding her research reach with an exciting new leadership role. The Biomedical Sciences professor became Vice President, Research and Scientific Director at St. Joseph’s Health Care London in late February. “We are excited to congratulate Dr. Porter on her new position,” says Interim Dean of the Faculty of Science, Dr. Dora Cavallo-Medved. “Moreover, we are proud and grateful for Dr. Porter’s amazing and dedicated leadership in advancing health research in Windsor-Essex.” “As the founding director of WE-SPARK Health Institute, She led and engaged actively with the core partners to create and champion a strong collaborative…

Report details accomplishments of WE-SPARK Health Institute

Report details accomplishments of WE-SPARK Health Institute WE-Spark Health Institute highlights key accomplishments from November 2023 to January 2024 in its Year 5, third quarter report: continued to grow the WindsorEssex research ecosystem with a total of 1,153 members; increased the number of active users of its RedCap data sharing platform to 311, facilitating 170 research projects, with 24.6K records/participants, and 22 funded projects representing $4.7 million in funding; hosted four events and workshops, including its annual Health Research Conference which attracted over 300 participants, more than 100 posters and conferred 18 student awards; continued to share member successes in its bi-monthly newsletter; prepared for the Feb. 26 launch of the 2024 WE-Spark Igniting Discovery Grants program. Read the full report here. WE-Spark quarterly reports communicate outcomes and provide accountability to its members and the Windsor-Essex community. All reports can be found here. WE-Spark Health Institute is supported by an innovative partnership…

Researcher teaming up with Windsor police to study distracted driving

Researcher teaming up with Windsor police to study distracted driving Professor Francesco Biondi and Windsor Police Service are teaming up to study distracted driving in school zones, aiming to enhance safety with targeted campaigns and policy recommendations based on comprehensive data collection and analysis. The Windsor Police Service is teaming up with a researcher at the University of Windsor to study distracted driving in school zones and other elevated-risk areas of the city. Francesco Biondi, an expert in how drivers behave behind the wheel, will be leading the study together with Barry Horrobin, director of planning and physical resources for Windsor Police. In addition to measuring the prevalence of distracted driving, the project will measure the impact of things like school zone signs and traffic volumes on driver distraction within selected study locations. The goal is to identify areas that need targeted safety campaigns or more police presence and show the consequences of distracted driving on our local roadways. “This project has the potential…

March networking event to bring together health research community

March networking event to bring together health research community WE-SPARK Health Institute hosts monthly networking events for members of the Windsor-Essex health research community to get to know one another through fun and casual conversations. There is no formal agenda, and all are welcome.  This is an opportunity for anyone interested in health research to make connections in an informal and enjoyable atmosphere.   The next event will be held Thursday March 7th from 5-8pm at the Bourbon Tap & Grill, 1199 Ottawa St, Windsor. No RSVP is required. WE-SPARK Health Institute is supported by an innovative partnership between the University of Windsor and Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, and Windsor Regional Hospital that brings together health research strengths, expertise, and infrastructure from across the WindsorEssex region.

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