News

Non-invasive helmet ventilation system in development by local researchers

Non-invasive helmet ventilation system in development by local researchers Windsor researchers are in the early stages of developing a non-invasive ventilation system called the Canada Hood. (courtesy Dr. Jay MacDonald)   WINDSOR, ONT. -- A made-in-Canada device is aiming to breathe new life into the COVID-19 battle, by taking a different approach on a device that has been crucial during the pandemic — ventilators. A team of Windsor researchers is in the early stages of developing a non-invasive ventilation system called the Canada Hood. “We are trying to avoid putting people into an induced coma and breathing tubes. It’s a lot less harsh on the body,” says Dr. Jay MacDonald, emergency and hyperbaric medicine specialist at Windsor Regional Hospital. Dr. MacDonald is working alongside Windsor Regional Hospital’s former ER chief Dr. Rob Woodall and Dr. Clive Davis, an expert in respirology, intensive care, and hyperbaric medicine in Hamilton to spearhead this project. Hood ventilation devices, also known has helmets, uses a transparent plastic bubble…

Health care workers needlessly sacrificed to COVID-19: study

Health care workers needlessly sacrificed to COVID-19: study UWindsor alumna Jane McArthur is part of a multinational collaboration to address infection, death, overwork, and stress of health-care workers worldwide in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy: University of Windsor)   UWindsor researchers are part of a multinational group calling for major changes to address infection, death, overwork, and stress of health-care workers in the wake of COVID-19. UWindsor occupational and environmental researchers Margaret Keith and James Brophy; alumna Jane McArthur (PhD 2021), toxic campaigns co-ordinator for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment; and Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president Michael Hurley represented Canada alongside team members from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. “Refusal to accept the scientifically established airborne nature of transmission of the virus, failure to provide needed protections, hundreds of thousands of preventable infections and over 20,000 deaths from COVID-19…

Brain Tumour Foundation offers free school lesson plans

Brain Tumour Foundation offers free school lesson plans Tara Malone, a teacher at Riverside Secondary School in Windsor is shown on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Malone was on a committee organized by the Brain Tumour Foundation that developed specialized lesson plans. PHOTO BY DAN JANISSE /Windsor Star   Understanding more about brain tumour survivors is the goal a new national educational resource program developed with the help of two Windsor residents. Ryan Palazzolo, a University of Windsor student, and Tara Malone, a teacher at Riverside secondary school, were on a committee that created more than 20 lesson plans for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. The Superkids Program launched last week, offering free lesson plans for students from Grades K-12. The committee behind it is a mix of patients, survivors, teachers and post-secondary students. Malone was one of four teachers who helped shape the curriculum. “I think it was important to have pre-ready lessons with handouts and activities, especially this year when teachers are so overwhelmed,”…

Sewing volunteers hit milestone

Sewing volunteers hit milestone UWindsor professor Ken Drouillard is heading a research project to help the Windsor-Essex Sewing Force. The volunteer group recently passed a production milestone of 50,000 masks and scrub caps.   An army of volunteers aided by UWindsor researchers has hit the milestone of sewing more than 50,000 facemasks and scrub caps in one year. The Windsor-Essex Sewing Force began producing personal protective equipment for local healthcare workers when the pandemic first struck. The group also provided masks to vulnerable populations, including seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities, migrant workers, and at-risk children. The items were designed with the help of scientists at UWindsor’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research. With a grant from the Office of Research and Innovation and the WE-Spark Health Institute, experts used GLIER’s scanning electron microscope to analyze materials and designed a database and website to track inventory, requests, donations, and…

Trivia night to test myth-busting skills

Trivia night to test myth-busting skills Test your health knowledge and skills busting myths about cancer at the “Don’t be Fooled” trivia night, taking place online April 1. This graduate student-led event, hosted by WE-Spark Health Institute and Windsor’s Research Information Outreach Team (RIOT), is open to all ages. There’s something for everyone, including a chance to win a $25 raffle prize. RIOT Windsor is a volunteer group of University of Windsor researchers comprised of graduate students and professors in cancer biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, psychology, and engineering. The free trivia event will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday; register here. Courtesy: https://www.uwindsor.ca/dailynews/2021-03-29/trivia-night-test-myth-busting-skills

Health research gathering to provide project overview

Health research gathering to provide project overview WE-SPARK Health Institute is preparing to host its next bi-monthly virtual Think Tank, a unique opportunity for researchers, healthcare providers, students, and the Windsor-Essex community to come together to share ideas, get to know each other, and learn what’s happening in the region. The Think Tank is open to everyone and will take place Friday, April 9, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Click here for more information and to register. Laura D’Alimonte, clinical practice manager for Windsor Regional Hospital, says that participating in previous Think Tanks has helped her to understand the research landscape in Windsor-Essex, allowed for networking opportunities with academic leaders across the region, and provided opportunities for collaborations with experts with similar academic interests. “I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the participants and I encourage people from all backgrounds to be part of these,” she says. “You don’t have to be thinking of being on a research team…

UWindsor researchers launch COVID testing pilot project on campus

UWindsor researchers launch COVID testing pilot project on campus Jackie Fong, a research manager to Dr. Lisa Porter in the biomedical sciences department at the University of Windsor, holds a COVID-19 testing swab, on March 18, 2021. PHOTO BY DAX MELMER /Windsor Star   Researchers at the University of Windsor have launched a pilot project for on-campus COVID-19 testing in hopes it lays the foundation for a safe return to in-person learning. The three-phase project started earlier this month with 30 volunteers from the science faculty’s Centre of Research (CORe) building. Participants collect a saliva sample and turn it in for weekly testing. Results are given through a cellphone app. Chemistry professor Yufeng Tong developed the rapid PCR test being used for the project with funding from a WE-Spark Health Institute grant. “Screening is quite a straightforward process,” said lead researcher and biomedical science professor Lisa Porter. “We have all the equipment, the same kind of equipment as public health. Screening asymptomatic people is…

On the frontlines and in the headlines: Dr. Jessica Summerfield

On the frontlines and in the headlines: Dr. Jessica Summerfield In spite of the uncertainty and sometimes chaos of the last year, Adjunct Professor Dr. Jessica Summerfield says her days on-call are characterized by an efficient, unwavering routine. She wakes up at 5:00 a.m.; breakfast is always coffee and two eggs. After driving to Windsor Regional Hospital - Ouellette Campus, she pulls into her regular parking spot and carefully puts on the layers of necessary protective equipment. The ritual continues with the daily screening upon entering the hospital, and a careful disinfection of the surfaces in her office. As a COVID-19 frontline physician in the midst of a two-week on-call stretch, Dr. Summerfield makes her way through her list of patients; completing rounds, updating families and reviewing new admissions. While the rate of new infections is slowly beginning to relent, the volume in the hospital remains high.   “I’m coping as best I can, and I’m grateful for a supportive family and fantastic colleagues. Morale has actually been pretty…

Cancer research gets $250,000 boost

Cancer research gets $250,000 boost Two UWindsor professors developing new therapies for particularly aggressive cancers have received another round of funding for their ground-breaking research. Molecular biologist Lisa Porter and chemist John Trant have received $250,000 from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research to support their project for another year. They received $250,000 from the institute last year and $100,000 in 2019 for a total of $600,000 to date. “Our funding has been based on progress,” said Dr. Trant. Combining biology, synthetic chemistry, and computational chemistry, Trant and Porter have gone from doing preliminary research into cancer-related proteins to creating new potential drugs to target those proteins, and devising the computational models and cell assays to test them on. Trant and Porter’s teams are researching CdKs, short for Cyclin-dependent Kinases, a family of naturally occurring proteins in the body that protect cells from mutating into tumours. Cancers — especially aggressive…

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