Brock undergrad researching ways to make radiation therapy more efficient

Her goal is laser-focused—Alicia Martin wants to help improve cancer treatment. The fourth-year Brock University physics student has been conducting research in partnership with the Niagara Health System (NHS) as part of an experiential learning opportunity, investigating ways to make radiation therapy more efficient. Martin has been working closely with Dr. Ranjini Tolakanahalli, Manager of the NHS’s Department of Medical Physics at the Walker Family Cancer Centre, to improve the effectiveness of external beam therapy, a…

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Dr. Mona Nemer named Canada’s Chief Science Advisor

Dr. Mona Nemer (second from left) at the Research Matters annual Parliament Hill Pop-Up event in Ottawa. Photo by Dave Chan. Research Matters congratulates Dr. Mona Nemer on her new role as Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. The three-year appointment was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday (Sept. 26) at the House of Commons. Nemer will report to the Prime Minister and Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, advising the federal government on all science-related policy and…

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A Laurentian researcher’s journey to the Invictus Games

The adaptive rowing team working with Laurentian University researcher Thomas Merritt for the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. Photo credit: Thomas Merritt Researcher Thomas Merritt arrived at Laurentian University to study genes. He knew little—nor did he need to know—about parasports, accessibility, and adaptive rowing. That was 10 years ago. This week, Merritt is in Toronto for the 2017 Invictus Games, as a technical expert on the biomechanics of adaptive rowing and parasports, and has…

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Queen’s University researcher studies power of music in veterans’ health

Kip Pegley knows what kind of impact music can have on people’s lives. As an associate professor of musicology and ethnomusicology, the power of music is all around her. In her current research, the Queen’s University researcher is looking at the role that music plays within the lives of Canadian Forces personnel, in particular those who have been deployed and returned to Canada, including those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). What she has found…

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Empathizing with nature

“I had a snake and a turtle in my hand as a kid,” says Jackie Litzgus. “That’s how I built empathy.” The Laurentian University professor recalls childhood memories of foraging through the ravine and woods for snakes, toads, and turtles with her brother. These early experiences ignited a lifelong passion to study nature conservation and biology, particularly turtle conservation. “There is inherent worth and beauty in nature that should not be taken for granted,” she…

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From the classroom to the real world: How Laurier students are helping international scholars overcoming war

Stephanie Lee (far right) is one of the Assistant Directors of Public Affairs for Laurier’s International Students Overcoming War (ISOW) program. Taking your research from the classroom or lab and into the real world is always a goal of many university researchers. For Wilfrid Laurier professor and global affairs researcher Gavin Brockett, the wheels were set in motion almost four years ago during a first-year seminar on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the students were finishing…

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Using music to improve hearing, build social connection

SMART Lab’s senior choir, Brainstem Malfunction, performs with director Frank Russo on guitar and graduate student Ella Dubinsky on keyboard. Researchers at Ryerson University’s SMART Lab are making more than just music. With the help of the Chang School, industry partners, and a couple of dozen or so seniors, they’re making a social impact as well. Frank Russo, psychology professor and director of the Science of Music, Auditory Research, and Technology (SMART) Lab, and graduate…

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How fruit flies can help the mining industry

This post is an updated version of an older researcher profile on Laurentian University’s Thomas Merritt. Can fruit flies and microbes help lessen the damage caused by mining? That’s a question Thomas Merritt, Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics, is working to answer. Merritt and collaborator Nadia Mykytczuk, NOHFC Industrial Research Chair in Biomining, Bioremediation and Science Communication, are working to find ways to mitigate the damage caused by acid mine drainage—the highly acidic waste…

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University of Toronto prof examines teachers’ college admissions and equity

Ruth Childs is an expert in assessing how we decide who does, and doesn’t, get into university. The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education professor, along with her graduate research students, is currently shining a spotlight on teacher-training programs. (Marianne Madeline Lau) Every second Thursday, we will be featuring an Ontario Research Chair (ORC) from one of the province’s universities. ORCs are university research professorships created to drive provincial research and develop excellence, to create world-class…

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Teaching future teachers about legacy of residential schools

Studying the War of 1812 in Grade 8 History class left a greater impression on Kiera Brant than it does on most 14-year-olds. On the Tyendinaga First Nation near Belleville, Ontario, Brant’s class learned about the Mohawk and Iroquois contributions to the war. It wasn’t until she left the community that she discovered not all people know about the war through this perspective. “It was a very different reality moving away from the reserve,” says…

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