Imaging Processing and Machine Learning in Clinical Microscopy

In many clinical laboratory and pathology testing procedures, visual examination of microscopic slides is needed, e.g., to classify disease developments, to detect the interactions of micro-organisms, to assess the effectiveness of drugs, to determine cell viability and proliferation, etc. These tasks can be found in many important clinical applications, including cancer research, hematology, pharmacology, and genetic testing.

Traditionally, these tasks are performed manually by a qualified laboratory technician.

Structural and Functional Investigation of Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1)

The research project involves investigating the structure and function of DISC1 subdomains. As DISC1 is a large protein with multiple functions, breaking it down into its subdomains will facilitate our understanding of its biology. The biochemical and biophysical properties of subdomains will be characterized. This 12-week project will allow the student to learn how to use a state-of-the-art protein chromatography system to produce large quantity of proteins needed for downstream structural biological investigation.

Comparison of winter limnology between selected reservoirs in Saskatchewan

Lakes across much of Canada are ice-covered for long periods every year. Ice cover creates conditions fundamentally different from other seasons, with low light penetration, low temperatures, and the presence of a barrier to gas exchange. Climate change predictions suggest that reductions in ice cover can be expected. However, logistical challenges associated with winter field work mean that we have relatively poor understanding of current conditions in lakes during winter.

Developmental genetics of the zebrafish skeleton

Osteoarthritis is a major obstacle to work productivity and quality of life for many Canadians, affecting over 10% of the general population and 15% of Saskatchewanians, with the elderly increasingly affected (>40% of Canadians over 65 years old). At the cellular and molecular level, osteoarthritis involves two main defects: 1) degradation of sugar-coated proteins (proteoglycans) in the cartilage that protects bones at the joints, and 2) changes to gene expression in the cells (chondrocytes) that maintain cartilage.

Exercise and a flax nutritional supplement for reducing blood pressure in older individuals

The purpose of the research project is to determine the effects of a flax-based nutritional supplement and an exercise program (walking) for improving blood pressure in older individuals. Both of these interventions lower blood pressure and we want to determine whether their effects are additive for reducing blood pressure. We will evaluated blood pressure with 24-hour monitors and also assess blood markers for cardiovascular disease risk.

Development of Pickering water-in-oil-in-water double emulsion delivery system for protection of labile bioactive compounds

We recently showed that the fat crystal shells around water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion droplets could effectively screen the hydrophilic active components from the outer environment (Ghosh et al., Salt Release from Fat Crystal-Stabilized Water-in-Oil Emulsions. 103rd AOCS Annual Meeting, Long Beach, California, USA, May 2012). Formation of crystal shells around dispersed droplets in emulsion is a novel stabilization mechanism in which fat crystals or other suitably surface-active particles absorb on the droplet surface thereby providing a physical barrier to coalescence.

The Political Economy of Public-Private Mixed Health Insurance

Developing countries, particularly the fast-growing BRIC countries, are increasingly switching their focus from economic development to social welfare, of which public health insurance is an important component.

Currently, three major health care systems exist in OECD countries: National Health Service (NHS) in Nordic countries like Sweden and Norway and commonwealth countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia; Social Security system in continental Europe including France, Germany, Netherlands, and Austria; and Private Health Insurance in the United States.

Breast cancer detection using ultra-wideband technology

The project employs ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to construct an image of the breast in order to detect tumors. A mathematical model of the breast under UWB signal is built using human body properties and RF signals in the GHz range. The model is used to simulate the penetration and reflection of the UWB signals. From the wave analysis, 3-D image of the breast is to be constructed. Data are to be collected from the patients. The data are processed, analyzed, and images will be displayed. From the image, tumors will be identified. The system is used as a screening tool for breast cancer.

Application of advanced oxidation and catalytic ozonation in removing antibiotics from water

The presence of emerging pollutants (chemicals such as pesticides, residual pharmaceuticals and personal care products) in surface water bodies is becoming a serious concern not only for their environmental impact, but also for their potentially serious adverse effects on human health. Antibiotics are important class of emerging pollutants in nature. Presence of antibiotics in nature can lead to development of antibiotics resistant strains of bacteria. This is an important health concern.

Application of solid catalysts to enhance degradation of emerging pollutants in water using ozone

The presence of emerging pollutants (chemicals such as pesticides, residual pharmaceuticals and personal care products) in surface water bodies is becoming a serious concern not only for their environmental impact, but also for their potentially serious adverse effects on human health. Innovative water treatment technologies are under investigation to determine their potential application in current drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities in eliminating these micro-pollutants in water.