Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) from brine solution using electrochemical method

The demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is on the rise, mainly due to increased interest in portable devices, electric vehicles and grid-storage applications. The key component in such rechargeable batteries is lithium, which is trivial from the name itself as well, as lithium-ions shuttle back and forth during charging/discharging process. Consequently, lithium production demand has increased significantly as well over the past few decades. Lithium is usually extracted from minerals or water sources etc. Due to the limited availability of minerals and high-production cost.

Medicinal Chemistry Studies on Small Molecule Glucocerebrosidase Inhibitors

The objective of this internship is to create new chemical compounds that can be used to further our research and understanding of a human enzyme known as GBA2 - implicated in several debilitating diseases and signalling pathways in the body. These compounds would not only serve as tools to probe GBA2 for additional information but could also function as potential downstream therapeutics or pre-cursors to future medications to treat GBA2 malfunction.

UVPD of DMS-MS-selected SARS-CoV-2 peptides

Differential mobility spectrometry (DMS) is a technique that is used for the analysis of chemicals by separating complex gaseous mixtures under the influence of an electric field. It is a widely used technique and is successfully deployed in many areas, including drug and explosives testing at airports. In analytical laboratories, it can be used to separate peptides – the components that make up proteins and viruses. However, analysis of data from these experiments can be ambiguous and difficult to interpret.

Development of Optical Clearing Materials Towards Oral Lesion Pathology Screening with Optical Coherence Tomography

The early identification of oral cancers will help to reduce serious complications and death associated with these diseases. Currently, identification of cancerous tissues relies significantly on visual identification during oral exams before more accurate further testing is performed. The use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) has allowed for more accurate initial identification of cancerous tissues, but suffers from limitations in resolution and how far into tissues can be analyzed.

Discovery of natural products with activity against coronaviruses

The general aim of this proposal is to discover new natural products with antiviral activity against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Our lab has a collection of ~ 7,000 unique bacteria and fungi derived from marine sources that we will use to screen for the production of antiviral compounds. While we do not have the lab infrastructure to directly grow SARS-CoV-2, we will use distantly related human coronaviruses to complete this project.

Development of New Infrared Spectroelectrochemical Products

Jackfish SEC is a Saskatoon-based, for-profit company that makes specialty scientific equipment for academic and industry researchers. These tools are all based on vibrational spectroelectrochemistry – the use of light to study the molecules participating in reactions at electrode surfaces. The company wishes to extend its product line by capitalizing on the fundamental work being developed in Professor Ian Burgess’ research group at the University of Saskatchewan. Specifically, the company is looking to develop new tools for studying reactions related to electroctalysis.

CO2-responsive agents for uses in protective coatings

Solvent-based coatings are used for protecting transportation vessels, buildings and infrastructures. They give glossy and durable coatings to protect materials, but their continued use is dangerous to workers and causes environmental damage. Environmentally friendly and safer water-based alternatives exist, but they are less durable and suffer from inferior performance. Unfortunately, the process used to make water-based coatings requires the use of surfactants, which cause the performance problems.

Synthesis and characterization of a new generation of bone targeting anabolic prodrugs

Prostaglandin E2 stimulates bone formation in vivo and exerts its effects through the EP4 receptor. Unfortunately prostaglandin E2 and agonists for the EP4 receptor also cause unacceptable systemic side effects which have limited their clinical use as anabolic agents. We developed novel bone-targeting prodrugs that can deliver EP4 agonists selectively to bone and liberate active drug slowly in situ to effect bone formation while avoiding the side effects.

Water-based "Ink" Formulations for Metal 3D Printing

Rapidia has developed a water-based approach to metal 3D printing that is faster, simpler, and more cost effective than the current systems on the market. This novel approach enables printed parts to be sintered directly, eliminating the time- and chemically- intensive intermediate de-binding step required for other processes. In order to implement this technique, the formulation of the initial paste used for printing is an essential component to optimize.

Next generation cannabinoids for pain, inflammatory response, and cancer – Utilizing allosteric pathways in GPCRs to achieve greater specificity and bias

The recent legalization of cannabis in Canada offers a unique opportunity to conduct fundamental research without the bureaucracy issues faced in other countries. The current state of cannabinoid (CB) based therapies have focused their use in the treatment of cancer, pain, inflammation and opioid addiction, and suffer from unwanted side effects and lack of efficacy. Our focus is on the development of new CB lead compounds that target the cannabinoid and related receptors (i.e. CB1, CB2, GPR55, opioid- and serotonin receptors).

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