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August 2012

Soaring towards medical breakthroughs

Canadian healthcare is increasingly reliant on new technologies to advance patient care and diagnostics. Such a challenge is one that Leonam Pecly da Silva - a control and automation engineering student from Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil - intends to help Canada address.

Leonam is nearing completion of his undergraduate studies at the Fluminense Federal Institute with a passion for all things “engineering”. Having completed engineering projects to assist in remote monitoring of the Paraiba do Sul River as well as testing equipment for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Leonam set his sights on Canada for his next research adventure, this one in the life sciences through Mitacs Globalink.  While at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Leonam will assist Dr. Keyvan Hashtrudi-Zaad in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to develop analog controls for a haptic device that could be used in health care applications.

Devices such as the one on which Leonam will be working are used together with simulations of the human body on computers while allowing the users to literally “feel” the part which they are working on in the simulation.  This would allow medical students to train using computer simulations as opposed to human or animal subjects.

When asked what his dreams of the future are, Leonam talks of working in aerospace and completing a Masters Degree, possibly in Canada. He sees his current research term as an excellent opportunity to make contacts with professors and to get to know the cities in Canada which he may, one day, call home.


Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario  for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.


Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities: BD@mitacs.ca