2015 Mitacs Master’s Award for Outstanding Innovation: Hugo Vihvelin, Dalhousie University

Hugo Vihvelin, a master’s student in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University is one of two recipients of the 2015 Mitacs Master's Award for Outstanding Innovation, for his research with Halifax-based Daxsonics Ultrasound.

New product benefits from Accelerate intern’s expertise

But while the Halifax-based startup had worked-out the mechanical design of its brace, its team knew they needed people with expertise in body movement and rehabilitation to test it. That’s where Mitacs Accelerate came in. With expertise from two interns, Spring Loaded was able to make some big strides in its research.

One of those interns was physiotherapist Tony Ingram. Having just arrived from Newfoundland after completing his Masters in Kinesiology at Memorial University, Tony had an in-depth knowledge of knee function and chronic knee pain.

Strengthening families in need from Hanoi to Halifax

Hanh Phuc Nguyen is a Business English student at Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Vietnam. She hadn’t considered going abroad as part of her education, but discovering the Globalink Research Internship online prompted a change of heart: “I wasn’t confident about travelling abroad and hadn’t even thought about coming to Canada. But once I learned about Globalink, I knew I had to apply!”

Small company makes big advances in fighting antibiotic-resistant diseases and cancer

Chelation Partners’ approach to fighting antibiotic-resistant diseases is a novel one: cutting off their supply of iron. Without iron, bacteria have a tough time growing, and they’re more vulnerable to the effects of antibiotics. What’s more, Chelation Partners has discovered this tactic could also be applied to the fight against cancer. Cancer cells seem to be more sensitive to lower iron levels than other cells in the body, so reducing the availability of the metal might restrict the growth of cancer and boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Quang Ong picks a Canadian experience

As a bioinformatics student from National University of Vietnam—Ho Chi Minh City, Quang spent his summer researching the unique genes and traits of a handful of varieties of apples and grapes at Canada’s largest research orchard, the Apple Biodiversity Collection, in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Researchers at the orchard are learning how tiny modifications to a gene can affect the traits of the fruit- things like texture, flavour, and hardiness to weather conditions.

Award Winner Interview: Andre Bezanson

Can you tell us a bit about the research you did through Mitacs Accelerate that led to you winning the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation – PhD award?

Boosting stroke research through Mitacs Globalink

Severe brain damage induced by a stroke produces a reduction of immune functioning, which can result in fatal infections threatening the survival of patients after a stroke. Given that 20-25% of patients fall victim to infection post-stroke, this research is highly significant.

Measuring the health of our oceans

Because of this, scientists are always looking for new technologies to help them monitor ocean water quality and changes in pollution levels.  One way to determine water quality is by analyzing the distribution of light through the water, also known as ocean radiance.  It is this light that provides the basic energy for photosynthesis which supports aquatic life.

However, an accurate measurement of ocean radiance is difficult to achieve.

Collaborating on a vaccine for cancer

The company is developing a novel cancer vaccine based on a specific antigen and needed the research expertise to help them understand, at a molecular level, how that antigen is expressed in different types of cancer. They turned to Dalhousie postdoctoral fellow Olga Hrytsenko for insight. Olga’s 17 years of molecular biology experience is the “perfect fit” for the project says Marianne Stanford, Director of Research, at Immunovaccine.

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