Lyme disease is one of the many diseases transmitted by ticks. The rate of these diseases is rapidly increasing in Canada. Diagnosing these diseases is difficult but examination of biopsy, necropsy and autopsy tissue can help to understand the full and varied effects of the disease and ultimately reduce misdiagnoses. Biobanks are required for this type of research.
My research project will focus around the following question: what relationships exist between religious models of the human body—primarily Buddhist and Daoist—and medical practices and beliefs? To explore this topic I will study primary and secondary materials, participate in meetings with my host university supervisor, Chen Ming with the assistance of Dr. Susan Andrews from my home institution, and conduct on-site research in a traditional Chinese medical clinic. I will also take part in UBC’s Buddhism Summer Studies program.
Ticks contain many different disease-causing bacteria and viruses, including the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Multiple infections with these other pathogens in addition to Borrelia cause more severe illness. For many of these pathogens there are no or limited diagnostic tools available to detect the pathogen. This project includes production of a new product, a rapid
screening tool for multiple tick pathogens. This product would allow ticks to be simultaneously screened for the presence of multiple, clinically important pathogens.
"In Conversation with Contemporary Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: What it Means to Practice" is a study of the relationship between objects and practice in Pure Land Buddhism as told by the practitioners themselves. Interviewing scholars and practitioners of contemporary Chinese Pure Land Buddhism and visiting key sites of practice in the Shanghai area, I will ask questions such as: What objects, if any, define contemporary Chinese Pure Land practice? Does curated space count as a material object?
The project investigates the practices of contemporary Buddhist Monastics in relation to their interaction and communication with family members. The question to be investigated is: To what extent, if at all, do contemporary monastics maintain relationships with living family members? The research will focus, in particular, on ways that family is understood in this context and the influence, if any, that modern technology has on relationships between monastics and their families.
My project will be examining different aspects of Chinese popular religion, including online representations, physical landmarks, and firsthand accounts, and drawing connections between popular religion in China and the self- and community-identities of lay practitioners in Beijing. I will be visiting sites in Beijing, including St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Yonghe Gong, and Baiyun Guan, examining primary and secondary online sources for each of these sites, and conducting interviews with practitioners of these three religions, Christianity, Taoism, and Buddhism.
Domestication of cats is thought to date to the Neolithic and to have been driven by the need to control rodents that destroyed stored food. In developed countries, modern pest control methods have rendered the traditional role of cats largely redundant and the hunting tendency of cats is now viewed in a more negative light as contributing to the decline of birds. However, increasing residential use of formerly agricultural and wild areas are leading to increased human and wildlife contact.
To assess people’s risk of contracting Lyme disease in New Brunswick we will test 700 dogs for antibodies to the bacterium that causes the disease. Lyme disease is caused by infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, generally transmitted through a tick bite. Lyme disease is a debilitating disease and the risk of contracting it is increasing in in New Brunswick as well as through the rest of Canada. Because diagnosis of Lyme disease is difficult in humans, we are using dogs as a sentinel species.
Environmental Proteomics NB is a biotechnology design and production company that develops systems to measure levels of important proteins, in particular proteins involved in major environmental and industrial processes. Environmental Proteomics uses computational analyses of genetic and protein data, or bioinformatics, to develop these molecular systems to detect and quantitate specific proteins, even in the presence of complex contaminating mixtures.