Over $ 300,000 in funding awarded to researchers at Algoma University
“These awards recognize the success of cutting-edge research conducted by Algoma faculty,” said Algoma U.
Two researchers from Algoma University received $ 387,805 in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council (SSHRC).
Dr. Vivian Jiménez-Estrada received $ 199,870 in partnership development funding for her project leading a network of Indigenous and allied researchers.
Dr. Nirosha Murugan received $ 187,935 from the New Frontier Research Fund (NFRF) for her efforts to develop a tool for cognitive impairment associated with cancer treatments, according to a press release from Algoma University.
The full text of the press release follows:
The Social Sciences and Humanities Council (SSHRC) has provided funding of $ 387,805 to support the research efforts of two faculty members at Algoma University. SSHRC is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its Talent, Insight and Connection programs, and through partnerships and collaborations, SSHRC strategically supports world-class initiatives that reflect a commitment to securing a better future for Canada and the world.
Dr. Vivian Jiménez-Estrada received $ 199,870 in partnership development funding for her international research project leading a network of Indigenous researchers, activists and academics and allies who support Indigenous women’s claims and focus their right to self-determination in research that concerns them.
Dr. Nirosha Murugan received $ 187,935 from the New Frontier Research Fund (NFRF) for her groundbreaking research to develop a new tool for the early diagnosis of cognitive impairment associated with cancer treatments.
According to Dr. Donna Rogers, Vice President of Education and Research at Algoma University, “These awards recognize the success of cutting-edge research conducted by Algoma faculty, and we are very pleased to see their work supported by funding from the National Research Council. Dr. Jiménez-Estrada’s SSHRC project brings together international partners to advance Indigenous-led research on violence prevention and healing. Dr. Murugan’s NFRF funding brings together diverse disciplines in pursuit of groundbreaking ideas and highly rewarded results.
To learn more about the exciting and innovative research taking place at the University of Algoma, visit the institution’s Research and Innovation website.
Detailed information on researchers receiving funding:
Dr Jiménez-Estrada – Indigenous women recount and interweave their experiences of gender and colonial violence in Mexico and Canada:
Building on a previous SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant in 2018, Dr. Jiménez-Estrada’s new project advances grassroots work on violence prevention and healing for two Indigenous women’s collectives – the Coordinator Indigenous Women’s National in Mexico and Indigenous Women’s Violence Working Group in Baawaating (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) Canada. The project is unique in that it departs from Indigenous and decolonization methodologies where allies play a supporting role in documenting the types of systemic and everyday violence that Indigenous women experience in Canada and Mexico, while changing how and why this data is collected. Key to this process is capacity building in both regions to protect the collected stories and make them central to fostering the social, spiritual, economic and political conditions of indigenous communities as they see fit.
“Indigenous communities across the Americas, especially women and 2Spirit people, still hold the knowledge to heal and tackle gender-based and colonial violence that is not always addressed,” Dr. Jiménez-Estrada explained. , associate professor in the Department of Sociology,
Academic Manager – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Research Associate of the NORDIK Institute. “This project aims to unveil the sacred stories of resilience and strength to address the different dimensions of violence and the ways in which they deviate from the original instructions to care for each other, the earth and future generations. Ultimately, it defends those missing and offers a forum to co-create knowledge and strategies to protect the sacred today in areas that need more attention: the Côte-Nord region. in Canada and indigenous communities in Mexico plagued by lack of infrastructure, violations of basic human rights and lack of respect for indigenous rights ”.
Dr Nirosha Murugan – Improving Brain Health After Cancer Therapy: Countering Brain Chemotherapy Using New Early Detection Tools:
Dr. Nirosha Murugan is leading an interdisciplinary research project funded by the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), which supports high-risk, high-return research in the pursuit of groundbreaking ideas that impact all Canadians. She and her team of international researchers, which includes Dr Ioannis Voutsadakis, an oncologist at the Sault region hospital, will develop a new diagnostic imaging strategy for the early detection of cognitive impairment (CI) or ‘brain de. chemotherapy ”- one of the main side effects of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy. Patients with chemo-brain suffer from confusion, memory lapses, and attention deficits that often go unnoticed until reversal of symptoms becomes very difficult. Dr Murugan will address this problem by simultaneously measuring the brain’s electrical networks and “biophotons,” which are light emissions from the brain that can be detected using advanced biophysical instruments.
“Without predictive diagnostic and early detection tools, clinicians cannot anticipate which patients are most at risk for developing chemo brain, thus delaying the administration of adjuvant therapies to alleviate HF,” explained Dr Murugan , Assistant Professor of Health Sciences (Department of Biology). “To date, it is not known why some patients present with cancer-related HF and what factors determine their severity. In recent years, fMRI has been used to identify resting brain networks that predict cognitive outcomes after cancer treatment. The most predictive brain regions are superficial and therefore accessible to newer and more powerful technologies, which opens up exciting possibilities for new diagnostic strategies. ”
Because electrical (electron) brain networks were previously used to diagnose neuropsychiatric disorders, they can now be applied to the chemo brain. However, the most intriguing possibility involves the early detection of the chemo brain using brain-based light emissions that are associated with the molecular mechanisms of cellular stress and toxicity following cancer therapies. To fight cancer, clinicians use drugs to disrupt the functioning of cancer cells, resulting in the production of cellular stress molecules known to also release low-intensity light called biophotons. Therefore, biophoton measurements may represent the earliest possible non-invasive diagnostic imaging strategy. Dr. Murugan’s ultimate goal is to create a cost-effective and highly predictive biophysical diagnostic tool that can be implemented in all clinical settings to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors in Canada and abroad.