UVic News – University of Victoria
Whether it’s seeing how brain cells work in near real time or studying the loss of biodiversity and negative impacts on human well-being, researchers at the University of Victoria are at the forefront of science and innovation. On Wednesday, the federal government announced $ 1.45 million in support for eight UVic research projects.
Support comes from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund, which aims to help institutions attract and retain top researchers, while giving them the tools and equipment they need. need to become leaders in their field. The eight projects are hosted within the Faculties of Engineering and Computer Science, Social Sciences and Sciences, and the Division of Medical Sciences (DMS).
Craig Brown, DMS
UVic neuroscientists Craig Brown, Marie-Ève Tremblay and Gautam Awatramani will use their $ 330,000 funding to acquire a next-generation 4D imaging system. Four-dimensional imaging is like 3D, except the images are continually updated instead of static, allowing researchers to see how brain cells or structures work and change in near real time. .
Brown and other researchers plan to use this new equipment to study brain activity in regions that control vision, touch, and addiction. and other cognitive behaviors. They will also use it to understand what causes the brain to change as we age, have a stroke, or suffer from disorders like Rett syndrome, depression, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Parkinson disease.
The knowledge gained from this research could lead to smart new treatments for neurological dysfunction associated with aging, dementia, impaired vision, drug addiction and brain damage.
“This new microscope will help UVic researchers unravel the mysteries of how the brain works in health and disease,” said Brown.
David Goodlett, biochemistry
David Goodlett gets to the heart of inflammatory disease through microscopic, single-celled organisms called microbes. Goodlett aims to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases like Crohn’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even food poisoning, by examining changes in the immune system when it encounters germs.
With support of $ 175,000, Goodlett and his team will modify an existing instrument used to measure the weight of molecules called a mass spectrometer (MS). The new features will allow them to examine more closely than ever the components of the inflammatory system produced in response to microbes.
“We are excited to upgrade the existing instrumentation at UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Center that will allow us to detect and characterize microbial signatures and the changes they induce in the host,” said Goodlett.
The results of this study will allow the construction of models, leading to better predictions of the behavior of the inflammatory system, the diagnosis of infections and, ultimately, the improvement of human health.
Nancy Shackelford, environmental studies
UVic environmental studies professor and ecologist Nancy Shackelford bridges the gap between restoration practice and ecological science. His research focuses on the management of biodiversity loss and negative impacts on human well-being. His work requires high-precision tools to measure plant species in the laboratory and in the field, as well as field equipment to apply restoration experiments.
“Our work connects cutting-edge ecological theory, cutting-edge technologies in restoration ecology and management to enhance our national capacity to conduct effective restoration,” said Shackelford, who receives $ 65,000 in support. of the FCI.
- John Burke, Biochemistry: Protein Structural Biology and Molecular Interactions Facility $ 180,000
- Caetano Dorea, civil engineering: Public health and environmental sequencing facility $ 175,000
- Caroline Cameron, biochemistry: Infrastructure to establish a molecular health research center to study priority areas in public health $ 310,000
- Erin Chernick, Chemistry: RPE Characterization of Sensitive Species and Chemical Systems Under Inert and Controlled Lighting Conditions $ 120,000
- Greg Owens, Biology: An Adaptive Genomics Platform for Crop Improvement $ 100,000
Read the federal government’s press release.