Remember the last time you bought a bottle of wine? Did you purchase it because it was the first one you saw? Or because the name sounded unusual? Or did you taste it, and it brought you back to a distant place? Consumer psychology (attention, perception, memory, and decision-making) is an important part of who we are. All of these factors have an influence on the consumer psychology of wine.
Dr. Antonia Mantonakis’s research centers on psychological factors that affect consumer behaviour. She teaches Consumer Behaviour and Integrated Marketing Communications at Brock University and is Associate Faculty in Psychology, and an Associate Fellow of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).
Bettina Hamelin, Ontario Genomics President & CEO
Genomics in action: DNA for a Better World
Genomics, the science of understanding, interpreting and harnessing the DNA code, reaches far beyond medicine and health. Today, scientists are applying genomics to address many challenges facing our world. From sustainable resource extraction and agriculture to climate change, the insights gleaned from genomics hold the key to unleashing innovations across industries, driving economic growth and improving the quality of life.
Dr. Bettina Hamelin comes to Ontario Genomics with experience from both the public and private sectors. Passionate about R&D, she excels at bringing together unlikely partners and is known for pioneering novel public-private partnership models. Her early roots are in biology and chemistry, leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy and an EMBA in Healthcare. She was professor of Pharmacy at the Universite de Laval, and has also worked for biotech companies, including Pfizer Canada. Most recently, Bettina served as Vice-President of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Directorate
Charu Chandrasekera, University of Windsor
Beyond Animal Testing: New Frontiers in Human-Centered Science
Despite a century of extensive animal research, effective treatments and cures remain elusive—the legacy animal-based methods do not reliably predict human health relevance and adverse outcomes. Across the globe, many countries have established national strategies and centres to develop integrative human-based new approach methodologies to improve the human relevance of biomedical research and chemical safety assessment.
Dr. Charu Chandrasekera is the founder and director of Canada’s first and only Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, housed at the University of Windsor. Dr. Chandrasekera is actively engaged in developing and promoting alternatives in biomedical research. During her years in medical research focused primarily on cardiovascular and diabetes research, she experienced firsthand the limits of animal studies to human disease. Today, Dr. Chandrasekera collaborates with various national and international organizations to bring forth a paradigm shift in which our species takes center stage as the quintessential animal model for biomedical research and testing.
Bryan Koivisto, Ryerson Univeristy
Inspiring Innovation in Science: Unearthing pathways for disruption
By reinventing the science incubation system and following a rigorous evidence-based innovation approach, this discussion will focus on how we can support and facilitate knowledge transfer into industry. By re-modeling our education system slightly, Canada stands to gain substantially as we translate lab research to market-ready ventures and startups.
Dr. Bryan Koivisto is Associate Professor at Ryerson University and director of the Science Discovery Zone. His research lab investigates new ways of creating solar photovoltaics (solar cells) and energy storage. The Science Discovery Zone (SDZ) is a science-centered startup that follows and teaches evidence-based innovation through providing experiential learning opportunities to its members and providing business incubation opportunity to entrepreneurs.
Alex Palazzo, University of Toronto
How Evolution Shapes the Human Genome
There has been much debate as to how much of the human genome is functional. Our current data, and our understanding of the mechanics of evolution, strongly suggest that about 90% of the genome is composed of “junk DNA”. Moreover, there is now quite a bit of evidence pointing to the fact that the emergence of “junk DNA” was a prerequisite for the evolution of more complex forms of life.
Dr. Alexander Palazzo is a an associate Professor at the University of Toronto. As a graduate student, he discovered two major pathways that regulate cell polarity in migrating fibroblasts. He then investigated how newly synthesized messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is exported from the nucleus and then targeted to specific sites in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells, such as the surface of the endoplasmic reticulum. Besides his work on mRNA export and localization, Dr. Palazzo is interested in how biological information is extracted from the mammalian genome. He has published several well regarded reviews on how mRNA processing and nuclear export is used to sort useful information from a genome that is mostly filled with junk DNA.
Sapna Sharma, York University
Climate Change & Our Most Precious Resource
Climate change has far-reaching effects. We see it in our ecosystems and even in our water. We will discuss how climate change affects water quality.
Dr. Sapna Sharma is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and a York Research Chair in Global Change Biology. Her research interests include predicting the effects of environmental stressors on ecosystems at fine to broad spatial and temporal scales. She is also passionate about science outreach and founded the SEEDS at York program to bring science experiences to newly arrived refugees to Canada. RCIScience is lucky to have Sapna as a Trustee of the Board.
Vicky Forster, Hospital for Sick Children
Researching the health issues of cancer survivors
Innovations in cancer research have meant that more people are surviving than ever before, but survivors often have long-term side effects from their treatment. In a research field where funding, resources and expertise are already stretched, how do we make sure we focus on the health of survivors as well as continuing to research new treatment options?
Dr Victoria (Vicky) Forster is a postdoctoral fellow at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Toronto, Canada in the lab of Professor Uri Tabori focusing on pediatric cancer and pediatric cancer predisposition syndromes. As well as her academic work, she is a keen science communicator and was recently named on the Forbes30under30 Europe list in the 'Science and Healthcare' category and a 2017 TEDGlobal fellow, giving her TED Talk on cancer survivorship
Cheri McGowan, University of Windsor
Getting a GRIP on High BP – Using Isometric Handgrip Training as an Adjunct Standard of Care Treatment
Hypertension (HTN), or high blood pressure (BP), is considered a global health crisis by The World Health Organization. Medication and aerobic exercise are corner stone treatments for HTN, yet many patients cannot get their BP lowered to within the appropriate range. Isometric handgrip (IHG) training is a simple, non-time consuming (12 minutes) intervention. After years of small-scale studies, IHG training is now a formal recommendation of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association. Though listed under “Best Nonpharmacologic Interventions for Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension” IHG training is not routinely prescribed in clinical practice.
Dr. McGowan joined the faculty in January, 2009. Her teaching interests include exercise physiology, the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease and exercise rehabilitation. Dr. McGowan’s overall goal as a researcher is to improve quality of life in humans by reducing disease-related morbidity and mortality. Using direct and indirect measures of autonomic activity and ultrasound imaging, she aims to increase our understanding of the mechanisms involved in cardiovascular regulation in health and disease, and of how these mechanisms are altered with exercise and/or psychological interventions.
Shohini Ghose, Wilfrid Laurier University
The Quantum Information Revolution in Canada and the World
Dr. Shohini Ghose is Professor of Physics and Computer Science and Director of the Centre for Women in Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is a theoretical physicist who examines how the laws of quantum physics might be harnessed to develop ultrafast computers and novel protocols such as teleportation. Shohini is an affiliate of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo.
Dr. Karim Karim, University of Waterloo
New X-Ray Technology: Revolutionizing Diagnostic Imaging
A digital revolution is coming to X-Ray technology that will transform the Canadian healthcare system: a portable, digital “color” x-ray machine that can detect cancer, heart disease and other conditions faster and more accurately than traditional X-ray machines, allowing patients to begin treatment sooner. Discover how portable dual-energy digital X-ray detector technology can bring traditional X-ray imaging into the 21st century.
Dr. Karim is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo and the Associate Dean for Outreach in the Faculty of Engineering. Dr. Karim develops amorphous semiconductors for large area digital imaging applications. He is a Full Member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and a registered Professional Engineer in Canada. He also holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto with a major in Health Sector Management and is the founder and CTO of KA Imaging, a Waterloo medical device startup that is building portable multispectral digital X-ray detectors.
Dr. Suzanne MacDonald, York University
Will raccoons take over the world?
Raccoons—love them or hate them, they are definitely here to stay, in our backyards, attics, chimneys and on our streets. Learn about Suzanne’s research on urban raccoons….where do they live? What impact are the new green bins having? And, most important, how smart are they, really?
Suzanne MacDonald is Professor of Psychology at York University. Her area of research is animal behaviour. She works with lots of different species, both in the field in Kenya and Canada, and also at zoos. One of the world’s leading experts on raccoons, Suzanne consults with the City of Toronto to help make it easier for humans and raccoons co-exist peacefully.
Dr. Matt Russo, Seneca College
TRAPPIST-1: Life, Death, and Real Musical Harmony in the Solar System Next Door
The discovery of 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting a nearby red dwarf star got astronomers buzzing in early 2017 and a year of further discoveries has only ramped up the excitement. With global oceans of liquid water and atmospheres that are close enough to sniff, the TRAPPIST-1 planets are prime candidates in the search for life. They're also a 7-piece band that have been playing a song for billions of years trying to save themselves from destruction.
Dr. Matt Russo is an astrophysicist, musician and astro-musician at Seneca College. While studying planet-forming disks at UofT, he founded SYSTEM Sounds, a project which translates rhythms and harmony of the cosmos into music and sound. He has developed a sound-based planetarium show at the Dunlap Institute and is currently working on interactive web applications and public 'sci-art' exhibits that help make astronomy more accessible to the visually impaired.
Messoud Efendiyev, Helmholz Zentrum Munich, Dean's Distinguished Visiting Professorship, Fields Institute.
Mathematics for the Life Sciences
It is the best of times for life-science modelling: in vitro, in vivo and in silico. Indeed, a holistic understanding of biomedical and biophysical/ biomechanical processes requires multi-scale mathematical models which capture the relevant properties on all these scales. I am interested in modern developments in applied mathematics and the relation between spatial and temporal scales, and how they they are integrated into comprehensive mathematical models of biological processes, which form the basis of computer simulations. The complexity of the biological systems is rendered by the mathematical complexity of the models that describe them. To work with these mathematical equations often requires new mathematical ideas. The relationship is symbiotic: mathematics helps to create new biological insight; biology stimulates new mathematics. To develop appropriate models and methods to solving them it has to be decided which complexity is truly necessary. Here we have to follow:
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Dr. Mary Pat McAndrews, Krembil Research Institute, UHN and University of Toronto
Memory problems and possibilities in Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Problems remembering new information and experiences is a hallmark feature of temporal lobe epilepsy and the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. New imaging techniques allow us to better understand the brain circuits that are affected, to investigate what promotes resilience in some individuals, and to better predict and perhaps arrest memory decline with new forms of treatment.
Mary Pat McAndrews is the Director of the Neuropsychology Clinic and a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute at the University Health Network, and Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Toronto. She is one of the co-directors of EpLink, the Epilepsy research program of the Ontario Brain Institute which is devoted to reducing seizures and improving quality of life for people with epilepsy through research and innovation.