The Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) in collaboration with Praxis Spinal Cord Institute are thrilled to deliver the Indigenous SCI Grant Competition. The purpose of this program is to address the needs of people with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) with a focus on engaging Indigenous faculty, students and other stakeholders to develop a deeper understanding of specific challenges faced by people living in rural and indigenous communities. Stage 1 of the program will kickoff with a workshop on June 18, 2021 1 – 4 p.m. The objective of this workshop is to set context for potential competition applicants.
The workshop will feature talks on:
- best practices in research methodology involving Indigenous peoples
- the challenges of those with spinal cord injury, particularly in Indigenous communities
and small breakout rooms to discuss:
- basics of entrepreneurship
- Indigenous identity
- the ideation process
- Q&A on the program
Anyone with research interest in this space can register for the workshop. Teams with at least one member of the University of Waterloo community (Student, Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty or Staff) are eligible to receive 1 of 8 $2,250 CAD grants to develop their solution. Visualizations will be due July 14, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. – more information on the requirements for these Stage 1 grants will be given during the workshop.
In addition to these Stage 1 awards any workshop participants can further their knowledge by taking The Fundamentals of OCAP course offered by The First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC). The cost for this course will be reimbursed by CBB.
Register for the Indigenous SCI Grant Competition Stage 1 Workshop at the bottom of the page!
Workshop participation is encouraged, but not mandatory for Competition Stage 2 Application (Awards of $17,500 and $10,000). Please see the program site for more information and resources.
Itinerary June 18, 2021
|1:00pm - 1:15pm||
Speakers: Karim S. Karim and Richard Peter
|1:15pm - 1:45pm||
Indigenous in research
Speaker: Melanie Jeffrey
|1:45pm - 2:15pm||
Spinal cord injury 101
Speakers: Richard Peter and John Chernesky
|2:15pm - 2:30pm||
|2:30pm - 2:50pm||
Speaker: Jacob Crane
|2:50pm - 3:10pm||
Indigenous identity session
Speaker: Sara Anderson
|3:10 pm - 3:30pm||
Speaker: Joseph Ferenbok
|3:30pm - 3:50pm||
Speaker: Carly Turnbull
|3:50pm - 4:00pm||
Sara Anderon is a Manager, Research Program Development & Partnerships, Indigenous Initiatives affiliated with the Office of Research.
The workshop title for Sara's session is 'Navigating Indigenous Identities in Post-Secondary Institutions & Research Practices'. This session will focus on sharing stories and experiences of being Indigenous in the post-secondary space, and how this relates to historical and contemporary research conducted in Indigenous community spaces. We will also discuss best practices for working with Indigenous communities in the research space, given the diversity of Indigenous nations across Turtle Island.
John Chernesky is a Consumer Engagement Program Manager with the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute. He will share information about spinal cord injury.
“If there’s one thing I want people to know about those living with spinal cord injuries is that no two injuries are alike. We are all different people with unique needs.”
Jacob Crane is a Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program Manager at St. Paul's University.
Starting his career selling bubble gum at pow wows at the age of nine, Jacob Crane describes himself as a lifelong entrepreneur who loves solving social problems. Coming to St. Paul’s from Tsuut'ina Nation in Alberta, the new Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program Manager brings two decades of experience and a passion for supporting Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States.
Joseph Ferenbok is a Director in Translational Research Program at the University of Toronto.
Translation is a social good, and through Translational Thinking, we are on a mission to expedite the transformation of knowledge into health benefits for society.” Driven to improve patient care, Joseph catapults projects forward with passion, wisdom, and a contagious chuckle. He is an Associate Director of the Health Innovation Hub, a Faculty of Medicine initiative intended to connect, align, serve, and facilitate the translation, innovation, and commercialization of 'Health Matters'. Here at the TRP, Joseph is our inspirational Founder and Program Director. He is also a Course Director for Foundations in TR and for Methods in Practices and Contexts, and the Instructor for the Translational Thinking module.
Dr. Melanie Jeffrey is a settler of British descent from the Parry Sound area in central Ontario. Melanie has research interests in neurological disorders, endocrine disrupting chemicals, Indigenous wellness, ecology, and wholistic health care. She has been living with epilepsy since 1996, with seizure control since 2018. Her first undergraduate degree was in Film (York University, 1999) and her second was in Health Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (University of Toronto, 2008).
Melanie earned her PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of Toronto (2014) studying epilepsy and neurosteroids. Melanie completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one funded by Epilepsy Canada in Fundamental Neurobiology studying models of seizures, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and stroke (2014-2016), and the other working on the working on a mixed-methods study funded by the Rick Hanson Institute and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation studying best practices to create a provincial spinal cord injury database that is relevant and meaningful to Indigenous persons and peoples (2018-2019). Melanie continues to work at the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor in Human Biology and Indigenous Studies, relating Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to learn and teach about environmental and holistic human health.
Melanie will present the paper co-authored entitled “Methodology Matters: Designing a Pilot Study Guided by Indigenous Epistemologies” (Human Biology 91(3):141-151. DOI: 10.13110/humanbiology.91.3.06), including considerations in building respectful research relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations in the context of spinal cord injury research.
Karim Karim is a Professor in the electrical and computer engineering department, the Executive Director for the Center for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB), a Researcher in the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology, as well as the Director of Silicon Thin Film Applied Research, at the University of Waterloo.
Professor Karim’s research group investigated circuit, device and process development for large area electronics in the field of digital X-ray imaging for biomedical and bioengineering applications. The group also pioneered research in hybrid amorphous selenium-CMOS digital imagers where the group demonstrated the world’s first 5 um pixel pitch direct conversion digital X-ray imager that is capable of visualizing up to 60 lp/mm with high dose efficiency. Using this imager, his group pioneered a phase contrast X-ray micro-CT imaging tool with the potential to critically advance genomics by allowing the work to proceed in intact animals, tissues, and even single cells, which has not been possible in the past.
Professor Karim has received multiple awards and honours, including the 2009 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Science to Business Fellowship, the 2008 Ontario Early Researcher Award and is the founder and CTO of a UW spinoff company (KA Imaging). KA Imaging recently initiated a clinical trial at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario to image lung cancer patients with one of its products. In this ongoing trial up to 30 patients are being scanned to visualize lung nodules and lesions, with promising initial results.
Richard Peter is an Indigenous Peoples' Liaison, and Consumer Engagement with the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute. He will share information about spinal cord injury from an Indigenous perspective.
“I’ve lived independently with SCI for decades. My lived experience brings with it deep personal and general understanding of the challenges that need to be addressed in" Canada and internationally. I would encourage innovators who have ideas to connect with people living with SCI and share their ideas for feedback.
Carly Turnbull is the Manager of the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology. She will lead a breakout room to discuss the program (the opportunity, eligibility, how to apply) and answer any questions.