Friday, March 15, 2019

CBB awards seed funding for bioengineering and biotechnology research

A collage of CBB Seed award winners.

Ten Waterloo researchers are receiving seed funding from the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB).

The funding will support the collaboration of multi-disciplinary research teams across Waterloo faculties and departments, with the goal of propelling scientific innovation and growth, and mentoring the next generation of researchers.

The recipients of round two are:

  • Arash Arami, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering; Ning Jiang, Systems Design Engineering

“Quantitative Modeling of Spasticity in Spinal Cord Injury”

The research will provide clinicians with better tools to assess the outcome of rehabilitation treatments for stroke patients and individuals with Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries.

  • Peter Levine, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Robin Duncan, Kinesiology

“A semiconductor-integrated electrochemical camera for real-time label-free cell assays”

The research aims to demonstrate fully-electronic real-time label-free imaging (sensing and monitoring) of cells using semiconductor integrated circuits that could decrease the complexity and cost of therapeutic drug development and cell efficacy research, development, and analysis.

  • Parsin Haji Reza, Systems Design Engineering; Vivian Choh, Optometry

“Retinal oxygen metabolic rate extraction using a novel imaging method”

The research may lead to the development of the first non-contact non-invasive optical-absorption based imaging tool for early detection and better treatment methods of glaucoma and other ocular diseases.   

  • Todd Holyoak, Biology; Scott Taylor, Chemistry

“Structural studies of bacterial IgA1 proteases”

The research may lead to the development of novel antibiotics to treat pathogens such as H. Influenzae, N. gonorrhea, and S. pneumonia. Findings could provide further insight into the potential for engineering bacterial pathogen fighting enzymes for the treatment of kidney diseases such as Berger’s disease (1gA1 nephropathy).

  • Evelyn Yim, Chemical Engineering; David Spafford, Biology; Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore

“Matrix mechanobiology in enhancing neuronal differentiation and maturation of Rett Syndrome patient derived stem cells”

The research aims to understand the genetics of cell and tissue development to study the progression of Rett Syndrome (a rare and severe disorder within the autism spectrum).

Global Solutions conference welcomes Lieutenant Governor to campus

Global Solutions Conference banner.

The student-run Impact Alliance Global Solutions Conference is set to take place on March 16 in the Science Teaching Complex.

Special opening remarks will be presented by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor, and MP for Waterloo Bardish Chagger, and other municipal officials will also be in attendance.

Other speakers include:

  • Dean Jean Andrey, Dean of Environment, University of Waterloo
  • Dean Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • Dominique Souris, Founder & Executive Director, Youth Climate Lab 

The one-day conference will gather 400 university students and community members across Waterloo Region to showcase the different pathways to achieve meaningful change, and promote collaboration through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through special keynotes, a panel of experts, and interactive workshops, attendees will be equipped with "a deeper understanding of the transformative power sustainability can have." The event will also feature a booth fair and networking breaks with breakfast, lunch and refreshments provided.

Tickets are available online. For the full schedule, speaker profiles and workshop descriptions, visit

Feds spring into action with March General Meeting

Voters hold up voting cards in the Student Life Centre Great Hall.

A message from the Federation of Students.

Let an undergrad know: Federation of Students March General Meeting is just around the corner and they’re invited!

All undergraduate students are welcome and encouraged to participate in the General Meeting on March 21 at 5 p.m. in the Student Life Centre Great Hall. Feds hosts two General Meetings each year where students can vote on important updates that will affect their campus life.

Please encourage the undergraduate students that you interact with to exercise their right to guide the direction of their student union by participating in the General Meeting. Students can drop in and out if they have class or other on-campus obligations, or vote by proxy if they’re off campus (a peer who is attending will vote on their behalf). Proxies are due to by 5:00 p.m. on March 20.

We’ll be discussing some agenda items that were proposed by undergrads, like:

  • diversity and inclusion report for the Federation of Students;
  • research opportunities for international students; and
  • spring term reading week.

We’ll also be voting on adjustments to Exec responsibilities, ratifying the recent elections results, and by-law amendments. Check out the full agenda and supporting documents at

Students can also watch through Livestream or Facebook, or follow along on Twitter as we live tweet.

For more information, head to

Phone system was off the hook; other missed connections

While we don't expect you to admit that your productivity was affected by Wednesday's Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp outage, you may or may not been impacted by an outage a little more close to home yesterday: the University's phone system.

IST reports that "there was a telephone service outage yesterday as part of a larger, region-wide outage in the KW area. For approximately two hours yesterday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., no external incoming or outgoing calls were being sent or received."

Service has since been restored and no further outages are expected. 

IST Newsletter banner showing two people with an oversized light bulb.

The winter 2019 issue of the IST Newsletter is now available. Read about Microsoft Teams; recent upgrades to campus Wi-Fi; how online learning is evolving; cyber security best practices while traveling; Waterloo Passport; IST account reps; and more.

The Mashkawizii exhibit, with panels to walk between outlining the history of Canada's residential school system.If you have an opportunity before 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, be sure to visit St. Jerome's for the Knowledge Integration KI-X 2019 exhibition, and in particular one of the installations entitled Mashkawizii, an exhibit that explores the legacy of the Canadian residential school system and its survivors. The exhibition is open from noon to 7:00 p.m. today and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Here's today's Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services Dietitian Sandra Ace:

Claim:  Choose whole flax seeds for more health benefits.

Evidence:  Despite being tiny in size, flax seeds pack a nutritional punch. They are rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and contain an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Flax seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, with 2 grams of fibre per tablespoon (15mL). They are one of these highest known sources of lignans, health-promoting plant compounds that research suggests may have cancer prevention or cardiovascular benefits. Flax seeds also contains other minerals and vitamins including magnesium and B-vitamins. There is no difference nutritionally between golden or brown flax seeds.

In order to fully benefit from the nutrients in flax, the seeds should be ground; whole seeds pass through the intestines undigested because of their tough outer shell. If you buy whole flax seeds, you can grind them as needed in a spice grinder or a food processor. If you buy ground flax, which is more convenient, store it in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 12 months to keep it fresh.

While flax has been referred to as a “superfood” because of its many potential health benefits, there is no single food that guarantees good health. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flax per day as part of a varied and balanced diet. If you haven’t used flax before, try adding it to a smoothie or sprinkling it on yogurt, cereal or a salad.

Link of the day

65 years later, the woman who designed The Creature From the Black Lagoon gets her due

When and where

Knowledge Integration eXhibition: KI-X 2019, Monday, March 11 to Saturday, March 16, St. Jerome's Siegfried Hall Residence Wellness Centre.

45th Annual Senior Undergraduate Exhibition, Thursday, March 14 to April 6, East Campus Hall.

Café-rencontre with Professor Svetlana Kaminskaïa, "La prononciation en contact des langues: du natif à l’apprenant," Friday, March 15, 2:30 p.m., ML 354.

FASS Presents: Fantasy & Fandoms, Friday, March 15, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Global Solutions Conference: Pathways to Local Change, Saturday, March 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Science Teaching Complex.

Professional School Interviews (MMI), Saturday, March 16, 10:00 a.m., TC 2218.

Professional School Interviews (Standard), Saturday, March 16, 10:00 a.m., TC 1208.

MMI Simulation, Saturday, March 16, 1:00 p.m., TC 1214.

FASS Presents: Fantasy & Fandoms, Saturday, March 16, 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Educational Technologies Week, Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22.

Computer Science Seminar: Bringing statistical tradeoffs to data systems, Yongjoo Park, University of Michigan, Monday, March 18, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Exploring Career Pathways, Monday, March 18, 2:30 p.m., TC 1112.

Coping Skills Seminar - Thriving With Emotions, Monday, March 18, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Welcome to the tree museum, Monday, March 18 to Saturday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Nutrition Lunch and Learn with Sandra Ace, Tuesday, March 19, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. RSVP to Please note: this event has been cancelled.

Games Institute Multidisciplinary Panel on Insomniac’s Spider-Man video game, Tuesday, March 19, 2:30 p.m., Games Institute collaboration space, EC1.

Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, March 20, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Organizational Change Management," Wednesday, March 20, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

University Club welcomes spring with special menu, Wednesday, March 20, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions (for employees only), Tuesday, March 20, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC 2218.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Wednesday, March 20, 12:30 p.m., STC 2002.

Noon Hour Concerts: Songs for My Mother - Return, Wednesday, March 20, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel College chapel.

Getting a US Work Permit, Wednesday, March 20, 1:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Explore Your Options in Law, Wednesday, March 20, 5:30 p.m., HH 2034.

Billion Dollar Briefing, “Get introduced to five different billion-dollar problems that are waiting to be solved,” Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series – Copyright and Software, Thursday, March 21, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., location TBC. Registration is required.

CBB workshop: Developing a Clinical Trial from the Ground Up with: Dr. Lora Giangregorio, Professor, Kinesiology; Schlegel Research Chair in Mobility and Aging. March 21, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Event is only open to faculty, students and postdocs. Please register.

Successfully negotiating Job Offers, Thursday, March 21, 2:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research panel discussion, “The Many Metabolisms of Microbes,” Thursday, March 21, 3:00 p.m., STC 2002.

Feds March General Meeting, Thursday, March 21, 5:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Water Day 2019 – Water for all, Friday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., STC.

CBBSAT Workshop: Additive Manufacturing for Biomedical Applications, Friday, March 22 – 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Event is open to Waterloo Students and Postdocs. Limited seating, RSVP as soon as possible.

Panel discussion on SASB with Dr. Jeffrey Hales, Friday, March 22, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., EV1 221.

Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture: “What the challenge of clean water at home and around the world tells us about ourselves, our country, and our planet,” presented by former premier of Ontario Bob Rae, Friday, March 22, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., STC 1012.

Accounting and Finance Student's Association tax clinic, Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Multipurpose Room.

NEW – University Senate Meeting, Monday, March 25, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

NEW - Distinguished Lecture Series, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains — Combining Mechanism Design and Computation, Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum, Monday, March 25, 4:00 p.m., RCH 101.

NEW - Velocity Fund Finals $5K, "Early-stage startups compete for $20K in funding," Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall.

NEW - Part 1 - IP and Commercialization full day workshop, Tuesday, March 26, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Event is only open to faculty, students and post docs.  Please RSVP or contact Parisa Hamilton ( for more information.  Light lunch and refreshments are provided. Presented by WatCo and supported by CBB.

NEW - Understanding the Pension Plan and Planning for Retirement, Tuesday, March 26, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EC5 Room 1111.