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Research Talks 2018

The fall 2018 series of Research Talks celebrates research and provides an opportunity for staff, faculty, and students to learn more about some of the world-class research underway at Waterloo.

The next Research Talks session entitled "Pushing back the frontiers of Supercomputing" will be held on Wednesday, December 5. 

Innovative approaches to revolutionizing healthcare

Thursday, October 11, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

William G. Davis Centre

Room 1302

A panel presentation and discussion examining advancements in patient diagnosis and treatment for Waterloo staff, faculty, and students featuring:

Catherine Burns

Untapped potential: The human factor in health

Catherine Burns

Catherine Burns' research focuses on human error in hospitals as it is the third leading cause of death in the United States, just behind cancer and cardiac causes. The influence of human error in healthcare is under studied however. Professor Burns is exploring new ways to reduce human error, and the use of technology in healthcare. In this talk, she will discuss current technological approaches in healthcare, and the successes and challenges, associated with ethical use of these technologies. 


Juewen Liu

DNA-based molecular recognition from environmental monitoring to biomedical diagnosis

Juewen Liu

Juewen Liu's research focuses on the chemical functions in biological systems such as ligand binding and catalysis that are mainly realized by proteins. Nucleic acids have also found similar functions in the past few decades. In particular, DNA-based ligands (aptamers) and catalysts (DNAzymes) are very attractive for their high stability and low cost. This talk will cover Professor Liu's work on the selecting of such DNA molecules specific for various metal ions, small molecules and microbes. In addition, the analytical application for biosensor development and biomedical applications for targeted drug delivery will be presented. 


Carolyn Ren

Microfluidic-based Lab-on-a-Chip Platform Technology for Life Science Research and Drug Screening

Carolyn Ren

Carolyn Ren's research focuses on microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip Technology as it has played a key role in developing innovations for advancing disease diagnosis and drug screening by serving as an enabling platform technology. This talk will introduce Professor Ren’s seminal work in developing Lab-on-a-Chip technologies for protein fractionation and biosensing, two-phase droplet microfluidics for high throughput analysis towards drug screening, and single-phase microfluidics for wearable technology.


Roderick Slavcev

Transforming Genetic Medicine

Roderick Slavcev

Roderick Slavcev's research focuses on DNA ministrings (msDNA)and their efficacy and efficiency compared to traditional gene and cell therapies that are astronomical, ranging from $400,000 to $1 million per treatment. Overall, these traditional gene therapeutics are expensive, difficult to maintain, scale, and store which has contributed to a one-and-a-half year backlog in the industry. In this talk, Professor Slavcev will discuss how the DNA ministring platform is capable of expressing a multi-gene cassette of interest safely and affordably without compromising efficacy or efficiency of production.



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Research Talks is supported by the Research Support Fund.

Watch webcasts of previous Research Talks: 


Contemporary Indigenous issues in Canada



Sarah Burch.

Sarah Burch

Transformative Governance on an Urban Planet

November 17, 2017

Roy Brouwer.


Richard Hughson's head shot

Richard Hughson

​​Cardiovascular Aging in Space

October 6, 2017


Karim S. Karim

Karim S. Karim

Colourful X-rays

March 24, 2017


Joanne Atlee

J​oanne Atlee

Detecting and resolving software errors

January 27, 2017


Geoff Fong

Geoffrey Fong 

Tackling the global tobacco epidemic

November 25, 2016


Linda Nazar head shot

Linda Nazar

New vistas in electrochemical energy storage

September 23, 2016


Jennifer Clapp


Ian Goldberg

Ian Goldberg

Battling Internet censorship and surveillance

February 18, 2016


Susan Tighe

Susan Tighe

Roads of the future

November 11, 2015


Heather Keller


Eric Helleiner

Eric Helleiner

Legacies of the 2008 global financial crisis

March 27, 2015


David Cory

David Cory

The quest for the first quantum computer

January 23, 2015