Summer is in full swing and we couldn’t be happier. Whether the days are spent outside at the lake or indoors learning something new, summer is the time to soak it all in. In case you’ve been busy, here is the summer roundup of Manitoba post-secondary news from Campus Manitoba’s partner institutions.
Founded and directed by seven Indigenous historians, ShekonNeechie.ca is a new platform for Indigenous historians to share ideas, works in progress, and gather as an e-community. Although many history-based websites exist in Canada, the historians typically stem from a homogeneous background. However, from concept to completion, this site is from a purely Indigenous perspective. “While it is important for Indigenous historians to find our way into spaces dominated by non-Indigenous scholars, it is equally important for us to carve out spaces where our work is centered and in conversation with other Indigenous historians. Shekon Neechie is one such space,” says Dr. Mary Jane McCallum, Professor (History) at UWinnipeg.
Stakeholders at the site of the new Innovation Centre. //PHOTO: RRC
Red River College is moving forward with the construction of its new $95-million Innovation Centre. Previously, plans were put on hold while funding was established. An additional $40.6-million in funding from the government helped move the project forward. Currently, the College is issuing tenders so construction can begin. The Centre is scheduled to be completed by fall of 2020.
Stakeholders gathered at the new site on 319 Elgin Ave., to discuss how the expansion plans will contribute to growth of the Exchange District.
“Nothing gets built without a vision. And right now it excites me to visualize that in a few short years we’re going to be able to look across the street from here and see a hub for creative innovation.” – College President Paul Vogt.
The Centre will be a hub for innovation and discovery, with a focus on applied research, entrepreneurship and social growth. This aligns with their strategic plan to enhance the design and production of post-secondary education.
Research at The University of Winnipeg shows a simple test could improve treatment odds of patients with breast cancer. Currently, the majority of breast cancer cases receive treatment with the drug Tamoxifen. Unfortunately, it is ineffective in roughly half of the patients who use it.
Graduate student in the Master of Science in Bioscience, Technology and Public Policy, Dean Reddick is researching a way to establish these individuals before treatment begins. “You have a patient who has cancer, they’re taking the drug, and both the patient and the physician are thinking the treatment is working. Meanwhile, it’s not working at all and the cancer’s growing very rapidly, and nobody knows that,” said Reddick, who won UWinnipeg’s Three Minute Thesis competition in April.
Although there’s still research to be done, Reddick believes the indication of a novel protein is a sign of responsive cells. “We think that this novel protein may be influencing genes that are related to cancer development and actually stopping them from being read and turned into protein. If that’s the case, then that’s going to be good for the patient, because that’s going to slow down cancer growth, period. It could also be slowing down genes that are related to the development of the resistance.” Reddick notes that once the indicators are identified, a biopsy could determine a patient’s resistance level and prescribe appropriate treatments. This could happen within three to four years.
Two researchers have received an Institute Connection Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Dr. Jennie Wastesicoot (UCN) and Dr. Andrea Walsh (UVic) support an art reconciliation project originating from 1960. The project seeks to reunite students and their families with art they created at the Mackay Indian Residential School.
“The Institution Connection Grant received by UCN is the first time that a UCN researcher has been the Principal Investigator for a project supported by a Tri-Agency grant,” said Linda Melnick, Dean of Research and Innovation. “UCN researchers have been collaborators with researchers in partnership with other institutions for many other research projects. Dr. Wastesicoot’s success in receiving this grant represents an important milestone in UCN’s development to becoming a more research-active institution.”
The grant received by the researchers will support a three-day conference called Coming Home – Survival and Resiliency Through Art. MacKay Indian Residential School Childhood Memories. The event will feature closed sessions with Survivors of the Mackay IRS, dialogue about strategies to return the collection of paintings and Survivor led research projects in collaboration with academic or cultural institutions/archives.
Canada’s first research vessel dedicated to Hudson Bay left port in PEI last week. The vessel, The William Kennedy, is off to explore some of the most understudied regions in the Arctic. The William Kennedy operates through an agreement between the Arctic Research Foundation and the University of Manitoba.
The William Kennedy brings researchers and scientists together to collaborate on the effects of the rapidly warming Arctic climate. Ultimately, the goal is to establish baseline data to measure the impacts of climate change and to inform future decisions.
The team will gather data and insights on Southhampton Island, situated in northwest Hudson Bay. This ecosystem plays an integral role for Arctic marine mammals and to the surrounding communities. These insights will help provide additional knowledge and predictions as locals and stakeholders make decisions for the future.
Warm weather crops can be grown in northern Manitoba. //PHOTO: ACC
Research at Assiniboine’s Sustainable Greenhouse has made it possible to grow warm-weather crops in northern Manitoba. Whether it’s strawberries, tomatoes or sweet potatoes, Dr Sajjad Rao, instructor and researcher, has been collecting information on different greenhouse prototypes.
Opened in 2013, Assiniboine’s Sustainable Greenhouse has three pods, each with increasingly sophisticated technology. The low, medium and high-tech greenhouses use different technologies to control variables such as temperature and humidity. Dr. Rao recommends using low or medium-tech greenhouses to grow in northern Manitoba. “They can grow baby carrots and all kinds of greens. They can produce planting material like sweet potato slips in April and May and in June they can plant them outside in their grow plot. From there, they can produce their sweet potatoes. They can start tomatoes in the greenhouse and plant them outside in the summer months.” Rao states. Stay tuned as Dr. Rao continues research on the best strains of strawberries and sweet potatoes to grow in northern Manitoba.
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