Top Ten

January 25, 2018

McGill, Kyoto launch joint PhD program

McGill University and Kyoto University have celebrated the launch of the Kyoto-McGill International Collaborative Program in Genomic Medicine, a joint PhD program in the field of human biology. The program is the first such joint-PhD that McGill has entered into with another university. “The issue of using genomic and related data, big data, is very much at the centre of medical science in the 21st century,” said McGill Dean of Medicine and Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) David Eidelman. “We think that this is going to be critical for health care and for health research.” Students will spend a minimum of one year at the partner university, completing curriculum coursework and conducting research under the supervision of an academic advisor from each university. Graduates will be awarded a PhD degree jointly by Kyoto and McGill. McGill

CNA receives nuclear substance, radiation license renewal

The College of the North Atlantic has received a renewed license for its Non-Destructive Testing Technician program and its Welding Engineering Technician programs, which involve the storage and handling of nuclear and radioactive materials. The renewal was granted for successfully meeting the regulatory requirements of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) - Nuclear Substance and Radiation Devices Licensing Division. “The room that holds the sources and the X-ray tube are built within the standards of the CNSC, and it allows us to do our work without impacting the general public,” explained CNA Executive Radiation Safety Officer Dion Devoe. “We have a really safe environment and we pick up no radiation here because of the thickness of the vault, and we do not perform radiography outside the vault.” CNA

UTM Davis labs undertakes $17M upgrade

The University of Toronto Mississauga’s Davis Building has undertaken a $17M upgrade to improve 63 of its laboratories. “Everything is top-of-the-line,” says Brandon Lawrence, UTM assistant director of planning design and construction. “It’s bright, clean and modern. The fume hood system is fully customizable, and saves a lot of energy.” The renovations include updated electrical power and air handling, the installation of new facilities such as cell culture rooms and dedicated microscope suites in two larger laboratories, and sustainability-focused features such as LED lighting systems and occupancy sensors. U of T

Paying mind to the value of adequacy in a world focused on excellence

“To be adequate is to have achieved the basic preconditions for participating in an activity without ruining it for anyone else,” writes Rachel Judith Weil in a defence of adequacy and mediocrity. Weil writes about how faculty will always ask “students to do things at which they may never excel,” which is why instructors need to convey the benefits of being able to do something adequately to their students. The article discusses how adequacy is, in itself, a standard that requires effort on the part of the student and allows instructors to better judge their own teaching capabilities. “For me as a teacher, to honor adequacy is not to discount the individual excellence of particular students,” concludes Weil, “but to appreciate the collective excellence that can occur even when some students are merely adequate.” Chronicle

Ryerson, Toronto police partner on programming

Ryerson University and the Toronto Police Service have partnered as part of a broader initiative to modernize policing in Toronto. The partnership will see Ryerson provide courses to city police that meet the standards of the broader community, such as a new course focused on diversity and “bias avoidance” specifically for officers. “As a service, we are driving towards furthering our professionalism and active accountability,” said Police Chief Mark Saunders. Officers will be able to earn credits toward university certificates, diplomas, and degrees through the program offered by Ryerson’s G Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. CBC (CP) | The Star

RRU, City of Langford formalize partnership

Royal Roads University and the City of Langford have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the two parties explore opportunities that promote economic prosperity, sustainability and growth through education. “I’ve long advocated for increased post-secondary education opportunities in Langford,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “As Langford and the West Shore continues to grow, this partnership with Royal Roads University is a step in that direction.” In particular, the five-year MOU identifies several areas of exploration and collaboration that include applied research, meeting local Indigenous communities’ and international students’ educational needs, and partnerships on work-integrated learning. RRU

No 'de facto' expulsion: UCalgary responds to lawyers' group

The University of Calgary has denied recent accusations from a lawyers’ group that it has ‘de facto expelled’ sex offender Connor Neurauter. “We have not disciplined Mr. Neurauter, nor have we acted based on our discipline policies,” responded UCalgary Provost Dru Marshall. “We have advised him not to return to campus this term while we work with him to develop options that would allow him to pursue his studies in a productive learning environment.” Marshall added that the safety of the campus community, including Neurauter, prompted the decision. “This is a challenging and complicated situation. It demands thoughtful and considered assessment that respects all involved.”

CBC | Calgary Herald

Loyalist opens Applied Research Centre for Natural Products, Medical Cannabis

Loyalist College has announced the official opening of the Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC). The opening follows the college’s receipt of approval from Health Canada for a Controlled Drugs and Substances License in January 2017. “Loyalist has a highly successful 13-year, industry-driven track record of natural product extraction and analysis-based applied research,” said Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan. “The College has contributed $950,000 to the ARC to enhance lab extraction and analytical equipment, an investment which will truly set Loyalist apart.” ARC will provide industry with access to a hub of expertise and resources related to clean technologies.


UVic protein research centres receive $18M in funding

Genome Canada and Genome BC have provided over $18M in funding to the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre, as well as the Metabolomics Innovation Centre at the University of Alberta, of which UVic was a founding partner. The Proteomics Centre includes partners from the University of British Columbia, the Hospital of Sick Children in Toronto, and McGill University’s Jewish General Hospital. “This funding is terrific news for UVic, for proteomics research across the country and for Canadian health care in general,” says UVic Vice-President Research David Castle. “The research conducted by these facilities will transform how we diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases and, in particular, expand the possibilities for the rapidly advancing field of personalized medicine.”


York to receive $2.6M to combat infectious diseases with Math

York University has received a combined $2.6M from Sanofi Pasteur and the NSERC Industrial Research Chair program to establish the NSERC/Sanofi Industrial Research Chair in Vaccine Mathematics, Modelling and Manufacturing. The new major research initiative will see researchers develop mathematical techniques to identify the populations most susceptible to infectious diseases, enabling manufacturers to produce cost-effective vaccines. “Sanofi in Canada is proud to support this collaborative effort,” said Sanofi Canada President Niven Al-Khoury. “It is another great example of how industry, academia and government can come together to benefit Canadians and support the advancement of science in our country.”