Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)
Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

2016 QROF Recipients

The Queen's Research Opportunities Funds awarded  20 researchers from across disciplines a chance to begin innovative projects and forge new collaborations with colleagues and scholars around the world. Listed below are short descriptions of each researcher and their proposed projects. 

Research Leaders' Fund

Recipients: Karine Bertrand, Cathleen Crudden, Philip Jessop, Yongjun Lai, Neil Renwick.

Karine BertrandKarine Bertrand Dr. Karine Bertrand is using the Research Leaders’ Fund to build an international network of Indigenous women filmmakers. The first step of her project will be devoted to the study of three distinct endeavours, where documentary film practices directly contribute to community development and healing, intercultural communication, and cultural pride for the empowerment of First Nations and Inuit women who have been targets for violence and discrimination. One of the main goals of this project is to build a digitally based network. Through this network, Indigenous women filmmakers and videographers from the Americas (North and South) can share their filmmaking strategies and see how these models are transferable and how they can impact their communities. Her project will favour the dissemination of research on Indigenous filmmaking practices inside and outside of Canada, through conferences, workshops, book chapters, and articles.  Particularly, she will implement a research centre at Queen’s Department of Film and Media focusing on indigenous and minority women’s film and media productions. The outcome of this research will not only be of use to scholars in feminism, Indigenous studies, film and media, and women’s studies, but also for practitioners, curators, and activists engaged in the global networking of feminist Indigenous media art.
 
Cathleen CruddenCathleen Crudden — Dr. Cathleen Crudden’s project “Carbon-based ligands for metal surfaces: A revolution in biosensing” intends to develop one of the most sensitive and inexpensive biosensors to date.  Last year, the Crudden group demonstrated that specially designed organic molecules can be chemically bound to gold surfaces by a carbon–metal bond instead of a sulfur-metal bond. Her group demonstrated that this technique could be useful in the preparation of biosensors using surface plasmon resonance as the sensing element. In this work, she will look to develop increasingly sensitive detection of diseases that are time-sensitive and difficult to detect. Dr. Crudden’s project challenges 30 years of dogma surrounding "best practices" for the preparation of surface modified devices integrating organic components with metallic surfaces. The outcomes of the project will have significant impact on the basic science of these devices and their real-world applications in the field.
 
Philip JessopPhilip Jessop To date, transportation fuels and organic chemicals have been largely obtained by passing crude oil through a refinery. In collaboration with Dr. Pascale Champagne in Civil Engineering, The Jessop Group intends to use the Research Leaders’ Fund to improve methods for the conversion of cellulosic biomass into biofuels through the CMF intermediate in a manner that is economically and environmentally sustainable. This project will be conducted by two graduate students, who will be co-supervised by Jessop and Champagne, and advised by Dr. Mark Mascal from the University of California, Berkley. With Canada’s focus on developing new products from underutilized natural resources, the proposed research will be particularly beneficial in establishing leadership in the area of bio-sourced materials. This platform approach will not only be capacity building for our own research programs, but will also allow us to develop synergistic relationships with other researchers working on the production of CMF and its use as a building block molecule.
 
Yongjun LaiYongjun Lai — Dr. Yongjun Lai is using the Research Leaders’ Fund to accelerate his project “Novel Wearable Technology for Better Vision", which aims to improve intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement technology. IOP is a critical factor used to monitor eye health. In particular, elevated IOP is a leading risk factor for glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. This project aims to develop innovative, easy-to-use, reliable and cost-effective contact lens-based pressure sensors, which will measure IOP non-invasively by using mobile devices and applications and provide patients more frequent access to IOP measurement. As such, it will enable clinicians to prescribe more timely treatment for the patients. Success of the project will not only result in improved health for the many Canadians who will develop glaucoma in their lifetimes, but may also reduce the significant social and economic costs associated with vision care. Trainees involved in this project will be poised to make valuable contributions to the growth of micro-manufacturing technology in Canada, and to assume leadership roles in the advancement of vision health in Canada. In this and other important ways, Dr. Lai’s project will benefit Queen’s reputation as a leader in vision care and promote collaborations with other leading institutions.
 
Neil RenwickNeil Renwick — Due to misleading clinical presentation, Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs) are frequently misdiagnosed and are often metastatic at the time of diagnosis. To address this issue, Dr. Renwick and his research team have successfully used their expertise in RNA-guided diagnostics to identify candidate RNA biomarkers for NET diagnosis and classification. Dr. Renwick plans to use the Research Leaders’ Fund to accelerate RNA-guided diagnostics for NETs through accurate RNA detection in patient samples and cell lines. Success of this project will identify novel circulating and single cell RNA biomarkers that inform NET clinical decision-making and provide insights into NET biology. This project is also expected to improve clinical care, providing patients with more objective measures of survival time, helping health care providers better manage limited resources, and guiding scientists and clinicians to devise and use more effective therapies.
 
International Fund

Recipients: Heather Aldersey, Heidi Cramm, Michael Cunningham, Gabor Fichtinger, Parvin Mousavi, Robert Ross.

Heather AlderseyHeather Aldersey — Dr. Heather Aldersey’s project “Setting Priorities for Sex and Relationship Education for Women with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and their Families” aims to better equip women with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with skills for developing safe, healthy relationship and strategies for identification, avoidance, and reporting of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Women with intellectual disabilities (ID) in low-income and conflict contexts are typically omitted from sex and relationship education and support systems, in spite of the fact that they are the populations most vulnerable to abuse. Developing and delivering sex and relationship education and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) reduction interventions for persons with disabilities (PWDs) is a particularly urgent concern, with global studies indicating a three times higher prevalence of SGBV for PWD’s as compared to the general population. Dr. Aldersey’s project will benefit Queen’s by enabling collaboration between Queen’s faculty, Congolese stakeholders and international experts to set the priorities for future sex and relationship education in the DRC.
 
Heidi CrammHeidi Cramm — Dr. Heidi Cramm is using the International Fund to finance her project “Military & Veteran Family Health Research: A Global Alliance.” The overarching purpose of this project is to develop an internationally agreed upon definition of the military and Veteran family. This project will build upon the first International Invitational Roundtable event, co-hosted by the Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) and King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) in London, UK, in March 2017. Scholars from Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australasia, in partnership with the Vanier Institute for the Family, will contribute to the identification of gaps in the global understanding of the health needs of military and Veteran families. Among creating the means to move towards consistent data gathering, this project will produce and disseminate reports, along with peer-reviewed journal articles in the Journal of Military, Veteran, and Family Health (JMVFH) and foster international collaborations. The Alliance, a demonstration of strong international partnerships will ensure central involvement by Queen’s and Canada in international, cutting-edge initiatives to show that military and Veteran family health and wellbeing is of socioeconomic importance.
 
Michael CunninghamMichael Cunningham — Most polymers and plastics are derived from petroleum-based sources, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Dr. Michael Cunningham plans to collaborate with Professors in Montpellier, France and Queen’s Professor Pascale Champagne to develop new approaches for the modification of two different natural polymers, cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and chitosan that are currently of high research interest. The primary objective of this research is to develop new, more economical routes for making materials comprised mostly or entirely of renewable materials, with the specific goal of making the routes sufficiently economically attractive to enable widespread commercialization, and target the eventual replacement of materials derived from non-renewable resources. Success in this evolving research collaboration will not only achieve significant benefits to research efforts both at Queen’s and Montpellier, but encourage a broader and more significant societal and environmental impact. With Canada’s focus on developing new products from our plentiful and underutilized natural resources, the proposed research will be particularly beneficial in establishing leadership in the area of renewably-sourced materials. 
 
Gabor FichtingerGabor Fichtinger — Professor Gabor Fichtinger of the Queen’s School of Computing and his colleagues at Dartmouth College are using the International Fund to investigate the integration of Dartmouth’s electrical impedance imaging technology, distinguishing cancer from normal tissue during surgery, with Queen’s NaviKnife, a real-time, electromagnetic breast cancer surgery navigation system. This project brings together three Matariki Network partners: Queen's and the University of Western Australia have been recently funded by the CIHR Collaborative Health Research Projects to develop NaviKnife; Dartmouth is joining us as a third partner, adding their unique dimension to the research. Matariki Network members support the development of interdisciplinary, innovative research that demonstrates significant economic and societal global impact. Currently, in Canada, an average one out of three breast conserving surgery patients requires additional surgery: an appallingly high failure rate that necessitates immediate attention and definitive improvement. Breast conserving surgery is a form of soft tissue cancer surgery. Soft tissue surgeries are one of the most frequent types of general surgery procedures, providing the opportunity for complementary benefits to Canadians. During these surgeries, incessant tissue deformation and motion and a target that is not visible give rise to an extremely challenging procedure. Fichtinger’s proposal, a new cancer surgery guidance system that can significantly reduce surgical failure rates, will unify internationally-renowned expertise and cutting-edge technology from both Queen’s and Dartmouth, strengthening Canada’s reputation as a leader in cancer research. 
 
Parvin MousaviParvin Mousavi — The focus of Dr. Parvin Mousavi’s project  is multi-parametric imaging for augmenting the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer, in the Advanced Multimodal Image-guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School. This suite is an internationally recognized, unique clinical translational test-bed for image-guided diagnosis and therapy. According to the American and Canadian Cancer Societies, 262,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually and these numbers are expected to double by 2025 when the baby boomer generation reaches the age of peak prevalence. Dr. Mousavi’s research will contribute to better diagnoses and risk stratification of PCa helping decrease its mortality and morbidity. By improving early detection of aggressive prostate cancer and augmenting the current standard-of-care with affordable, widely available and minimally-invasive techniques, this project will improve the lives of thousands of Canadian men and conserve valuable health care funds. This rare international collaboration opportunity will bring together world leading clinicians at BWH and an established team of researchers in ultrasound imaging and machine learning at Queen’s university.
 
Robert RossRobert Ross — Dr. Robert Ross is using the International Fund to finance his project “Exercise and Metabolomics — A novel approach to understanding the mechanisms by which exercise improves cardiometabolic health.” His research program describes a collaboration between our research group at Queen’s (Ross) and the research group of Dr. Robert Gerszten at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Specifically, Dr. Robert Ross will investigate whether exercise induced changes in metabolite concentration can explain the individual response to exercise for a given risk factor. While we know that most individuals who participate in national guideline-recommended activity (150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity/week) will improve in one or more cardiometabolic risk factors, there exists substantial interindividual variation in response, wherein a significant proportion of individuals do not respond favourably to exercise. These observations have important clinical significance and can offer insight into why and how individuals respond or do not respond to exercise, and ultimately, influence prevention and treatment strategies for health care providers. Success of this research project will strengthen future grant applications for both research groups as well as provide a unique opportunity for Queen’s to work with an internationally recognized scholar, and consequently, open opportunities for Queen’s trainees and research teams to explore the mechanistic underpinnings of findings that otherwise would not be possible.
 
Arts Fund — Artistic Production

Recipients: Rebecca Anweiler, Kim Renders, Matt Rogalsky, Greg Wanless.

Rebecca AnweilerRebecca Anweiler  With the persistence of maverick scientists like Dean Radin and Rupert Sheldrake, who are challenging mainstream scientific assumptions with verifiable research, the study of phenomena once considered paranormal is opening up, and proof of psychic and/or spiritual phenomena is no longer the question being asked by a growing number of scientists. In line with a growing artistic and philosophical movement that is revisioning the concept of animism, Fine Art Undergraduate Chair, Rebecca Anweiler’s project is part of an anti-colonialist and eco-centric effort to challenge the dismissal of the idea of animals, among other natural formations and entities, as having consciousness. To continue her exploration along these themes, she intends to use the Arts Fund for Artistic Production towards the development of an installation, Animal/Séance, which will be exhibited at Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre in Kingston this summer. For the experiment component of the installation, submissions from community members about their animal companions were collected and will be used to in a software program to teach and test a simple telepathic communication technique. The purpose of this experiment is not to prove or disprove the existence of telepathy but to encourage a more open and engaged approach to the very question of its existence.  
 
Kim RendersKim Renders In 1959, Romanian playwright, Eugene Ionesco wrote Rhinoceros as a response to the rise of fascism that preceded WWII. His play spoke to the challenge of maintaining one’s identity and integrity in a world that had succumbed to brute force and mindless submission. As the Artistic Director of Chipped Off Performance Collective, Kim Renders uses Ionesco’s texts as the inspiration for her own theatrical response to the present-day politics of divisiveness and fear. Her production of Rhinoceros or What’s Different About Me? uses art to address and offer resistance to the current trend toward conformity, racism, fear and small-mindedness. Several dozens of community members have already submitted their personal takes on the suggested theme of “Resistance;” including original poetry, personal monologue, dance, music and video art. Kim will rehearse with participants, one on one, and as an ensemble, to help them hone their contributions in preparation for the final performance. As well, a chosen group of actors will perform excerpts from Ionesco’s original text. This performance invites the audience to consider their own acts of resistance; to embrace the unfamiliar, and to understand that it is our uniqueness and differences that, collectively, define us as a community.
 
Matt RogalskyMatt Rogalsky Dr. Matt Rogalsky intends to use the Arts Fund of Artistic Production to purchase a set of highly directional loudspeakers for use in sound installations. The first use to which these will be put is supporting a new collaboration between the Kahswentha Indigenous Knowledge Initiative and Kingston’s Native Language Nest community group. In April-May 2017, an initial series of loudspeaker installations, "From Here and Beyond: Stories of Katarokwi/Kingston”, was put in place at The Agnes, Ban Righ, Theological Hall, CFRC Radio, and Four Directions, featuring stories and songs in Anishinaabemowin and Kanyen’ke:ha. This is to be followed by a project using the newly acquired directional loudspeakers in an outdoor installation at the Skeleton Park Arts Festival in June 2017. The specialized speakers allow projection of “beams” of sound which are unheard until a listener interrupts them. In addition, the focused sound beams can be reflected off walls, trees and other objects, creating unusual aural illusions. Using the set of six speakers purchased through the Arts Fund, a network of intersecting beams of sound will be created.
 
Greg WanlessGreg Wanless — Professor Greg Wanless is using the Arts Fund of Artistic Production to finance The Eliza Show’s text revision workshop, rehearsal, and performances. The Eliza Show will provide Professor Wanless, a professor in the Dan School of Drama and Music, an opportunity to collaborate as both a dramaturg and a director with two outstanding recent graduates of their program, Mariah Horner and Devon Jackson (Arts and Science ’15).  As Canada acknowledges its 150th anniversary, they expect to celebrate Canada’s accomplishments by focusing on one of our lesser known stories, that of Eliza Grimason and her relationship with one of the fathers of confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald. Their story principally took place in and about Kingston and especially at the Grimason House, now Kingston’s famous Royal Tavern, a ‘watering hole’ that is still well-frequented by Kingston residents and Queen’s students. As Eliza tells tales and relates her anecdotes about Sir John and the plans he shared with her to further his political aspirations, their intentions are to recreate faithfully, in a site-specific environment, an experience that will help their audience members understand this important but lessor known folklore of our country.
 
Arts Fund – Visiting Artist in Residency

Recipients: Gary Kibbins, Sam McKegney.

Gary KibbinsGary Kibbins — The Department of Film and Media and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre bring intensive Queen’s and public engagement to the inaugural Stonecroft Foundation residency by acclaimed Quebec-based collaborative duo, Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens. Ibghy and Lemmens are among Canada's most sought-after contemporary artists on the international stage, especially after their recent key work in the Istanbul Biennial. With the arrival of Canada's sesquicentennial marking of Confederation, the residency is an opportune moment for Ibghy and Lemmens to critically respond to the cultural, historical, and social landscapes of Queen's University and the City of Kingston through a Canadian Chapter of their research intensive project, The Golden USB. At the heart of the project the project is the possibility of imagining non-anthropocentric values to respond to the pressing issues facing our planet, including increasing pollution, anthropogenic climate change, ecosystem cascade events, the collapse of much of the earth's biodiversity, and the depletion of fresh water, soil and minerals. This partnership is committed to bringing a diverse range of artists to Queen's to create original work that broadens the scope of its visual culture and involves the University and community in important conversations. The Golden USB will open on 26 August at the Agnes, instituting a rich access point to the artists for class visits and cross-disciplinary dialogue. 
                                                                                                                                                          Marilou Lemmens & Richard Ibghy
                                                          Artists: Marilou Lemmens & Richard Ibghy 
Sam McKegneySam McKegney — Queen’s Department of English will host Karen Solie as the tenth Writer-in-Residence for the Fall Term of 2017. Karen Solie is currently the Associate Director at the Banff Centre Writing Studio. She has held positions as MFA instructor at the University of British Columbia; mentor for the MFA creative writing programs at the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto; and Writer-in-Residence at St. Andrews University, and St. Andrews, Scotland.  Karen Solie will conduct intensive one-on-one sessions with students throughout the term, drawing on her mentorship experience to develop student-specific writing goals and objectives. She will organize public events, featuring a variety of local writers that will emphasize “conversation over coexistence” among diverse artists. She will also present to classes outside the English Department, and will take part in public readings with creative writing students. Her residency will feature community outreach writing workshops for those who, for whatever reason—work, raising a family, school—have been absent from writing and wish to return.
Karen Solie
Artist: Karen Solie 
Post-Doctoral Fellowship Fund

Recipients: Mohammed Auais, Emran Mohammed Abu Anas, Serisha Moodley.

Mohammed AuaisMohammed Auais  Dr. Mohammed Auais plans to establish an independent world-renowned rehabilitation research program in a research-intensive academic institution that provides new knowledge intended to improve recovery for older adults after hip fractures. In particular, he aims to increase the understanding of how non-physical factors interact with other factors to influence hip fracture recovery, and how to integrate this knowledge into geriatric rehabilitation. To do this, Dr. Auais and his supervisor, Dr. Simon French plan to use two unique databases: 1) the International Mobility in Aging Study (IMIAS) and 2) the Baltimore Hip Study data. With the guidance of Dr. French, access to an interdisciplinary research team, and his own clinical and research expertise, Dr. Auias’ project will prove substantial for his own career aspirations as well as for Queen’s international collaboration and research advancement.
 
Emran Mohammed Abu AnasEmran Mohammed Abu Anas  A scaphoid fracture is the most probable outcome of wrist injury and the main reason of such injury is sudden fall on an outstretched arm. For an acute fracture, surgical procedure is recommended by keeping the invasion as minimal as possible. Typically the procedure is performed under fluoroscopic guidance, where the surgeons need to map 2D information to a 3D space. Such mapping is quite challenging even for the expert surgeons, therefore, the medical community is looking for an alternate imaging modality for the solution. Fortunately, ultrasound provides a real-time 3D imaging, however, the information in ultrasound is significantly noisy and it provides only a limited view of the bony anatomy. Dr. Anas solved the challenges by registering a statistical atlas of the wrist to the intraoperative ultrasound. He plans to collaborate with the Human Mobility Research Centre in order to test his developed technique on data from subjects as well as cadavers for testing of the methodology. Ultimately, he plans to show the impact of providing 3D models and guidance for improving the quality of care for patients through a feasibility study at Queen’s. Success of this project will not only train PhD, MSc, and Undergraduate students at Queens but promote research excellence by taking transformative steps towards surgical practices.  
 
Serisha MoodleySerisha Moodley — Dr. Serisha Moodley is pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship focusing on the characterization of RET-targeted therapeutics for the treatment of lung cancers with Dr. Lois Mulligan, a professor of Pathology & Molecular Medicine at the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Moodley will complement her strong background in cell/molecular biology and research experience in molecular mechanisms of lung pathophysiology by working alongside the research community at Queen’s University’s Division of Cancer Biology and Genetics. Through collaborations with Cancer Research UK, Centre for Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics and Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre, Dr. Moodley will be instrumental in establishing joint ventures with industry partners for the development of novel cancer therapeutics and continued interest in biomedical research at Queen’s University.
 

  

2015 QROF Recipients

The inaugural year of the Queen's Research Opportunities Funds awarded  25 researchers from across disciplines a chance to begin innovative projects and forge new collaborations with colleagues and scholars around the world. Listed below are short descriptions of each researcher and their proposed projects. 

Research Leaders' Fund

Recipients: John Allingham, Leon Boegman, Frances Bonier, Heather Castleden, Qingling Duan, Simon French, Mark Ormiston, Ishita Pande and Laura Wells.

John AllinghamJohn Allingham - Dr. John Allingham is using the Research Leaders’ Fund to finance his project “Targeting the oncogenic kinesin motor protein KIF14 for cancer therapy.” Researchers in Canada and abroad have shown that the kinesin KIF14 is frequently overexpressed in cancer types including breast cancer and lung cancer ‒ an outcome that seems to be linked to amplification of a region of the human genome that harbors the KIF14 gene. Dr. Allingham and Dr. Benjamin Kwok at the University of Montreal have initiated studies of the structural and functional properties of the KIF14 protein in order to better understand its specific role(s) in tumor cell division and cancer proliferation, focusing on KIF14’s interaction with the main mediators of cell division. Through these studies, Dr. Allingham and his team hope to better understand the effects of chemical inhibition of KIF14 and potentially provide new avenues for understanding and treating the many cancers linked to overabundance of this kinesin. This could lead to lower costs to the healthcare system if KIF14-directed therapies prove to be more effective treatment options than some of the traditional anticancer regimens. In this and other important ways, Dr. Allingham’s project will benefit Queen’s reputation as a leader in cancer research and promote collaborations with other leading institutions.
 
Leon BoegmanLeon Boegman – Dr. Leon Boegman’s project “Characterizing spatial hydrodynamics in wastewater stabilization ponds to advance Completely Stirred Tank Reactor design models” will benefit greatly from the Research Leaders’ Fund. The project’s aim is to assess the benefits of using a three-dimensional computer model to simulate the biogeochemistry and hydrodynamics of a wastewater stabilization pond. WSPs are inexpensive and efficient ways of treating organic waste in Canada’s rural and northern regions. However, they have not been effectively studied using one- and two-dimensional computer models because of their limitations in accounting for spatial variability and realistic hydrodynamics. Dr. Boegman’s project will create an appropriate computer program to facilitate investigation into WSPs and assist in aligning them with Canada’s Wastewater Effluent Regulations. The project will also provide the first ever valid data on these WSPs in a three-dimensional model. The Fund will allow for Dr. Boegman to team up with faculty from different research groups in the Department of Civil Engineering at Queen’s in order to enhance their analysis of current WSP models. This project will create the initial foundation for future collaborations on the design of wastewater stabilization ponds.
 
Frances BonierFrances Bonier – When over 90% of the local population of red-wing blackbirds at the Queen’s University Biological Station became infected with three types of parasites, Dr. Frances Bonier saw the opportunity for discovery. Her research project, entitled “Ecophysiology and immunology research methods for advancing understanding of organismal responses to challenges,” seeks to develop several analytical tools to study these parasitic infections. Creating more advanced tools for her lab to study the number of parasites in each specimen, their response to infection, and the cost of infection will allow Bonier’s team to understand exactly which factors contributed to this phenomenon. Parasites interact with each other inside a host body over time, and the tools developed by her team will allow for a detailed and sensitive detection of these interactions. Dr. Bonier will then be able to see whether environmental changes are a major factor in the infections, and she can begin to develop future studies to map the impact of these parasites in other environments. The Research Leaders’ Fund will also provide for the expansion of Dr. Bonier’s lab as a centre for student learning and innovation through the development of these research tools.
 
Heather CastledenHeather Castleden – Dr. Heather Castleden’s pilot study on the impacts associated with dismantling several CIHR initiatives will provide readers with a window into CIHR’s current relationship with Indigenous peoples. Her project, called “CIHR's new open suite of programs and college of reviewers: so, how's that working for pathways to Indigenous health equity in research and outcomes in Canada?” is a study of the 2014 reforms that saw the undoing of 15 years of progress towards respectfully engaging with Indigenous peoples and their values in health research. Her pilot study is designed to interview key players in the reforms, including affiliates of the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health and other Institute Advisory Board Chairs. Her project will also be analyzing funding success from before and after the structural reforms. Dr. Castleden’s position as a Canada Research Chair in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities and past Vice-Chair on the CIHR-IAPH Advisory Board provide her with insightful background knowledge on these reforms. Her study can provide a valuable history of the health resources available to Indigenous peoples, who have been systemically disadvantaged by the healthcare system, and demonstrate the level of engagement Indigenous peoples have in creating health policies that affect all Canadians.
 
Qingling DuanQingling Duan – Dr. Qingling Duan is committed to helping the hundreds of millions of people around the world who are living with asthma. Her project, entitled “Moving towards precision medicine using genomic signatures in severe asthma,” is searching for a genetic link between asthma patients and their rejection of a new class of drugs meant to reduce inflammation by targeting specific immune cells called eosinophils. Her work aims to understand why certain people respond to these drugs while others do not, in an effort to identify new biomarkers of drug response. Dr. Duan, with the help of the Research Leaders’ Fund, will conduct a study that integrates genomics with gene expression data from patients with variable therapeutic responses. She believes that those with eosinophil-driven asthma will demonstrate a unique gene expression signature compared to those with other forms of asthma. Her research will greatly impact patients by creating a more precise approach to asthma treatment. If successful, patients with asthma could have access to more effective treatment and see a reduction in severe asthma symptoms. Her research will also benefit the Canadian healthcare system by reducing patient visits to hospitals and the mounting costs incurred by constantly trying different therapies.
 
Simon FrenchSimon French – Dr. Simon French in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy is leading a study on the feasibility of implementing a prognostic tool for the management of low back pain into the Ontario primary healthcare setting. The tool, called STarT Back and developed in the United Kingdom, gives family doctors guidance on treatment options for patients with low back pain. His study is called “Improving the primary care management of low back pain: a feasibility study,” and could have major benefits on current primary care back pain management. His team, composed of researchers from multiple disciplines, will begin by recruiting family doctors and patients. Some patients will be referred to a specially trained physical therapist who will provide the targeted treatments directed by the STarT Back tool. The physical therapist will be trained in the STarT Back program at Keele University in England. Dr. French’s research will provide the foundation for future researchers and doctors to improve the quality of care provided to patients suffering from back pain. The use of this tool may also decrease costs to the Ontario healthcare system by applying a more targeted approach to patients with low back pain.
 
Mark OrmistonMark Ormiston – Dr. Mark Ormiston’s project “Generation of blood outgrowth endothelial cells for the study of immune dysfunction in pulmonary arterial hypertension” will establish a new hub for research on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) at Queen’s. PAH is a deadly disease that blocks the lungs’ blood vessels through the excessive growth of pulmonary endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. His project will create a bank for blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOEC) that act as a surrogate for human pulmonary arterial endothelial cells – a type of cell that is currently very difficult to isolate from PAH patients. Establishing a BOEC bank at Queen’s will allow Dr. Ormiston to continue his study of pulmonary arterial hypertension, with a specific focus on the interactions of patient BOECs with certain immune cells. His study will also promote ties with international institutions such as the University of Cambridge, supporting the reputation of Queen’s researchers globally. The project will provide valuable skills to graduate and post-graduate personnel trained by Dr. Ormiston on laboratory techniques associated with BOECs and genetic expression. Dr. Ormiston has already acquired the cell lines from the University of Cambridge and received ethical approval to begin creating cell lines at KGH.
 
Ishita PandeIshita Pande – In her project “A global history of ‘Hindu Sexology’: science, sexual modernity and the making of the body clock,” Dr. Ishita Pande hopes to provide a comprehensive history of the development of “Hindu Sexology.” Her study looks at the human aspects of science and the development of sexology as a way of homogenizing identities, spreading social norms and claiming sexual rights. The rise of sexology in the 1880s to 1950s had massive ripple effects across India and the world, and turned sex into a phenomenon to be observed scientifically. The implications of sexology are still present today in the government policies and social norms surrounding sex and in the continued reliance on binaries to develop new policies. Dr. Pande’s research, while focusing on Hindu sexology, will also provide a history of debates on homosexuality in India that is missing from current literature. She will visit archives in the UK and in India to study works in four different languages about the history of sexology, allowing her to capture both Western views of sexology and those within India itself. The Research Leaders’ Fund is an amazing opportunity for Dr. Pande to turn her research into a book that will greatly enhance our knowledge of sexology.
 
Laura WellsLaura Wells – Dr. Laura Wells is using her Research Leaders’ Fund to create amazing applications in the world of ophthalmology. Her project, “The role of biomaterial surface properties and neutrophil cell behaviour on intraocular lens posterior capsule opacification (secondary cataracts),” is researching how secondary cataracts develop after the application of intraocular lenses to the first cataracts. Secondary cataracts, also called posterior capsule opacification, develop in 10% of patients with intraocular lenses and requires secondary treatment. By creating an in vitro model, Dr. Wells can ascertain if it is neutrophil cells interacting with the lenses that cause secondary cataracts. Her knowledge of biomaterial development will transition well into the invention of ophthalmic devices for those suffering from cataracts. Her development of the in vitro model will improve the quality of ocular care throughout the industry and expand researchers’ knowledge about secondary cataracts. It will also allow her to take a proactive approach to secondary cataracts by studying their development at a cellular level. Dr. Wells will also be able to foster a positive learning environment; her graduate and undergraduate students will be collaborating with ophthalmic surgeons and biomedical researchers.
 
 
International Fund

Recipients: Susan Bartels, Christopher Booth, Pascale Champagne, Marc Epprecht, Christina Godfrey, Anthony Goerzen, James Miller, Michael Rainbow, Dongsheng Tu, and Suning Wang.

Susan BartelsSusan Bartels – To further her work on “peace babies,” Dr. Susan Bartels has proposed a multidisciplinary research project to study children fathered by peacekeepers and born to local women in the host country. Combining professors from Queen’s and the University of Birmingham, this project seeks to determine the number of peace babies around UN bases in the DRC and Haiti, and to analyze the challenges faced by these children and their families. Oftentimes, women raising ‘peace babies’ face judgement and stigma from their communities, and this study will help elucidate exactly how this affects them and the children they are raising. Dr. Bartels has years of experience working in humanitarian settings, and the project’s team will bring together viewpoints and expertise from many disciplines. The results of this study will help inform policies of United Nations and the training of future peacekeepers. The work will also provide an excellent learning opportunity for several graduate students whose projects will be facilitated by this study. The collaborations with the University of Birmingham will strengthen Queen’s knowledge about children born of war and pave the way for future international collaborations in this growing field.
 
Christopher Booth Christopher Booth – Dr. Christopher Booth is creating strong ties with a leading cancer hospital in Kerala, India. His project, entitled “Cancer health services research collaboration at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India,” will see the start of two major studies with Dr. Aleyamma Mathew of the RCC as the co-Principal Investigator. Low and middle income countries have seen few studies analyzing the outcomes of treatment for cervical cancer and the impact of lower socioeconomic status on cancer survival rates. Dr. Booth’s award from the International Fund will allow him and Dr. Mathew to begin studies on both of these issues, which will improve the treatment and preventative measures put in place for patients. This will benefit the Indian healthcare system that is overburdened with cases of cancer and help researchers understand the predetermining factors that lead to these cases. These studies will assist in creating a long-term collaboration between Queen’s and the RCC.
 
Pascale ChampagnePascale Champagne – The treatment of wastewater is global concern, and the city of Quito, Ecuador is no exception. In her project “An integrated algal system as a potential eco-engineered wastewater treatment process in Ecuador,” Dr. Pascale Champagne is hoping to ascertain the feasibility of using an integrated algal system to treat wastewater in Quito. In collaboration with Dr. Ochoa-Herrera and her undergraduate student Maria Belen Benitez and graduate student Sofia Barrera at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Ecuador, Dr. Champagne will assess how much nitrogen and phosphorus can be removed from the water samples using an algae culture. This project could have huge ramifications for the city of Quito, which is currently lacking a wastewater treatment plant. If successful, Dr. Champagne’s system could be used not only in Quito, where wastewater is a major environmental concern, but in many other Latin American cities as well. The collaboration between Dr. Champagne and Dr. Ochoa-Herrera will also involve the exchange of undergraduate and graduate students, providing an excellent learning opportunity for students of both countries.
 
Marc EpprechtMarc Epprecht – With his award from the International Fund, Dr. Marc Epprecht will develop Queen’s as a leader in African studies through his proposal for the creation of a “Matariki Network for African Studies.” By cooperating with colleagues at Dartmouth College, specifically Dr. Ayo Coly, Dr. Epprecht will create the necessary framework within the Matariki Network of Universities MNU to promote collaborations with each other and with their African partners. This grant will fund two upcoming colloquia focused on promoting sexual minority rights in Africa through economic development and capacity building. One colloquium will be held at Queen’s on Africa Day 2016 and will involve presentations from faculty in multiple disciplines. The other will occur at Dartmouth College in October 2017 and will concern itself with understanding existing African models for engagement in health and wellness. These colloquia will also assist in preparing for the 2018 Canadian Association of African Studies conference being hosted by Queen’s. Dr. Epprecht anticipates several publications regarding conceptions about African sexual minority rights to come from these conferences, developing Queen’s reputation as a leader in the study of LGBTQI minorities across Africa.
 
Christina Godfrey Christina Godfrey – As the scientific director of the Queen’s Joanna Briggs Collaboration QJBC), Dr. Christina Godfrey is hoping to enhance evidence synthesis at seven healthcare centers in six African countries with her project “Building skills in evidence synthesis to advance healthcare.” Her mission is to provide training and support for African healthcare centres implementing evidence synthesis. Using the International Fund, Dr. Godfrey will be able to conduct a needs assessment for seven centres and develop a platform that will enable interactions between QJBC and these seven centres. The fund will also support a six-week training program at Queen’s for one or two centre participants who will receive extended training about evidence synthesis and conduct their own evidence synthesis project. The findings from Dr. Godfrey’s study on the effectiveness of the methods used at the seven centres will also set the stage for future publications and conference presentations. This collaboration with the seven African centres will expand QJBC’s international collaborations to a third continent and assist the sharing of knowledge between the centres themselves. It will also continue the positive pattern of mentorship and support within all Joanna Briggs Institutes.
 
Anthony GoerzenAnthony Goerzen – In an increasingly complex system of globalized supply chains, Dr. Anthony Goerzen is focused on understanding the environmental and social impacts of these large enterprises. His project, entitled “Global supply chain management practice − environmental and social sustainability,” seeks to gather information on practices used by multinational corporations (MNC) such as auditing, sourcing, production, and risk. This information will be used to build a database on Canadian MNC policies which will be accessible to faculty and graduate students. Dr. Goerzen’s model will be replicated at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia, Bocconi University in Italy, University of St Gallen in Switzerland, and University of Nuremburg in Germany, leading to a global database on the policies and practices of MNCs. Dr. Goerzen’s project will provide effective risk mitigation strategies for MNCs that can benefit stakeholders and companies alike when creating policies on supply chain management. Creating these strategies is essential in preventing tragedies like those of the Rana Plaza fire by creating greater transparency surrounding supply chains within a company. The project will also enable Queen’s to create research partnerships with institutions that previously had only student exchange-based relationships.
 
James MillerJames Miller – Dr. James Miller, through his project “Decentering critical theory,” is seeking to reframe the interactions between Chinese and Western cultures. His research focus is the ways in which both cultures perceive the human body in relation to society and nature, which is a topic that will become more important as China rises as a major global power in many fields. Dr. Miller’s project involves several colleagues at five leading institutions across four countries. They have formulated four research questions to be answered individually, one each year for four years, that are aimed at decentering critical theory from its past Western focus. Their papers will be presented at the annual summer institute at Beijing National University. The collaboration will result in several journal publications each year and four edited volumes of their work. Dr. Miller’s project will also allow for greater ties to be built between Queen’s and Beijing National University, and will facilitate bicultural research for students in many disciplines at Queen’s. His project will create new frameworks for interaction and information-sharing across Chinese and Western cultures, and has the potential to be replicated in various other cross-cultural relationships.
 
Michael RainbowMichael Rainbow – Dr. Michael Rainbow is gaining greater insight into the function of the human foot in his project “An international collaboration to understand the neuromechanics of the human foot.” Together with researchers from the University of Queensland, INRIA in France, and Brown University, Dr. Rainbow is using several technologies to analyze arch biomechanics and the structures that modulate stiffness in the medial longitudinal arch of the foot. By charting the movements of the individual structures of the foot in the context of full body motion, the team will be able to better understand the neuromuscular and mechanical function of the foot and its contributions to the human musculoskeletal system. Dr. Rainbow’s research on the foot can have major impacts in the fields of prosthetics and chronic foot injuries. Prosthetics engineers may be able to use this new data to create more effective foot prosthetics that can mimic the function of the intricate structures inside the foot. Foot injury treatment can also benefit from this research by increasing our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms. Dr. Rainbow is also strengthening the relationships between the Human Mobility Research Centre at Queen’s and his collaborators in the United States, Australia, and France.
 
Dongsheng TuDongsheng Tu – In his project “Collaborative research on statistical models for the joint analysis of quality of life and survival data,” Dr. Dongsheng Tu will develop new statistical methods to analyze quality of life (Qol) data collected directly from cancer patients. He has partnered with Professor Guoyou Qin of Fudan University’s School of Public Health and colleagues from other Chinese universities to combine his own knowledge of cancer treatment and survival analysis with expertise of his partners in longitudinal data analysis. Thanks to the International Fund, Dr. Qin and other researchers from China will be able to visit Queen’s during the summers of 2016 and 2017 to analyze the data gathered by the research team at Canadian Cancer Trials Group and explore new statistical models. The partnership between Dr. Tu and his Chinese colleagues on this project will enable future collaborations between researchers and students at Queen’s and Chinese Universities. This project will also generate new statistical methods for the analysis of quality of life data which will enable more efficient and accurate assessment of cancer prevention and treatment strategies in clinical trials and from the perspectives of cancer patients.
 
SSuning Wanguning Wang – In a unique collaboration with Japanese and German institutions, Dr. Suning Wang and Dr. Cathleen Crudden are expanding Queen’s international reputation in the field of catalysis and materials science. The project, entitled “Collaborative research on catalysis and materials with researchers at Nagoya University and Kyoto University,” brings together researchers and students from Kyoto University, Nagoya University, Freie Universitat Berlin, and University of Munster. Projects undertaken by this group include Dr. Wang’s work on creating boron-based material for organic light-emitting diodes and Dr. Crudden’s work on creating cost-effective and environmentally friendly metal-free catalysts. The research network also facilitates exchanges to each other’s laboratories for graduate students, allowing students to gain valuable international experience. There are two annual meetings in Canada, Germany, or Japan that facilitate presentations of each lab’s work and continue to foster a collaborative environment for the researchers. Queen's already hosted the first of these symposia on June 29, which featured 19 fascinating oral presentations from seven research teams. Dr. Wang’s grant from the International Fund will assist the teams in their travels and collaborations with network members. As the only Canadian school involved in this network of leading institutions, Dr. Wang and Dr. Crudden have placed Queen’s at the forefront of catalysis and materials science research.
 
 
Arts Fund

Recipients: Dylan Robinson, Jane Tolmie, and Craig Walker.

Dylan RobinsonDylan Robinson – The Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Dr. Dylan Robinson, is bringing renowned Cree/Métis artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle to Queen’s for an artistic residency from September-November 2016. The project, called “Not too few to forget: developing a public art memorial for Kingston’s Prison for Women,” will involve L’Hirondelle in several artistic pursuits during her stay. She will be engaged with the Prison for Women project in fostering conversations with different marginalized groups affected by Kingston’s women’s prison, including a Grandmother’s Council of Indigenous women connected to the prison. These dialogues will work toward the collaborative creation of new artistic work with members of the community connected to Kingston’s Prison for Women. L’Hirondelle will also engage with graduate students and Kingston community members to bring these marginalized histories of incarcerated Indigenous women, men and youth into focus for those without knowledge of this history. L’Hirondelle will visit gender studies and film and media classes and participate in talks to share her experience working with Indigenous women, men and youth in the creation of Freedom Songs, and she will display her media work in the Art and Media Lab at the Isabel Bader Centre. Her time as a visiting artist will greatly enrich the projects of Dr. Robinson as well as the Kingston community at large.
 
Jane TolmieJane Tolmie – Dr. Jane Tolmie is bringing Queen’s alumna and artist Ciara Phillips to Kingston for a five-week artistic residency. Phillips’ residency aligns well with her exhibition at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre (AEAC) and the celebration of Queen’s 175th anniversary. Her presence at Queen’s for these events will create a personal connection between herself, her artwork, and her alma mater. Her residency will include her workspace at the AEAC and dedicated open office hours for students, which will show her to be a successful artistic role model for current students. She will host “making together” sessions with community groups to engage the Kingston population with her artwork. Phillips will also be involved at Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre as a discussion group leader and mentor for local artists. She will visit several classes in the Visual Art Program and lead tours of her AEAC exhibition for students in cultural studies, gender studies, political studies, and the BFA program. As a Queen’s graduate and artist concerned with social justice and creative expression, Phillips’ time as a resident artist will positively impact both Queen’s students and Kingston residents with her art exhibition and active community engagement.
 
Craig WalkerCraig Walker – Prominent Toronto playwright and director Kat Sandler will be brought to Queen’s in the fall of 2016 thanks to Dr. Craig Walker. Kat Sandler, who has won numerous awards for her hilarious but morally complex plays, will work with Queen’s Drama students to develop an original work. She will meet with students to assess their talents and begin brainstorming ideas for the play. She will then come to Queen’s in the fall of 2016 as writer and director to do a reading and casting of the play. Starting in January 2017, rehearsals will begin, leading to several performances of the finished piece in the two weeks before Reading Week. Sandler will also conduct several class visits and Q&A Sessions after the performances to connect her with Queen’s students and community members. Sandler’s presence at Queen’s will foster a unique experience for Drama students by having a play written collaboratively with a professional playwright that is tailored to their skill set. Her residency will also show her to be an excellent role model for future Queen’s graduates who are looking to work in the theatre industry.
 
 
Post-Doctoral Fund

Recipients: Reza Nosrati, Jaqueline Raymondi Silva, and Gregory Whitfield.

Reza NosratiReza Nosrati – Dr. Reza Nosrati is ready to apply his vast academic background in fluid mechanics to Prof. Carlos Escobedo’s (Department of Chemical Engineering) research on the applications of micro-technology into cell biology and sensing. Dr. Nosrati defended his PhD thesis in March 2016 at the University of Toronto, which focused on microfluidics for male infertility treatment. He has published over 40 papers with 14 of them residing in high-profile scientific journals like Nature Communications. His works, including his groundbreaking discovery of the 2D slither swimming mode of sperm, have been highlighted several times in renowned journals such as Nature Reviews Urology and featured in news sources worldwide including LA Times and Daily Mail. Dr. Nosrati’s unique skill set will assist Prof. Escobedo in his two research streams: developing and applying microstructures to interact with living cells, and developing sensing technologies for detection of ovarian cancer in early stages. Dr. Nosrati’s experience in creating and developing microstructures will be of particular value to Prof. Escobedo’s current project of designing and testing microtech-based platforms for studying biofilm formation and degradation.
 
Jaqueline Raymondi SilvaJaqueline Raymondi Silva – Dr. Jaqueline Raymondi Silva is excited to be joining the Queen’s Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine as a post-doctoral fellow this year. Under the supervision of Dr. Nader Ghasemlou, Dr. Silva will be able to pursue her passion for research into the impacts of pain in post-herpectic neuralgia, or shingles. While completing her doctorate at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Dr. Silva developed a new model of this disease in the mouse. She will now bring this expertise, along with her background in somatosensory and immunology research, to Dr. Ghasemlou’s team. As part of the Ghasemlou lab, Dr. Silva will study the neuroimmune basis underlying postherpetic neuralgia using animal models, with a focus on changes to circadian rhythms. Dr. Silva’s experience in this field will be key to carrying out the Ghasemlou lab’s bedside-to-bench-and-back study, allowing her to utilize her doctoral research in a new academic community. Dr. Silva will be able to build collaborations with other Queen’s researchers and to mentor new undergraduate and graduate students entering the fields of neuroscience and immunology. The experiences and training she receives at Queen’s will support her in her goal of eventually establishing her own laboratory and research team in Brazil.

 

Gregory WhitfieldGregory Whitfield – Beginning in August, Dr. Margaret Moore in the Department of Political Studies will see one of her past graduate students return to her as a post-doctoral fellow. Gregory Whitfield completed his Master’s at Queen’s and successfully defended his PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. His dissertation is about the connection between the theories and methods used in social science research and normative political theories and ethics, but he also has strong academic interests in the study of legal systems and Aboriginal property rights. He is thrilled to be able to apply his knowledge to Moore’s SSHRC-funded project on methods of corrective justice, where his fellowship will allow him to research normative theories that contribute to Aboriginal land claims. Considering North America’s origin as a settler nation that has struggled with Aboriginal territory ownership, Whitfield’s contribution will be very relevant to the current political landscape. Moore has identified Whitfield’s analysis as essential to covering all aspects of land rights and necessary self-government after land dispossession in her SSHRC project. Whitfield will also be able to forge new research relationships with other faculty members throughout his time at Queen’s.