CSB Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium presented a summer of experiments by CSB students

After an exciting summer of study and experimentation, CSB students presented their research at the CSB Summer Undergraduate Poster Symposium. These students worked in CSB labs in Ramsay Wright and Earth Sciences, but also on International Exchange in labs in Singapore, Germany and Scotland. Thank you to all who attended the symposium and helped to make it a great success.

Awards were given to the students who best presented their research both on their posters and in their ability to answer the judges’ questions. Congratulations go to the following winners:

Jeffrey Wang from John Peever‘s lab
Alexander Bogatch from Sergey Plotnikov‘s lab
Lily Trinh from Tony Harris‘ lab
Isis So from Ashley Bruce‘s lab

Although some funding for these projects was provided by CSB, additional support was provided by NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards and Mitacs Globalink Research Awards (for some overseas students). If you would like to support upcoming summer research projects, you can donate to CSB by following this link.

Thank you to the judges for their time and efforts. Thank you to Tony Harris for hosting the awards presentation. And thank you to Janet Mannone, Genna Zunde, Richelle Coomey, Janet Harrison and Lisa Matchett for helping organize this event.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated for a job well done.

Professor Tony Harris awarded a John R Evans Leaders Fund grant

Advanced microscopy is essential for studying developmental cell biology—how molecules organize cells, and how cells form tissues. Professor Tony Harris has received funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation‘s John R Evans Leaders Fund to purchase a cutting-edge spinning disk confocal microscope to advance his research into how cytoskeletal networks form and function to shape cells and tissues. Combining microscopy with genetic manipulations possible in the Drosophila fruit fly, the lab of Prof Tony Harris at the University of Toronto makes seminal discoveries of how the early embryo cleaves into many cells, how cell-cell junctions organize for connecting cells into tissues, and how tissues contract or stretch for Drosophila embryogenesis.

The insights from images acquired with this advanced microscope system will allow dissection of specific molecular regulators of cytoskeletal networks as well as insights into how distinct networks impact each other, the cell surface, and cell-cell junctions for multicellular development. This cutting edge fundamental research is relevant to human diseases, regenerative medicine, bioengineering, and materials science.

In using this technology to resolve their research questions, lab members will gain skills useful for careers in scientific research, health and teaching professions, as well as the biotechnology and scientific publishing sectors. Replacing an existing microscope that still runs Windows XP, the new system will provide advanced imaging technology for the next 13-14 years.

A True Blue Award for Lisa Matchett recognizes her exemplary work in Joint Health and Safety

Lisa Matchett is a Teaching Lab Technician in the Ramsay Wright Building who has been recognized with a True Blue Award for Innovation. The True Blue Award highlights the practices of exemplary faculty and staff who make invaluable contributions to the University every day.

Over the past 13 years, Lisa consistently strived to make Ramsay Wright a safer, healthier environment in her position as Worker Co-chair of the Joint Health & Safety Committee. Through the many changes at U of T, she has kept up-to-date with the latest protocols and legislation. She has been pro-active in scheduling committee meetings, ensuring that building inspections are completed and any deficiencies are brought to the attention of Principal Investigators. She maintained this professionalism even under the added duress of constant renovations in the building and the problems that ensue from outside contractors.

As problems arise, she has responded quickly and confidentially with staff, faculty and students. Lisa collaborates with a team who make the Ramsay Wright building a model for other JHS committees across campus.