You are on page 1of 34

Bringing research to life

Every scientific discovery, technological advance or new By looking for answers to questions about
ourselves and our world, university researchers play
revelation about why we are the way we are begins with a a critical role in our economic, social and cultural
question. Simple curiosity and the desire to solve the mysteries advancement. Research, however, requires not only
the dedication and expertise of the investigators
that surround us are qualities we all share, and they are at the themselves, but also the equipment and support
heart of the systematic process of inquiry we call research. that will help them find the answers they seek.
This is why research universities are so important.

Research universities are the catalysts that bring


the process of research to life. They gather together
academic and administrative staff, students,
post-doctoral fellows, research associates and
technicians in an environment that fosters
innovation and the sharing of ideas, while
providing the facilities and advanced training
necessary for cutting-edge research.

As the first major research university in Western


Canada, the University of Manitoba has been
bringing research to life for more than a century.
From the development of canola and advances
in wireless communication, to the elimination of
Rh disease of the newborn and new strategies for
fighting HIV/AIDS, our researchers have made
contributions that have had a global impact.

Today, our faculty and students continue to earn


international acclaim in fields as diverse as infectious
diseases, Canadian history, materials science, civil
infrastructure, population and community health,
sustainable agriculture and northern research,
to name just a few. More than ever before, our
researchers are collaborating beyond traditional
disciplinary boundaries, sharing their expertise,
experience and passion for discovery.
While it would be impossible for a single document
to completely capture the vast scope of innovative
research at the University of Manitoba, this
publication does provide a good sense of how this
research truly benefits us all. Working together, our
researchers continue to find new ways to improve
our health, increase our understanding of ourselves
and our world, advance our technology, strengthen
our communities and protect our environment.

This is, after all, the true purpose of university


research. Our history has largely been defined by the
ingenuity of artists, scholars, scientists and engineers.
In many ways, our future will depend on it.

Joanne Keselman, vice-president (research)


Joanne Keselman, vice-president (research) and Emőke Szathmáry, president
3
Improving
Table of Contents Our Health
Improving Our Health 5
The front lines of defense against emerging health threats 6
Food, functional food! 7
Working together towards a cure 8
Reacting to an allergy epidemic 9
Health is where the heart is 10
Fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa and India 11
Drugs right on target 12

Understanding Ourselves and Our World 13


Conflict and cooperation in a troubled world 15
A little song, a little dance… 16
Something old, something new 17
Thinking history differently 18

Advancing Our Technology 19


“New biology” offers hope for custom-made medical treatments 20
Materials by design 21
Power systems and systems of power 22 In recent years, antibiotic-resistant “super bugs,”
A family of new engineering facilities 22
emerging diseases, and an increasing incidence of
Strengthening Our Communities 23 b r e a s t c a n c e r, h e a r t d i s e a s e , a l l e r g y a n d a s t h m a
Community voices in Aboriginal health research 25 have strained health care systems around the world.
Community by design, for the children 26
Enabling the disabled and the disempowered 27 At the University of Manitoba, researchers are
Young at heart 28 collaborating across disciplinary boundaries to meet

Protecting Our Environment 29 t h e s e c h a l l e n g e s h e a d - o n . Fr o m g r o u n d b r e a k i n g

The north wind doth blow 31 HIV/AIDS research in Africa, to the frontiers of
Renewable energy 32 cancer research and functional food development,
Down on the farm 33
our researchers are working to find solutions to
Bioproducts: safer, cleaner, better 34
some of today’s most urgent health problems.

4
Improving
Table of Contents Our Health
Improving Our Health 5
The front lines of defense against emerging health threats 6
Food, functional food! 7
Working together towards a cure 8
Reacting to an allergy epidemic 9
Health is where the heart is 10
Fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa and India 11
Drugs right on target 12

Understanding Ourselves and Our World 13


Conflict and cooperation in a troubled world 15
A little song, a little dance… 16
Something old, something new 17
Thinking history differently 18

Advancing Our Technology 19


“New biology” offers hope for custom-made medical treatments 20
Materials by design 21
Power systems and systems of power 22 In recent years, antibiotic-resistant “super bugs,”
A family of new engineering facilities 22
emerging diseases, and an increasing incidence of
Strengthening Our Communities 23 b r e a s t c a n c e r, h e a r t d i s e a s e , a l l e r g y a n d a s t h m a
Community voices in Aboriginal health research 25 have strained health care systems around the world.
Community by design, for the children 26
Enabling the disabled and the disempowered 27 At the University of Manitoba, researchers are
Young at heart 28 collaborating across disciplinary boundaries to meet

Protecting Our Environment 29 t h e s e c h a l l e n g e s h e a d - o n . Fr o m g r o u n d b r e a k i n g

The north wind doth blow 31 HIV/AIDS research in Africa, to the frontiers of
Renewable energy 32 cancer research and functional food development,
Down on the farm 33
our researchers are working to find solutions to
Bioproducts: safer, cleaner, better 34
some of today’s most urgent health problems.

4
The front lines of defense Food,
against emerging health threats functional food!
When you check into a hospital, you don’t expect the experience Functional foods are consumed as part of a usual diet
to contribute to your illness. Surveillance within hospitals and and have proven health benefits, like reducing the risk of
nursing homes indicates that “superbugs” in blood, respiratory disease. Nutraceuticals are products with proven health
and urinary infections continue to spread rapidly across Canada. benefits derived from foods and sold as pills, powders or
other medicinal forms.
Organisms such as methicillin- Embree’s department has expanded its public health importance such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, In Manitoba, three complementary At the University’s Fort Garry Campus, The RCFFN’s multi-pronged approach includes an
resistant Staphylococcus aureus, work on “superbugs” to other diseases influenza, SARS and West Nile virus. As part of a mega facilities have placed the province at the research at the RCFFN focuses on the identification team, which selects a substance to study,
Clostridium difficile and vancomycin- that make the evening news, such as project of the Mathematics of Information Technology and leading edge of functional foods and development of value-added products and an enhancement team, which does research on
resistant Enterococci are quickly SARS and West Nile virus. Complex Systems (MITACS), Gumel designs mathematical nutraceuticals research and development. derived from crops important to the prairie the molecular and chemical structure of the optimal
sharing their genetic information so models of how diseases spread in a population, helping to Scientists at the Richardson Centre for region. For example, Carla Taylor, human plant source. An extraction team then processes the
From a completely different angle biomaterials, and a safety and efficacy assessment team
that they can resist antibiotics. George assess control strategies such as quarantine and isolation, Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals nutritional sciences, is investigating the role
of attack, the dynamics of infectious studies the metabolic and pharmacological nature of the
Zhanel, medical microbiology, is vaccines and antiretroviral therapy. (RCFFN) and the Canadian Centre of components isolated from buckwheat
diseases can also be modeled bioactive compounds, including their effects on existing
researching the effectiveness of new for Agri-Food Research in Health and in the management of diabetes, and she
mathematically. Abba Gumel, Gumel notes: “The ultimate objective is to determine, medical conditions and illnesses. The final element is the
treatments from combinations of Medicine (CCARM) work closely with is studying the effects of flaxseed on
mathematics, has been developing via mathematical modeling, cost-effective public health testing and evaluation of consumer acceptability, which
existing antibiotics and working to the provincial government’s Food blood glucose control. In the department
models of the spread and control of strategies for combating and/or eradicating the spread of involves researchers from a variety of disciplines who
develop sophisticated genetic tools for Development Centre (FDC) in Portage la of food science, Trust Beta is examining
emerging and re-emerging diseases of some human diseases.” examine processing, sensory analysis and food quality.
identifying new antibiotics. Prairie to develop and test natural food components of plant foods that can
products that will improve the health of potentially prevent or delay the onset of At the St. Boniface General Hospital Research
“We’re trying to adapt rapidly and
Canadians. diseases related to aging. Centre, CCARM scientists conduct basic research
keep one step ahead of the spread of
and clinical trials on a wide range of natural health
these superbugs,” says Zhanel. products. For example, CCARM director Peter
“The evolving situation of emerging Zahradka, physiology, is examining how nutrition
pathogens has required a joint attack and nutraceutical compounds influence the function
on several fronts, and we are helping of adipose tissue in relation to vascular disease.
to develop a research funding strategy Peter Jones, RCFFN director and Canada Research
for the Canadian Institutes for Health Chair in Nutrition and Functional Foods, points out:
Research (CIHR),” says Joanne “Research and development at CCARM, FDC and
Embree, head, medical microbiology. the Richardson Centre is a response to interest by the
The University of Manitoba has been general public in food products that can promote and
working closely on these issues with maintain good health. We’re involved from ‘farm to
CIHR and Manitoba Health, along fork’ and from ‘hill to pill.’”
with industry and researchers like
“It’s the direction consumers are now heading,” Jones,
Michael Mulvey, medical microbiology,
food science, adds, “and it’s in the best interest of all
chief of antimicrobial resistance and
of us who need to eat food to survive.”
nosocomial infections at the Public
Health Agency of Canada’s National
Microbiology Laboratory. Medical microbiology faculty Michael Mulvey and George Zhanel

Improving Our Health Peter Jones, food science


6
The front lines of defense Food,
against emerging health threats functional food!
When you check into a hospital, you don’t expect the experience Functional foods are consumed as part of a usual diet
to contribute to your illness. Surveillance within hospitals and and have proven health benefits, like reducing the risk of
nursing homes indicates that “superbugs” in blood, respiratory disease. Nutraceuticals are products with proven health
and urinary infections continue to spread rapidly across Canada. benefits derived from foods and sold as pills, powders or
other medicinal forms.
Organisms such as methicillin- Embree’s department has expanded its public health importance such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, In Manitoba, three complementary At the University’s Fort Garry Campus, The RCFFN’s multi-pronged approach includes an
resistant Staphylococcus aureus, work on “superbugs” to other diseases influenza, SARS and West Nile virus. As part of a mega facilities have placed the province at the research at the RCFFN focuses on the identification team, which selects a substance to study,
Clostridium difficile and vancomycin- that make the evening news, such as project of the Mathematics of Information Technology and leading edge of functional foods and development of value-added products and an enhancement team, which does research on
resistant Enterococci are quickly SARS and West Nile virus. Complex Systems (MITACS), Gumel designs mathematical nutraceuticals research and development. derived from crops important to the prairie the molecular and chemical structure of the optimal
sharing their genetic information so models of how diseases spread in a population, helping to Scientists at the Richardson Centre for region. For example, Carla Taylor, human plant source. An extraction team then processes the
From a completely different angle biomaterials, and a safety and efficacy assessment team
that they can resist antibiotics. George assess control strategies such as quarantine and isolation, Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals nutritional sciences, is investigating the role
of attack, the dynamics of infectious studies the metabolic and pharmacological nature of the
Zhanel, medical microbiology, is vaccines and antiretroviral therapy. (RCFFN) and the Canadian Centre of components isolated from buckwheat
diseases can also be modeled bioactive compounds, including their effects on existing
researching the effectiveness of new for Agri-Food Research in Health and in the management of diabetes, and she
mathematically. Abba Gumel, Gumel notes: “The ultimate objective is to determine, medical conditions and illnesses. The final element is the
treatments from combinations of Medicine (CCARM) work closely with is studying the effects of flaxseed on
mathematics, has been developing via mathematical modeling, cost-effective public health testing and evaluation of consumer acceptability, which
existing antibiotics and working to the provincial government’s Food blood glucose control. In the department
models of the spread and control of strategies for combating and/or eradicating the spread of involves researchers from a variety of disciplines who
develop sophisticated genetic tools for Development Centre (FDC) in Portage la of food science, Trust Beta is examining
emerging and re-emerging diseases of some human diseases.” examine processing, sensory analysis and food quality.
identifying new antibiotics. Prairie to develop and test natural food components of plant foods that can
products that will improve the health of potentially prevent or delay the onset of At the St. Boniface General Hospital Research
“We’re trying to adapt rapidly and
Canadians. diseases related to aging. Centre, CCARM scientists conduct basic research
keep one step ahead of the spread of
and clinical trials on a wide range of natural health
these superbugs,” says Zhanel. products. For example, CCARM director Peter
“The evolving situation of emerging Zahradka, physiology, is examining how nutrition
pathogens has required a joint attack and nutraceutical compounds influence the function
on several fronts, and we are helping of adipose tissue in relation to vascular disease.
to develop a research funding strategy Peter Jones, RCFFN director and Canada Research
for the Canadian Institutes for Health Chair in Nutrition and Functional Foods, points out:
Research (CIHR),” says Joanne “Research and development at CCARM, FDC and
Embree, head, medical microbiology. the Richardson Centre is a response to interest by the
The University of Manitoba has been general public in food products that can promote and
working closely on these issues with maintain good health. We’re involved from ‘farm to
CIHR and Manitoba Health, along fork’ and from ‘hill to pill.’”
with industry and researchers like
“It’s the direction consumers are now heading,” Jones,
Michael Mulvey, medical microbiology,
food science, adds, “and it’s in the best interest of all
chief of antimicrobial resistance and
of us who need to eat food to survive.”
nosocomial infections at the Public
Health Agency of Canada’s National
Microbiology Laboratory. Medical microbiology faculty Michael Mulvey and George Zhanel

Improving Our Health Peter Jones, food science


6
Working together towards a cure Reacting to an
If breast cancer can be detected early enough, lives can be
saved. However, finding the markers or warning signs of allergy epidemic
cancer cell development is a challenging problem. A new In Canada, allergies are the most common, and most
coordinated approach to breast cancer research has rapidly increasing, chronic health problem. More than
injected a sense of synergy and collaboration into the 50 per cent of young children are sensitive to common
work of teams striving to understand this disease. environmental allergens and pediatric asthma is the
leading cause of hospitalization in children.
The Great-West Life Manitoba Breast Davie leads the Nygård International says Hicks. “Through studying cancer cells in mice, we can
Cancer Research Centre is a joint Molecular Biology Breast Cancer better understand how the disease manifests in humans.”
research initiative between the University Research Unit, the proteomics platform, Allergy is complex — involving genetics, individual Hayglass, immunology, notes: “Learning IRARG co-head Estelle Simons, pediatrics
Finally, Peter Watson leads the Manitoba Breast
of Manitoba and CancerCare Manitoba. studying proteins in the tumour itself physiology, metabolism and an immune system what controls how the immune system and child health, is internationally
Tumour Bank, which supports over 60 local, national
Organized in five teams called research or blood or urine, identifying potential and international projects by providing tissues biased to the development of allergy-associated defaults to ‘protective’ versus ‘self- known for her innovative studies of
platforms, the centre focuses on genetic biodiagnostic markers of the disease. and the accompanying clinical and pathological diseases. The University of Manitoba’s Immune destructive’ immune responses in asthma, anaphylaxis and other allergic
and hormonal changes in breast cancer data associated with tumours. This translation of Regulation of Allergy Research Group (IRARG) is different people will result in vaccine disorders. Andrew Halayko, physiology,
The fourth platform is the Mammalian on the front lines of an all-out war against allergies development and clinical trials of is also studying allergy response and the
and the identification of biomarkers for knowledge provides researchers with material to test
early detection and treatment. The teams Functional Genomics Centre, led by and asthma, bringing together diverse expertise from new strategies to redirect the immune progressive and irreversible deterioration of
theories and help make discoveries related to breast
each attack the problem from different Geoff Hicks, Canada Research Chair cancer treatment a reality. pediatrics and child health, immunology, physiology response in humans.” airways in patients with asthma or chronic
directions, focusing on a particular in Functional Genomics. He is using and medical microbiology. pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD).
Davie explains: “These research platforms working
aspect of the molecular events which transgenic mouse models to investigate
together create a synergy that is unrivaled anywhere Allan Becker is lead investigator of two teams focused
lead to breast cancer, then work with one the genetics of breast cancer.
else. Since 5,000 women per year die from breast on gene-environment interactions and gender
another in a concerted effort. “We need to know which genes regulate cancer in Canada, the importance of this combined influences in asthma. He is research director of the
The genomics platform is headed the production of breast cancer cells,” research effort cannot be overstated.” Children’s Asthma Education Centre at the Children’s
by Sabine Mai, director of the Genomic Hospital of Winnipeg and a core member of a
Centre for Cancer Research and National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma
Diagnosis. She is looking at changes in based at the University of Manitoba. He suggests that
the physical structure of chromosomes evolution and genetic change occurring over decades
in breast cancer cells. Leigh Murphy leads and centuries have been subtly contributing to a
another platform, the Molecular Profiling present-day epidemic of asthma.
Unit, studying how and why genes
He explains: “We really need to understand how our
sometimes do not function normally
genes interact with the environment. Asthma is a
during the progression of breast cancer.
disease with a complex, heritable component, with
“We want to be able to point to some of multiple genes involved.”
the early events that give the breast cancer
Kent HayGlass, Canada Research Chair in Immune
cell an advantage to grow,” explains James
Regulation, works closely with researchers at the
Davie, director of the Manitoba Institute Children’s Hospital and the Manitoba Institute for
of Cell Biology, Canada Research Chair Child Health. Co-head of IRARG, Hayglass focuses on
in Chromatin Dynamics, and Margaret understanding how immune cells and responses are
Leigh Murphy, James Davie and Spencer Gibson, biochemistry and medical genetics; Bob Shiu, physiology; Peter Watson, pathology;
Sellers Chair in Cell Biology. Sabine Mai, physiology; Yvonne Myal, pathology; Etienne Leygue and Geoff Hicks, biochemistry and medical genetics turned on and off, especially in allergies and asthma.
Allan Becker, pediatrics and child health

Improving Our Health


8
Working together towards a cure Reacting to an
If breast cancer can be detected early enough, lives can be
saved. However, finding the markers or warning signs of allergy epidemic
cancer cell development is a challenging problem. A new In Canada, allergies are the most common, and most
coordinated approach to breast cancer research has rapidly increasing, chronic health problem. More than
injected a sense of synergy and collaboration into the 50 per cent of young children are sensitive to common
work of teams striving to understand this disease. environmental allergens and pediatric asthma is the
leading cause of hospitalization in children.
The Great-West Life Manitoba Breast Davie leads the Nygård International says Hicks. “Through studying cancer cells in mice, we can
Cancer Research Centre is a joint Molecular Biology Breast Cancer better understand how the disease manifests in humans.”
research initiative between the University Research Unit, the proteomics platform, Allergy is complex — involving genetics, individual Hayglass, immunology, notes: “Learning IRARG co-head Estelle Simons, pediatrics
Finally, Peter Watson leads the Manitoba Breast
of Manitoba and CancerCare Manitoba. studying proteins in the tumour itself physiology, metabolism and an immune system what controls how the immune system and child health, is internationally
Tumour Bank, which supports over 60 local, national
Organized in five teams called research or blood or urine, identifying potential and international projects by providing tissues biased to the development of allergy-associated defaults to ‘protective’ versus ‘self- known for her innovative studies of
platforms, the centre focuses on genetic biodiagnostic markers of the disease. and the accompanying clinical and pathological diseases. The University of Manitoba’s Immune destructive’ immune responses in asthma, anaphylaxis and other allergic
and hormonal changes in breast cancer data associated with tumours. This translation of Regulation of Allergy Research Group (IRARG) is different people will result in vaccine disorders. Andrew Halayko, physiology,
The fourth platform is the Mammalian on the front lines of an all-out war against allergies development and clinical trials of is also studying allergy response and the
and the identification of biomarkers for knowledge provides researchers with material to test
early detection and treatment. The teams Functional Genomics Centre, led by and asthma, bringing together diverse expertise from new strategies to redirect the immune progressive and irreversible deterioration of
theories and help make discoveries related to breast
each attack the problem from different Geoff Hicks, Canada Research Chair cancer treatment a reality. pediatrics and child health, immunology, physiology response in humans.” airways in patients with asthma or chronic
directions, focusing on a particular in Functional Genomics. He is using and medical microbiology. pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD).
Davie explains: “These research platforms working
aspect of the molecular events which transgenic mouse models to investigate
together create a synergy that is unrivaled anywhere Allan Becker is lead investigator of two teams focused
lead to breast cancer, then work with one the genetics of breast cancer.
else. Since 5,000 women per year die from breast on gene-environment interactions and gender
another in a concerted effort. “We need to know which genes regulate cancer in Canada, the importance of this combined influences in asthma. He is research director of the
The genomics platform is headed the production of breast cancer cells,” research effort cannot be overstated.” Children’s Asthma Education Centre at the Children’s
by Sabine Mai, director of the Genomic Hospital of Winnipeg and a core member of a
Centre for Cancer Research and National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma
Diagnosis. She is looking at changes in based at the University of Manitoba. He suggests that
the physical structure of chromosomes evolution and genetic change occurring over decades
in breast cancer cells. Leigh Murphy leads and centuries have been subtly contributing to a
another platform, the Molecular Profiling present-day epidemic of asthma.
Unit, studying how and why genes
He explains: “We really need to understand how our
sometimes do not function normally
genes interact with the environment. Asthma is a
during the progression of breast cancer.
disease with a complex, heritable component, with
“We want to be able to point to some of multiple genes involved.”
the early events that give the breast cancer
Kent HayGlass, Canada Research Chair in Immune
cell an advantage to grow,” explains James
Regulation, works closely with researchers at the
Davie, director of the Manitoba Institute Children’s Hospital and the Manitoba Institute for
of Cell Biology, Canada Research Chair Child Health. Co-head of IRARG, Hayglass focuses on
in Chromatin Dynamics, and Margaret understanding how immune cells and responses are
Leigh Murphy, James Davie and Spencer Gibson, biochemistry and medical genetics; Bob Shiu, physiology; Peter Watson, pathology;
Sellers Chair in Cell Biology. Sabine Mai, physiology; Yvonne Myal, pathology; Etienne Leygue and Geoff Hicks, biochemistry and medical genetics turned on and off, especially in allergies and asthma.
Allan Becker, pediatrics and child health

Improving Our Health


8
Health is Fighting HIV/AIDS
If researchers like Naranjan Dhalla have their way, In India, the University of Manitoba is leading one of the
however, that may soon change. He is a world world’s largest programs for HIV prevention among sex
renowned heart researcher who was instrumental in workers. Here, Stephen Moses, medical microbiology,

where the heart is establishing the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences,


a partnership between the St. Boniface General
Hospital and the University of Manitoba. Dhalla and
in Africa and India and James Blanchard, community health sciences, are
working with communities to reduce the transmission
of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
According to Health Canada, as many as 35 per cent of his fellow researchers believe that in the near future,
It has been 25 years since Allan Ronald of the University One of their projects, funded by the Bill and Melinda
all deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases each year, doctors will be able to prevent and reverse the ravages Gates Foundation, is developing ways to scale up HIV
of Manitoba partnered with the University of Nairobi
and treating these diseases costs Canadian taxpayers over of congestive heart failure. prevention programs and reduce the spread of sexually
to share information and expertise on infectious
$18 billion annually. Dhalla served as the Institute’s founding director for
transmitted infections and HIV in Karnataka, India,
disease prevention and research. In 1985, the focus of particularly in vulnerable populations, including sex
a decade, and he received the Order of Canada for
his groundbreaking work. His laboratory is currently
the partnership expanded to include HIV/AIDS, which trade workers, injection drug users and at-risk men.

focusing on four different areas: heart dysfunction in was quickly spreading across Africa. Since then, the “The demonstration projects are being seen as ‘best
chronic diabetes, ischemic heart disease, congestive collaboration, based within the WHO Collaborating Centre practices’ and have increased access to preventive
heart failure and stress-induced heart disease. for Research and Training in STDs, has grown into an services and resources, such as voluntary counseling,
HIV testing and condoms,” says Blanchard, Canada
Other teams within the institute are looking at international effort with researchers from the Universities Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Public
cardioprotection — keeping heart cells alive during a
of Washington, Ghent, Oxford, and others working to Health, adding that he has also seen reduced fear,
heart attack — heart muscle regeneration, reperfusion
study and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. stigma and discrimination because of these projects.
injuries which occur when blood flow is restored, and
the remodeling of scar tissue to allow signals to pass Over the life of this research partnership, HIV Research Group, under the
through a scarred heart and keep blood flowing. the Manitoba-Nairobi teams have made direction of Frank Plummer, medical
advances and discoveries that have microbiology, Canada Research Chair
Institute director Larry Hryshko, physiology, is
significantly increased our understanding in Resistance and Susceptibility to
exploring a way to improve heart function following
of HIV/AIDS. This group was the first to Infections, and Scientific Director
a heart attack. A Canada Research Chair in Cardiac
show that HIV could be heterosexually General of the National Microbiology
Electrophysiology, Hryshko is studying a family of ion
transmitted. They were the first to discover Laboratory, Public Health Agency of
transport proteins, called sodium-calcium exchangers,
that transmission of HIV from mother Canada, in Winnipeg.
which play a critical role in controlling the force of
to child through breast milk is a frequent
heart contractions. His laboratory is investigating the A recent investment from the Canada
occurrence and a significant clinical and
possibility that regulating the flow of ions through Foundation for Innovation, through
public health problem. They were also the
these exchangers by using newly developed drugs its International Access Fund program,
first researchers to discover that having a
might regulate the strength with which heart muscle has further enhanced the University of
traditional sexually transmitted disease
cells can contract, allowing muscle cells that survive Nairobi collaboration. The grant created
increased the risk of HIV infection.
a world-class infectious disease research
after a heart attack to work more effectively.
Perhaps most significantly, this group facility in Nairobi, including a Level-3
“We work in an environment unequalled across the identified groups of sex trade workers in retrovirology laboratory for handling
country,” says Grant Pierce, physiology, and executive Kenya who, despite repeated exposure to HIV, highly infectious materials.
director of research at St. Boniface General Hospital. have not become infected. This discovery
“Cutting-edge research can now take
“I’m not aware of another centre this large. We have overturned conventional wisdom about
place right in Nairobi, increasing the
the critical mass to go after any scientific problem in the virus, and it has received international
research capacity of local scientists,”
this field, and so if we can find the factors responsible recognition as one of the world’s best hopes
explains Keith Fowke, medical
for normal and abnormal vessel function, we can in the race to develop an HIV vaccine.
microbiology, who is investigating the
certainly wipe out stroke and heart disease.”
At the University of Manitoba, these immunobiology of HIV infection and
projects are carried out by the Manitoba training new scientists.
Physiology faculty Naranjan Dhalla and Grant Pierce
Keith Fowke, medical microbiology

Improving Our Health


10
Health is Fighting HIV/AIDS
If researchers like Naranjan Dhalla have their way, In India, the University of Manitoba is leading one of the
however, that may soon change. He is a world world’s largest programs for HIV prevention among sex
renowned heart researcher who was instrumental in workers. Here, Stephen Moses, medical microbiology,

where the heart is establishing the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences,


a partnership between the St. Boniface General
Hospital and the University of Manitoba. Dhalla and
in Africa and India and James Blanchard, community health sciences, are
working with communities to reduce the transmission
of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
According to Health Canada, as many as 35 per cent of his fellow researchers believe that in the near future,
It has been 25 years since Allan Ronald of the University One of their projects, funded by the Bill and Melinda
all deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases each year, doctors will be able to prevent and reverse the ravages Gates Foundation, is developing ways to scale up HIV
of Manitoba partnered with the University of Nairobi
and treating these diseases costs Canadian taxpayers over of congestive heart failure. prevention programs and reduce the spread of sexually
to share information and expertise on infectious
$18 billion annually. Dhalla served as the Institute’s founding director for
transmitted infections and HIV in Karnataka, India,
disease prevention and research. In 1985, the focus of particularly in vulnerable populations, including sex
a decade, and he received the Order of Canada for
his groundbreaking work. His laboratory is currently
the partnership expanded to include HIV/AIDS, which trade workers, injection drug users and at-risk men.

focusing on four different areas: heart dysfunction in was quickly spreading across Africa. Since then, the “The demonstration projects are being seen as ‘best
chronic diabetes, ischemic heart disease, congestive collaboration, based within the WHO Collaborating Centre practices’ and have increased access to preventive
heart failure and stress-induced heart disease. for Research and Training in STDs, has grown into an services and resources, such as voluntary counseling,
HIV testing and condoms,” says Blanchard, Canada
Other teams within the institute are looking at international effort with researchers from the Universities Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Public
cardioprotection — keeping heart cells alive during a
of Washington, Ghent, Oxford, and others working to Health, adding that he has also seen reduced fear,
heart attack — heart muscle regeneration, reperfusion
study and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. stigma and discrimination because of these projects.
injuries which occur when blood flow is restored, and
the remodeling of scar tissue to allow signals to pass Over the life of this research partnership, HIV Research Group, under the
through a scarred heart and keep blood flowing. the Manitoba-Nairobi teams have made direction of Frank Plummer, medical
advances and discoveries that have microbiology, Canada Research Chair
Institute director Larry Hryshko, physiology, is
significantly increased our understanding in Resistance and Susceptibility to
exploring a way to improve heart function following
of HIV/AIDS. This group was the first to Infections, and Scientific Director
a heart attack. A Canada Research Chair in Cardiac
show that HIV could be heterosexually General of the National Microbiology
Electrophysiology, Hryshko is studying a family of ion
transmitted. They were the first to discover Laboratory, Public Health Agency of
transport proteins, called sodium-calcium exchangers,
that transmission of HIV from mother Canada, in Winnipeg.
which play a critical role in controlling the force of
to child through breast milk is a frequent
heart contractions. His laboratory is investigating the A recent investment from the Canada
occurrence and a significant clinical and
possibility that regulating the flow of ions through Foundation for Innovation, through
public health problem. They were also the
these exchangers by using newly developed drugs its International Access Fund program,
first researchers to discover that having a
might regulate the strength with which heart muscle has further enhanced the University of
traditional sexually transmitted disease
cells can contract, allowing muscle cells that survive Nairobi collaboration. The grant created
increased the risk of HIV infection.
a world-class infectious disease research
after a heart attack to work more effectively.
Perhaps most significantly, this group facility in Nairobi, including a Level-3
“We work in an environment unequalled across the identified groups of sex trade workers in retrovirology laboratory for handling
country,” says Grant Pierce, physiology, and executive Kenya who, despite repeated exposure to HIV, highly infectious materials.
director of research at St. Boniface General Hospital. have not become infected. This discovery
“Cutting-edge research can now take
“I’m not aware of another centre this large. We have overturned conventional wisdom about
place right in Nairobi, increasing the
the critical mass to go after any scientific problem in the virus, and it has received international
research capacity of local scientists,”
this field, and so if we can find the factors responsible recognition as one of the world’s best hopes
explains Keith Fowke, medical
for normal and abnormal vessel function, we can in the race to develop an HIV vaccine.
microbiology, who is investigating the
certainly wipe out stroke and heart disease.”
At the University of Manitoba, these immunobiology of HIV infection and
projects are carried out by the Manitoba training new scientists.
Physiology faculty Naranjan Dhalla and Grant Pierce
Keith Fowke, medical microbiology

Improving Our Health


10
Drugs right
on target Understanding
You may take your pill or
spoonful of medicine, but
will it do what it’s supposed
Ourselves and
to do, or cause an unexpected
interaction with some other
Our World
substance in your body?
Pharmacy faculty Xiaochen Gu, David Collins, dean, Frank Burczynski and Anita Kozyryskyj

A research team led by Frank Burczynski, to unusual side effects. His research has
pharmacy, is studying ways to enhance shown that sunscreen and insect repellent
the efficacy of drug treatments through should not be worn together because of the
targeted drug delivery systems. They way they enhance absorption through the
are investigating how extracellular and skin. This is a public health concern since
intracellular proteins affect the uptake of the spectre of West Nile virus has made
fat-soluble drugs. some consumers apply both to their skin to
prevent sunburn and mosquito bites.
“We can isolate and identify therapeutic
substances, determine the optimal A large part of how pharmaceuticals are
potency of a compound and deliver it to actually delivered to people depends on
the places in the body where it will do government policy, prescribing trends
the most good,” explains David Collins, and patient compliance. Anita Kozyrskyj,
Dean of Pharmacy. a pharmacoepidemiologist, is using
The ways that drugs are formulated prescription and health status databases
and administered can also affect how a to examine pharmaceutical policies and
person’s body responds to the drugs and aspects of child and family health.
whether the drugs are doing what they To t r u l y u n d e r s t a n d o u r s e l v e s a n d t h e c o m p l e x
“Our ability to develop safer, more effective
should. In the case of some agents that are medicines will reap benefits for future world in which we live, we need to examine our
applied topically or transdermally, such as generations,” Collins says. “However, in past, our present and our hopes for the future.
cosmetics, insect repellents and sunscreen, order for medicines to do what they were
studies are underway to investigate new Scholars and researchers at the University of
designed to do, we need to ensure that they
formulations that suppress absorptive Manitoba are doing just that, working to build
will be readily accessible and that patients
properties of the skin.
are educated in how to use them. The a civil society by offering new insight into our
This is particularly important since critical role of pharmacists is, and will
h i s t o r y, o u r p o p u l a r c u l t u r e , o u r s p i r i t u a l i t y,
pharmacologist Xiaochen Gu has continue to be, working with our patients
discovered that consumers are mixing and our colleagues in medicine, nursing, our artistic expression and our ongoing quest
topical medicines in ways that had not and government, to maximize quality for peace and justice.
been anticipated by manufacturers, leading outcomes for those in need of our services.”

Improving Our Health


12
Drugs right
on target Understanding
You may take your pill or
spoonful of medicine, but
will it do what it’s supposed
Ourselves and
to do, or cause an unexpected
interaction with some other
Our World
substance in your body?
Pharmacy faculty Xiaochen Gu, David Collins, dean, Frank Burczynski and Anita Kozyryskyj

A research team led by Frank Burczynski, to unusual side effects. His research has
pharmacy, is studying ways to enhance shown that sunscreen and insect repellent
the efficacy of drug treatments through should not be worn together because of the
targeted drug delivery systems. They way they enhance absorption through the
are investigating how extracellular and skin. This is a public health concern since
intracellular proteins affect the uptake of the spectre of West Nile virus has made
fat-soluble drugs. some consumers apply both to their skin to
prevent sunburn and mosquito bites.
“We can isolate and identify therapeutic
substances, determine the optimal A large part of how pharmaceuticals are
potency of a compound and deliver it to actually delivered to people depends on
the places in the body where it will do government policy, prescribing trends
the most good,” explains David Collins, and patient compliance. Anita Kozyrskyj,
Dean of Pharmacy. a pharmacoepidemiologist, is using
The ways that drugs are formulated prescription and health status databases
and administered can also affect how a to examine pharmaceutical policies and
person’s body responds to the drugs and aspects of child and family health.
whether the drugs are doing what they To t r u l y u n d e r s t a n d o u r s e l v e s a n d t h e c o m p l e x
“Our ability to develop safer, more effective
should. In the case of some agents that are medicines will reap benefits for future world in which we live, we need to examine our
applied topically or transdermally, such as generations,” Collins says. “However, in past, our present and our hopes for the future.
cosmetics, insect repellents and sunscreen, order for medicines to do what they were
studies are underway to investigate new Scholars and researchers at the University of
designed to do, we need to ensure that they
formulations that suppress absorptive Manitoba are doing just that, working to build
will be readily accessible and that patients
properties of the skin.
are educated in how to use them. The a civil society by offering new insight into our
This is particularly important since critical role of pharmacists is, and will
h i s t o r y, o u r p o p u l a r c u l t u r e , o u r s p i r i t u a l i t y,
pharmacologist Xiaochen Gu has continue to be, working with our patients
discovered that consumers are mixing and our colleagues in medicine, nursing, our artistic expression and our ongoing quest
topical medicines in ways that had not and government, to maximize quality for peace and justice.
been anticipated by manufacturers, leading outcomes for those in need of our services.”

Improving Our Health


12
Conflict and cooperation
in a troubled world
“The beginning of the third millennium has been
characterized by violence in the home, workplace and schools,
by war and insurrection, by ethnic and religious strife, by
terrorist activity, by suicide bombers and by the use of
children as soldiers,” soberly observes Sean Byrne, director of
the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice.

Former University of Manitoba conflict resolution. The Mauro Centre homes, communities and institutions, both here and
Chancellor Arthur Mauro helped to is also the first Canadian institution to abroad,” explains Byrne.
establish the centre. Through education, offer a doctoral program in peace and
Associate director and sociology professor, Jessica
research and outreach work, its members conflict studies.
Senehi, is doing ethnographic work on storytelling,
work towards understanding the
“There continues to be a great need for an conflict resolution and peace building.
cultural, religious and philosophical
dimensions of peace. Researchers study understanding of the deep-rooted causes
“Conflicts are complex and have aspects that are
the social, economic and environmental of the terrible conflicts we see around the
social, political, economic or ethical,” says Senehi.
aspects of peace and justice, and the world and a need to educate people who
“Some conflicts, such at as domestic violence, happen
role international organizations play in can work for peace and justice in their
in the domain of the home, but can spill over into the
workplace. The inequitable treatment of minorities
happens in communities, but is reflected throughout
a society.”

These issues are also under direct scrutiny by


researchers in other disciplines, such as legal expert
Debra Parkes, whose research includes bullying
in the workplace as well as the rights of prisoners
in institutions. Her colleague Anne McGillivray
examines the safety and protection of children
and issues surrounding domestic violence towards
women. She recently co-authored a disturbing study
of abused women in First Nations communities,
titled Black Eyes All the Time.

In addition, the rights of individuals with disabilities


has been the focus of educator Zana Lutfiyya,
educational administration, foundations and
psychology, who, along with Jennifer Mactavish
in physical education and recreation studies, is
identifying barriers to social participation.
Sean Byrne, political studies, and Jessica Senehi, sociology

U n d e r s t a n d i n g O u r s e l v e s a n d O u r Wo r l d
14 15
Conflict and cooperation
in a troubled world
“The beginning of the third millennium has been
characterized by violence in the home, workplace and schools,
by war and insurrection, by ethnic and religious strife, by
terrorist activity, by suicide bombers and by the use of
children as soldiers,” soberly observes Sean Byrne, director of
the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice.

Former University of Manitoba conflict resolution. The Mauro Centre homes, communities and institutions, both here and
Chancellor Arthur Mauro helped to is also the first Canadian institution to abroad,” explains Byrne.
establish the centre. Through education, offer a doctoral program in peace and
Associate director and sociology professor, Jessica
research and outreach work, its members conflict studies.
Senehi, is doing ethnographic work on storytelling,
work towards understanding the
“There continues to be a great need for an conflict resolution and peace building.
cultural, religious and philosophical
dimensions of peace. Researchers study understanding of the deep-rooted causes
“Conflicts are complex and have aspects that are
the social, economic and environmental of the terrible conflicts we see around the
social, political, economic or ethical,” says Senehi.
aspects of peace and justice, and the world and a need to educate people who
“Some conflicts, such at as domestic violence, happen
role international organizations play in can work for peace and justice in their
in the domain of the home, but can spill over into the
workplace. The inequitable treatment of minorities
happens in communities, but is reflected throughout
a society.”

These issues are also under direct scrutiny by


researchers in other disciplines, such as legal expert
Debra Parkes, whose research includes bullying
in the workplace as well as the rights of prisoners
in institutions. Her colleague Anne McGillivray
examines the safety and protection of children
and issues surrounding domestic violence towards
women. She recently co-authored a disturbing study
of abused women in First Nations communities,
titled Black Eyes All the Time.

In addition, the rights of individuals with disabilities


has been the focus of educator Zana Lutfiyya,
educational administration, foundations and
psychology, who, along with Jennifer Mactavish
in physical education and recreation studies, is
identifying barriers to social participation.
Sean Byrne, political studies, and Jessica Senehi, sociology

U n d e r s t a n d i n g O u r s e l v e s a n d O u r Wo r l d
14 15
A little song, Something old,
a little dance… something new
Manitoba’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in the To learn more about our world,
diversity of research and performance in the arts at University of Manitoba researchers
the University of Manitoba. have led students on archaeological
The University of Manitoba is also a hotbed of artistic ventures to sites in Greece, Roman
activities, with a bold, enthusiastic approach to its new North Africa and the remains of an
jazz program, led by a man who really knows jazz. ancient Greek city on the Black Sea
coast of Ukraine.
Steve Kirby, director of the jazz has done research on melodrama and
program in the Faculty of Music, on women’s responses to “tearjerker”
The Leptiminus Archaeological Project in Tunisia,
has recorded and performed with films. Gene Walz, English, won awards
for example, is a joint initiative of the University of
some of today’s best-recognized jazz for his book Cartoon Charlie: The Life
Manitoba, the Institut National du Patrimoine and
artists including Wynton Marsalis and and Art of Animation Pioneer Charlie
Kathleen Battle. Kurt Markstrom is an the University of Michigan. Co-director Lea Stirling,
Thorson, a critical biography of the
18th century music historian, but is also classics, has furthered the understanding of the
Winnipegger who designed Bugs
studying the history of rock, punk, funk industry and economy of the Roman Empire, through
Bunny, Punkinhead and many other
and rap. Markstrom notes: “Serious her uncovering of artifacts that indicate an industrial
favourite cartoon characters.
academic studies of these genres manufacturing centre with kilns, a pottery workshop
Meanwhile, faculty and students in the and hydraulic water-work structures.
should soon become standard at music
School of Art cross boundaries and
faculties. This is a part of 20th and 21st Stirling, Canada Research Chair in Roman
challenge preconceived ideas within
century culture that cannot be ignored.” Archaeology, notes: “Ancient Roman culture had to
society. The sculptures and photographs
Researchers in the Centre for contend with modern problems such as harsh climates
of Diana Thorneycroft have shocked Top: Lea Stirling, classics; bottom left: Greg Monks, anthropology; bottom right: Robert Hoppa, anthropology
Ukrainian Canadian Studies would and the challenge of tieing far-flung regions together,
and unsettled viewers, with conceptual
argue that the kolomyka should be and balancing colonists with indigenous residents.”
pieces including animal flesh and sensual
regarded as a major musical style as images of dolls’ mouths inviting your Dating these artifacts is a complex process, but new
well. The centre is unique in Canada, Digital Image Analysis Laboratory CT scans using very thin layers of plaster
gaze. David McMillan’s photographs state-of-the-art technology is assisting researchers
focusing on research and scholarship (BDIAL) and Canada Research Chair powder and liquid binder.
of life in Chernobyl have attracted in their studies of remains and antiquities. Robert
in Ukrainian Canadian Studies, in Skeletal Biology. His research
international acclaim, as has the quirky Hoppa, anthropology, is director of the Bioanthropology Other research in the lab includes thin
including culture, history, art, folklore into aging and longevity uses digital
work of The Royal Art Lodge, a collective Steve Kirby, music sectioning of human teeth for estimation
and relationships to Ukraine. imaging technology to reliably estimate
of students in the School of Art. Their of age and for biochemical analysis in
demographic information from samples of
Popular culture is also the research work was recently exhibited in Toronto, association with researchers in geological
bone or teeth.
focus of Carl Matheson, philosophy, the Netherlands, Detroit and Los Angeles, sciences, and with archaeologist Greg
and is testament to the spark of creativity The BDIAL can produce accurate models Monks and his seasonality analyses of
who has contributed essays on modern
fostered and nurtured within the of human skeletal biology from laser shellfish.
cultural icons such as The Simpsons,
while Brenda Austin-Smith, English, School of Art. scans. Thus, an object such as a bone or
ceramic artefact can be “printed”
or physically built from
3D renderings and

U n d e r s t a n d i n g O u r s e l v e s a n d O u r Wo r l d
16
A little song, Something old,
a little dance… something new
Manitoba’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in the To learn more about our world,
diversity of research and performance in the arts at University of Manitoba researchers
the University of Manitoba. have led students on archaeological
The University of Manitoba is also a hotbed of artistic ventures to sites in Greece, Roman
activities, with a bold, enthusiastic approach to its new North Africa and the remains of an
jazz program, led by a man who really knows jazz. ancient Greek city on the Black Sea
coast of Ukraine.
Steve Kirby, director of the jazz has done research on melodrama and
program in the Faculty of Music, on women’s responses to “tearjerker”
The Leptiminus Archaeological Project in Tunisia,
has recorded and performed with films. Gene Walz, English, won awards
for example, is a joint initiative of the University of
some of today’s best-recognized jazz for his book Cartoon Charlie: The Life
Manitoba, the Institut National du Patrimoine and
artists including Wynton Marsalis and and Art of Animation Pioneer Charlie
Kathleen Battle. Kurt Markstrom is an the University of Michigan. Co-director Lea Stirling,
Thorson, a critical biography of the
18th century music historian, but is also classics, has furthered the understanding of the
Winnipegger who designed Bugs
studying the history of rock, punk, funk industry and economy of the Roman Empire, through
Bunny, Punkinhead and many other
and rap. Markstrom notes: “Serious her uncovering of artifacts that indicate an industrial
favourite cartoon characters.
academic studies of these genres manufacturing centre with kilns, a pottery workshop
Meanwhile, faculty and students in the and hydraulic water-work structures.
should soon become standard at music
School of Art cross boundaries and
faculties. This is a part of 20th and 21st Stirling, Canada Research Chair in Roman
challenge preconceived ideas within
century culture that cannot be ignored.” Archaeology, notes: “Ancient Roman culture had to
society. The sculptures and photographs
Researchers in the Centre for contend with modern problems such as harsh climates
of Diana Thorneycroft have shocked Top: Lea Stirling, classics; bottom left: Greg Monks, anthropology; bottom right: Robert Hoppa, anthropology
Ukrainian Canadian Studies would and the challenge of tieing far-flung regions together,
and unsettled viewers, with conceptual
argue that the kolomyka should be and balancing colonists with indigenous residents.”
pieces including animal flesh and sensual
regarded as a major musical style as images of dolls’ mouths inviting your Dating these artifacts is a complex process, but new
well. The centre is unique in Canada, Digital Image Analysis Laboratory CT scans using very thin layers of plaster
gaze. David McMillan’s photographs state-of-the-art technology is assisting researchers
focusing on research and scholarship (BDIAL) and Canada Research Chair powder and liquid binder.
of life in Chernobyl have attracted in their studies of remains and antiquities. Robert
in Ukrainian Canadian Studies, in Skeletal Biology. His research
international acclaim, as has the quirky Hoppa, anthropology, is director of the Bioanthropology Other research in the lab includes thin
including culture, history, art, folklore into aging and longevity uses digital
work of The Royal Art Lodge, a collective Steve Kirby, music sectioning of human teeth for estimation
and relationships to Ukraine. imaging technology to reliably estimate
of students in the School of Art. Their of age and for biochemical analysis in
demographic information from samples of
Popular culture is also the research work was recently exhibited in Toronto, association with researchers in geological
bone or teeth.
focus of Carl Matheson, philosophy, the Netherlands, Detroit and Los Angeles, sciences, and with archaeologist Greg
and is testament to the spark of creativity The BDIAL can produce accurate models Monks and his seasonality analyses of
who has contributed essays on modern
fostered and nurtured within the of human skeletal biology from laser shellfish.
cultural icons such as The Simpsons,
while Brenda Austin-Smith, English, School of Art. scans. Thus, an object such as a bone or
ceramic artefact can be “printed”
or physically built from
3D renderings and

U n d e r s t a n d i n g O u r s e l v e s a n d O u r Wo r l d
16
Thinking history
differently
“If we look at people’s lives and how they were lived, does
that encourage us to think differently about the experience Advancing Our
of colonialism?” asks historian Adele Perry. Her research
is reshaping our understanding of immigration, gender,
indigenous peoples and the significance of colonialism.
Technology
Perry, Canada Research Chair in Western for human rights and the emergence
Canadian Social History, examines the of mass protest movements against the
efforts of politicians and missionaries effects of globalization. It is important to
to regulate the lives of settlers and understand how this new order impacts
Aboriginal peoples in 19th century on our lives and everyday experiences.”
British Columbia history and in early
Similar questions were asked by historian
20th century Canada.
Gerald Friesen as he worked with an
“I’m interested in perspectives of the unpublished 1946 report by sociologist
past that don’t minimize the presence James Giffen, who spent over two years
of groups of people who have in Manitoba working on a report for the
historically not especially been Royal Commission on Adult Education.
part of the narrative,” she explains. Friesen discovered its yellowing pages
in the provincial archives and found it
With a broader perspective, the
an amazing first-person record of the
Interdisciplinary Research Circle on
struggles, lives, controversies and daily
Globalization and Cosmopolitanism
routines common to small rural farming
critically examines the cultural and
communities and the immigrants who
political implications of an increasingly
became part of the area’s culture.
globally integrated world. Co-coordinator How can we improve the materials we use to
David Churchill, history, notes: “Our He notes: “You get an inside picture of daily
build bridges or aircraft? Is there a better
current political moment is one shaped life in the towns and of relations among the
by the War on Terrorism, a rapidly major groups. This culture would change way to generate power? What new tools
changing political economy, a quest dramatically over the next 30 years.” are needed to study human disease? Our
Adele Perry, history
scientists and engineers are answering these

questions, creating innovative technologies

that improve our infrastructure, expand our

communications, add microscopic precision to

our manufacturing industries and change the

way we look at human genes.

U n d e r s t a n d i n g O u r s e l v e s a n d O u r Wo r l d
18
Thinking history
differently
“If we look at people’s lives and how they were lived, does
that encourage us to think differently about the experience Advancing Our
of colonialism?” asks historian Adele Perry. Her research
is reshaping our understanding of immigration, gender,
indigenous peoples and the significance of colonialism.
Technology
Perry, Canada Research Chair in Western for human rights and the emergence
Canadian Social History, examines the of mass protest movements against the
efforts of politicians and missionaries effects of globalization. It is important to
to regulate the lives of settlers and understand how this new order impacts
Aboriginal peoples in 19th century on our lives and everyday experiences.”
British Columbia history and in early
Similar questions were asked by historian
20th century Canada.
Gerald Friesen as he worked with an
“I’m interested in perspectives of the unpublished 1946 report by sociologist
past that don’t minimize the presence James Giffen, who spent over two years
of groups of people who have in Manitoba working on a report for the
historically not especially been Royal Commission on Adult Education.
part of the narrative,” she explains. Friesen discovered its yellowing pages
in the provincial archives and found it
With a broader perspective, the
an amazing first-person record of the
Interdisciplinary Research Circle on
struggles, lives, controversies and daily
Globalization and Cosmopolitanism
routines common to small rural farming
critically examines the cultural and
communities and the immigrants who
political implications of an increasingly
became part of the area’s culture.
globally integrated world. Co-coordinator How can we improve the materials we use to
David Churchill, history, notes: “Our He notes: “You get an inside picture of daily
build bridges or aircraft? Is there a better
current political moment is one shaped life in the towns and of relations among the
by the War on Terrorism, a rapidly major groups. This culture would change way to generate power? What new tools
changing political economy, a quest dramatically over the next 30 years.” are needed to study human disease? Our
Adele Perry, history
scientists and engineers are answering these

questions, creating innovative technologies

that improve our infrastructure, expand our

communications, add microscopic precision to

our manufacturing industries and change the

way we look at human genes.

U n d e r s t a n d i n g O u r s e l v e s a n d O u r Wo r l d
18
“New biology” offers Materials by design
hope for custom-made Can the wood or steel or concrete used in the
construction of buildings or bridges or aircraft
be made lighter, stronger or cheaper?
of improved jet engines. Powerful research tools
examine surfaces and interfaces at levels small enough
to understand the distribution of elements, atoms and

medical treatments At the Manitoba Regional Materials Michael Freund, chemistry, and
particles within structures and compounds.

For example, Frank Hawthorne, geological sciences,


Proteomics, the study of proteins and their role in disease The Manitoba Centre for Proteomics and Systems and Surface Characterization Facility, Canada Research Chair in Conducting and Canada Research Chair in Crystallography and
Biology (MCPSB) has earned international attention
processes, is often called the “new biology.” It offers researchers are showing how materials Polymers and Electronic Materials. Mineralogy, is investigating certain elements in
for developing new scientific methods to identify and minerals for a better understanding of crystallization
enormous market potential and infinite applications, can be “made to measure.” Materials are “Understanding a material’s surfaces
treat diseases and conditions as varied as HIV/AIDS, studied, strengthened and even designed and interfaces at the microscopic level in such key applications as the safe storage of
from personalized medical diagnosis to solving crop cancer, arthritis and transplant rejection. With a cross- at molecular and atomic levels. is the key to our research.” nuclear waste and the amelioration of acid mine
diseases, by understanding how proteins function in disciplinary staff of scientists from physics, biology, drainage. Johan van Lierop, physics and astronomy,
living cells. medicine and computer science bringing their own “Materials such as plastic, stainless The facility is a hotspot for collaborative
is engineering ways to make disk drives in computers
varied expertise to the developing field of proteomics, steel and ceramics are not homogeneous research in everything from the
more efficient, increasing their capacity to store data
the centre continues to find new approaches and tools but have complex structures,” says treatment of diabetes to the development
through the use of magnetic nanoparticles.
for the study of biological systems.
Mahesh Chaturvedi, mechanical and manufacturing
Physicists Ken Standing and his long-time engineering, heads a group studying ways to
collaborator Werner Ens jointly developed the join difficult-to-weld metals with super alloys
prototype for the mass spectrometer and research and investigating structural fatigue and fracture
tool, QStar, that has rapidly become one of the more behaviour. Chaturvedi, Canada Research Chair in
important tools in protein biomarker identification, Aerospace Materials, continues his pioneering work
in mapping and analyzing proteins through on crack-free welds and manipulating bonding
proteomics. This new biology, born out of the surfaces — research which has a tremendous impact
recent mapping of the human genome, unlocks how on aerospace manufacturing and repair.
molecules interact to produce life.
Making more responsive and durable construction
“The mass spectrometer in our laboratory can obtain materials is a priority for researchers at the ISIS
John Wilkins, internal medicine
accurate molecular weights and a very informative Canada Research Network, headquartered at the
description of proteins,” says Ken Standing, director University of Manitoba. ISIS researchers are testing
of the Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. innovative materials such as composite timbers made
“This can provide researchers with the means to of glass fibre-reinforced polymer. They also monitor
acquire the knowledge that is necessary to explain the structural health of structures with sensors,
how living cells function.” gathering real time data on wind stress, temperature
and load. This technology is used in bridges and
“The challenge is to determine how and where
structures such as the Golden Boy statue perched high
molecules are assembled in the cell in health and
atop the Manitoba Legislature.
disease,” explains John Wilkins, internal medicine,
and director of the MCPSB. “Eventually, it may “Intelligent sensing and structural health monitoring
be possible to design medicines specifically for a are essential parts of today’s infrastructure design, at a
particular patient, through knowing a person’s fraction of the capital cost of construction,” says Aftab
metabolism, physiology and response to a treatment.” Mufti, civil engineering, and president of ISIS Canada.
Physics and astronomy faculty Werner Ens and Ken Standing Clockwise from left: Michael Freund, chemistry; Doug Buchanan and Doug Thomson, both from electrical and computer engineering;
Hélène Perreault, chemistry; Mahesh Chaturvedi, mechanical and manufacturing engineering

A d v a n c i n g O u r Te c h n o l o g y
20
“New biology” offers Materials by design
hope for custom-made Can the wood or steel or concrete used in the
construction of buildings or bridges or aircraft
be made lighter, stronger or cheaper?
of improved jet engines. Powerful research tools
examine surfaces and interfaces at levels small enough
to understand the distribution of elements, atoms and

medical treatments At the Manitoba Regional Materials Michael Freund, chemistry, and
particles within structures and compounds.

For example, Frank Hawthorne, geological sciences,


Proteomics, the study of proteins and their role in disease The Manitoba Centre for Proteomics and Systems and Surface Characterization Facility, Canada Research Chair in Conducting and Canada Research Chair in Crystallography and
Biology (MCPSB) has earned international attention
processes, is often called the “new biology.” It offers researchers are showing how materials Polymers and Electronic Materials. Mineralogy, is investigating certain elements in
for developing new scientific methods to identify and minerals for a better understanding of crystallization
enormous market potential and infinite applications, can be “made to measure.” Materials are “Understanding a material’s surfaces
treat diseases and conditions as varied as HIV/AIDS, studied, strengthened and even designed and interfaces at the microscopic level in such key applications as the safe storage of
from personalized medical diagnosis to solving crop cancer, arthritis and transplant rejection. With a cross- at molecular and atomic levels. is the key to our research.” nuclear waste and the amelioration of acid mine
diseases, by understanding how proteins function in disciplinary staff of scientists from physics, biology, drainage. Johan van Lierop, physics and astronomy,
living cells. medicine and computer science bringing their own “Materials such as plastic, stainless The facility is a hotspot for collaborative
is engineering ways to make disk drives in computers
varied expertise to the developing field of proteomics, steel and ceramics are not homogeneous research in everything from the
more efficient, increasing their capacity to store data
the centre continues to find new approaches and tools but have complex structures,” says treatment of diabetes to the development
through the use of magnetic nanoparticles.
for the study of biological systems.
Mahesh Chaturvedi, mechanical and manufacturing
Physicists Ken Standing and his long-time engineering, heads a group studying ways to
collaborator Werner Ens jointly developed the join difficult-to-weld metals with super alloys
prototype for the mass spectrometer and research and investigating structural fatigue and fracture
tool, QStar, that has rapidly become one of the more behaviour. Chaturvedi, Canada Research Chair in
important tools in protein biomarker identification, Aerospace Materials, continues his pioneering work
in mapping and analyzing proteins through on crack-free welds and manipulating bonding
proteomics. This new biology, born out of the surfaces — research which has a tremendous impact
recent mapping of the human genome, unlocks how on aerospace manufacturing and repair.
molecules interact to produce life.
Making more responsive and durable construction
“The mass spectrometer in our laboratory can obtain materials is a priority for researchers at the ISIS
John Wilkins, internal medicine
accurate molecular weights and a very informative Canada Research Network, headquartered at the
description of proteins,” says Ken Standing, director University of Manitoba. ISIS researchers are testing
of the Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. innovative materials such as composite timbers made
“This can provide researchers with the means to of glass fibre-reinforced polymer. They also monitor
acquire the knowledge that is necessary to explain the structural health of structures with sensors,
how living cells function.” gathering real time data on wind stress, temperature
and load. This technology is used in bridges and
“The challenge is to determine how and where
structures such as the Golden Boy statue perched high
molecules are assembled in the cell in health and
atop the Manitoba Legislature.
disease,” explains John Wilkins, internal medicine,
and director of the MCPSB. “Eventually, it may “Intelligent sensing and structural health monitoring
be possible to design medicines specifically for a are essential parts of today’s infrastructure design, at a
particular patient, through knowing a person’s fraction of the capital cost of construction,” says Aftab
metabolism, physiology and response to a treatment.” Mufti, civil engineering, and president of ISIS Canada.
Physics and astronomy faculty Werner Ens and Ken Standing Clockwise from left: Michael Freund, chemistry; Doug Buchanan and Doug Thomson, both from electrical and computer engineering;
Hélène Perreault, chemistry; Mahesh Chaturvedi, mechanical and manufacturing engineering

A d v a n c i n g O u r Te c h n o l o g y
20
Power systems and systems of power
As the world continues to demand cheaper and more long winter season. Research at the Thermofluids
plentiful energy sources, research on energy generation Engineering Laboratory allows testing of turbine

has taken a different spin. Collaborative projects in


agriculture and engineering are designing new ways to
blades in a wind/ice chamber in simulated prairie
winter conditions. Strengthening
Our Communities
Conventional hydroelectric power is generated by
accommodate increasing demand for low-cost electricity. turbines within dams across rivers. Several projects in
The University of Manitoba Power System Gole, electrical and computer engineering, engineering are addressing ways to improve the design
Laboratory was the first in the world to be explains, “Partnering with industry helps of these facilities, increasing efficiency and net power
equipped with a Real Time Digital Simulator, maintain international competitiveness output while also addressing environmental concerns.
capable of solving, in real time, the equations and also leads to improved designs and In addition, research on kinetic turbines has shown
which govern the behaviour of electrical operating procedures for power utilities.” they can generate power from their placement in
power systems and their control apparatus. flowing rivers, without harming the environment or by
Another energy system project involves requiring a dam that upsets the natural flow of water.
Aniruddha Gole, NSERC Industrial wind turbines which may someday
Research Chair in Power Systems power self-sustaining farms that “This kinetic turbine technology will one day produce
Simulation, develops computer simulation themselves generate biological fuels. units of up to half a megawatt of power, capable of
providing energy to 500 homes,” says mechanical and
methods for energy generation, However, in Manitoba, such turbines
manufacturing engineering researcher Dan Fraser.
transmission, distribution and utilization. are susceptible to icing during the

A family of new engineering facilities


When TV journalists broadcast live from Technologies that benefit from this research include
war disaster zones or inside hurricanes, wireless and satellite communications, remote sensing,
many use satellite-phone systems with telemedicine, smart vehicles and navigation systems.
compact antennas to send live images Under development here are “virtual antennas” which
or reports back to the news desk. These create multiple receivers out of a single unit.
“picoterminals” for two-way broadcasts
Down the hall is another facility that is a collaborative effort
have almost supplanted telephone contact
of a different kind. The Nano-Systems Fabrication
in remote areas and have given a more At the University of Manitoba, researchers are
Laboratory has the ability to manufacture composite
human face to coverage of current events. collaborating with local groups, governments
structures with microscopic precision. Lotfallah
This technology was developed and tested Shafai’s son, Cyrus Shafai, is its director. and international organizations to make our
at the University of Manitoba by Lotfollah
“We’re designing and manufacturing very tiny communities stronger and more responsive to
Shafai, Canada Research Chair in Applied
components and sensors for any discipline of study,”
Electromagnetics, and his team in the t h e n e e d s o f t h e i r r e s i d e n t s . Fr o m w o r k i n g w i t h
Cyrus Shafai explains. “Engineering, chemistry, physics,
Applied Electromagnetics Laboratory.
biology — any investigator who needs a ‘thing-a-ma-jig’ Canada’s First Nations peoples to improve access
With sophisticated equipment unique in
comes to us for help in its manufacture.” to education and health services, to designing
Canada and complemented by a highly
capable staff, the lab is at the research and Together, the father and son team have worked to cities that are safer and more appealing to youth,
development frontier of communications create adaptable antennas which change shape to
our research is building better communities, both
technology and remote sensing, helping change channels instead of having to be physically
Electrical and computer engineering faculty
Lotfollah Shafai and Cyrus Shafai Canada lead the world in this field. moved to point at other targets. locally and around the world.

A d v a n c i n g O u r Te c h n o l o g y
22
Power systems and systems of power
As the world continues to demand cheaper and more long winter season. Research at the Thermofluids
plentiful energy sources, research on energy generation Engineering Laboratory allows testing of turbine

has taken a different spin. Collaborative projects in


agriculture and engineering are designing new ways to
blades in a wind/ice chamber in simulated prairie
winter conditions. Strengthening
Our Communities
Conventional hydroelectric power is generated by
accommodate increasing demand for low-cost electricity. turbines within dams across rivers. Several projects in
The University of Manitoba Power System Gole, electrical and computer engineering, engineering are addressing ways to improve the design
Laboratory was the first in the world to be explains, “Partnering with industry helps of these facilities, increasing efficiency and net power
equipped with a Real Time Digital Simulator, maintain international competitiveness output while also addressing environmental concerns.
capable of solving, in real time, the equations and also leads to improved designs and In addition, research on kinetic turbines has shown
which govern the behaviour of electrical operating procedures for power utilities.” they can generate power from their placement in
power systems and their control apparatus. flowing rivers, without harming the environment or by
Another energy system project involves requiring a dam that upsets the natural flow of water.
Aniruddha Gole, NSERC Industrial wind turbines which may someday
Research Chair in Power Systems power self-sustaining farms that “This kinetic turbine technology will one day produce
Simulation, develops computer simulation themselves generate biological fuels. units of up to half a megawatt of power, capable of
providing energy to 500 homes,” says mechanical and
methods for energy generation, However, in Manitoba, such turbines
manufacturing engineering researcher Dan Fraser.
transmission, distribution and utilization. are susceptible to icing during the

A family of new engineering facilities


When TV journalists broadcast live from Technologies that benefit from this research include
war disaster zones or inside hurricanes, wireless and satellite communications, remote sensing,
many use satellite-phone systems with telemedicine, smart vehicles and navigation systems.
compact antennas to send live images Under development here are “virtual antennas” which
or reports back to the news desk. These create multiple receivers out of a single unit.
“picoterminals” for two-way broadcasts
Down the hall is another facility that is a collaborative effort
have almost supplanted telephone contact
of a different kind. The Nano-Systems Fabrication
in remote areas and have given a more At the University of Manitoba, researchers are
Laboratory has the ability to manufacture composite
human face to coverage of current events. collaborating with local groups, governments
structures with microscopic precision. Lotfallah
This technology was developed and tested Shafai’s son, Cyrus Shafai, is its director. and international organizations to make our
at the University of Manitoba by Lotfollah
“We’re designing and manufacturing very tiny communities stronger and more responsive to
Shafai, Canada Research Chair in Applied
components and sensors for any discipline of study,”
Electromagnetics, and his team in the t h e n e e d s o f t h e i r r e s i d e n t s . Fr o m w o r k i n g w i t h
Cyrus Shafai explains. “Engineering, chemistry, physics,
Applied Electromagnetics Laboratory.
biology — any investigator who needs a ‘thing-a-ma-jig’ Canada’s First Nations peoples to improve access
With sophisticated equipment unique in
comes to us for help in its manufacture.” to education and health services, to designing
Canada and complemented by a highly
capable staff, the lab is at the research and Together, the father and son team have worked to cities that are safer and more appealing to youth,
development frontier of communications create adaptable antennas which change shape to
our research is building better communities, both
technology and remote sensing, helping change channels instead of having to be physically
Electrical and computer engineering faculty
Lotfollah Shafai and Cyrus Shafai Canada lead the world in this field. moved to point at other targets. locally and around the world.

A d v a n c i n g O u r Te c h n o l o g y
22
Community
voices in Aboriginal
health research
The University of Manitoba has a long history of
research collaboration with communities and Aboriginal
organizations, both in Manitoba and around the world, to
measure the impact of social and environmental factors
on health, and translate research findings into policy that
strengthens the health care system and improves lives.
The Centre for Aboriginal Health Research With programs created and implemented
(CAHR) uses a multifaceted approach, with through community involvement, the
major projects on diabetes, bone health Centre for Community Oral Health in the
and a longitudinal health study of First Faculty of Dentistry has provided dental
Nations people, conducted in cooperation care to northern Manitobans and Aboriginal
with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and communities for more than 25 years. The
governmental organizations. The bone oral health care programs, including a
health study examines why the prevalence of state-of-the-art, full-service dental clinic,
osteoporosis and fractures in Manitoba First were designed to address community needs
Top: Pat Martens, community health sciences
Nations people is more than twice the rate in a manner that respects First Nations Centre: Judy Bartlett, community health sciences
Bottom: Jane Ursel, sociology
seen among other Manitobans. The centre’s ideologies and attitudes.
longitudinal health survey is designed to
The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy Making connections between community-based research
create a regional and national health profile
(MCHP) looks at how provincial services and policy is also vital for RESOLVE, a network of
of First Nations populations, and to provide
such as hospitals, care homes and Canadian social scientists, service providers and policy
the data necessary for improving and
prescription drugs are used and by whom. makers who focus on action-oriented ways to end family
developing policies and programs essential
MCHP director Pat Martens, community violence. They are interviewing abused women as part
for healthy First Nation communities.
health sciences, guides an award-winning, of a five-year longitudinal study and will use the research
Building on the research success of CAHR, five-year CIHR project called The Need findings to improve services. The team is listening to
Judith Bartlett, community health sciences, to Know Team, a multidisciplinary task abused women to determine which services and resources
is leading the department’s collaboration in force examining health status and health work well and which ones need improvement.
the International Network of Indigenous care use patterns in rural and northern
“This project provides an opportunity to hear directly
Health Knowledge and Development. regional health authorities. MCHP
from women about which factors are most important to
The network was organized as a way to published a population-based study of the
them in their healing journey,” says Jane Ursel, sociology,
improve Indigenous health through the health and health care use of registered
and RESOLVE director. Working closely with Aboriginal
exchange of ideas, models, and experiences First Nations people living in Manitoba
communities and with service agencies such as shelters,
on health education, training, services and and edited a special issue of the Canadian
health and resource centres and correctional facilities, is
research. “There are so many things that we Journal of Public Health on First Nations-
an integral part of RESOLVE’s innovative research.
can learn from each other by sharing our university collaboration on Aboriginal
approaches,” says Bartlett. health research and policy.

25
Community
voices in Aboriginal
health research
The University of Manitoba has a long history of
research collaboration with communities and Aboriginal
organizations, both in Manitoba and around the world, to
measure the impact of social and environmental factors
on health, and translate research findings into policy that
strengthens the health care system and improves lives.
The Centre for Aboriginal Health Research With programs created and implemented
(CAHR) uses a multifaceted approach, with through community involvement, the
major projects on diabetes, bone health Centre for Community Oral Health in the
and a longitudinal health study of First Faculty of Dentistry has provided dental
Nations people, conducted in cooperation care to northern Manitobans and Aboriginal
with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and communities for more than 25 years. The
governmental organizations. The bone oral health care programs, including a
health study examines why the prevalence of state-of-the-art, full-service dental clinic,
osteoporosis and fractures in Manitoba First were designed to address community needs
Top: Pat Martens, community health sciences
Nations people is more than twice the rate in a manner that respects First Nations Centre: Judy Bartlett, community health sciences
Bottom: Jane Ursel, sociology
seen among other Manitobans. The centre’s ideologies and attitudes.
longitudinal health survey is designed to
The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy Making connections between community-based research
create a regional and national health profile
(MCHP) looks at how provincial services and policy is also vital for RESOLVE, a network of
of First Nations populations, and to provide
such as hospitals, care homes and Canadian social scientists, service providers and policy
the data necessary for improving and
prescription drugs are used and by whom. makers who focus on action-oriented ways to end family
developing policies and programs essential
MCHP director Pat Martens, community violence. They are interviewing abused women as part
for healthy First Nation communities.
health sciences, guides an award-winning, of a five-year longitudinal study and will use the research
Building on the research success of CAHR, five-year CIHR project called The Need findings to improve services. The team is listening to
Judith Bartlett, community health sciences, to Know Team, a multidisciplinary task abused women to determine which services and resources
is leading the department’s collaboration in force examining health status and health work well and which ones need improvement.
the International Network of Indigenous care use patterns in rural and northern
“This project provides an opportunity to hear directly
Health Knowledge and Development. regional health authorities. MCHP
from women about which factors are most important to
The network was organized as a way to published a population-based study of the
them in their healing journey,” says Jane Ursel, sociology,
improve Indigenous health through the health and health care use of registered
and RESOLVE director. Working closely with Aboriginal
exchange of ideas, models, and experiences First Nations people living in Manitoba
communities and with service agencies such as shelters,
on health education, training, services and and edited a special issue of the Canadian
health and resource centres and correctional facilities, is
research. “There are so many things that we Journal of Public Health on First Nations-
an integral part of RESOLVE’s innovative research.
can learn from each other by sharing our university collaboration on Aboriginal
approaches,” says Bartlett. health research and policy.

25
Community Enabling the disabled
by design, for and disempowered
the children Winnipeg is the Canadian hub of associations related
to disability services, including the national home base
Researchers at the University of Manitoba don’t just reach of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Disabled
out into the community, they roll up their sleeves and Peoples International, the Council of Canadians with
get involved in the design of the community itself. From Disabilities and People First.
city planning to environmental design, and from social
work to psychology, faculty are looking at ways to make The University of Manitoba was the One project is led by the director of research includes the creation of a forum for people
our neighbourhoods into healthier and more secure first Canadian institution to offer an disability studies, Deborah Stienstra. with disabilities to meet with industry representatives
environments. interdisciplinary master’s degree in The project examines four areas — to exchange ideas. Together, they are developing a
Rae Bridgman and Sheri Blake, architecture, have studied Sheri Blake, architecture disability studies, allowing the pursuit employment, e-learning, services and prototype of a “personal digital assistant” that will
child-friendly cities and found that effective city planning of interdisciplinary graduate education e-government — pursuing avenues facilitate activities such as personal banking and
with youth involvement brought renewed optimism
While Winnipeg’s youth will see improvements to their in this new and emerging field of study. where technology can increase the applying for jobs.
within communities and helped youth care about their lives through innovative programs, across the ocean, Researchers in essentially all faculties are quality of life of, and access to services
“We have a real opportunity to open new avenues to
world. Bridgman believes that when a city makes a real other children benefit from better living conditions involved in disability studies. for, Canadians with disabilities. This
develop technology differently,” says Stienstra.
commitment to youth involvement, innovative programs through the efforts of Manitoba-based researchers.
can flourish and design becomes more in tune with In the Faculty of Social Work, the Family Strengths in
positive community lifestyles. “Given their voice, children might as young as ten, who, in spite of being Childhood Disability Study tracks and assesses factors
make streets safer to walk to school on, children themselves, are responsible for that facilitate or hinder services for children with
transportation issues might be about finding food, shelter and clothing for their disabilities and their family members.
cycling and walking, and areas around younger brothers and sisters.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research funds the
schools might be vehicle-free as well as
Kelley Beaverford, interior design, End-of-Life Care and Vulnerable Persons New Emerging
smoke-free,” she explains.
worked in Uganda with a non- Team (VP-NET) under the joint leadership of Stienstra
Nancy Higgitt, human ecology, and governmental organization. She and and psychiatrist Harvey Chochinov, director of the
Janice Ristock, women’s studies, her environmental design students Manitoba Pallative Care Research Unit at CancerCare
have looked at life on the street developed design proposals for a Manitoba and Canada Research Chair in Pallative Care.
as experienced by young people. community residence that would suit The team also includes Joseph Kaufert, community
Partnering with street-involved youth the needs of orphaned children living health sciences, and Zana Lutfiyya, educational
led to insights into what programs with few adult caregivers. Provided administration, foundations and psychology. Within
did and did not work, and changes funds can be raised, the plans will be VP-NET, researchers from eight different disciplines, are
suggested by the study included the adopted to provide better housing for joining forces to study how physical, psychological and
creation of a mobile identification the children of Namasuba-Ndegge, intellectual impairments affect access to end-of-life care.
centre, new drop-in centres and plans examining new conditions of culture,
to find longer-term shelter solutions. climate and methods of building
Namasuba-Ndegge Village in Uganda is construction and carefully considering
a community of orphans, left without human factors such as creating a sense
parents as a consequence of disease and of home, attachment to space and Harvey Chochinov, psychiatry
Deborah Stienstra, disability studies
war. Many households are run by children interaction.
Rae Bridgman, architecture

Strengthening Our Communities


26
Community Enabling the disabled
by design, for and disempowered
the children Winnipeg is the Canadian hub of associations related
to disability services, including the national home base
Researchers at the University of Manitoba don’t just reach of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Disabled
out into the community, they roll up their sleeves and Peoples International, the Council of Canadians with
get involved in the design of the community itself. From Disabilities and People First.
city planning to environmental design, and from social
work to psychology, faculty are looking at ways to make The University of Manitoba was the One project is led by the director of research includes the creation of a forum for people
our neighbourhoods into healthier and more secure first Canadian institution to offer an disability studies, Deborah Stienstra. with disabilities to meet with industry representatives
environments. interdisciplinary master’s degree in The project examines four areas — to exchange ideas. Together, they are developing a
Rae Bridgman and Sheri Blake, architecture, have studied Sheri Blake, architecture disability studies, allowing the pursuit employment, e-learning, services and prototype of a “personal digital assistant” that will
child-friendly cities and found that effective city planning of interdisciplinary graduate education e-government — pursuing avenues facilitate activities such as personal banking and
with youth involvement brought renewed optimism
While Winnipeg’s youth will see improvements to their in this new and emerging field of study. where technology can increase the applying for jobs.
within communities and helped youth care about their lives through innovative programs, across the ocean, Researchers in essentially all faculties are quality of life of, and access to services
“We have a real opportunity to open new avenues to
world. Bridgman believes that when a city makes a real other children benefit from better living conditions involved in disability studies. for, Canadians with disabilities. This
develop technology differently,” says Stienstra.
commitment to youth involvement, innovative programs through the efforts of Manitoba-based researchers.
can flourish and design becomes more in tune with In the Faculty of Social Work, the Family Strengths in
positive community lifestyles. “Given their voice, children might as young as ten, who, in spite of being Childhood Disability Study tracks and assesses factors
make streets safer to walk to school on, children themselves, are responsible for that facilitate or hinder services for children with
transportation issues might be about finding food, shelter and clothing for their disabilities and their family members.
cycling and walking, and areas around younger brothers and sisters.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research funds the
schools might be vehicle-free as well as
Kelley Beaverford, interior design, End-of-Life Care and Vulnerable Persons New Emerging
smoke-free,” she explains.
worked in Uganda with a non- Team (VP-NET) under the joint leadership of Stienstra
Nancy Higgitt, human ecology, and governmental organization. She and and psychiatrist Harvey Chochinov, director of the
Janice Ristock, women’s studies, her environmental design students Manitoba Pallative Care Research Unit at CancerCare
have looked at life on the street developed design proposals for a Manitoba and Canada Research Chair in Pallative Care.
as experienced by young people. community residence that would suit The team also includes Joseph Kaufert, community
Partnering with street-involved youth the needs of orphaned children living health sciences, and Zana Lutfiyya, educational
led to insights into what programs with few adult caregivers. Provided administration, foundations and psychology. Within
did and did not work, and changes funds can be raised, the plans will be VP-NET, researchers from eight different disciplines, are
suggested by the study included the adopted to provide better housing for joining forces to study how physical, psychological and
creation of a mobile identification the children of Namasuba-Ndegge, intellectual impairments affect access to end-of-life care.
centre, new drop-in centres and plans examining new conditions of culture,
to find longer-term shelter solutions. climate and methods of building
Namasuba-Ndegge Village in Uganda is construction and carefully considering
a community of orphans, left without human factors such as creating a sense
parents as a consequence of disease and of home, attachment to space and Harvey Chochinov, psychiatry
Deborah Stienstra, disability studies
war. Many households are run by children interaction.
Rae Bridgman, architecture

Strengthening Our Communities


26
Protecting Our
Environment

Robert Tate, community health sciences

Young at heart
The Centre on Aging includes more than 45 researchers in the neuromuscular lab look at strength
across all faculties, working in aging and age-related training, driving and mobility, and muscle
changes with age. Malcolm Smith, marketing,
studies. These range from pragmatic examinations of
collaborates with researchers in the HLHP
geriatric medicine to health psychology, recreational Research Institute to understand marketing
activity and the serious issues of domestic and elder abuse. issues related to older adults.

Director Verena Menec, community WWII Air Force recruits via regular Another Institute study examines psychological
health sciences, and Canada Research surveys and routine medical aspects of health and illness in later life,
Chair in Healthy Aging, notes the centre examinations. Over the years, the particularly with respect to perceptions of We k n o w t h a t h u m a n a c t i v i t y a n d c h a n g i n g
has developed an international reputation study has provided vast amounts control and discrete emotions such as anger, weather patterns are having a profound impact
for research excellence, looking at our of longitudinal information about sadness and pride. Judy Chipperfield notes
on our planet and its resources. Researchers at
aging society and aging individuals cardiovascular health. there is growing evidence for a link between
through surveys, evaluation, social policy the perception of personal control and the University of Manitoba are investigating a
In the Faculty of Physical Education and
studies and even business-related research health, with many studies demonstrating the wide range of environmental issues, including
Recreation Studies, the Health, Leisure
exploring how the private sector can detrimental effects of uncontrollability.
and Human Performance (HLHP) the effects of climate change in the Arctic and
respond to an aging society.
Institute is a centre for research on topics She explains: “Elderly individuals are said
n e w s o u r c e s o f r e n e w a b l e e n e r g y, e x a m i n i n g h o w
One truly unique project, directed by including exercise and environmental to be ‘doubly vulnerable,’ threatened by age-
Robert Tate, is the Manitoba Follow- medicine, leisure and tourism, aging related changes in their physiology as well we can preserve and sustain our world while
Up Study. Since 1948, researchers have and wellness, biomechanics, sports and as their social environment, such as a loss of finding better ways to heat our homes, build our
been collecting health and morbidity human performance. Under the direction financial security, family and other important
cities and feed our growing populations.
information from 3,983 Canadian of Michelle Porter, collaborative studies parts of their lives.”

Strengthening Our Communities


28
Protecting Our
Environment

Robert Tate, community health sciences

Young at heart
The Centre on Aging includes more than 45 researchers in the neuromuscular lab look at strength
across all faculties, working in aging and age-related training, driving and mobility, and muscle
changes with age. Malcolm Smith, marketing,
studies. These range from pragmatic examinations of
collaborates with researchers in the HLHP
geriatric medicine to health psychology, recreational Research Institute to understand marketing
activity and the serious issues of domestic and elder abuse. issues related to older adults.

Director Verena Menec, community WWII Air Force recruits via regular Another Institute study examines psychological
health sciences, and Canada Research surveys and routine medical aspects of health and illness in later life,
Chair in Healthy Aging, notes the centre examinations. Over the years, the particularly with respect to perceptions of We k n o w t h a t h u m a n a c t i v i t y a n d c h a n g i n g
has developed an international reputation study has provided vast amounts control and discrete emotions such as anger, weather patterns are having a profound impact
for research excellence, looking at our of longitudinal information about sadness and pride. Judy Chipperfield notes
on our planet and its resources. Researchers at
aging society and aging individuals cardiovascular health. there is growing evidence for a link between
through surveys, evaluation, social policy the perception of personal control and the University of Manitoba are investigating a
In the Faculty of Physical Education and
studies and even business-related research health, with many studies demonstrating the wide range of environmental issues, including
Recreation Studies, the Health, Leisure
exploring how the private sector can detrimental effects of uncontrollability.
and Human Performance (HLHP) the effects of climate change in the Arctic and
respond to an aging society.
Institute is a centre for research on topics She explains: “Elderly individuals are said
n e w s o u r c e s o f r e n e w a b l e e n e r g y, e x a m i n i n g h o w
One truly unique project, directed by including exercise and environmental to be ‘doubly vulnerable,’ threatened by age-
Robert Tate, is the Manitoba Follow- medicine, leisure and tourism, aging related changes in their physiology as well we can preserve and sustain our world while
Up Study. Since 1948, researchers have and wellness, biomechanics, sports and as their social environment, such as a loss of finding better ways to heat our homes, build our
been collecting health and morbidity human performance. Under the direction financial security, family and other important
cities and feed our growing populations.
information from 3,983 Canadian of Michelle Porter, collaborative studies parts of their lives.”

Strengthening Our Communities


28
The north
wind doth blow
Concerns about global warming appear in newspapers
almost daily. What will be its effects? Will water levels
rise? Will we have a “greenhouse effect?” Terry Dick, at right, zoology; with David Block

Nowhere will global warming have more The direct involvement of northern Additional problems facing northern residents include
direct impact than in the Arctic. residents in the scientific process is a a shortage of affordable housing. Dimos Polyzois,
In response to the needs of the people primary goal of research pursued by civil engineering, is evaluating and testing a housing
and resources in this geographical region, ecologist Fikret Berkes of the Natural system made entirely of composite materials for use in
University of Manitoba researchers across Resources Institute. Berkes, Canada northern communities.
several disciplines are conducting studies Research Chair in Community-based
The unique materials used in the Composite Housing
and are engaged in projects focused Resource Management, is investigating
Project are expected to exceed R-2000 standards
specifically on our colder climes. the relations between societies and
for energy efficiency, be highly resistant to mould
their resources, with current emphasis
David Barber, environment and (a condition that affects commercial and industrial
on co-management, resilience and
geography, has studied the environment buildings) and be rigid, durable and fire resistant.
traditional ecological knowledge.
and resources in the high Arctic for Because buildings erected over permafrost surfaces
decades. His work plays a pivotal role Terry Dick, zoology, is studying aquatic often become unstable due to temperature changes,
in ArcticNet, a Network of Centres of ecosystems to determine long-term this is no minor feat of engineering.
Excellence that is a national collaboration trends affecting fish and other organisms
of expertise on issues important in freshwater and marine environments.
to residents of the Arctic and to all He is concerned that warming trends
will affect transportation, environmental
Canadians. ArcticNet connects researchers
research and monitoring, and increase
in the natural, medical and social sciences,
access to new marine fisheries without
their partners in northern communities,
clear-cut national policies on resource
federal and provincial agencies, and the
management and education.
private sector to study the impacts of
climate change in the Arctic. Dick, NSERC Northern Research
Chair in Aquatic Northern Ecosystems,
Barber, Canada Research Chair in Arctic explains: “There is a need to train people
System Science, leads a team documenting at the technical and research level and
the links between environmental change, to ensure that these people and the
health and the economy within Hudson ideas generated by them from northern
Bay. Other ArcticNet studies include research are transferred to curriculum
looking at pollution in the physical and development. Future researchers
biological environment, the exchange of require depth and specialized research
greenhouse gases between the surface and experiences, but they need to view the
atmosphere and investigations of how environment and natural resource
people can adapt to changing conditions. management more holistically.”
David Barber, environment and geography

Protecting Our Environment


30
The north
wind doth blow
Concerns about global warming appear in newspapers
almost daily. What will be its effects? Will water levels
rise? Will we have a “greenhouse effect?” Terry Dick, at right, zoology; with David Block

Nowhere will global warming have more The direct involvement of northern Additional problems facing northern residents include
direct impact than in the Arctic. residents in the scientific process is a a shortage of affordable housing. Dimos Polyzois,
In response to the needs of the people primary goal of research pursued by civil engineering, is evaluating and testing a housing
and resources in this geographical region, ecologist Fikret Berkes of the Natural system made entirely of composite materials for use in
University of Manitoba researchers across Resources Institute. Berkes, Canada northern communities.
several disciplines are conducting studies Research Chair in Community-based
The unique materials used in the Composite Housing
and are engaged in projects focused Resource Management, is investigating
Project are expected to exceed R-2000 standards
specifically on our colder climes. the relations between societies and
for energy efficiency, be highly resistant to mould
their resources, with current emphasis
David Barber, environment and (a condition that affects commercial and industrial
on co-management, resilience and
geography, has studied the environment buildings) and be rigid, durable and fire resistant.
traditional ecological knowledge.
and resources in the high Arctic for Because buildings erected over permafrost surfaces
decades. His work plays a pivotal role Terry Dick, zoology, is studying aquatic often become unstable due to temperature changes,
in ArcticNet, a Network of Centres of ecosystems to determine long-term this is no minor feat of engineering.
Excellence that is a national collaboration trends affecting fish and other organisms
of expertise on issues important in freshwater and marine environments.
to residents of the Arctic and to all He is concerned that warming trends
will affect transportation, environmental
Canadians. ArcticNet connects researchers
research and monitoring, and increase
in the natural, medical and social sciences,
access to new marine fisheries without
their partners in northern communities,
clear-cut national policies on resource
federal and provincial agencies, and the
management and education.
private sector to study the impacts of
climate change in the Arctic. Dick, NSERC Northern Research
Chair in Aquatic Northern Ecosystems,
Barber, Canada Research Chair in Arctic explains: “There is a need to train people
System Science, leads a team documenting at the technical and research level and
the links between environmental change, to ensure that these people and the
health and the economy within Hudson ideas generated by them from northern
Bay. Other ArcticNet studies include research are transferred to curriculum
looking at pollution in the physical and development. Future researchers
biological environment, the exchange of require depth and specialized research
greenhouse gases between the surface and experiences, but they need to view the
atmosphere and investigations of how environment and natural resource
people can adapt to changing conditions. management more holistically.”
David Barber, environment and geography

Protecting Our Environment


30
Renewable energy Down on
Our homes and vehicles could soon be powered or
heated by fuels and energy derived from renewable
sources such as organic matter. Biopower generation
the farm
Advances in sustainable agriculture
could use materials like hay, yard waste and sludge to will be the keys to farming in the
generate enough heat and power to keep communities 21st century, as long-term solutions
comfortable and energy efficient. And methane are needed to face economic and
produced through a similar process could be used environmental challenges.
as fuel for high-efficiency automotive engines.
Developing sustainable agricultural resources and
energy systems are among the goals of the National
“Next to food production and water, An interdisciplinary team of engineers, plant
Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE).
renewable energy is one of our most scientists and microbiologists is studying
important long-term societal requirements,” ways to manufacture biofuels such as “The NCLE is the only research facility where
says Eric Bibeau, mechanical and ethanol, methanol and hydrogen from scientists will be able to study ecological interactions
manufacturing engineering. He is agricultural products. The research program associated with agriculture practices in a total crop
working on alternative energy projects uses winter wheat cultivars designed and animal production system,” says lead scientist Karin Wittenberg, animal science

including an anaerobic digester in which specifically for ethanol production Karin Wittenberg, animal science. “There’s nothing
like it in North America.” by Martin Entz, plant science. Current
animal waste is converted into methane and improved fermentation processes
research projects also include a whole-
used to generate heat and light. involving novel micro-organisms.
This unique facility involves animal scientists, farm analysis of energy, examinations of
The team’s goal is to design an innovative food scientists, plant scientists, soil scientists, the inputs and economics of cropping
system that converts biomass, or organic microbiologists, biosystems engineers and systems, soil and environmental
matter, into energy fuels. agricultural economists, along with federal and assessments, and studies on greenhouse
private partners. Livestock production can be gas emission and carbon sequestration
“Winter wheat’s superior biological
examined from every angle to develop the most measurements taken at various landscape
potential, combined with earlier maturity
productive, humane, sustainable and environmentally positions.
and lower cost production make it an ideal
friendly production practices. Researchers can also
candidate for the wheat-based ethanol A third aspect of sustainable agriculture
conduct assessments of everything from manure
Eric Bibeau, mechanical and manufacturing engineering
production,” says Anita Brûlé-Babel, a focuses on post-harvest technology and
additives to alternative energy sources.
plant scientist and winter wheat breeder. preservation. Digvir Jayas, biosystems
“We have to be able to harness energy For example, Richard Sparling, microbiology, is engineering, and Canada Research
While some researchers search for
sources to create renewable electricity examining the biosynthetic processes that allow Chair in Stored-Grain Ecosystems,
new ways to harness renewable energy, Digvir Jayas, biosystems engineering
and heat to displace and replace fossil certain bacteria to produce methane — a potential notes: “Sustainable agriculture will feed
others are focused on making sure
fuels. We have technology to do this, but fuel — as an end product. our increasing world population with
these technologies are environmentally
we need to make the technologies more University researchers are also working with minimal negative impact on soil, water or
friendly. For example, Rick Baydack,
economical now rather than wait for fossil the Manitoba Zero Tillage Research Association air quality. Preserving this food effectively
environment and geography, is
fuel prices to dramatically increase. We (MZTRA) to investigate sustainable crop systems. will also significantly reduce the negative
investigating new strategies to lessen
can realistically put these systems to work The MZTRA operates a non-profit, producer- impact on the environment because less
the impact of wind power facilities on
for us in this generation rather than wait directed research farm that conducts zero tillage- food will have to be produced, reducing
wildlife and wildlife habitats.
for a more uncertain future,” says Bibeau, related research and demonstration activities, like the area of cultivated land required and
NSERC/Manitoba Hydro Industrial the long-term crop rotation study being conducted needing less fertilizer, water and fuel.”
Research Chair in Alternative Energy.

Protecting Our Environment


32
Renewable energy Down on
Our homes and vehicles could soon be powered or
heated by fuels and energy derived from renewable
sources such as organic matter. Biopower generation
the farm
Advances in sustainable agriculture
could use materials like hay, yard waste and sludge to will be the keys to farming in the
generate enough heat and power to keep communities 21st century, as long-term solutions
comfortable and energy efficient. And methane are needed to face economic and
produced through a similar process could be used environmental challenges.
as fuel for high-efficiency automotive engines.
Developing sustainable agricultural resources and
energy systems are among the goals of the National
“Next to food production and water, An interdisciplinary team of engineers, plant
Centre for Livestock and the Environment (NCLE).
renewable energy is one of our most scientists and microbiologists is studying
important long-term societal requirements,” ways to manufacture biofuels such as “The NCLE is the only research facility where
says Eric Bibeau, mechanical and ethanol, methanol and hydrogen from scientists will be able to study ecological interactions
manufacturing engineering. He is agricultural products. The research program associated with agriculture practices in a total crop
working on alternative energy projects uses winter wheat cultivars designed and animal production system,” says lead scientist Karin Wittenberg, animal science

including an anaerobic digester in which specifically for ethanol production Karin Wittenberg, animal science. “There’s nothing
like it in North America.” by Martin Entz, plant science. Current
animal waste is converted into methane and improved fermentation processes
research projects also include a whole-
used to generate heat and light. involving novel micro-organisms.
This unique facility involves animal scientists, farm analysis of energy, examinations of
The team’s goal is to design an innovative food scientists, plant scientists, soil scientists, the inputs and economics of cropping
system that converts biomass, or organic microbiologists, biosystems engineers and systems, soil and environmental
matter, into energy fuels. agricultural economists, along with federal and assessments, and studies on greenhouse
private partners. Livestock production can be gas emission and carbon sequestration
“Winter wheat’s superior biological
examined from every angle to develop the most measurements taken at various landscape
potential, combined with earlier maturity
productive, humane, sustainable and environmentally positions.
and lower cost production make it an ideal
friendly production practices. Researchers can also
candidate for the wheat-based ethanol A third aspect of sustainable agriculture
conduct assessments of everything from manure
Eric Bibeau, mechanical and manufacturing engineering
production,” says Anita Brûlé-Babel, a focuses on post-harvest technology and
additives to alternative energy sources.
plant scientist and winter wheat breeder. preservation. Digvir Jayas, biosystems
“We have to be able to harness energy For example, Richard Sparling, microbiology, is engineering, and Canada Research
While some researchers search for
sources to create renewable electricity examining the biosynthetic processes that allow Chair in Stored-Grain Ecosystems,
new ways to harness renewable energy, Digvir Jayas, biosystems engineering
and heat to displace and replace fossil certain bacteria to produce methane — a potential notes: “Sustainable agriculture will feed
others are focused on making sure
fuels. We have technology to do this, but fuel — as an end product. our increasing world population with
these technologies are environmentally
we need to make the technologies more University researchers are also working with minimal negative impact on soil, water or
friendly. For example, Rick Baydack,
economical now rather than wait for fossil the Manitoba Zero Tillage Research Association air quality. Preserving this food effectively
environment and geography, is
fuel prices to dramatically increase. We (MZTRA) to investigate sustainable crop systems. will also significantly reduce the negative
investigating new strategies to lessen
can realistically put these systems to work The MZTRA operates a non-profit, producer- impact on the environment because less
the impact of wind power facilities on
for us in this generation rather than wait directed research farm that conducts zero tillage- food will have to be produced, reducing
wildlife and wildlife habitats.
for a more uncertain future,” says Bibeau, related research and demonstration activities, like the area of cultivated land required and
NSERC/Manitoba Hydro Industrial the long-term crop rotation study being conducted needing less fertilizer, water and fuel.”
Research Chair in Alternative Energy.

Protecting Our Environment


32
Bioproducts:
safer, cleaner, better
As the Earth’s resources are depleted, the search for
alternative fuels, foods and building materials has
become increasingly important. One solution may be
the development of bioproducts.
Innovative crop research has long been McVetty and associate NSERC Industrial
a tradition at the University of Manitoba. Research Chair Genyi Li, plant science, are
Dr. Baldur Stefansson conducted plant further developing the commercialization
breeding work on rapeseed here from of HEAR varieties using new techniques
1952 to 1985. He worked with a team involving genomics. They hope to
of plant scientists to develop the first produce new superior HEAR varieties
double low rapeseed (canola) variety with high seed yield, good seed quality
in 1974, dramatically changing the and excellent disease resistance for
Canadian agri-food industry. He also production in Western Canada.
developed the world’s first HEAR (high
Another application of bioproducts is
erucic acid, low glucosinolate rapeseed)
in building construction. Biosystems
variety, Reston, in 1982.
engineering at the University of Manitoba is
Internationally recognized plant breeder the only department in Canada with a well-
Peter McVetty, NSERC Industrial Research defined mechanism to conduct agricultural
Chair in HEAR research and development, buildings research. Here researchers are
who worked with Stefansson, is continuing studying unconventional construction
to search for bioproducts such as HEAR methods including stack walls, timber
varieties with increased seed yields, higher frames and straw bale housing. Straw bales
erucic acid content and herbicide tolerance,
can be coated with stucco and used as
and improved disease resistance.
building blocks in a variety of agricultural,
He explains: “HEAR oil has unique residential and light-commercial structures.
properties that make it excellent
Kris Dick, biosystems engineering, is
lubricating oil in industrial applications
experimenting with materials to create
or as a chemical feedstock used to make
wall systems that provide an insulation
cosmetics, nylon 13-13 and slip agents.”
value of approximately R50 — two and
McVetty, plant science, notes that if a one half times greater than a newer home.
container of industrial oil made with Raghavan Jayaraman, mechanical and
HEAR oil rather than petroleum oil manufacturing engineering, is applying
is spilled or leaked, cleanup is much his research on polymer composites Peter McVetty, plant science

easier and poses much less threat to the to alternative building materials, or
environment since vegetable oils are biocomposites, made out of renewable
biodegradable. biomass such as canola, hemp and flax.

34
Protecting Our Environment
Bringing
research to life.
University of Manitoba Research Review

For more information, contact:

Office of the Vice-President


(Research)
207 Administration Building
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3T 2N2

204.474.8418
umanitoba.ca/vpresearch

O N E U N I V E R S I T Y. M A N Y F U T U R E S . O N E U N I V E R S I T Y. M A N Y F U T U R E S .