Health Research Week: U of S Researchers are Finding Health Solutions
Posted December 01, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 1, 2008
Today kicks off Health Research Week in Saskatchewan. Here are some of the many University of Saskatchewan (U of S) researchers contributing to better health for Canadians.
Fall monitor may help slipping seniors
Engineering professor Anh Dinh is developing a device that may make treading on Canada’s icy sidewalks less daunting for the elderly. Professor Dinh and a team of researchers have created a prototype Near-Falls and Falls Detection System that records physical conditions—such as changes in blood pressure, heart rhythm, respiratory rate, and postural sway—before someone falls.
The system will warn seniors when they are at risk of falling. For those who fall, the data gathered by the device during the fall can assist physicians and physiotherapists in determining the best treatment for injuries and finding a way to prevent future injuries.
Saving young lives through vaccine research
Researchers at the U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) are developing a single-shot whooping cough vaccine for infants. Volker Gerdts and his research team are creating a vaccine that could be administered nasally through a painless spray rather than a proverbial shot in the arm. When completed, the vaccine will help combat the disease in the developing world where it results in more than 200,000 deaths every year.
Another VIDO scientist, U of S School of Public Health professor Philip Griebel, is working on understanding how the body’s immune defences work in newborns. Griebel’s research was recently applied successfully in a respiratory vaccine for newborn calves. Though the vaccine is presently used in veterinary medicine, similar approaches may one day be applied to developing vaccines for newborn infants.
Finding cures and better care for cancer patients
Wei Xiao, one of the U of S’s 2008 distinguished researcher award winners, and his research team have hit upon a ‘9-1-1’ signal that prompts cells to battle such cancer-causing agents as UV and industrial toxins.
Roanne Thomas-MacLean, another U of S distinguished researcher winner, is working with 745 breast cancer survivors across Canada to learn more about the impact of arm morbidity disabilities that often plague survivors.
To view interviews with these researchers, visit: http://www.usask.ca/research/100yrsinnovation/videos.php
Seniors at potential risk from diabetes medication
Last week an American study made headlines when it reported that seniors taking the diabetes medication Avandia may be at a higher risk of death and heart failure compared with those who use other diabetes medications.
Lingyun (Lily) Wu, a U of S pharmacologist, and her research team published a study with similar findings four years ago in the American Journal of Hypertension. Wu is available to provide expert commentary on what these findings may mean for Canadians with diabetes.
Health Research Week Events
• Café Scientifique: Maybe, Baby!
December 3, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Boffins Club, 313-111 Research Drive, Innovation Place, Saskatoon
With the latest advances in assisted reproductive technologies, is it ever too late to start a family? Bring your questions to a free, informal discussion with leading U of S experts in human reproduction research, parenting attitudes, and decision-making. For more information, contact email@example.com.
• Santé Health Research Awards
December 4, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Delta Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon
For more information or tickets, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 8th Annual Cancer Research Day
December 5, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Delta Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon
For more information, contact email@example.com.
About the University of Saskatchewan (www.usask.ca): The University of Saskatchewan is one of the leading medical doctoral universities in Canada. With 58 degrees, diplomas and certificates in over 100 areas of study, the university is uniquely positioned in the areas of human, animal and plant studies. World-class research facilities, renowned faculty and award-winning students make the U of S a leader in post-secondary education.
To arrange interviews with any of these researchers, contact:
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-2427, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Health Research Week, visit www.shrf.ca or contact:
Michael Robin, Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation
(306) 975-1687, email@example.com