Right Turn: FFB is funding and keeping an eye on vision research

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/19/17

Dr. Mary Sunderland is quite at ease talking to a video camera. The Director of Research & Education for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) has been hosting Facebook Live sessions on a variety of topics related to vision research for the past six months. If she was nervous when she began these public outreach sessions…Read more

Five regenerative medicine workshops to attend this summer

Author: Guest, 05/15/17

Amin Adibi is a biomedical engineer and a health data analyst at the University of British Columbia. His areas of interest include cell manufacturing and bioprocess optimization, clinical translation of cellular therapies, health outcomes and cost-effectiveness modelling. Amin has an MSc degree from University of Calgary, where he focused on developing adjuvant MSC-based therapies for…Read more

Right Turn: ‘Bad Project’ is good time waster that amuses millions

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/12/17

It’s been quite a while since Signals has featured a parody video (here’s another one). But with students busy preparing year-end assignments, cramming for exams or finishing their theses, the time just feels right. (And even those of us in the workforce appreciate the occasional distraction.) The Zheng Lab at Baylor College of Medicine focuses…Read more

Guardian of the genome goes rogue in cultured stem cells

Author: Jovana Drinjakovic, 05/10/17

Last month, a study published in Nature revealed that researchers have unknowingly been working on human stem cell lines that harbour mutations in a gene linked to many cancers, raising safety concerns over their use in therapy. But the findings don’t condemn stem cell treatment to an early grave. Instead, they raise an awareness of…Read more

Right Turn: Toronto’s ‘Willy Wonka’ Could Have Worked at CCRM

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/05/17

Everyone has a story of how they ended up in their career. My lightbulb moment happened when I was in fourth year at university, thankfully, which gave me a plan upon graduation. I was thinking about this yesterday when a large group of NSERC CREATE students (and some profs) visited CCRM to learn what we…Read more

Funding the future: Highlights from Bloom Burton & Co.’s Healthcare Investor Conference

Author: Guest, 05/04/17

Samantha Yammine is a PhD Candidate in Dr. Derek van der Kooy’s lab at the University of Toronto studying how stem cells develop and maintain the brain. Samantha is passionate about science advocacy, policy, and education, and is an avid science communicator. You can find her sharing science straight from the lab on Instagram (@science.sam),…Read more

Right Turn: Lessons about science communications from a six-year-old podcaster

Author: Laine Jaremey, 04/28/17

What were you doing when you were six years old? When I was six, I was building forts with couch cushions and playing with toys. A six-year-old named Nate from Illinois, USA, achieves much more in his free time than I did when I was a child. Nate started his own podcast called “The Show…Read more

Filling the void: A scientist’s introduction to commercialization/clinical translation

Author: Holly Wobma, 04/26/17

For anybody who has invested a great deal of time into a research project, you probably feel a certain sense of expertise on the topic. Sure, it is impossible to know a whole field (every answer raises more questions), and lab work is rife with puzzlement and failures, but at the end of the day,…Read more

Right Turn: Health care solutions on demand through 3D printing

Author: Stacey Johnson, 04/21/17

3D printing is a topic we’ve covered before at Signals. It’s still hot and trendy, and still making the cut on top technology lists. Back in 2012, Chris Anderson, the former editor-in-chief of Wired, predicted that 3D printing “will be bigger than the web.” Given that good 3D printers are now cheap enough (US$150) to…Read more

Major League Baseball Pitchers and “Stem Cell” therapy

Author: David Kent, 04/18/17

With the Toronto Blue Jays* off to a terrible start, I was almost dissuaded from reading anything about baseball, until I happened upon the following article: “Stem-cell therapy is poised to disrupt the Tommy John epidemic in baseball.” First, I had to do my standard “fake news” check by triangulating the sources, readings, etc., but…Read more