Conducting innovative research that fosters graduate and undergraduate excellence, U of T Mississauga incubates ideas and talent fit for a borderless world.
For students and faculty alike, curiosity is the seed that sparks growth and knowledge. At U of T Mississauga, our curiosity is spurring intellectual and creative pursuits that impact a larger world.
Major funding for digital research partnership
DAVID WOLFE, a professor at U of T Mississauga’s Department of Political Science and co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at The Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and his team have been awarded $2.9 million for the Creating Digital Opportunity project, designed to assist Canada in moving toward global competitive advantage by increasing the knowledge base needed to form effective policies.
student designs an eBook with buzz
LAUREN DIVITO, a master of biocommunications student at U of T Mississauga, designed and illustrated Expedition: Insects, an eBook for Grades 3 to 5. In the book, published by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, students travel the world to visit six different types of insects in their natural habitats.
Study disproves link between Lyme and Alzheimer’s diseases
New research by U of T Mississauga Professor Emeritus Danton O’Day from the Department of Biology definitively puts to rest a theory that Lyme disease causes Alzheimer’s. Neuroimaging showing normal (top row) and Alzheimer’s (bottom row) brains Original image by Danton O’Day.
UTM student advocates for women’s economic empowerment
Promoting greater economic empowerment for young women worldwide was the focus of an international conference in Australia, and representing Canada’s perspective was U of T Mississauga student ESTELLE AH-KIOW. The G(irls) 20 Summit, which took place at the Sydney Opera House, focused on how to create more educational and career opportunities for girls and women worldwide. The event mirrors the annual G20 meeting of heads of state, but also includes representatives from the European and African Unions, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa.
‘Steak-knife’ teeth in oldest land predators
The first top predators to walk on land were not afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a University of Toronto Mississauga study has found. Graduate student and lead author KIRSTIN BRINK along with Professor ROBERT REISZ from U of T Mississauga’s Department of Biology suggest that Dimetrodon, a carnivore that walked on land between 298 million and 272 million years ago, was the first terrestrial vertebrate to develop serrated ziphodont teeth. According to the study published in Nature Communications, ziphodont teeth, with their serrated edges, produced a more efficient bite and would have allowed Dimetrodon to eat prey much larger than itself.
Research & Creativity
Patrick Gunning Targets Cancer
For medicinal chemist Patrick Gunning, an interest in very tiny things has the potential for some massive results. Early in his career, Professor Gunning developed a fascination with building small molecules that could kill cancer cells, at least in a petri dish. He focused his instincts on how proteins interact and lead to cancer cell duplication and tumour growth. In his lab, his team creates tiny molecules that could either prevent cancer proteins from linking or immobilize them against the cell membrane, making them more vulnerable to chemotherapy.
For his research, Professor Gunning has gained wide international recognition and a number of prestigious awards at home and abroad. But of far greater importance is the impact his findings may have on the treatment of a number of deadly cancers, starting with glioblastoma (a brain cancer). Having proven highly effective in lab and animal studies, his approach moves to human clinical trials. “The potential is that the new molecule can be combined with existing therapies to kill cancer stem cells that cause tumour recurrence.” A powerful form of chemotherapy with fewer side effects that makes cancer much less likely to return, Professor Gunning’s tiny molecules could make a huge impact in the lives of cancer patients.
Capturing Life in Verse
Poetry speaks to the heart in a unique way, mixing meaning, meter and mood to tell the stories of the human condition. Richard Greene, a scholar and professor in the Department of English and Drama, was curious enough about the sound of language to write poetry of his own.
His collection, Boxing the Compass, was highly lauded, and won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry–Canada’s highest literary prize. Along with winning that prestigious prize, he is the author of two internationally acclaimed biographies about British writer Graham Greene and British poet Dame Edith Sitwell.
Students have no hesitation getting in on the act. They constantly display their creativity at Theatre Erindale at UTM, an intimate black-box-style theatre suitable for workshops and community performances. In addition to the high quality of the theatre’s productions, it is renowned for its daring and inventive programming. Theatre Erindale has staged previously unperformed dramas such as The Witlings by controversial eighteenth-century writer Frances Burney, dramatized the autobiography of Canadian feminist and journalist Doris Anderson, and created a vivid stage version of Charlotte Gray’s bestseller, The Massey Murder.
Breaking Down Barriers
The rumour was compelling: tablet computers seemed to help students with autism communicate better. Professor Rhonda McEwen knew more research in this area could have huge implications for parents and teachers hoping to bridge the gap to autistic children struggling to communicate and socially interact. Was there more to this than mere anecdote?
Professor McEwen, an expert in new media at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, decided to find out. Working with Toronto-area schools, she designed a major research project, whose results confirmed the positive impact of tablets. Her findings were so significant that they were extensively reported in the media (including on CBS’s Sixty Minutes) and prompted enquiries from as far afield as Australia, Dubai and Africa.