Bigger was better in prehistoric sea

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bigger really is better – at least it was for early prehistoric life. A NASA research group featuring University of Toronto Mississauga Professor Marc Laflamme has helped to explain why some prehistoric organisms evolved into larger animals. See full story here.


Student Chapter Merit Award

Congratulations to the Erindale Chemical and Physical Sciences Society (ECPS), University of Toronto Mississauga. They won first place in the national Canadian Society for Chemistry, Student Chapter Merit Award for the fourth year in a row!


Harry Jerome Award

One of University of Toronto's grad students was the recipient of the Harry Jerome Award (for academics) presented by the Black Business and Professional Association and RBC Royal Bank.
Congratulations to Eugenia Duodu - See article here.

It's a Chemical World!

Some people think chemistry is only in textbooks.
They would have learned that's not the case at the inaugural secondary school science competition last night at Mississauga Valley Community Centre...

Read the entire article here:

UTM Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Laboratory Renovation

Picture of UTM LabChemistry faculty, staff and students at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) are celebrating the successful $6,000,000 renovation of their undergraduate chemistry teaching laboratories.  Demolition commenced in April 2011, with completion scheduled in time for the start of Fall classes in September 2011.  The “top-to-bottom” renovations included modernization of all electrical, plumbing, ventilation and lighting infrastructure, installation of new mechanical air handling units in order to provide fumehoods for all students, all new benches and cabinetry, and a series of advanced teaching stations with computer-controlled flat-screen displays and whiteboards. In addition, students will now enjoy the use an entire suite of brand new instruments including analytical balances, pH meters, water baths, spectrophotometers, glove boxes, ovens and centrifuges. Furthermore, our chemistry technical staff has been provided with a completely modernized chemical storage and solution preparation area plus new office space and furniture.The final design of the laboratory was the result of a collaborative effort amongst chemistry faculty, staff and students, with the invaluable assistance of UofT architects and facilities planning experts.  Although the timeline for completion of the renovations was quite “aggressive”, thanks to the talent and commitment of UofT capital project managers and the expertise of our on-site contractors, the many hours of planning prior to commencement of demolition in April 2011 paid off when we were able to re-open the undergraduate chemistry teaching laboratories on-time and on-budget in September 2011.  Not only do these new laboratories permit more efficient and flexible use of laboratory space, they provide chemistry students with new opportunities to perform a host of enhanced chemistry experiments, and thus broaden their chemistry educational experience.  The reviews are now in, from students, and staff, and faculty, and they can be summarized in one word, “Hurrah!”

Jochen Halfar Group in the News 2010-10

Here is a newspaper article that appeared in several Canadian newspapers on the work of Jochen Halfar group in the North Atlantic.

Patrick Gunning - The making of molecules 2010-08

Recently awarded with an Early Researcher Award (ERA), Patrick Gunning is further exploring innovative cancer treatments in his project: "Developing Novel Uba1 Molecular Therapeutics: Suppressing the Side-Effects of Aggressive Chemotherapy."

An interview with Gunning was published in this week’s UofT Bulletin, “… my molecular efforts have focused on targeting the aberrant activation of specific proteins that directly contribute to cancer progression." Gunning's study is primarily concerned with inhibiting the Ubiquitin E1 activating enzyme (Uba1), which has proven to be successful in killing cancer cells, leaving normal cells unharmed, and in helping to delay tumor growth in leukemia studies.

To read the full story,

Jumi Shin in the News 2010-07 

Jumi Shin is one of seven U of T scientists sharing a total of $3.2 million as part of the 31 Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) grants announced recently by the Government of Canada.  “This program brings together the expertise of researchers in natural sciences and engineering with medical researchers to find innovative solutions in key areas of health,” said Suzanne Fortier, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.  Jumi will develop a novel platform for cancer drug discovery using minimalist hybrid proteins. 

Patrick Gunning in the News 2010-06

 Professor Patrick Gunning was recently profiled by the University of Toronto’s Research and Innovation department as a Featured Researcher, for his work on protein and cell interactions. 

Gunning designs molecular reaction agents for the treatment of cancers, such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, and especially brain cancer – an area which currently has limited treatment options due to the fragility of the area. 

“The thrust of my work is trying to find therapeutics that target protein interactions, which are typically under-investigated,” he noted. 

The article, which also detailed Gunning’s love of art and architecture, called the practical applications of his research “formidable.”.  The complete article is available at,

Julie Lukkarila of Gunning Group Wins an Ontario Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2010-06 

Julie Lukkarila has been awarded an Ontario Post-Doctoral Fellowship, supported jointly by the Ministry of Research and Innovation and co-funding identified by her supervisor. 

Congratulations on this accomplishment. The competition for the fellowships was very strong. For this cohort of 2010 Post-Doctoral Fellows, each individual must begin his/her fellowship between July 1 and December 31, 2010. This is a 2-year fellowship with a total value of at least $50,000 per year, of which $25,000 per year will be provided through the University from a Ministry of Research and Innovation award.  The remaining $25,000/year is to be supplied from Gunning's Group.