Research and Scholarly Activity Funding at UTM

Image of Professor Jumi Shin
Monday, April 15, 2019 - 11:30am
Carla DeMarco
Internal funds to support 17 U of T Mississauga researchers

Professor Jumi Shin in the Department of Chemical & Physical Sciences hopes people will breathe a bit easier thanks in part to an injection of funding to support her drug-development research that targets asthma.  

Her Research and Scholarly Activity Fund (RSAF) project, “Our two-pronged combination of rational design and directed evolution toward asthma drug discovery,” focuses on a specific protein, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which may play an important role in the development of asthma.  

“The World Health Organization asserts that asthma is the most chronic disease among children, and many asthma drugs are steroid based, which does not appeal to parents,” says Shin. 

“Astonishingly, 60% of Canadians with asthma don’t have control of their disease. We hope to develop new protein drugs against asthma with a move away from steroid-based treatments.” 

Shin’s RSAF project includes collaboration with U of T Faculty of Engineering Professor Edmond YeoungYeoung specializes in lung-on-a-chip models of human-lung airways. He will provide the Shin Research Group with preliminary findings that will build a foundation that she intends to fold into further funding from both the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Collaborative Health Research Project.   

Along with Shin, the other RSAF-funded researchers at UTM include the following:  

  • Sarah  Hillewaert, Anthropology, for the project, “Yoga and Wellness as Development in Eastern Africa;” 

  • Baohua  Liu, Biology, for the project, “The Circuit Mechanisms Underlying the Cortical Control of Innate Reflexes;” 

  • Steven Short, Biology, for the project, “The Complex Interactions of a Host-Virus Consortium;” 

  • Bryan Stewart, Biology, for the project, “Analysis of Human Muscle Physiology in a 3D Culture System;” 

  • Ulrich  Fekl, Chemical and Physical Sciences, for the project, “Sustainable, CO2‐neutral Fertilizer with the Help of Sunlight;” 

  • Laurel  Besco,Geography and IMI, for the project, “Innovative Law and Policy Approaches to Mitigating GHG Emissions from Air and Maritime Transport;” 

  • Laura Brown, Geography, for the project, “Modelling Changing Ice Covers in the Canadian High Arctic;” 

  • Elspeth Brown, Historical Studies, for the project, “LGBTQ2+ Oral History: Digital Futures and Community Engagement in the Peel Region;” 

  • Boris  Chrubasic, Historical Studies, for the project, “Social and Cultural History of Elites in the Seleukid Empire;” 

  • Karen Ruffle, Historical Studies, for the project, “Materialities of Religious Devotion and the Formation of Civic Cultures in Pakistan in the Everyday;” 

  • Alessandro  Delfanti, Institute for Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, for the project, “Amazon Robots and the Future of Work;” 

  • Jessamyn  Schertz, Language Studies, for the project, “Factors Influencing Perceptual Adaptation of Sound Categories: The Effect of Listener Experience;” 

  • Erika Carlson, Psychology, for the project, “Who Has Self-knowledge and How Do They Get It?; 

  • Melissa Holmes, Psychology, for the project, “Epigenetic Contributions to Social Control of Pubertal Timing;” 

  • Emily  Impett, Psychology, for the project, “Thanks for Trying! Maximizing Partner Change and Promoting Satisfaction Through Responsive Gratitude Expressions;”

  • Loren Martin, Psychology, for the project, “The Modulation of Pain by Social Interactions.”  

“It is so great to see the breadth of research projects that are taking place across the U of T Mississauga campus,” says Vice-Principal, Research Professor Kent Moore.  

“We are certainly inspired by the level of intellectual creativity that drive these research programs, and are thrilled to be able to provide support to our researchers.”  

The RSAF is an annual funding opportunity run through the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (OVPR), and it has been supporting UTM researchers since 2014. To see the full list of RSAF results, including past RSAF-supported projects, visit the OVPR website.