Tag Archives: SFU Café Scientifique

Five 2023 events: SCWIST (Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology) and SFU’s (Simon Fraser University) Café Scientifique

I have one January 2023 event for the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) and four Simon Fraser University (SFU) Café Scientifique events, one each month, for January through April 2023.

SCWIST and Canada’s Department of National Defence

From a January 2023 SCWIST newsletter (received via email),

Defense [sic] is a Place for STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] Women

Have you always wondered about where STEM fits within the area of defense? Or are you curious about where a STEM career can lead you within defense?

SCWIST and the Department of National Defense [sic] have partnered to bring you an exciting panel presentation and discussion on these questions and more. Join our speakers as they highlight the challenges and accomplishments of being STEM women in the area of National Defense [sic]. Online seats available [emphasis mine]

Based on that last phrase, I believe this is a hybrid event.

Here is logistical and biographical information for the event and its speakers and moderators from the Event registration page, Note 1: The event is being held on one of the city of Vancouver campuses (and possibly online), Note 2: I have made some changes to the formatting.

Date and time

Tue, 24 January 2023, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM PST

Location

SFU VentureLabs 555 West Hastings Street #Suite #1200 Vancouver, BC V6B 4N6

SPEAKERS

Captain Kalina Yurick joined the military in 2011 and attended the Royal Military College of Canada to earn her degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Throughout her time at school, Kalina fenced for the RMC varsity team. Some highlights included captaining for her last two years and representing Canada at the World Military games in South Korea.

After school Kalina began her flight training in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. She completed her Phase 3 training on the CT-140 Harvard II and transitioned to Qualified Flight Instructor at the school for her first posting. Kalina earned her Masters of Science in Aeronautics education throughout her instructor tour.

Kalina’s current posting is with 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron in Comox, British Columbia. She currently flies the CP-140 Aurora, which is a platform used for anti-submarine warfare and surveillance.

Kalina’s husband is also a pilot at 407 Squadron, where they are fortunate to work and fly together. They tackle the challenges of maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a team while progressing through their careers.

Lieutenant-Colonel Melissa Reyes has served over thirty-three years as a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officer, and is now specializing in space-related capabilities and tasks for the CAF. Her various military experiences, around the world and Canada, have given her a sound knowledge of satellites and space systems, operations, and management.

Among her many assignments, Melissa has worked at the Canadian Space Agency, 12th Space Warning Squadron Greenland, North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Headquarters, and Kandahar Air Field (Afghanistan). She is presently employed as the Section Head for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Space Systems, within the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Melissa received her Master of Sciences Degree, specializing in Remote Sensing, from the University of Colorado (2008), and completed the International Space University / Space Studies Program (2012). Melissa has been involved in various Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives and employment equity groups throughout her career and is honoured to be part of this event for the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology.

Lieutenant Commander Calley Gray has served 18 years in the Royal Canadian Navy as a Marine Systems Engineer. She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada and a double masters from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture.

LCdr Gray spent 4 years serving onboard various Canadian Patrol Frigates culminating in her appointment as Head of the Marine Systems Engineering Department on HMCS WINNIPEG. She deployed with the Canadian Navy to South America and South-East Asia, participating in detection and monitoring operations to facilitate the interdiction of illicit drug trafficking. Her naval deployments also included conducting training, exercises and engagements with foreign navies and other international security partners, and providing security for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

As a strong advocate for women in engineering, she championed institutional change within the naval engineering occupation by helping to remove barriers for women’s career progression. In December 2020, she deployed to Iraq as the Gender Advisor for NATO Mission Iraq. During her 9 month deployment, she contributed to advancements in Iraq’s Second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security by working with international experts and the Iraqi Ministry of Defence to open various educational and professional development opportunities to women.

Now back in Canada, LCdr Gray is the Gender Advisor for Chief Professional Conduct and Culture which has been stood up to lead a fundamental transformation in the way in which system misconduct (sexual misconduct, hateful conduct, systemic barriers, harassment, violence, discrimination, employment inequity, unconscious biases, and abuse of power in the workplace) is understood and addressed in the Canadian Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.

CO-MODERATORS

Dr. Poh Tan, SCWIST President (co-moderator) is an entrepreneur, stem cell scientist, educator, 2x TEDx speaker, and mother of two boys. With a Ph.D in stem cell biology, Poh is currently completing a second PhD with a focus in science education. She is the founder and CEO of STEMedge Academy where she creates programs to support high school students develop research capacity in STEM. She returns to the Board of Directors as SCWIST’s President.

Ms. Avneet Sandhu (co-moderator) works as a communications officer for the Department of National Defence and is responsible for assisting with diversity and inclusion files. She supports the Advisory Council on Diversity to Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Forces Pacific Formation (MARPAC) and Joint Task Force Pacific (JTFP), and the Advisory Group on Intersectionality to the Commander of Military Personnel Generation.

Avneet also supports announcements and engagements for senior officers and connects women-led organizations, university faculty, and students with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Avneet graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and a minor in Education. Avneet is an incoming JD candidate and is the co-founder, vice-president, and director of external relations for She Connects – a nationwide mentorship program for girls in high school.

Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Café Scientifique January – April 2023 events

I received (via email) a January 12, 2023 notice from Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Café Scientifique about their Winter/Spring 2023 events, Note: I have made some changes to the formatting by adding descriptive text from the event pages,

Welcome to a brand new year of SFU Cafe Scientifique discussions.  We have put together an amazing line-up of speakers and topics for January-April 2023.  Below are some details and registrations links.  Zoom invites will be sent to those who register.  We look forward to engaging with you then.

All sessions are on Tuesdays 5:00-6:30pm PST over Zoom

January 31, 2023

So you think you can forge? with Dr. Nabyl Merbouh, SFU Chemistry

[Join Dr. Nabyl Merbouh as he discusses how to spot art forgeries using electron microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy tools and techniques.

Forgeries are often only discernible by the keen eye of a trained expert. Sometimes, even a keen eye cannot be adequate. Join Dr. Nabyl Merbouh as he discusses how electron microscopy-based and X-ray spectroscopy-based tools and techniques are being used for identifying microscopic to atomic-scale differences in samples to identify real vs. fake art.]

February 21, 2023

Watermelon Snow: Science, Art and a lone polar bear with Dr. Lynne Quarmby, SFU Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

[Dr. Lynne Quarmby speaks on her personal journey and concerns about climate change that led to her interest in watermelon snow.

Watermelon-red snow is a tell-tale sign of springtime blooms of microscopic algae on alpine and arctic snow. Under the microscope, the algae are stunningly beautiful, but still, why study them? Dr. Lynne Quarmby will take us on a journey from molecular biology to the high Arctic and home again, illuminating the science of cells, of the climate, and of snow algae, while offering a reminder that much about the human experience is beyond reason. In this talk, we will hear about one scientist’s search for what it means to live a good life at a time of increasing desperation about the future.]

March 28, 2023

What should we know about Quantum Technologies? with Dr. Kero Lau, SFU Physics

[Join Dr. Kero Lau as he explains how quantum technologies work and how we use them in our daily lives

About two decades ago scientists realized that using the quantum properties of fundamental particles has the potential to dramatically improve the performance of our technology. Since then, significant progress has been made towards using quantum systems, and we are now very close to realizing practical quantum devices. In this talk, Dr. Kero Lau will give us a scientific overview of the principle behind quantum technologies, and how they could impact our day-to-day life.]

April 25, 2023

The Pathways from our DNA to our Brain with Dr. Lloyd Elliott, SFU Statistics and Actuarial Science

[Dr. Lloyd Elliott explains how our DNA affects brain function and neurodegenerative diseases.]

Quite a start to 2023!

Simon Fraser University (SFU; Vancouver, Canada): Nobel Lectures and Café Scientifique February and March events

I got a February 4, 2022 notice via email that three SFU Science events are planned over the next several weeks.

Nobel Lectures

From the February 4, 2022 SFU Science notice,

Nobel Lectures

Wednesday February 16, 2022, 5:00-7:00 pm [PST] via live stream

Celebrate the 2021 Nobel awardees with us as our faculty members present the awardees’ work as it relates to their own research. Rob Britton from Chemistry, Edgar Young from Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Kirsten Zickfeld from Geography [likely acting as the host/interviewer] will present at this year’s event.

Register here.

I found some information about the SFU presenters and the work being recognized on the SFU Nobel Prize Lectures 2022 eventbrite webpage,

Dr. Robert Britton completed his PhD at UBC with Professors Edward Piers and Raymond Anderson in 2002 studying natural product isolation and synthesis, and was then an NSERC [Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada] Postdoctoral Fellow in Cambridge working with Professor Ian Paterson on the synthesis of structurally complex marine natural products. He then joined the Merck Process Chemistry Group in Montreal before beginning his independent research career at Simon Fraser University in 2005. He is currently a Professor at SFU and his research program focuses on reaction discovery, natural product synthesis, medicinal chemistry and radiopharmaceutical chemistry.

Topic: The catalysis of chemical reactions has historically relied on expensive and often low-abundance metals such as gold, palladium and platinum. The discovery that inexpensive and naturally occurring organic molecules can catalyze the same reactions has caused a paradigm shift that has led to more environmentally friendly and economic processes, and served as an enabling tool for scientific discoveries.

Dr. Edgar Young is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at SFU. His research lab investigates ion channel proteins that switch their structure in response to electrical and chemical signals, producing complex behaviour in the cardiac and nervous systems.

Topic: The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, for their discovery of key molecules in our nervous system that enable our sense of touch. In this talk, we’ll see how these molecules called ion channels work as electrical switches to convey sensations of pressure, pain, heat and cold — and we’ll explore the prospects for medical benefit.

From Nobel Prize Lectures 2021:

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 was awarded “for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex systems” with one half jointly to Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann “for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming” and the other half to Giorgio Parisi “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.”

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2021/summary/

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 was awarded jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian “for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.”

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2021/summary/

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 was awarded jointly to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan “for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.”

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2021/summary/

SFU Café Scientifique for February and March 2022

From the February 4, 2022 SFU Science notice,

February 17 & March 24 via Zoom

Engage with award-winning researchers from SFU Science for a series of informal discussions connecting research to important issues of interest to the community.

Aging actively: Why choose to move?

Thursday February 17, 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm

Dr. Dawn Mackey, SFU Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Discover the benefits of regular movement for older adults, explore what they want out of physical activity and find out how to create sustainable habits.

Register here.

[from the eventbrite registration page,

Choosing to move can be as simple as moving more, and moving more often – it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. In this interactive cafe, Dr. Dawn Mackey from SFU’s Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Department will explain the benefits of regular physical activity for older adults, as well as some risks of not being active enough. We will also explore what older adults want to get out of physical activity, and ways to make physical activity a sustainable habit.]

From the South Pole to the edge of the universe, and back to the coast of British Columbia

Thursday March 24, 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm

Dr. Matthias Danninger, SFU Physics

Learn about neutrinos and how British Columbia may soon hold a dominant role in neutrino astronomy.

[from the eventbrite registration page:

What is a neutrino? What can we learn from neutrinos about the Universe? Dr. Matthias Danninger from the Department of Physics will discuss answers to these questions and how British Columbia could play a dominant role for neutrino astronomy in the near future.]

Register here.

Hmmm

I have some comments about both SFU Café Scientifique presentations.

With regard to the “Aging actively: Why choose to move?” event in February 2022, it seems to be oriented to students, i.e., future gerontologists and other professionals focused on geriatrics. I can’t help but notice that the presenter (assuming this photo is relatively recent) is not any danger of being described as aged or as a senior,

Dr. Dawn Mackey [downloaded from https://balancefalls.ubc.ca/people/dawn-mackey]

There is nothing inherently wrong with having a youngish professional share work focused on seniors. The problem lies in the fact that presenters for events/talks/conferences/etc. on older folks are almost always young or youngish. I expect that as these professionals age they will find they are no longer participants in the conversation but the objects of the conversation.

As for “From the South Pole to the edge of the universe, and back to the coast of British Columbia,” this claim seems a little optimistic, “… British Columbia may soon hold a dominant role in neutrino astronomy.”

The centre for neutrino and dark matter physics in Canada is the SNOLAB. (There was a talk about the work at the lab in my June 6, 2019 posting Whispering in the Dark: Updates from Underground Science a June 12, 2019 talk in Vancouver …, another mention of the lab in May 12, 2021 posting about a former SNOLAB executive director, TRIUMF [Canada’s national particle accelerator centre] welcomes Nigel Smith as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on May 17, 2021and …, and, most recently, a September 6, 2021 posting about an art/science exhibit where SNOLAB was a partner, ‘Drift: Art and Dark Matter’ at Vancouver’s … .)

British Columbia will soon be dominant? There was this in 2015 (from the SNOLAB’s Awards and Recognition webpage),

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics
2015-10-06
Arthur B. McDonald was co-awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics with Takaaki Kajita for the contributions of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration and Super-Kamiokande Collaboration for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass. The discovery changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and proves crucial to our view of the universe.

While I have doubts about the stated goal of being dominant soon, I look forward to being proved wrong. If that happens.

“The Immune System: Our Great Protector Against Dangerous Stuff” talk at Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Café Scientifique on Thursday January 27, 2022 from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm PST

This is from a January 13, 2022 SFU Café Scientifique notice (received via email),

Happy New Year! We are excited to announce our next virtual SFU Café
Scientifique!

 Thursday January 27, 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm

 Dr. Jonathan Choy, SFU Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

The Immune System: Our Great Protector Against Dangerous Stuff

Our bodies are constantly in contact with material in the environment,
such as microbes, that are harmful to our health. Despite this, most
people are healthy because the immune system patrols our bodies and
protects us from these harmful environmental components. In this Cafe
Scientifique, Dr. Jonathan Choy from the Department of Molecular Biology
and Biochemistry will discuss how the immune system does this.

Register here to receive a zoom invite:

 
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/sfu-cafe-scientifique-january-2022-tickets-227344733217

I found Dr. Choy’s profile page on the SFU website and found this description for his research interests,

T Cell Biology 

T cells are specialized cells of the immune system that protect host organisms from infection but that also contribute to a wide array of human diseases. Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which T cells become inappropriately activated in disease settings and how they cause organ damage. We have provided particular attention to how innate immune signals, such as cytokines secreted by innate immune cells and vascular cells, control the outcome of T cell responses. Within this context, processes that inhibit the activation of T cells are also being studied in order to potentially prevent disease-causing immune responses. Our studies on this topic are applied most directly to inflammatory vascular diseases, such as transplant arteriosclerosis and giant cell arteritis.

Nitric Oxide Signaling and Production 

Nitric oxide (NO) is a bioactive gas that controls many cell biological responses. Dysregulation of its production and/or bioactivity is involved in many diseases. My laboratory is interested in understanding how NO effects cell signaling and how its production is controlled by NO synthases. We are specifically interested in how NO-mediated protein S-nitrosylation, a post-translational modification caused by NO, affects cell signaling pathways and cellular functions.

I gather from the Café Scientifique write up that Dr. Choy’s talk is intended for a more general audience as opposed to the description of his research interests which are intended for students of molecular biology and biochemistry/

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Simon Fraser University is located in the Vancouver area (Canada).

“How genome research is influencing our understanding of B-cell lymphomas” at Simon Fraser University (SFU) Café Scientifique on November 25, 2021 from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm PST

This is from a November 8, 2021 SFU Café Scientifique notice (received via email),

We are excited to announce our next virtual SFU Café Scientifique!

NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION

Thursday November 25, 2021  5:00-6:30pm

Dr. Ryan Morin, SFU Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

“How genome research is influencing our understanding of B-cell lymphomas”

Zoom invites will be sent to those registered, closer to the date.

Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/how-genome-research-is-influencing-our-understanding-of-b-cell-lymphomas-tickets-203977471107

We hope to see you then!

There’s a little more of a topic description on the event registration webpage,

Every cancer arises following the accumulation of genetic changes known as mutations. Dr. Ryan Morin will discuss how genomics can allow us to understand how specific mutations influence the onset of lymphoma (and other common cancers) and can lead to new and more effective therapies.

There’s a little more detail about Morin’s work on his profile page on the BC Cancer Research Institute website,

Dr. Ryan Morin has been studying the genetic nature of lymphoid cancers using genomic methods for more than a decade. During his doctoral training at the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer, he pioneered the use of transcriptome and whole genome sequencing to identify driver mutations in non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Over the course of his training, he published a series of papers describing some of the most common genetic features of diffuse large B-cell (DLBCL) and follicular lymphomas including EZH2, KMT2D, CREBBP and MEF2B. Following his transition to an independent position at SFU, Dr. Morin has continued to identify genetic features of these and other aggressive lymphomas including non-coding (silent) regulatory drivers of cancer. His laboratory has implemented novel assays for the sensitive detection and genetic characterization of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). These “liquid biopsy” approaches continue to be developed as non-invasive methods for monitoring treatment response and resistance. Using these and other modern genomics tools and bioinformatics techniques, his team continues to explore the genetics of relapsed and refractory DLBCL with an ultimate goal of identifying novel biomarkers that predict treatment failure on specific therapies. This work has helped refine our understanding of genetic and gene expression differences that predict poor outcome in DLBCL.

Hopefully, Morin will be talking about the liquid biopsies and other non-invasive methods he and his team use in their work.