UAlberta Research Supported by RSF Funding
All UAlberta research programs benefit from the federal Research support fund (RSF). Here are just a few examples:
Helping make regenerative medicine a reality
Regenerative medicine is emerging science with the potential to replace damaged tissues/organs and tackle diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes) via cellular therapies. UAlberta is helping making regenerative medicine a reality via our research expertise and advanced research facilities like the Alberta Cell Therapy Manufacturing (ACTM)— the first facility of its kind in Western Canada and 1 of only 5 in Canada. ACTM contains the required equipment and controlled conditions to enable cellular therapy research and development. It’s also a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility—a quality assurance system required for moving new therapies and medicines to patients, because GMP ensures therapies/medicines are made and controlled consistently.
Powering new smart grid technologies
UAlberta is home to one of North America’s largest smart grid technology research clusters. Our researchers are developing new technologies to support renewable energy grid integration, power conversion, cyber security, weather forecasting and power quality. Ryan Li is one of those researchers; he’s tackling power distribution to make renewable energy more compatible with our existing power grid system. Currently, our ability to use more renewable energy is hampered because our energy infrastructure was designed 100 years ago and involves large, centrally controlled power plants with predictable outputs. But wind and solar power fluctuates with weather, and the power they generate must be converted to from DC to AC currents.
UAlberta NanoFAB facility
UAlberta's NanoFAB is a centralized micro- and nanotechnology research and development facility that supports academic research and industrial projects by providing the infrastructure, tools and expertise required to drive diversification and innovation. The NanoFAB is the largest centre of its kind in Western Canada, and one of only three dedicated nanotech centres in Canada. The work conducted here will help drive the transition to a knowledge economy, and help train and prepare tomorrow's highly skilled workforce for that transition. Micro- and nanotechnology has sweeping applications for many sectors including health, energy and information technology. For example nanotech is fuelling the ongoing trend for smaller, faster, more capable devices and driving the information and computer technology at the hardware level.
Going Nano for better cancer treatments
UAlberta researcher and professor Afsaneh Lavasanifar uses nanotechnology to target medicine delivery and improve drug absorption. She's primarily focused on chemotherapy drugs which can damage healthy tissues and organs like the heart and kidneys. Afsaneh has developed a patented polymer technology that can carry medicines to targeted areas—meaning medicine is delivered directly to a tumour and away from surrounding healthy tissues. The result—better, more effective medicine with less side-effects. To transfer the technology out into the wold, to help people, Afsaneh created UAlberta spin-off company Meros Polymers. The company secured a U.S. patent for and has patents pending in Europe and Japan.
TEC Edmonton: Helping grow new tech-based start-ups
A non-profit joint venture between the University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton, TEC Edmonton helps commercialize new ideas and technologies, and grow emerging tech-based companies in Edmonton and Northern Alberta, including UAlberta research-based technologies and spin-offs. When launched in 2006, no other North American business accelerator was merging university intellectual property with civic and university-based services for entrepreneurs. TEC Edmonton was recently ranked Canada's #1 business incubator by Start-Up Canada and 4th best university business incubator in North America by Sweden's UBI Index.
Best Friends forever? The very, very old biond between man and dog
When it comes to our relationship with animals, it seems humans and dogs have been best friends for a very long time. The bond is very old, prehistoric in fact. University of Alberta anthropologist Rob Losey, who researches the connection between man and dog, says that globally, there are more prehistoric dog burials than any other animal.
One project, at Lake Baikal in Siberia, involves dog remains that are 5,000 - 8,000 years old. Losey has found evidence that prehistoric humans treated dogs very much like we do today—right down to the table scraps. Dog were even buried alongside humans in cemeteries, placed in graves, some even wearing decorative collars and/or with grave goods placed next to them like spoons.