Brock researchers awarded more than $3 million in NSERC grants

It’s well known that mosquitoes transmit viruses that cause Zika, dengue and West Nile, but do all viruses that infect mosquitoes cause disease? Can some viruses be used to manipulate mosquitoes so they don’t spread such diseases?

Ian Patterson is aiming to answer these questions by exploring how a group of viruses that only infect insects, but not humans, animals or plants, can be harnessed to stop all mosquitoes from spreading diseases.

“There is an increased threat of disease caused by viruses transmitted by insects in Canada, and globally,” says the 全球电竞直播 Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences. “This problem will continue because of changes in climate and land use.”

Patterson is carrying out this work with funding he received from the federal government’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the results of NSERC’s 2022 Discovery and Research Tools competitions Thursday, June 23. 全球电竞直播 was awarded funding in four grant categories — Discovery, Discovery Development, Research Tools and Instruments, and Launch Supplement — totalling more than $3 million.

“The investments made by NSERC speak to the quality and impact of research in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines at Brock,” says Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon.

“Through this support from NSERC programs, Brock researchers will continue to make outstanding contributions, from fundamental science to applied problem-solving, while supporting and mentoring the next generation of international experts in their fields.”

In Patterson’s case, he and his team will be examining a group of insect-specific viruses called negeviruses. Patterson’s earlier research has shown that these viruses block the replication of disease-causing arboviruses when both viruses are present in an insect cell culture.

Using mosquito colonies and cell cultures, the research team will investigate if negeviruses can infect mosquito cells and mosquitoes when other viruses are present, how negeviruses are spread amongst mosquitoes, and if they cause disease in mosquitoes.

“These studies will underpin a strategy to deploy negeviruses in wild populations of insects, which could potentially reduce disease in humans, animals and plants in Canada and around the world,” says Patterson.

He is one of 16 Brock researchers awarded NSERC’s Discovery Grant , which supports ongoing programs of research with long-term goals rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects.

Three Brock researchers were awarded Discovery Development Grants , which provide recipients with resources to build their research programs.

Two Brock researchers received Research Tools and Instruments funds for the purchase of equipment, while nine were awarded the Discovery Launch Supplement , which supports early career researchers as they establish a Discovery Grant-funded research program.

Discovery Grants:

  • Paula Duarte Guterman, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Modulation of neuroplasticity and behaviour through parental experience”
  • Ali Emami, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Can Machines Learn Common-Sense Reasoning?”
  • Stephen Glasgow, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Role of semaphorin 3A in synaptic transmission in the adult mouse hippocampus”
  • Tianyu Guan, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Challenges and Models for the Analysis of Functional Data in Sports”
  • Martin Head, Professor, Earth Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Mid-Pleistocene paleoceanography during a low-eccentricity climate cycle”
  • Mei Ling Huang, Emeritus Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Semi-parametric and Nonparametric Inference”
  • Jasneet Kaur, Assistant Professor, Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Engineering of Two-Dimensional Materials for Clean Energy Conversion and Storage Applications”
  • Stephen Klassen, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Exploring sympathetic neuronal discharge patterns communicating homeostatic cardiovascular adjustments in humans”
  • Dongchen Li, Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Principal-Agent Problems in Insurance Design”
  • Cheryl McCormick, Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Adolescence: A Sensitive Period for Shaping the Adult Social Brain”
  • Catherine Mondloch, Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Learning to Recognize Faces Despite Within-Person Variability in Appearance: A Developmental Approach”
  • Beatrice Ombuki-Berman, Professor, Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Development and Analysis of Metaheuristics for Challenging Large-Scale Optimization Problems”
  • Ian Patterson, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Infection and maintenance of insect-specific viruses in insects”
  • Ganesh Ramachandran, Assistant Professor, Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Emergence: from nanomagnets to quantum spin liquids”
  • Pouria Ramazi, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Analysis and Control of Decision Making Dynamics”
  • Maureen Reedyk, Professor, Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Novel Functional Materials — An Optical Perspective”

Discovery Development Grants:

  • Thad Harroun, Professor, Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Extreme protein stability and structure analysis”
  • Alexandre Odesski, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Algebraic and geometric structures related to classical and quantum integrable systems”
  • Newman Sze, Professor, Health Sciences and Canada Research Chair, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Understanding degenerative protein modifications as molecular mediators of biological aging”

Research Tools and Instruments Grants:

  • Gaynor Spencer, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Essential upgrade to a cell culture imaging and recording rig to study the role of retinoids (Vitamin A metabolites) in nervous system function”
  • Cheryl McCormick, Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Molecular Tools for Behavioural Neuroscience Research”

Discovery Launch Supplement Grants:

  • Paula Duarte Guterman, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Modulation of neuroplasticity and behaviour through parental experience”
  • Ali Emami, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Can Machines Learn Common-Sense Reasoning?”
  • Stephen Glasgow, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Role of semaphorin 3A in synaptic transmission in the adult mouse hippocampus”
  • Tianyu Guan, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Challenges and Models for the Analysis of Functional Data in Sports”
  • Jasneet Kaur, Assistant Professor, Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Engineering of Two-Dimensional Materials for Clean Energy Conversion and Storage Applications”
  • Stephen Klassen, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Exploring sympathetic neuronal discharge patterns communicating homeostatic cardiovascular adjustments in humans”
  • Dongchen Li, Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Principal-Agent Problems in Insurance Design”
  • Ian Patterson, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Infection and maintenance of insect-specific viruses in insects”
  • Pouria Ramazi, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, “Analysis and Control of Decision Making Dynamics”

Read more stories in: Applied Health Sciences , Digital Displays , Faculty & staff , Featured , Front Page , Mathematics and Science , News , Research , Social Sciences
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,