Conference & Meetings World Supplements Canada Supplement - Page 16

Saskatoon Fresh approach C anada’s vast hinterland state of Saskatchewan has hosted several conferences in Life Sciences, including One health Platform 2018 and 3rd Emerging Technologies for Global Food Security in Saskatoon. Internationally recognised environmental and health pioneer Dr Ingrid Pickering (PhD) was one of 10 research leaders from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) recognised by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) for its 2018 Achievement Awards. Dr Pickering, Acting Vice-Dean Research in the College of Arts and Science, and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Environmental Science, is a global leader in employing synchrotron technologies to study the impact of heavier metals on human health and the environment. Her pioneering work in synchrotron technologies has led to numerous studies on topics such as mercury in fish, plant uptake of metals, and the connection between selenium deficiency and arsenic poisoning in places such as Bangladesh. The knowledge is also being passed on effectively. Dr Pickering has been training and mentoring students since 2003, including 90 graduate students and research associates in the Training Grant in Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques (THRUST) programme. Dr Pickering was appointed this year as Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the first 16 CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD woman to hold the post in the independent agency that invests in leading-edge infrastructure that helps scientists across Canada advance research and innovation. SHRF’s Impact Award, which recognises research that builds capacity, advances knowledge and informs decision-making in healthcare, was awarded this time to Dr Brenna Bath (PhD), Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at the College of Medicine, for her work in improving the delivery of effective care to rural patients with chronic low-back pain. Her research team found a ‘telehealth’ system, which connects a city-based physical therapist with a community’s local nurse, was feasible to treat back pain. It’s the first known application in the world of such a team-and- technology model to enhance back-pain therapy. The work has led to other research, including employing telehealth systems that link teams of urban rheumatologists and physical therapists in treating rural dwellers with rheumatoid arthritis, and investigating how the approach can enhance care for other chronic health conditions. Below left: Saskatoon, Canada Below right: Saskatchewan researchers World vaccine firsts The University of Saskatchewan is also working to develop human and animal vaccines and scientific, public health and policy approaches that integrate human, animal and ecosystem health. At the University’s VIDO- InterVac centre, experts have commercialised eight animal vaccines, including six world firsts. When the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus spread to North America in 2013, the centre developed an improved vaccine before the virus infected Canada. The vaccine has now been licensed to a commercial partner, which is manufacturing the