A new long-term study conducted by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), Canada, is aiming at providing new ways of creating and administering vaccines. It also hopes to lay the groundwork for the next generation of X-ray imaging devices, and develop new and environmentally friendly fuel alternatives.
In this regards, the University of Saskatchewan was awarded 4.76 million dollars over seven years for three Canada Research Chairs (CRC) and associated equipment.
"This investment in these outstanding researchers will not only help develop solutions for pressing national problems in the health and energy sectors, but will increase training opportunities for graduate students and other research personnel, thereby building superb research talent for the future in areas of U of S strength," said U of S vice-president research Karen Chad.
Few of today's vaccines are effective in controlling intestinal and respiratory infections during the neonatal period (first month after birth). In some cases, these infections can cause lifelong disease.
Philip Griebel, a scientist at the U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre and professor in the School of Public Health, aims to identify vaccine strategies that will prevent or clear these viral or bacterial infections.
His findings will benefit both animal and human health.
Griebel's research program will encompass both creation of targeted vaccines and needle-free delivery (for example, oral vaccines) against pathogens which enter the body through mucosal surfaces such as those found in the respiratory and intestinal tracts.
If successful, this novel approach would also be relevant to a wide range of pathogens including emerging diseases such as influenza.
Ajay Dalai, former Tier 2 CRC and associate dean of research and partnerships in the College of Engineering, aims to develop new fuel alternatives, including environmentally friendly biodiesel fuels made from inedible materials left over from crops such as canola, mustard and soybean oilseeds.
If successful, this research will provide additional income to Canadian farmers and reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.
Dalai is also researching methods of creating a biodegradable and renewal liquid fuel-known as "biosyndiesel" and "bioethanol"-from "syngas" derived from municipal solid wastes, agricultural residue such as straw and dry distillers grain, forest wastes such as sawdust and bark, and organic wastes such as meat and bone meals.
"Canada's government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy, improve Canadians' quality of life and create the jobs of tomorrow-today," said Gary Goodyear, federal Minister of State (Science and Technology).