Bay Area Research Logistics wins prestigious business award

Hamilton’s Bay Area Research Logistics (BARL) has been selected as the recipient of a 1Award for 2014 from FirstOntario Credit Union. BARL has been awarded $38,000 in cash and in-kind professional services to help the company expand to new markets.
“At FirstOntario we see small business as the engine of growth for the economy in Hamilton,” says Mary DeSousa, executive vice president of Marketing at FirstOntario Credit Union. “We established the 1Awards Business Competition three years ago to help small businesses in our community take that important next step in their growth.”

BARL offers global clinical trial logistics services focused on helping the health care industry successfully develop new medications and treatments. Partnering with researchers and organizations – representing academic and private clinical research organizations, individual investigators, large pharmaceutical companies and others – it offers logistical design, packaging and distribution for the successful execution of clinical drug trials. Since 2007 BARL has worked on a range of clinical trials, such as Phase IV trials, involving as many as 13,000 patients in 22 different countries, and investigational new drug trials involving as few as 10 patients. This includes helping to design research protocols; handling the regulatory arrangements for the import and export of drugs; and the packaging, labeling and the shipment of drugs, complying with all regulations around the world. These trials can be groundbreaking, first-in-class drug discoveries, last resort treatment options, or trials of existing drugs as possible treatments for new diseases.

“We are delighted to be recognized as a small business which FirstOntario believes has significant potential for future growth,” says BARL’s director Nicole Grannell. “We are looking at expanding into new markets in Canada and in the U.S., and the 1Award will provide additional resources to help us successfully do just that.”

Bay Area Research Logistics is a division of Bay Area Health Trust, which operates a number of enterprises designed to generate profits, used to support health care and health care research.

Go here more information on Bay Area Research Logisitics!

McMaster University Joins Coursera as it’s Newest Canadian Partner!

McMaster University joins Coursera to become the fourth Canadian university partner.

Professor Kevin Dunn will teach McMaster’s first course on Coursera, Experimentation for Improvement. While Kevin usually focuses on teaching students the foundations of chemical engineering in his on-campus courses, he is also interested in the use of software and innovative techniques for other applications. In this hands-on course, Kevin will teach learners to use basic statistical tools to find optimal solutions to real-world challenges, like improving water quality, reducing energy use and boosting sales for a product. The course will give learners the opportunity to build valuable practical skills with the use of an engaging short project that runs throughout the course.

With nearly 25,000 full-time students and 1,377 full-time faculty, McMaster University prides itself on its problem-based, inquiry based and learner-centered approach to teaching and learning. The “McMaster Model” connects theoretical knowledge with real world application and is noted for its commitment to research on teaching through the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Fore more information, vistit the Coursera Blog Page!

McMaster develops pill to instantly test water

Hamilton Spectator, by Dave Churchill

McMaster researchers have create a pill that instantly analyzes drinking water without the need for slow and expensive water-testing in laboratories. The development has the potential to dramatically boost access to quick and affordable water testing around the world.

The team reduced the sophisticated chemistry required for testing water to a simple pill, by adapting technology found in a dissolving breath strip. Just drop a pill in a vial of water and shake. If the colour changes, don’t drink the water.

For the full article, go to the Spectator.

Eight decades in the wrong grave: Mac map collection helps solve family mystery

Toronto Star, by Katie Daubs

BRAY-SUR-SOMME, FRANCE. For 84 years, Private William Phillips was missing, lying underneath another man’s headstone.

The soldier was killed in the final months of the war, when the front lines were moving quickly. He was buried on the battlefield near Bray-sur-Somme, but when the graves were moved into cemeteries in 1919, he was recorded as missing, his body classified as an unknown soldier.

The popular jockey was one of the thousands of Australians with no known grave commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial. It was something that wasn’t questioned by the family, who were never told many details about his final resting spot.

The location didn’t come from a DNA test, or an exhumation. It was a curious relative who, after years of archival research, found a very specific map on the other side of the world, at McMaster University in Hamilton.

See the full article at the Toronto Star

Toronto Zoo’s picky pandas cheerfully chomping on McMaster’s donated bamboo

Yahoo News, by Nadine Kalinauskas

Last fall, we reported that McMaster University’s Biology Greenhouse would be shipping its excess golden bamboo, usually destined for the compost pile, to the Toronto Zoo’s giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao — for free.

Yesterday, CTV News reported that the gifted bamboo has, in fact, been offsetting some of the zoo’s costs.

Even though McMaster’s bamboo is a different variety than the one Er Shun and Da Mao are used to, the notoriously picky eaters seem to enjoy their locally-grown meals.

“It is a new type of bamboo we found pandas enjoy that we didn’t know that they liked before because they are so particular about their diet,” zoo worker Karen Alexander told CTV News.

The picky pandas’ meals cost the zoo more than $500,000 a year. Every week, the Toronto Zoo ships approximately 600 to 900 kilograms of bamboo from Tennessee.

Er Shun and Da Mao go through 90 to 100 pounds to bamboo per day, tossing much of it aside.

“They’ll just reach back and they’ll take a piece and they’ll sniff it and if they like it, they’ll eat it, if they don’t they’ll throw it away – it’s quite comical to watch,” said Alexander.

While McMaster can only ship excess bamboo a few times a year, the local shipments are still valuable.

“It is fantastic because if something happens with our transportation … or there’s a strike, or there’s a flood … we love that we can give [McMaster University] a call and say ‘Hey, can we please get some of your bamboo?’” Zoo nutritionist Jaap Wensvoort told the Hamilton Spectator last September.

“Hey, everyone likes a panda and they’re an endangered species … we’re just doing our part to help out,” Yeas said.

Have you been to the zoo to see Er Shun and Da Mao in action yet?

See the article at Yahoo News

$50 million gift will mean even greater heights for Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine

It was no ordinary oath ceremony for students graduating from McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine today. They were surprised when the benefactor of the School took to the stage to announce a magnificent new $50 million gift.

The 200 students, their parents and friends leapt to their feet and grabbed their phones to take pictures and tweet the good news as DeGroote shared why he was renewing his commitment to the University, the School’s success and the future of health care.

“Not only have the people here achieved great things, but other donors have told me that my gift has helped inspire them to give, and that is very important to me. As you move forward in your exciting new careers as doctors, please know that I am proud and humbled to have played a small part in your education at McMaster. It is a real privilege to share this moment with you.”

“Mr. DeGroote is a remarkable and generous man,” said John Kelton, dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster. “His commitment to helping create doctors who provide the most innovative, compassionate and evidence-based treatment is unparalleled. His investments have seen our medical school become one of the top 15 in the world and the $50 million announced today will allow McMaster to climb to even greater heights.”

The gift will support increased focus on national and international health leadership, including developing stronger ties and alignment with McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business as well as partnerships that focus on biomedical advances.

See the full article at Daily News McMaster


Stars in Global Health: Mark Loeb

McMaster has seven researchers involved in the Grand Challenges Stars in Global Health competition.

Funded by the Government of Canada, the Stars in Global Health initiative supports “Bold Ideas with Big Impact” from the best and brightest researchers in the world who are using scientific/technical, social and business innovation to address some of the most pressing global health challenges. 

All video submissions clock in at less than two minutes, and anyone can watch and vote. Videos are available for viewing until 1 p.m. on June 10. Winners will receive up to $100,000 over a period of 12-18 months to demonstrate proof of concept of the idea. 

Mark Loeb is a professor in the Departments of Pathology and Molecular Medicine / Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; division director Infectious Diseases, Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Infectious Diseases.

See the full article and video at Daily News McMaster

New model to guide community engagement at MAC

To further ensure that community-engaged activities are formally incorporated into the University structure and receive the support needed, community engagement will now be part of the portfolio overseen by the AVP Faculty, Susan Searls Giroux.  A Director of Community Engagement will be appointed to lead this important work.

“The Director of Community Engagement, with the help of the network, will be a valuable resource to faculty and others at the University seeking to undertake community-engaged research and education, while continuing to foster productive and positive relationships with our community partners,” says Searls Giroux. “These governance changes will provide McMaster with the necessary infrastructure to approach community engagement in a more coordinated way and to embed this important work into the fabric of the University.”

Priorities for the network include; enabling community engaged education, establishing resources and infrastructure to support community engagement and forging sustainable and reciprocal links between the University and the broader community.

The group will also oversee the creation of a website and database for increased visibility and coordination of community engagement activities, and will help develop pathways for individuals to become involved in community engaged opportunities.

See the full article at Forward with Integrity!

New study offers ‘tremendous hope’ for allergic asthma sufferers

McMaster Daily News, by Chantall Van Raay

A novel treatment for those suffering from allergic asthma has the potential to dramatically improve lives, according to new research from McMaster.

The study found that giving a mild allergic asthma patient an antibody — which blocks a specific protein in the lungs — significantly improves symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing after patients had inhaled an environmental allergen.

Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects roughly 300 million people worldwide and is expected to grow by more than 10 million each year, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Currently, 250,000 worldwide deaths are attributed to the disease each year.

The research was led by Paul O’Byrne, executive director of the Firestone Institute of Respiratory Health and chair of McMaster’s Department of Medicine, and Gail Gauvreau, associate professor of medicine at McMaster.

For the full article, please visit McMaster Daily News.