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Understanding a complex network of factors – disease and virulence

PhD student Tasia Lightly is no quitter. Co-author of a thought-provoking paper recently published by the American Society for Microbiology’s peer-reviewed journal “Applied and Environmental Microbiology” entitled ‘Phenylacetyl-CoA, not phenylacetic acid, attenuates CepIR-regulated virulence in Burkholderia cenocepacia’, the Department of Microbiology student says she’s always been this way. “I’m the kind who, when they start...

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Introducing Manitoba’s first Fecal Microbiota Transplant Program

Not all poop is the same, at least when it comes to fecal transplants. Typically a topic avoided in polite conversation, Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is the transfer of one individual’s stool to another. The procedure can be life-saving for Canadians who have battled, or are battling, a Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection. Patients with C. diff...

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GlycoNet: Protein engineering enables better treatment for rare inherited metabolic disorders

As GlycoNet reports: One in every 5,000 Canadian newborns develops lysosomal storage disorders (LSD), a type of metabolic diseases caused by genetic mutations. Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases are amongst the most severe LSD. Children suffering from these diseases lack an enzyme that can recycle used lipids (gangliosides) in their neurons. Eventually, the un-recycled gangliosides accumulate...

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UM Today | Celebrating the achievements of cutting-edge researchers.

Congrats to Dr. Frank Schweizer, and Dr. Brian Mark, researchers working to improve the health and quality of life of Manitobans today and for decades to come. UM Today: Seven U of M research projects funded by CFI The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, was at the University of Manitoba on March...

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UM Today: Come cheer on this year’s 3MT finalists on March 18

From health to the humanities, the finalists for this year’s 3MT competition are demonstrating how graduate student research at the University of Manitoba benefits our greater community. Seventy-three students applied, 36 competed in three heats, and the judges narrowed it down to 14. Those finalists – both masters and doctoral students – are now gearing...

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ASM: Investigators Figure Out How to Block New Antibiotic Resistance Gene

As the The American Society for Microbiology reports: A new antimicrobial-resistance gene, VCC-1, a ß-lactamase gene, has been discovered in benign close relatives of virulent Vibrio cholerae, which causes cholera. Now, a team of Canadian researchers has found a way to block the VCC-1 enzyme, which disables that resistance gene. The research is published February 19th in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy,...

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Understanding the processes that deregulate cancer

For a researcher known for his no-nonsense approach, Professor Peter Pelka is surprisingly sentimental when asked what he feels his greatest achievement has been to date in his career as a microbiologist. “The students that [my lab has] produced. I think I’ve had some good students come through and they’ve done very well for themselves...

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Forging a New Path: Microbiology and Statistics Newest Faculty Member Aleeza Gerstein on Doing Things Her Way

Microbiologist, Aleeza Gerstein The ability to adapt to new situations is usually seen as positive. However, when it comes to human fungal pathogens, Professor Aleeza Gerstein knows that adaptation can be a recipe for disaster. As more and more harmful microbes evolve to become resistant to antimicrobials, the challenge of understanding how to stay ahead of...

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Meet biotechnological entrepreneur, Bert Friesen (BSc Hons.’69, MSc ’71, PhD ’81) who helped eliminate Rh disease

When Bert Friesen (BSc Hons.’69, MSc ’71, PhD ’81) looks back over his career as a chemist and entrepreneur, he can do so with a great deal of pride, knowing that his most influential research virtually eliminated a once-deadly blood-borne condition. Known as Rh disease, the disorder occurs when an Rh-negative mother develops antibodies to...