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In the News

Hydrogels Boost Ability of Stem Cells to Restore Eyesight and Heal Brains

Toronto scientists and engineers have made a breakthrough in cell transplantation using a gel-like biomaterial that keeps cells alive and helps them integrate better into tissue. In two early lab trials, this has already shown to partially reverse blindness and help the brain recover from stroke.

Led by University of Toronto professors Molly Shoichet (ChemE, IBBME) and Derek van der Kooy, together with Professor Cindi Morshead, the team encased stem cells in a hydrogel that boosted their healing abilities when transplanted into both the eye and the brain. These findings are part of an ongoing effort to develop new therapies to repair nerve damage caused by a disease or injury.

Conducted through the U of T’s Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, their research was published in today’s issue of Stem Cell Reports, the official scientific journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Read more.

Molly Shoichet Launches Research2Reality

Professor Molly Shoichet (ChemE, IBBME) launched Research2Reality, a $400,000 social-media campaign she is spearheading that is designed to shine a spotlight on the work of academic researchers across the country. It is one of the most ambitious outreach efforts of its kind in Canada to date and it comes at a time when research advocates worldwide are trying to persuade their governments of the importance of basic, curiosity-driven research. Read more.

A Quarter of Cars on Road Produce Most of the Pollution

That beat-up junker in your neighbor's driveway is likely to produce more pollution during a long day's commute than some newer vehicles emit driving cross country.

A new study out of Canada has tried to quantify the pollution gap. By monitoring traffic in downtown Toronto, scientists found that 25 percent of the cars they measured produced 95 percent of the total particulates and 93 percent of the carbon monoxide.

The University of Toronto research team led by Professor Greg Evans (ChemE) made on-the-spot measurements of the exhaust from 100,000 vehicles driving past air sampling probes set up on one of Toronto's busiest roads. Read more.


May 15, 2015

Volume 32, Issue 18

In this issue:

Grad Office
Research Office
Spring Convocation
Chem Eng Events


Grad Office


PhD Reading Committee Meeting – T. Plint

Date of Meeting: WMay 20, 2015 in WB115 at 10:45am
Committee: Chair: Prof. C. M. Yip; Supervisor: Prof. T. Bender; Other Member(s): Prof. D. Seferos

Jeffrey Castrucci Wins Two Awards

PhD Candidate Jeffrey Castrucci is the recipient of the department's Student Discovery Award and the ISE Outstanding Energy Paper Award. Congratulations Jeffrey!


Research Office


Call for Proposals - Ontario-Israel Collaboration Program (OICP)

This Ontario-Israel Call invites applicants - at least one industrial partner from Ontario and at least one industrial partner from Israel - to propose shared research projects for the development of innovative products or processes. The maximum duration of a project is 24 months. Special consideration will be given to projects in the following four areas:

  • clean technologies;
  • fife sciences and medical devices;
  • cyber security; and
  • other information and communication technologies


  • Successful Ontario applicants are eligible to receive up to $300,000 CAD or up to 50% of the R&D costs of technology-based products and processes (whichever is less) from the Government of Ontario through CIIRDF to fund the Ontario portion of each project.
  • Successful Israeli applicants are eligible to receive funding from the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), Ministry of Economy, Israel, to support the Israel portion of the project under the OICP. The level of funding will be determined by the R&D Review Committee of the OCS.

Sub-contracting to post-secondary academic research institutions is acceptable, with allowable percentage of funding based on specific research scope of each project.

Internal: August 24, 2015
External: August 31, 2015, midnight Eastern Time

How to Apply
CIIRDF and the OCS will conduct parallel application processes. Ontario-based companies apply directly to CIIRDF, while Israel-based companies apply directly to the OCS.

Ontario and Israel applicants:
The first step of the application process is to complete a Summary Outline using the CIIRDF template and submit it to CIIRDF for pre-proposal evaluation. This form is available on the CIIRDF website.

Israel applicants:
To ensure eligibility, the lead Israeli partner of each project must apply directly to the OCS, following the guidelines published online. Please note: this information is available in Hebrew only.   

For more information, click here.

For additional program-specific information, please contact:
Les Abelson, CIIRDF Operations Manager: les@ciirdf.ca
Tomoko Nishino, CIIRDF Director of Programs:  tomoko@ciirdf.ca


Intrinsic wettability of graphitic carbon
Wei, Y.; Jia, C.Q.
Carbon 2016, 87 (C) pp. 10-17.

Modified cellobiohydrolase–cellulose interactions following treatment with lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase CelS2 (ScLPMO10C) observed by QCM-D
Selig, M.J.; Vuong, T.V.; Gudmundsson, M.; Forsberg, Z.; Westereng, B.; Felby, C.; Master, E.R.
Cellulose 2015, (in press)

Compound specific isotope analysis of hexachlorocyclohexane isomers: A method for source fingerprinting and field investigation of in situ biodegradation
Chartrand, M.; Passeport, E.; Rose, C.; Lacrampe-Couloume, G.; Bidleman, T.F.; Jantunen, L.M.; Sherwood Lollar, B.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 2015, 29 (6) pp. 505-514.

Life cycle air emissions impacts and ownership costs of light-duty vehicles using natural gas as a primary energy source
Luk, J.M.; Saville, B.A.; MacLean, H.L.
Environmental Science and Technology 2015, 49 (8) pp. 5151-5160.

Enhanced Polysaccharide Binding and Activity on Linear β-Glucans through Addition of Carbohydrate-Binding Modules to Either Terminus of a Glucooligosaccharide Oxidase
Foumani, M.; Vuong, T.V.; MacCormick, B.; Master, E.R.
PLoS ONE 2015, 10 (5) art. no. e0125398

A retrospective analysis of oxygen concentrator maintenance needs and costs in a low-resource setting: experience from The Gambia
Bradley, B.D; Chow, S.; Nyassi, E.; Cheng, Y.-L.; Peel, D.; Howie, S.R.C.
Health and Technology 2015, 4 (4) pp. 319-328.

Structural and Functional Plasticity of Antibiotic Resistance Nucleotidylyltransferases Revealed by Molecular Characterization of Lincosamide Nucleotidylyltransferases Lnu(A) and Lnu(D)
Stogios, P.J.; Evdokimova, E.; Morar, M.; Koteva, K.; Wright, G.D.; Courvalin, P.; Savchenko, A.
Journal of Molecular Biology 2015, (in press)

Isopropyl alcohol extraction of mustard oil
Sinichi, S.; Diosady, L.L.
International News on Fats, Oils and Related Materials 2015, 26 (3) pp. 179-182.

Odor fading in natural gas distribution systems
Saadatmand, M.; Foroughi, H.; Dai, T.; Misra, T.; Bensabath, T.; Farnood, R.
Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2015, 94 (C) pp. 131-139.


Spring Convocation - Mon, Jun 15 from 10am - 12pm


To all faculty and staff, there's still time to register for our academic procession on Monday, June 15. Everyone participating in the procession are encouraged to come out for the group photo in front of Simcoe Hall (9 - 9:45am). From there we will proceed to the Council Chamber together to prepare for the procession (9:45 - 10am). The actual convocation ceremony will run from 10am - 12pm.

To register for the procession and rent your regalia, visit these sites before 11:45pm on Tuesday, May 19: http://www.convocation.utoronto.ca/academic-procession-rsvp and https://www.buildagrad.ca/utf/faculty


Chem Eng Events

Click here for the Chem Eng Calendar


May 27, 2015 - BizSkule Presents: Leadership for Challenging Times, 5:45-8:30pm, Bennett Jones

May 30, 2015 - Spring Reunion Chemical Engineering Lunch & Tour, 12-2:30pm, Wallberg Building

June 4, 2015 - Molly Shoichet Symposium on Innovations in Regenerative Medicine, 1-5pm, Sandford Fleming Building, Rm. 1105

June 15, 2015 - Spring Convocation


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CHEM ENG NEWS is a weekly summary of news, events and opportunities for students, faculty and staff of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. If you have questions or comments, please contact: external.chemeng@utoronto.ca. Catch up on missed issues by visiting our archive.

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