Events & Workshops

Apr
20
Tue
ECHO Webinar – Margaret Magdesian (Ananda Devices): Apr 20 (11 am – 12 pm) @ Online
Apr 20 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
ECHO Webinar - Margaret Magdesian (Ananda Devices): Apr 20 (11 am - 12 pm) @ Online
Presenter: Margaret Magdesian, PhD CEO and Founder Ananda Devices Topic: Scientific entrepreneurship and the need for new tools to achieve the UN sustainable development goals Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm (EST) Register in advance for this webinar: Zoom Biography:  Dr. Margaret Magdesian, BSc Pharmacology, PhD Biochemistry, is a scientist-entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical research. In collaboration with researchers from McGill University, Dr Magdesian has developed innovative technology to rapidly grow human nervous-system on-a-chip. In 2015 she founded the company Ananda Devices, an innovative company offering solutions to help pharma, cosmetic and chemical companies reduce animal experimentation. Dr Magdesian’s technology enables faster and more cost-effective performance of toxicity and efficacy testing in human tissues-on-a-chip and was recognized with over 25 awards including Top 10 Quebec Discovery of the Year, Hello Tomorrow Challenge Paris, SheEO Canada, and Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Dr Magdesian is also an INSEAD fellow for social entrepreneurship. Abstract:  Ananda Devices is a certified Women Owned SME offering products and services for more efficient growth of human nervous system-on-a-chip. Our products enable pharmaceutical, vaccine and cosmetic industries to perform drug screening, toxicity and efficacy testing up to 50x faster and 90% more cost effective than current technologies. Our products facilitate automation of biological tests on models of human brain, spinal cord and innervated tissue. We have 20+ years of experience in neuroscience and tissue engineering and we have been a developer and supplier of unique microplates for academic and biopharmaceutical laboratories in 14 countries. We help customers worldwide to launch their products faster and to comply with legislations to “Reduce, Refine and Replace” (3Rs) animal experimentation. Our company values are based on three pillars: reduce animal experimentation; promote gender equality in health; and reduce environmental toxicity. Our clients range from Fortune 500 Biopharmaceutical companies to the major centers of stem cell research in neuroscience. Our mission is to automate neuronal assays, enabling our customers to rapidly and efficiently evaluate safety and efficacy of their compounds while supporting the Sustainable Development Goals  
May
14
Fri
ONEBiophysics 2021 @ Online
May 14 all-day

Welcome, Registration Opens February 8th!!

The Ontario Networking Event (ONE) in Biophysics began as an effort to bring together researchers from across Ontario with an interest in biophysical research, but has since spread far beyond those borders . This event welcomes all faculty, researchers, professionals and trainees in the field of biophysics, with a special emphasis on trainees who will have the opportunity to showcase their research through posters and oral presentations.

Abstracts are being accepted for a limited number of speaking slots as well as for a virtual poster session. While submitted abstracts will only be considered for graduate students and postdocs, researchers at all career stages may participate in the event, which is free to attend.

While we would all rather hold this meeting in person, we’re making every effort to create a unique, virtual event that provides you with an opportunity to share your research with the broader biophysics community.

 

Confirmed Invited Speakers

Susan Cox, Kings College London

Elizabeth Hillman, Columbia University

Patrick Oakes, Loyola University Chicago

 

The Organizing Committee

Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

Jonathan Rocheleau, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

Joshua Milstein, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga

 

Registration and abstract submission will open on February 8th (https://event.fourwaves.com/onebiophysics2021)

Jun
16
Wed
2021 Toronto Biomedical Engineering Conference (ToBE 2021) @ Online
Jun 16 all-day

The Toronto Biomedical Engineering Conference is hosted by the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. This year, we’ll be hosting the conference virtually. The conference will be held on June 16, 2021.

Registration and abstract submission are now open! 

Stay tuned and check our social media, accessible at the bottom of this page, for more upcoming news on speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and important dates!

 

Call for Porposals

Abstract Limit: Note that abstracts are limited to 2500 characters. Additionally, you can submit one optional table or figure that supports the abstract.

Submission Streams: This year, ToBE offers three opportunities for your to present your work: Oral Presentations, Poster Presentations, and Three-minute Madness Presentations. Please select your preference on the submission form.

Due date: The applications will be closed on April 2nd.

Application Submission: After submission, you will receive a confirmation email with a link that will allow further editing till April 2nd.

Result Notification: Presenters with accepted abstracts will be notified in the second half of May.

Registration: Please note that presenters with accepted abstracts will be required to register for the event. You can find the registration form through our website.

We look forward to receiving your application!

 

 

Student Seminars

Apr
21
Wed
Si Tou and BME UofT
Apr 21 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Clinical Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for clinical stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Towards Brain-Computer Interface Enabled Music Therapy for Rehabilitation

Supervisor Name: Dr. Tom Chau

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033  
Password: 634938 

Emily Lam and BME UofT
Apr 21 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Clinical Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for clinical stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Using accelerometers to aid clinicians in scoring a multitask return-to-play concussion assessment for youth

Abstract:
Premature return-to-play (RtoP) following a sports-related concussion puts an individual at risk of poorer neurocognitive function, prolonged recovery, and further brain injury. Despite these risks, there are no evidence-based standards for making RtoP decisions for youth post-concussion. Current practice for RtoP relies on a combination of self-reported symptoms, neurocognitive testing, and exercise testing, primarily in the form of single-task assessments that align poorly with the demands of sport. Multi-domain assessments present an opportunity to better mimic sport and uncover subtle deficits missed by single-task assessments. However, they can be difficult for clinicians to administer and score due to the number of tasks the clinician must perform during the assessment.

To address this need, we have created R2Play, a sports-based, multi-domain RtoP assessment. The R2Play prototype uses low-cost electronics to create an environment in which individuals are presented with varying cognitive and physical challenges. Preliminary interview data and a literature review on multi-domain concussion assessment have identified movement-based metrics that would be valuable for R2Play to capture, such as hesitations, errors, and reaction times. The objective of this research is to develop and test algorithms to quantify these metrics for R2Play. Methods will be developed for calculating reaction time and identifying errors and hesitations using accelerometer data during these movements. Accelerometer-derived reaction times will be validated against reaction times determined by a Wii Balance Board. Machine learning classifiers will be used to identify errors, hesitations, and typical movement during R2Play. The developed classifiers will be validated against annotated videos and compared for accuracy.

Supervisor Name: Dr. Elaine Biddiss, Dr. Shannon Scratch

Year of Study: 2

Program of Study: MASc

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Apr
22
Thu
Vera Pieters and BME UofT
Apr 22 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Cell and Tissue Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for cell and tissue stream presenters.

Presentation Title: A 3-dimensional in vitro system to model and study obese adipocyte dysfunction

Abstract: In Canada, 30% of the adult population is obese, posing a high risk for development of comorbidities such as cancer, diabetes, and impaired tissue endogenous repair capacity. In obesity, adipocytes become hypertrophic to accommodate excess lipid storage, leading to hypoxic and dysfunctional adipocytes, contributing to disease development. Targeting adipocyte dysfunction is expected to be an important strategy to prevent obesity-associated disease. However, correlating adipocyte phenotype to hypoxia in vivo is challenging as oxygen measurements are unreliable and tuning hypoxia affects other biological parameters. Therefore, we are developing a 3D in vitro obesity model, recapitulating hallmarks of obese adipocyte dysfunction using our TRACER (Tissue Roll for Analysis of Cellular Environment and Response) system. First, adipose-derived stem cells are embedded in a hydrogel, and infiltrated in a cellulose scaffold strip. After adipocyte differentiation, the scaffold is stimulated with fatty acids to mimic caloric overload. Subsequent adipocyte hypertrophy is quantified from lipid droplet staining using confocal microscopy. Preliminary morphological and transcriptional results suggest similar adipocyte differentiation in our 3D model compared to the gold-standard 2D method. By rolling the adipocyte scaffold around an oxygen-impermeable core and analyzing EF5 staining, we confirmed the generation of cell consumption-driven hypoxic gradients from the outer (low) to the inner (high) layers. Rapid disassembly of TRACER enables transcriptomic, metabolomic and functional analysis of adipocytes in each layer, correlated to their microenvironment. This 3D model mimics a physiologically relevant aspect of the obese adipocyte microenvironment, positioning us to investigate the mechanisms by which dysfunctional obese adipocytes contribute to disease.

Supervisor Name: Alison McGuigan

Year of Study: 2

Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Safwat Khan and BME UofT
Apr 22 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Cell and Tissue Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for cell and tissue stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Manipulating adipose endothelial cells to induce a pancreatic islet-like endothelial phenotype

Abstract:
Endothelial cells (ECs), demonstrate intricate tissue-specific physiological and functional heterogeneity. In particular, pancreatic islets have a highly dense microvascular network, with a distinctly fenestrated endothelium. This allows for rapid glucose sensing and insulin response by residing β cells. Furthermore, intra-islet EC’s (iECs) release unique angiocrine factors that regulate β cell differentiation, maturation and insulin secretion. Interestingly, endothelial dysfunction has been implicated in both type 1 (T1) and type 2 (T2) diabetes mellitus (DM). Therefore, recapitulating islet-specific vasculature is a major research focus in tissue engineering, for both disease modelling and facilitating cell-based therapy. The Vasconcelos lab have shown in vivo that ready-made microvessels isolated from adipose tissue have an extraordinary ability to form stable and perfusable vasculature. When transplanted with pancreatic progenitors in diabetic mice, they also demonstrate an unprecedented ability to promote beta cell differentiation and blood glucose normalization.

It is understood that endothelial tissue-specificity is a direct consequence of its microenviroment and mature ECs demonstrate a high degree of plasticity. Therefore, we hypothesize that adipose ECs (aECs) transplanted subcutaneously with pancreatic progenitors acquire an iEC-like phenotype during vascularization. In my project, a dual single cell (sc) RNA-seq and scATAC-seq approach will be applied to decipher the cellular dynamics of aECs post-transplantation. We have, thus far, shown evidence of potential adipose-to-islet transitioning. Key regulatory molecules discovered from our analysis will be screened based on potential to induce iEC fate in aECs. Recapitulating this phenomenon, will allow a sustainable method to generate iECs for improved islet vascularization strategies.

Supervisor Name: Sara Vasconcelos

Year of Study: 2

Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Apr
23
Fri
Zachary Lin and BME UofT
Apr 23 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Molecular Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for molecular stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Understanding the role of tumour associated macrophage in nanoparticle distribution

Abstract: Nanoparticles have been engineered to deliver chemotherapeutic to tumour. The transport of nanoparticles through the complex tumour microenvironment is critical to their specific delivery to tumour cells.  This is because better penetration and more homogeneous distribution allow nanoparticle and its drug payload to access more tumour cells. The tumour microenvironment consists of tumour vessels, extracellular collagen matrix, various stromal cells, and cancer cells. It is widely accepted that the main mechanism of nanoparticle transport is diffusion. Dense ECM impedes the diffusion of nanoparticles while phagocytic immune cells such as tumour associated macrophages (TAMs) take up the majority of nanoparticles inside the tumour. TAMs play an important role in mediating nanoparticle drug release. Higher TAM population often correlate with increased nanoparticle accumulation and improved therapeutic efficacy. It is unknown whether, or how, TAMs can distribute nanoparticles in the tumour. TAMs have been reported to migrate within the tumour microenvironment. Here we present another mechanism of nanoparticle transport in tumours. We show that tumour associated macrophages can transport and redistribute nanoparticles in the tumour.

Supervisor Name: Warren Chan

Year of Study: 4

Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Soheila Shokrollahzade and BME UofT
Apr 23 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Molecular Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for molecular stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Immunocloaked proteins that circumvent MHC class I presentation

Abstract:
Disulphide bridges is one of the most important determinants of protein secondary and tertiary structures with the primary role in increasing structural stability of proteins. Disulphide bridges form between cysteine amino acids, which is one of the most challenging amino acids to study due to its oxidization capability. This has created complexities in investigating cysteine-containing peptides in the context of immunology. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class I is one of the adaptive immune response molecules responsible for presenting peptide fragments derived from healthy proteins as well as disease associated proteins. For more than a decade, researchers have focused on understanding why MHC I has more propensity to display peptide fragments consisting of certain amino acids. Immunopeptidome consists of all peptides that are presented by MHC I, indexed in the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) database.
Analysis of IEDB data shows that the frequency of cysteine is extremely variable within the peptides presented by MHC I, and binding of cysteine to MHC I is shown to be disfavoured. With that in mind, we hypothesize that abundant cysteine-containing peptides might make it possible to avoid MHC peptide presentation and T-cell response which is significant for engineering proteins with immunocloaking capabilities. Our first candidate to test this hypothesis is insulin. Since cysteines form disulphide bridges, a highly stable structure is expected to be generated as well. The research to date has been able to find the nature of some peptide fragments in the context of human malignancies like cancer; however, the need for detection of the immunogenicity of the degradation products of cell therapy and synthetic peptides has not been met. Thus, the main objective of this research is to generate and engineer insulin with high stability and immunocloaking capacity, as well as to establish a pipeline for testing this immunocloaking capacity by taking advantage of soluble secreted MHC.

Supervisor Name: Michael Garton

Year of Study: 2

Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Apr
28
Wed
Guijin Li and BME UofT
Apr 28 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Clinical Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for clinical stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Prediction of Muscle Responsiveness to Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy for Individuals with Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries

Abstract: To be submitted

Supervisor Name: Prof. José Zariffa

Year of Study: 2

Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Ali Mojdeh and BME UofT
Apr 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Clinical Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for clinical stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Preserving privacy using federated learning

Abstract: To be submitted

Supervisor Name: Dr. Babak Taati and Dr. Alex Mihailidis

Year of Study: 3

Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Apr
29
Thu
Joseph Sebastian and BME UofT
Apr 29 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Cell and Tissue Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for cell and tissue stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Micro-shear wave elastography imaging for biomechanical assessment of 3D cardiac microtissue models

Abstract:
How do you check the ripeness of your favourite fruits? Often, a simple “squeeze” of the fruit can tell you if it will be sweet as sugar or as sour as vinegar. Although not as delectable, our hearts can be studied much in the same way. Cardiac stiffness provides us with critical information about heart disease and failure, a growing epidemic in Canada that needs new diagnostic tools and treatments. My research aims to use a new type of ultrasound (US) imaging to identify drugs that can reverse cardiac stiffening, a pre-cursor to heart failure. To do this, we must develop an US imaging technique that measures cardiac stiffness in healthy and diseased states, analogous to using a “squeeze” to check the ripeness of our favourite fruits. Instead of human hearts, we use miniaturized three-dimensional heart models
that replicate human heart function that are used for drug testing. First, we will develop a computer model of the behaviour of US signals in both healthy and diseased heart tissue models. To validate this model, we will use materials
of known stiffness and our miniaturized 3D heart models. We will then compare these measurements against gold standard stiffness measurement techniques. Lastly, we will use this US technique to assess the efficacy of drugs
intended to treat cardiac stiffening. This project will assist researchers with screening the most appropriate drugs for reversing cardiac stiffness before testing them on Canadians with heart failure.

Supervisor Name: Dr. Craig A. Simmons

Year of Study: 2

Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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Chun-Yu Lin and BME UofT
Apr 29 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Cell and Tissue Stream

Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for cell and tissue stream presenters.

Presentation Title: Combination Therapy of Yoda1 and Low-Magnitude High-Frequency Vibration for Elder Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis Patients
Abstract: Bone metastasis is a severe complication causing the major morbidity and mortality of breast cancer patients. Since metastasized breast cancer disrupts the balanced bone remodeling through the crosstalk with bone cells, exercise which mediates bone remodeling through mechanical loading and attenuates metastatic tumor growth was recommended as a preventive strategy. However, commonly prescribed exercise programs can be physically challenging for cancer patients who are frail and can increase their risk of accidental injury, keeping them from benefiting from exercise. Whole body vibration (WBV) as an alternative treatment which enhances bone mineral density through low-magnitude high-frequency (LMHF) mechanical stimuli is beneficial for elder patients due to its safe and easy-to-perform nature. Nevertheless, WBV alone appears to be insufficient to maintain skeleton integrity. Yoda1, which is an activator of the mechanosensitive Piezo1 channel, provides a unique target to intensify the effect of LMHF vibration by enhancing mechanosensitivity of osteocytes, the major mechanosensory bone cells with high expression of Piezo1. This proposal aims to test our hypothesis: Combined vibration (physical intervention) and Yoda1 (biological intervention) therapy can preserve skeletal integrity in aging breast cancer patients and inhibit the growth of breast cancer in the bone.
Supervisor Name: Lidan You
Year of Study: 2
Program of Study: PhD

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09  (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202111033?pwd=cEoxaU0zN1ljYkNiUlpXblNjalBKdz09)

Meeting ID: 882 0211 1033 

Password: 634938

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