The $2M grant to eliminate syphilis, 3 celebrated science alum, hands-on science in local schools
University of Victoria Alumni
Faculty of Science
Science News: April 2022
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Dean of Science Peter LoockDean of Science Peter Loock at UVic’s first Impact Week. Credit: Erin Hall

Message from the Dean

Greetings from the UVic Faculty of Science,

We have again have a smorgasbord of exciting news! Now where do I start? Did you know Dr. Caroline Cameron in the Biochemistry and Microbiology Department leads one of only a few labs in the world studying the bacterium that causes syphilis? Open Philanthropy, an American Foundation, saw the potential in her team’s research and awarded them a $2M USD grant...


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Caroline Cameron and Alloysius Gomez using a microaerophilic chamber
Caroline Cameron and Alloysius Gomez, BSc Microbiology alum and Cameron Lab Manager, using a microaerophilic chamber to work with the spirochete bacterium that causes syphilis. Credit: UVic Photo Services
The $2M research grant to battle syphilis

Caroline Cameron (Biochemistry & Microbiology) receives $2M USD from Open Philanthropy to develop a direct diagnostic test and vaccine for syphilis, one of the world’s first global diseases.

The Cameron Laboratory is one of only a few labs in the world—and the only one in Canada—studying Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis. “The number of disease cases versus the number of researchers is disproportionate—and the number of cases is going up,” explains Cameron.

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Bryce Jones, BSc ‘16Emerging Alum Award recipient Bryce Jones
3 science alum receive UVic distinguished award

Damineh Akhavan (BSc '06) and Robert Niven (BSc '01) receive a Presidents’ Alumni Award, Bryce Hugo Jones (BSc '16) receives an Emerging Alumni Award.




cameron shakeCameron, grade 8 student and Raspberry Shake enthusiast. Credit: Beth Doman

Hands-on science in local schools

A new partnership between UVic Science and the Geological Survey of Canada will bring mini seismometers to Vancouver Island classrooms, and provide critical data to researchers to help BC communities prepare for 'the Big One'.

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Annabel Rowley, Matthew Thibodeau and Chloe McKee(L-R) Annabel Rowley, Matthew Thibodeau and Chloe McKee. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Explore Honours Fest research online

Matthew Thibodeau (Biochemistry & Microbiology) takes first prize at Honours Fest, with Chloe McKee (Biology) coming in second and Annabel Rowley (Chemistry) third. Explore all the student research presentations on our new Honours Fest blog.

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Daqualama Jocelyn Joe-Strack headshotDaqualama Jocelyn Joe-Strack
New Indigenous science speaker series

“I think a common Indigenous approach to learning means learning with our whole selves,” says Tri-Faculty Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator Lydia Toorenburgh, “That enables us to learn about relationship, responsibility, and how to live our learnings in our everday lives.” Last month we launched a new speaker series with Indigenous scientists. Recordings available!

Ian MannersIan Manners. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Tiny delivery system for biomedicine

Imagine a tiny delivery truck that could carry therapeutic cargo directly to a tumour cell. Ian Manners (Chemistry) and his research group are aiming to build these tiny structures: special nanoparticles that are able to navigate the bloodstream, targeting cell receptors that are characteristic for tumour cells—and deliver anticancer agents.

Science Stores teamScience Stores team. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Day in the Life: Science Stores

Five storekeepers keep on-campus labs stocked and critical shipments for research partnerships moving. Like silicon dioxide through the hourglass, these are the days of their lives.

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Explore STEM side-by-side with real experts in your community

Walk through a state-of-the-art greenhouse, peer at the stars using the largest telescope on any Canadian university campus, demo the latest tech for renewable energy, investigate a human skeleton to uncover who they once were—on May 7 we invite you to get your hands on STEM! UVic and Camosun College partner to bring Science Rendezvous to Victoria for the first time. More info.
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