August 2017, Volume 14


The Report on BioZone 2015-2016 is now available!

News & Events

BioZone Events for Fall 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017: BioZone Orientation at 9:30AM in WB407 (Register)
Saturday September 30, 2017: BioZone Fall Retreat at 9:00AM (Register)
Friday, November 10, 2017: BioZone Fall Symposium
Mid-December 2017: BioZone Holiday Party

Email for questions!
Farewell BioZoners
Some of our fellow BioZoners have left BioZone this month. Best of luck in your future endeavours: Fakhria, Ben, Chris, Richard and Viive! Come back and visit us soon :)!
BioZone Fall Symposium
Networking is all about sharing experiences and making new connections! Have you started building your professional and academic network? The BioZone Symposium is a great opportunity to understand the ongoing research that is happening within BioZone and also to practice presentation skills, idea organization skills, and many other benefits for your professional life.
So make sure you save the date in your agenda: November 10th, 2017 from 1PM - 5PM. Place to be determined and announced soon!
Fun in the Eclipsed Sun
BioZoners headed to King's College Circle to watch the progression of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Students were prepared with different methods to view the eclipse, including polarized glasses, binoculars and pinholes in aluminum. 
Special Sushi Tea Time
If you arrived to the lunch room after 3:17 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, you probably missed out on the first Sushi Tea Time! Katrina prepared the rice, salmon, chopped vegetables, and brought in everything else to make delicious sushi. We had 8 students help prepare almost 200 pieces of maki sushi. Thank you to everyone that participating in making Sushi Tea Time a success, especially Katrina!

Awards & Grants

Prof. Alison McGuigan wins Connaught Fund, McLean Award
Professor Alison McGuigan is the 2017 winner of the Connaught Fund, McLean Award. This $125,000-award is presented annually to support an emerging research leader conducting basic research in physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, engineering sciences, and the theory and methods of statistics. The McLean Award is restricted to full-time members of U of T’s faculty who conduct research in the fields designated above and who are, as of the date of application, within twelve years or less of having received their PhD. Read the rest of the article here.
SGS Information Sessions for Students - Provincial and Federal Awards
Graduate award information sessions are available to students interested in applying for federal and/or provincial awards (to start award in 2018-19 academic year). Information sessions will provide general program information including eligibility requirements and an overview of the application process.

U of T (St. George Campus)
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2017 (CGS M & NSERC Postdoc only)
Location: BA 1190, Bahen Centre, 40 St. George Street
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Presentations by representatives from NSERC
     10:00 - 11:00 am:           Master’s CGS Awards (CIHR/NSERC/SSHRC)
     11:00 am - 12:00 pm:     NSERC Postdoctoral Awards

Those unable to attend a workshop can view the slide presentations on the SGS website after September 20.

BioZone Insider 

Student Spotlight: Elisa McGee
The week’s Student Spotlight is on Elisa McGee, a Ph.D. student in the Diosady lab. See the abstract below for details on the projects Elisa has been involved in during her time here at BioZone.

Elisa was drawn to the field of food engineering at a very young age, and is one of the main researchers on the tea fortification project at the Diosady lab. Her first contact with food engineering goes back to an elementary school field trip to a Campbell Soup factory. She remembers being fascinated by the scale of production and intricacy of the manufacturing process. Born and raised in Ajax, a suburb of Toronto, Elisa enjoys learning new skills in her free time. Her previous (and ongoing) achievements include teaching herself Italian to a point where she could communicate with her relatives on a recent trip to Italy, as well as learning about and caring for three goldfish who are now three years old and one foot in length. Her primary aim (in leisure and work) is continual self-improvement so that she may be increasingly useful in service to the greater good. In this vein, Elisa is eager to contribute her skills to the food or pharmaceutical industries once she has completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto.
Micronutrient poor diets around the globe, and in particular in the developing world, cause deficiencies in iron and folic acid. Rectifying this issue through food fortification has been the focus of my graduate research. The fortification of black tea with iron has the potential to reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency in the developing world. Tea is an ideal vehicle for food fortification because it is centrally processed, is the most consumed beverage globally, aside from water, and is consumed in regular quantities by those of all socioeconomic strata in many regions. Unfortunately, polyphenolic compounds present in tea, which are responsible for colour and flavour, form complexes with iron which reduce the bioavailability of both compounds and cause strong unattractive colour development. The objective my Ph.D. research is to develop a technique for the fortification of tea with iron such that these complexes do not form. The most successful formulations currently use a chelating agent, disodium EDTA, to compete with tea polyphenols and form colourless bioavailable iron complexes. Another strategy to prevent micronutrient deficiency through food fortification is to incorporate iron and folic acid into current salt iodization processes.  The objective of my M.A.Sc. research was to develop folic acid and iodine spray solutions and investigate the stability of triple-fortified salt containing iodine, folic acid and microencapsulated iron, i.e., ferrous fumarate.
BioZone Photo Contest
Have you ever looked at your research in awe of its beauty?! The way the light bounces off the bioreactor, or the graceful motion of cells under the microscope?! We want to see the beauty in your research, too! Submit your artistic research photos to by November 30th, 2017 for your chance to win the first BioZone Photo contest.
I make science puns.. Periodically!
The BioZone Council is excited to announce a new column in the BioZone Insider section of the monthly newsletter. We will be posting science jokes and puns you just can't stop laughing at! This month we've started you off with the two below, but from now on you can submit your favourite science jokes and puns to to see them in the next BioZone Newsletter!
Submitted by: Nadia Morson (Edwards lab)
Submitted by: Samantha Cheung (Allen lab)
IT Safety with Dean
The first round of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering’s phishing education campaign is completed, and there have been some lessons learned during this first round.  The email messages were well-crafted, but they had alternate avenues for faculty and staff to take to verify the contents, which caused people to

reach out to HR for the summer hours email, and to Robarts staff for the SIRSI notice, which caused some issues.  The company being used is called PhishMe, and other faculties have already started this education process as well.  For more information on security issues, please visit -
Please email us if you have something to add to the next edition of the BioZone Newsletter
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