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March 2017, Volume 10

Announcements

BioZone Leadership Council Elections
The BioZone Leadership Council is holding elections for all positions! To apply for a position, please submit a completed application form with your name, the position you would like to run for, and a personal statement (max. 200 words) describing why you would like to join the BioZone Leadership Council and your eligibility for the position to biozone.association@gmail.com by Monday, April 17 at 11:59 PM. For the application form and more information on available positions, check your email or contact Mabel Wong or Elisse Magnuson.https://www.biozone.utoronto.ca/biozoneassociation/
New BioZone Project Manager
We are pleased that Tedd Konya has joined BioZone as a Project Manager to help oversee some of the new and on-going projects that BioZone has secured.
 
Tedd Konya comes to BioZone from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, where he managed a lab in the Division of Occupational & Environmental Health. Prior to working at the University, he was a middle school science teacher in the USA. Tedd holds a B.S. in Biology (Fairleigh Dickinson University), Master of Arts in Teaching (University of Pittsburgh), Master of Public Health (UofT), and most recently completed a Certificate in Project Management (UofT).
 
Tedd is originally from the United States. He spent most of his life in New Jersey, but also lived in Pittsburgh and Raleigh before moving to Toronto in 2008.

 

News and Events

BioZone Research Symposium

The BioZone Research Symposium, organized by the BioZone Leadership Council, was held on March 31st. Twenty-five BioZone students displayed their work in 15-minute, 3-minute, and poster presentations to over 60 attendees. In addition, Dr. David Sinton from Mechanical Engineering gave a talk on microfluidics in relation to topics such as renewable energy and climate change. To conclude the day, prizes were awarded by judges Elizabeth Edwards, Levente Diosady, Nigel Guilford, and Adriana Gomez. The winners were as follows:

Best 15-Minute Presentation: Richard Ndubuisi
Best 3-Minute Presentation: Mitchell Zak
Best Poster Presentation: Christian Euler

The BioZone Leadership Council would like to thank all student participants, all attendees, and BioZone for their support. We look forward to seeing you at our next symposium in 2018!

Photos

Research Highlights

Reducing landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions with better biotechnology


Peter Lee explains how he and Nigel Guilford are using Anaerobic Digestion technology to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfills while simultaneously reducing the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.

 Daisy the Digester research summary

Using Mass Spectroscopy to Study DDT Class Insecticide Decomposition

Chlordecone  (C10OCl10) or Kepone(R) is a banned insecticide that is somewhat similar to Mirex and DDT. These organochlorines persist in environment and enter the food chain where they accumulate in the fat, liver, and brain tissues of animals and increases the occurrence of cancer, reproductive abnormalities and other ailments. Although it is known that these compounds can degrade over time, the mechanisms and degradation products are not well understood. 

The BioZone Mass Spectrometric Facility has successfully identified many chlordecone decay products in samples of banana plantation soils incubated under anaerobic conditions.   The decay of chlordecone involves a carbanion intermediate reaction mechanism and first produces monohydrochlordecone. However this intermediate is still toxic.  Further dechlorination and ring opening and rearrangement products have also been detected, offering some hope that chlordecone does eventually biodegrade to non-toxic products.  






 

Awards & Grants

Elizabeth Edwards wins 2017 Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching and Research


For her pioneering research, which also demonstrates the best in cross-disciplinary collaboration, and for her outstanding teaching, Edwards is being honoured with a 2017 Faculty Award. The annual prize recognizes U of T teaching staff who consistently demonstrate all-around excellence in both their scholarly work and in the classroom.

Link to University of Toronto Announcement.

Recent Publications

Please email us if you have something to add to the next edition of the BioZone Newsletter
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