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HIGHLIGHTS



More than $1 million for interdisciplinary explorations on aging

Members of Concordia’s engAGE: Centre for Research on Aging will be able to advance their work thanks to more than $1 million from the Fonds de recherche du Québec. The funds will go toward studies on sleep, memory and creative community engagement.

Engineering research team receives $5 million to re-evaluate oil-spill responses

Fisheries and Oceans Canada awarded over $5 million to Chunjiang An, assistant professor at the Gina Cody School, for two research projects looking to improve oil-spill clean-up processes.

One project will develop ways to decrease environmental risks during an oil-spill clean-up process by accelerating degradation and removal of the pollutant, while the second will help fill the gap between the available surface washing techniques and the increasing application need.

An will collaborate with fellow researchers from the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering — Ashutosh Bagchi, Zhi Chen, Catherine Mulligan, Samuel Li and Biao Li — as well as academic and industrial partners from Canada, the United States and Norway.

Najmeh Khalili-Mahani

Najmeh Khalili-Mahani

Stress and screen time closely connected

While humans love using their screens, millions have become mentally and emotionally absorbed by their devices and experience real-life health consequences as a result.

In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Najmeh Khalili-Mahani, a neuroscientist at Concordia’s PERFORM Centre, explored how screen use links to stress in humans, particularly in self-confessed screen addicts.

“Those who considered themselves screen-addicted were indeed the ones spending more times on screens,” she says. “And those who considered themselves addicted were more likely to have higher scores in all types of stress.” The reverse was not found to be the case.

Maize Longboat

Graduating student’s Indigenous video game wins major prize

Maize Longboat’s first video game effort, Terra Nova, won the award for Best Emerging Digital or Interactive Work at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Developed for Longboat’s master’s thesis in Media Studies, Terra Nova invites players to experience first contact between settlers and Indigenous people in the future.

Thanh Dang-Vu

Thanh Dang-Vu

Memories strengthened via brainwaves produced during sleep

A study published in the journal NeuroImage brings better understanding to how learned information turns into reliable memories during sleep.

For the study, Thanh Dang-Vu, associate professor in the Department of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology and Concordia University Research Chair in Sleep, Neuroimaging and Cognitive Health, and his team used medical imaging to map areas involved in recalling learned information while we slumber.

The researchers compared brainwaves during sleep on nights when the subjects learned new information to nights when they didn’t. They found that on learning nights the regions of the brain instrumental in recalling faces were reactivated.

Aquatic drone prototype

Engineering students build ocean-cleaning aquatic drone prototype

During their final year, Gina Cody School undergrads apply what they’ve learned to a practical problem through a Capstone project.

At the 2019 Capstone showcase event, the project by Marouane Elouaraa, Lam Son Vo Ngoc, Zihao Guan, Nikko Badoles and Eric Kwarteng garnered particular interest. The team built an aquatic drone prototype capable of detecting and collecting plastic on the surface of the water.

Can gold ash help slow cancer-cell progression?

Subhathirai Subramaniyan, postdoctoral fellow in mechanical, industrial and aerospace engineering at the Gina Cody School, is looking to “bridge the gap between traditional and modern medicine,” by using gold ash.

“Gold ash, or Swarna bhasma as we call it in the Siddha and Ayurveda medical systems, has been used to treat cancer and a number of other chronic ailments since the medieval times,” says Subramaniyan, a physician of Siddha medicine with a PhD in micro-engineering. “It could offer clues for fine-tuning the properties of the nanoparticle synthesis intended for cancer-targeted drug development and delivery.”

CO2 emissions cause lost labour productivity

Climate change may be making outdoor labour more dangerous, according to a study published in Scientific Reports by Yann Chavaillaz, a a former Concordia postdoctoral researcher, and Damon Matthews, professor and Concordia Research Chair in Climate Science and Sustainability in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment.

“The thresholds of heat exposure leading to labour productivity loss are likely to be exceeded sooner and more extensively in developing countries in warmer parts of the world,” says Matthews.

 

Growing up in poverty doubles diagnoses of psychosis-spectrum illnesses

Being raised in impoverished urban neighbourhoods more than doubles the average person’s chances of developing a psychosis-spectrum disorder by middle adulthood, according to a study involving nearly 4,000 families monitored over 30 years. Lisa Serbin, Concordia University Research Chair in Human Development, was one of the paper’s co-authors.

The study suggests intervention through social policies and investment in neighbourhood improvements could prevent future debilitating illnesses and the societal and personal costs associated with them.

 

Firms better off revealing environmental practices

According to a paper by Michel Magnan, professor of accountancy at the JMSB, honesty is the best policy when it comes to being green.

In their article for Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Magnan and his co-author found that companies that respected environmental guidelines were more likely to disclose hard information as a way of building trust and earning public goodwill, which pays dividends down the line.

Linda Booij

Linda Booij

Study shows link between disordered eating and substance use in adolescents

A paper published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders shows the link between disordered eating and substance use in about 200 teens who received outpatient treatment.

Linda Booij, associate professor of psychology in the Faculty of Arts and Science, co-authored the paper, which compared teens with eating disorders who used substances to those who did not. “We found that those who use substances are more likely to have bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa binge/purge subtype,” says Booij.

$540,000 from NSERC to help cities adapt to climate change

Liangzhu Wang, a Concordia researcher whose work focuses on methods to combat and adapt to climate change, will receive $540,000 in funding via the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

The associate professor in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Gina Cody School will use the funds to develop means of assessing summertime overheating risks during heat waves in buildings housing vulnerable populations.

Heather Igloliorte

Heather Igloliorte

$100,000 for Indigenous research capacity and reconciliation activities

Two Faculty of Fine Arts professors were awarded $50,000 each through SSHRC’s special Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation Connection Grants competition.

Heather Igloliorte, an art historian and Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous Art History and Community Engagement, and Nadia Myre, a contemporary artist and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Material Practice, were funded for outreach activities in support of important and holistic contributions to Indigenous knowledge systems.

NATO invests $422,000 toward a new international cybersecurity team

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has tapped Concordia expertise in order to enhance its cybersecurity measures.

Thanks to $421,987 from NATO, Khashayar Khorasani, professor in the Gina Cody School and the Concordia University Research Chair in Control of Autonomous Network of Unmanned Systems, and researchers from Qatar University and the University of Melbourne will investigate methods of preventing cyberattacks on sensor-rich and actuator-rich networked systems.

 

Creating an added layer of protection for cloud-based technologies

Smartphones. Smart watches. Smart homes. As the scope of fifth-generation technologies expands, so too does the infrastructure to support it. Yet as network applications move from physical to more agile and scalable virtual platforms, new threats and vulnerabilities arise.

The research of Azadeh Tabiban, PhD candidate at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, focuses on making virtual environments more transparent and accountable. It especially looks at cybersecurity as it relates to cloud and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies.

“NFV enables software-based network applications — for example, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, etc. — to run on virtual machines,” Tabiban says.

 

Trudeau Scholars bring Indigenous approach to their research

PhD candidates Suzanne Kite and Diane Roberts apply an Indigenous lens to their respective fields. Kite, a Lakota artist, and Roberts, an Afro-Indigenous dramaturge and director, each received a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, which provides leadership training and up to $180,000 per scholar.

Kite’s work addresses the application of traditional philosophies of the Lakota people in the shaping of new technologies. Roberts addresses questions of race, memory, belonging and identity, with a focus on African and Indigenous ways of knowing.

Creating an added layer of protection for cloud-based technologies

Smartphones. Smart watches. Smart homes. As the scope of fifth-generation technologies expands, so too does the infrastructure to support it. Yet as network applications move from physical to more agile and scalable virtual platforms, new threats and vulnerabilities arise.

The research of Azadeh Tabiban, PhD candidate at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, focuses on making virtual environments more transparent and accountable. It especially looks at cybersecurity as it relates to cloud and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies.

“NFV enables software-based network applications — for example, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, etc. — to run on virtual machines,” Tabiban says.

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