DailyNews Issue for Friday, Nov 27th, 2015

Post-doc wins Mitacs award for natural cancer-fighting research

Kirsty Duncan, Pamela OvadjeFederal minister of science Kirsty Duncan presents the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation–Post Doctoral to UWindsor researcher Pamela Ovadje.

Pamela Ovadje, a post-doctoral student in professor Sirayam Pandey’s lab in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, was recognized this week for her work to revolutionize the field of natural health product research by scientifically validating the anti-cancer properties of several natural extracts, one of which has already won approval for clinical trials from Health Canada.

Dr. Ovadje has demonstrated that cancer patients may benefit from dandelion root and long pepper extracts when they are used as therapeutic interventions to treat some forms of highly aggressive cancer, including blood, colon and pancreatic cancers. Her work has earned her the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation–Post Doctoral. Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that partners companies, government, and academia to promote Canadian research and training.

Under the supervision of Dr. Pandey and in affiliation with Advanced Orthomolecular Research, a Calgary-based supplement formulator, Ovadje validated that dandelion root and long pepper extracts each contain multiple components capable of targeting vulnerable aspects of cancer cells. Though both were perceived to benefit patients, there had been little scientific evidence to back those claims.

Her positive findings have since led Health Canada to approve human clinical trials—set to get underway shortly—to examine dandelion root extract’s ability to treat patients diagnosed with such blood cancers as leukemia and lymphoma.

“We will be looking at patients who have exhausted all other options to see if they respond positively. If we don’t see any toxic effect from the extract, we can broaden the scope of the trial to include people earlier on in their diagnosis who may rather have a natural health product as an option,” Ovadje said.

The ultimate goal is to provide widely available, effective and less costly cancer treatments.

Ovadje’s work is also helping to highlight the need for more rigid regulation of Canada’s natural health products. Her initial study demonstrated variances between over-the-counter extract products, indicating that consumers aren’t always ingesting what they think.

“The good news is we’re making headway,” said Ovadje, who sits on the board of the Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada. “Our goal is to make sure people have all of the information they need to make an informed decision when they decide to take a natural product.”

For more information about Mitacs, visit www.mitacs.ca.

Ensemble to get jazzy in Saturday concert

University Jazz EnsembleThe University Jazz Ensemble will play a wide assortment of charts in its fall concert, Saturday in the CAW Student Centre.

The University Jazz Ensemble will perform an exciting program of music dating from the 1940s to the present during its fall concert, Saturday, November 28, in the CAW Student Centre’s Ambassador Auditorium.

Twenty-two instrumentalists, as well as vocalists Brady Anderson, Mallory Bryson, Lisette Gagnon, Aidan Johnson-Bujold, and Pia Lampitoc, promise something for everyone—including tunes dedicated to the centennial birthday of composer Billy Strayhorn.

Director Robert Fazecash will lift the baton at 7:30 p.m. Find more details, including a full program, on the event website.

Admission is $10; $5 for students. Tickets are available in advance at 519-253-3000 ext. 4212; or online. They are also available for cash purchase at the door up to one hour prior to the start of each concert.

Varsity action available in person or online

Winston cheers on goalie Marissa Kozovski and forward Erinn Noseworthy.Lancer mascot Winston cheers on goalie Marissa Kozovski and forward Erinn Noseworthy of the women’s hockey team.

Lancer volleyball and women’s hockey will play at home this weekend, while other teams’ away games are available for live streaming online.

The men’s volleyball squad will host a pair of games to close out the first half of the season, taking on the Toronto Varsity Blues at 7 p.m. Friday, and the Ryerson Rams at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The women’s team is tied with the Western Mustangs for second place in the Ontario University Athletics west division, and will take to the St. Denis Centre court in a match that will decide the standings heading into the holiday break, Saturday at 6 p.m.

Women’s hockey will look for a pair of wins to close out the semester’s action, and will face off against the Brock Badgers on Friday night and the Queens Gaels on Saturday at South Windsor Arena. Puck drop for both games is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be viewed on www.oua.tv.

The men’s hockey team will hit the road for the last time in 2015 to face off against the Waterloo Warriors on Friday and the Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday. Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m., and Saturday’s at 7:30 p.m. Both can be viewed on www.oua.tv. The Lancers will play their final game before the holiday break at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 2, when they host the Western Mustangs at South Windsor Arena.

The women’s basketball team, ranked ninth in the country, hold first place in the OUA West with a record of 4-1. It will head to the nation’s capital to tip off against the Ottawa Gee Gees and Carleton Ravens on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both games are at 6 p.m. and can be watched online at www.oua.tv.

Members of the men’s basketball team will look to notch a couple more upsets as they head to Ottawa to face the No. 1 Gee Gees on Friday and the No. 2 Carleton Ravens on Saturday. Game time for both is 8 p.m. Both contests can be viewed on www.oua.tv.

Find a full preview of the weekend’s sports action at goLancers.ca.

Student troupe to stage slapstick Scapino!

Ottavio (Isaiah Kolundzic) consoles his wife, Giacinta (Robin Luckwaldt Ross).Ottavio (Isaiah Kolundzic) consoles his wife, Giacinta (Robin Luckwaldt Ross), when she hears that his father has plans for him to marry a different woman. Photo by Doug MacLellan

University Players will open the riotous comedy Scapino! by Jim Dale and Frank Dunlop this weekend at Essex Hall Theatre.

The all-ages play, an adaptation of a work by Molière, follows the madcap antics of fast-talking servant Scapino, enlisted to help two young couples overcome paternal objections to their pairings.

The play will run through December 6. Performances Wednesday through Saturday are at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. On Sunday, November 29, a free “Talk Back” discussion with the director and actors will follow the performance.

Tickets can be ordered online at www.UniversityPlayers.com or by calling 519-253-3000, ext. 2808.