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Simon Rondeau-GagnéSimon Rondeau-Gagné is in the early stages of developing implantable or injectable “nanoantennas” to deliver electric charges to brain tumours.

Research targets brain tumours with nanotechnology

In what sounds like a medical treatment available only to characters in a sci-fi movie, a pair of UWindsor cancer researchers are working on a nanoparticle that could one day be injected into the bloodstream to attack brain tumours.

Polymer chemist Simon Rondeau-Gagné and molecular biologist Lisa Porter have teamed up with London neurosurgeon Matthew Hebb to research how to better deliver electric fields to shrink glioblastoma tumours. Current treatments use electrodes attached to a patient’s head, but the UWindsor-led team of researchers believe a better strategy involves the use of nanotechnology.

“We are in the early stages, but we believe the proposed approach will have significant impacts for patients affected by brain cancer by giving them a new hope for treatment and a much better quality of life,” said Dr. Rondeau-Gagné.

He is developing nanomaterials made of conjugated polymer that will serve as microscopic antennas to deliver electric fields directly to tumors without affecting normal brain tissue. He said these synthetic “nanoantennas” can be implanted or injected into patients.

“It’s a unique strategy,” Rondeau Gagné said. “We will create local hotspots in the brain.”

Glioblastoma is a very aggressive cancer that evades current treatment strategies because of its tentacle-like growth. Also known as glioblastoma multiforme, it’s the type of cancer that claimed the lives of The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and UWindsor professors Mary Johnston and Alan Scoboria.

Dr. Hebb is a pioneer in the use of intratumoral modulation therapy, or IMT. His studies have shown that the glioblastoma tumours react to electric fields.

The new strategy is called molecular intratumoral therapy or MIMT and will use conductive polymers to deliver the electric charge. The patient will be placed in an electric field and the nanoparticles containing conductive materials will pick up the charge and deliver it to the tumour sites.

Dr. Porter will assess the extent and rate to which the new therapy targets tumours.

Rondeau-Gagné has received $39,000 in research funding through Seeds4Hope, the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation’s annual grant program. The research project is one of three funded this year at the University of Windsor.

In his grant application, Rondeau-Gagné pointed out that, compared to the rest of Ontario, the morbidity rate from brain cancer and other disorders of the central nervous system was 31 per cent higher for males and 21 per cent higher for females in Windsor and Essex County.

“This research constitutes the first seeds of a new, innovative, meaningful and locally-developed solution for brain cancer in our community.”

─Sarah Sacheli

students walking in snowWinter orientation will welcome students new to the University of Windsor, Jan. 4 in the Odette Building.

Winter orientation program to welcome January arrivals

All students entering the University of Windsor in the Winter 2020 semester will benefit from attending an orientation program just for them on Saturday, Jan. 4.

The Student Success and Leadership Centre hosts Winter Orientation in the Odette Building starting at 10 a.m. The event will answer questions incoming undergraduate students may have about their transition to UWindsor.

Winter Orientation will give new students the opportunity to:

  1. Learn about the tools and resources UWindsor students utilize throughout their university careers.
  2. Discuss some of the common challenges facing University students;
  3. Tour campus buildings, facilities, and the Leddy Library;
  4. Meet with other new students and an academic advisor.

Breakout sessions will address the particular concerns of mature or part-time students, transfer students, and students coming directly from high school. Parents and family members can attend their own session on how they can support students through their university careers.

Register through the Student Success and Leadership site.

Photo collage labelled Giving TuesdaySeven campus projects have been chosen as a focus for #GivingTuesday, an international day to promote philanthropic donations.

Giving Tuesday a chance to demonstrate Lancer pride

Today, Dec. 3, is GivingTuesday, an international day to promote philanthropy.

Show your Lancer pride by supporting campus projects — seven have been chosen to highlight the diversity of great things happening at the University of Windsor:

  • Campus Food Bank
  • Crafting for a Cure Craft-a-thon
  • Central European Choir Tour
  • The Liberty Project
  • Children's Aid Foundation Scholarship
  • Cities and Climate Action Forum
  • Organic Waste Diversion

To join the fun, visit #GivingTuesday hubs on campus to learn more about the different projects and make a donation:

  • CAW Student Centre Commons, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • SoCA Armouries, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Other ways to support Giving Tuesday include:

  • Non-perishable food items will be collected Dec. 3 at the CAW Student Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or downtown at the Armouries from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Leddy Library will allow users to pay overdue fees on materials by donating non-perishable food items.
  • Mare Nostrum restaurant will invite patrons that day to round up their bills and donate the difference.

You can also make a monetary contribution online at www.uwindsor.ca/givingtuesday.

cast of “Beauty and the Beast”University Players brings to life the classic fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” continuing through Dec. 8 in the Essex Hall Theatre.

Trivia contest winner to behold Beauty

Victoria Abboud, a professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and Film, won Monday’s DailyNews trivia quiz and its prize of two tickets to the University Players production of Beauty and the Beast, continuing through Dec. 8 in the Essex Hall Theatre.

Her entry was drawn from all those which correctly identified William Shakespeare as the author of “Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,” Herman Melville as having penned “There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men,” and William Congreve as the source of the maxim “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast.”

This version of Beauty and the Beast is written by Laurence Boswell and directed by Monica Dottor. Evening performances through Saturday are at 8 p.m.; matinees Saturday and Sunday are at 2 p.m. Order tickets online at www.UniversityPlayers.com or by phoning 519-253-3000, ext. 2808.

rack of sale sweatshirtsThe Campus Bookstore is offering a 40 per cent discount on selected styles of sweatshirt during its Black Friday Sale, while supplies last.

Tax-free savings return to Bookstore

UWindsor faculty and staff hoping to enjoy the magic of Black Friday shopping a little longer can enjoy a discount at the Campus Bookstore this week.

Its Staff and Faculty Appreciation Week has eliminated the tax on purchases of regular-priced merchandise through Friday, Dec. 6. The discount exempts sale items and textbooks.

The store, located on the lower level of the CAW Student Centre, carries a wide selection of apparel, giftware, books, and art and office supplies.

It has held over its Black Friday special — 40 per cent off selected sweatshirts — while supplies last.