Keeping Our Members Informed and Connected
Vol. 1, No. 2, June 2020
Summer is here and with it some warmth and sunshine. We’d like to take a moment to shine some light on the good things that have been happening in health research over the last month and celebrate our members' successes.
Connecting Members : COVID Conversations Series
Windsor-Essex is well-known for our collaborative approach, and our COVID Conversations have proven to be another brilliant example! Over the course of 8 weeks beginning May 6 th our WE-SPARK Igniting Discovery Grant recipients were part of this engaging series 21 multi-disciplinary teams made up of over 200 scientists, clinicians, community groups and students eagerly shared their projects and provided insight and assistance to one another. What a remarkable group of dedicated and enthusiastic researchers working together to provide invaluable discussion and exchange ideas. Be sure to watch for more details when we share your results!
Education, Tools & Training
Building a Knowledge Translation Toolkit
The WE-SPARK Knowledge Translation Committee is in the initial stages of creating a toolkit to support researchers during their planning and implementation of knowledge translation (KT). Over the next few months we will be piloting these tools with WE-SPARK members and sharing them on our website. Included in the toolkit will be examples of KT that have a proven track record of success.

The Windsor Cancer Research Group has been renewing their KT tools over the past year and here is an example of one that has received a top grade! This community outreach activity was recently transformed into a virtual tool. View the activity here: Learn to be a Pathologist.
NEW! Research Registry
This new WE-SPARK Research Registry highlights local recruiting studies conducted by WE-SPARK researchers. Local researchers can submit information about their studies to have them listed under the “ Participate in a Study” section of our website. People in the community who are interested in participating in health research can find studies they may be eligible for.

To have your study added to the WE-SPARK Registry, please contact

Member Highlights
Letting us know about the accomplishments of you and your colleagues allows us to celebrate the great work being done in our region and further build collaborations. Here are just a few of your latest successes.

*Funded Projects*

Jalal Ahamed (Primary Investigator), University of Windsor, Engineering, Mitra Mirhassani , University of Windsor, Engineering, Simon Rondeau-Gagné, Yufeng Tong, University of Windsor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, APAG Elektronik Crop (Collaborator) , Windsor, ($50, 000) Alliance COVID-19 (NSERC), Development of lab on a chip for rapid and accurate point of care detection of COVID-19; 2020-2021

Mike McKay (Primary Investigator) University of Windsor, GLIER, Ken Drouillard, Daniel Health, Chris Weisener , University of Windsor, GLIER, Lisa Porter , University of Windsor, Biomedical Sciences, Nihar Biswas, Rajesh Seth, University of Windsor, Engineering, Steve Wilhelm (Collaborator) , University of Tennessee, Microbiology, Town of Amherstburg, Town of Lakeshore (Partners) , ($50, 000) Alliance COVID-19 (NSERC), Evaluating the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in the urban water cycle; 2020-2021

John Trant (Primary Applicant) , Universit y of Windsor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Holger Eichhorn, James Green, University of Windsor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, ($150,000) Research Tools and Instruments Grant (NSERC RTI), Cancer, autoimmune disease, and infection metabolomics using GC-MS and LC-MS; 2020-2021

John Trant, University of Windsor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, ($394,503) Compute Canada, Designing Drugs: Computational Modelling to Select Target Molecules for Autoimmune Disease and Anti-Cancer Applications; 2020-2021

John Trant, University of Windsor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Louis Flamand (Collaborator), Laval University, Microbology and Immunology, ($50, 000) Alliance COVID-19 (NSERC), Alternative attacks against SARS-CoV-2 proteins: Identifying and developing orthogonal therapeutic strategies using computational structural biology and synthetic chemistry; 2020-2021

John Trant, University of Windsor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, ($50, 000) Alliance COVID-19 (NSERC), Alternative gel hand sanitizers and non-alcohol-based long-term sanitizers for surfaces and skin with anti-viral activity for COVID-19 response; 2020-2021

John Trant,  University of Windsor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, ($250,000) Arthritis STAR Career Development Award (co-funded by CIHR),  Targeting the root cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Preventing the HLA-antigen interaction responsible for RA;  2020-2026

Mir Munir Rahim (Primary Investigator), Lisa Porter, Michael Crawford, Huiming Zhang, University of Windsor, Biomedical Sciences, Tahereh Arezoo Emadi, University of Windsor, Engineering, Luis Rueda, University of Windsor, Computer Science, Dan Xiao , University of Windsor, Physics, ($150 000) Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program (NSERC RTI); Multi-user in vivo animal imaging; 2020-2022

Schulich-UWindsor Opportunities for Research Excellence (SWORP) ($5,000)

Brandon Clark, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Joel Liem, Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Clinical Immunology and Allergy: Investigating the relationship between Acute Uticaria and Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU) with self- reported medication allergies ; 2020-2021

Jerry Ding, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Swati Kulkarni, Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Oncology: Pattern of Treatment Initiation and Outcomes for Patients with Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in Ontario; 2020-2021

Nathan Doupnik, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Khalid Hirmiz, Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Oncology: Early Stage Lung Cancer Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Outcomes in Windsor Ontario: A Single Institution Experience; 2020-20

Andrew Jeong, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Akmal Ghafoor, Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Oncology: Disease-free survival of stage 2 and 3 colon cancer patients at Windsor Regional Hospital ; 2020-2021

Dalia Kashash, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Indryas Woldie, Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Oncology: Presentations, Treatment Patterns, and Outcomes of Patients Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at the Windsor Regional Hospital’s Cancer Centre; 2020-2021

Kayla Negus, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Caroline Hamm, Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Oncology: Measles Reactivity Post Transplant in Autologous verse Allogenic Windsor Patients; 2020-2021

C hris Nguyen, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Judy Bornais, Supervisor, University of Windsor, Faculty of Nursing: Assessment of Emergency Response Team Feasibility in Peanut Oral Immunotherapy; 2020-2021
Nitin Rai, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Ming Pan, Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Oncology: Anal Cancer Treatment Outcome in Windsor Ontario: A Single Institution Experience; 2020-2021

SROP (Schulich Research Opportunities Program)

Vanessa Montemurri, Student, Schulich School of Medicine, Caroline Hamm , Supervisor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Oncology, ($4500) Schulich Research Opportunities Program (SROP), Investigation of the HER2+, ER-, PR- Breast Cancer Population; 2020-2021


Bakht MK, Lovnicki JM, Tubman J, Stringer KF, Chiaramonte J, Reynolds MR, Derecichei I, Ferraiuiolo RM, Fifield BA, Lubanska D, Oh SW, Cheon GJ, Kwak C, Jeong CW, Kang KW, Trant JF, Morissey C, Coleman IM, Wang Y, Ahmadzadehfar H, Dong X, Porter LA . (2020) Differential Expression of Glucose Transporters and Hexokinases in Prostate Cancer with a Neuroendocrine Gene Signature: A Mechanistic Perspective for 18F-FDG Imaging of PSMA-Suppressed Tumors.   J Nucl Med . 61 :904-910.
Kleinplatz PJ , & Ménard, A.D. (2020) Magnificent Sex . New York: Taylor & Francis. (Ed.Clare Ashworth.)
Luo S, Wang T, Ocheje MU, Zhang S, Xu J, Qian Z, Gu, X, Xue G, Rondeau-Gagné S, Jiang J, Hu W, Zhuravlev E, Zhou D . (2020)  Multi-amorphous Phases in Diketopyrrolopyrrole-Based Conjugated Polymers: From Bulk to Ultrathin Films .   Macromolecules. 53, 4480.
Rahdar A, Hajinezhad MR Nasri S,   Beyzaei H , Barani M Trant JF . (2020) The synthesis of methotrexate-loaded F127 microemulsions and their in vivo toxicity in a rat model .   Journal of Molecular Liquids 113449.
Shahbazi F Grandi V , Banerjee R Trant JF. (2020) Cannabinoids and Cannabinoid Receptors: The Story So Fa r.   iScience, Accepted.
Sheppard AJ, Antone C , Logan A, Kewayosh A . (2019). “In a good way”: Going beyond Patient Navigation to ensure culturally safe care in the cancer system for First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and urban Indigenous patients in Ontario . International Journal of Indigenous Health , 14(2), 293 – 307.
Zhang S, Alesadi A, Selivanova M, Cao Z, Qian Z, Luo S, Galuska L, Teh C, Ocheje MU, Mason, GT, St.Onge PBJ, Zhou D, Rondeau-Gagné S, Xia W, Gu X . (2020)  Towards the prediction and control of the glass transition temperature for Donor-Acceptor polymers Adv. Funct. Mater.  2002221.
Zhang S, Cheng YH, Galuska L, Roy A, Lorenz M, Chen B, Luo S, Lee YT, Hung CC, Qian Z, St.Onge PBJ, Mason GT, Cowen L, Zhou D, Nazarenko SI, Storey RF, Schroeder BC, Rondeau-Gagné S, Chiu YC, Gu X. (2020)  Tacky Elastomers to Enable Tear Resistant and Autonomous Self-Healing Semiconductor Composites Adv. Funct. Mater , 2000663.


Upneja, S., Hussein, A., Moudgil, D., Kulkarni, S., Gupta, R., Kay, A., Mathews, J., Porter, L., Fifield, B., Ferraiuolo, R. and Hamm, C., 2020.  A Retrospective Single Center Study Investigating The Clinical Significance Of Grade In Triple Negative Breast Cancer: .


  • Natalie Gosselin (Graduate Student, Integrative Biology, UWindsor), Habowsky Teaching Award, University of Windsor.
  • Isabelle Hinch (Graduate Student, Integrative Biology, UWindsor) Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (NSERC).
  • Brayden Labute, (Graduate Student, Integrative Biology, Uwindsor ) University of Windsor’s Gail Rosenbaum Memorial Scholarship in Breast Cancer Research, and the Windsor Prostate Cancer Scholarship.
  • Nicholas Philbin (Graduate Student, Integrative Biology, UWindsor), Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CIHR).
  • Indryas Woldie (Oncologist, Windsor Regional Hospital), Associate Dean’s Award from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry – Western University

*University of Windsor Adjunct Professor Appointments*

  • Rasna Gupta, Oncologist, Windsor Regional Hospital
  • Mohammad Jarrar, Oncologist, Windsor Regional Hospital
  • John Matthews, Medical Oncologist, Windsor Regional Hospital
  • Indrajit Sinha, Co-President, Ascenzia Inc.
  • Shael Liebman, General Surgeon, Windsor Regional Hospital
  • Nathania Liem, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare

Becoming an Adjunct Professor opens up opportunities to become a Primary Applicant for current and future local grant programs that require a UWindsor affiliation, and also gives you the ability to apply for external research funding through the UWindsor Office of Research & Innovation. Click here for more information. If you are interested, reach out and let us help you through the process:
Be sure to submit any news items as they happen and we will include them.
Pictures and links to details are welcome! 
Speaker Series & Events
COVID Community Conversations
"Ask the Experts"
We all know that misinformation about health and research is everywhere and impacts the health and safety of our community. We've seen this amplified in recent months by the COVID pandemic

To fight fiction with facts, ‘WE-SPARK Ask the Experts’ has been created as a trusted resource for unbiased and up-to-date information, and gives us the opportunity to showcase the expertise we have right here in our region.

Our first series will run for 4 weeks in July and will focus on COVID-19 related issues. Click here for more information and to register.
WE-SPARK Connections Brainstorming Event: Working together to create meaningful research experiences for students
COVID-19 has sent our research community into uncharted territory with some of you struggling to find meaningful research experiences for students. This is an opportunity to support our researchers by generating creative ideas for helping students continue to have valuable research experiences, keep students engaged and excited about research, foster new networking opportunities, and serve as a new knowledge translation tool to grow and elevate the health research culture in Windsor-Essex. If you are interested in participating in this virtual event on June 30 @ 1:00pm - click here to register.
Members in the News
Professors Jalal Ahamed, Mitra Mirhassani, Simon Rondeau-Gagné, and Yufeng Tong received $50,000 from NSERC to design a portable device to test for COVID-19. Read more.

A research team at WRH is part of a national project aimed at helping patients with COVID-19 recover by injecting them with antibodies from patients who have already had the virus. Caroline Hamm calls the project “Hope that we can save lives.” Read more.
Odette School of Business professor Kyle Brykman is leading a study on the resiliency of small businesses. Read more .
We want to hear about your grants, publications, awards, conferences!
Send your great news to .
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Windsor, ON N9B 3P4

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