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Science Café – Teaching Assistants

Lidya Salim, PhD candidate in Applied Bioscience

Biology and Organic Chemistry Teaching Assistant (TA)

“I graduated from the Biological Science program at Ontario Tech University in 2016 and started graduate studies in the field of Chemical Biology shortly thereafter. Throughout my time as a graduate student, I have been able to work on a few different projects, one of them through an industry partnership. My main project, however, focuses on improving the pharmacological properties of short-interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs). These biomolecules are able to silence (or reduce) the expression of targeted proteins, so they can be used as therapeutics. We are particularly interested in targeting proteins involved in cancer progression and are developing strategies to selectively deliver siRNAs to cancer cells.

I have been at the university since 2012, and I actually had the opportunity to help develop the university's Science Café, launched in the Winter 2016 term. I have been co-ordinating and running the program since. It is very rewarding to see how much the program has grown in just a few years and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.”

Renata Barichello, Master of Science (MSc) student in Applied Bioscience

Chemistry TA

“Prior to starting my Bachelor of Science at Ontario Tech University in 2013, I attended George Brown College to obtain a certificate in culinary arts. It is there where I noted my love of cooking could be applied on a molecular level. I have been a chemistry TA for the Science Café since December 2018 and enjoy helping students in all areas of chemistry. If you require assistance with laboratory reports, lecture material, or would just like to chat over a cup of coffee, you can find me at the Science Café.

I am currently a Master of Science student in the Dr. Yuri Bolshan lab, where my focus is the development of methodologies for organic synthesis. I am investigating a Brønsted acid catalyzed reaction of benzhydryl alcohols and vinyl boronic acids as a novel carbon-carbon bond forming methodology improving upon precedent literature.”

Mark Wulczynski, MSc student in Applied Bioscience

Biology TA

“My research spans the fields of microbiology and immunology. I study the interactions between diet, the natural gut microbiota, and the overall health of the host. We generally eat food for energy, but food also contains many additional nutrients, biomolecules, and sometimes probiotic bacteria. Making healthy diet choices can do a lot more than help you gain or lose weight! For instance, eating a diet full of fibre and resistant starches is linked to reduced inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. I am currently working on a collaborative project with Health Canada to identify the effects of resistant proteins and resistant starches on Sprague-Dawley rats, under homeostatic (steady-state) conditions. In the future, I want to expand my studies to include the relationships between microbes and disease.

I am a big time 'BIOLO-guy.' I am interested in all things that are alive, dead, or in between. I graduated from the Biological Science program at Ontario Tech University in 2018 and currently a Master of Science student in Applied Bioscience. I joined the university's Science Café team in the Winter 2019 term to provide support with Biology courses."

Eric Ng, MSc student in Modelling and Computational Science

Mathematics and Physics TA

“I graduated from Ontario Tech University in 2017 with a major in Applied and Industrial Mathematics and a minor in Physics. I am a Master of Science student in Modelling and Computational Science. My main research area is in medical imaging techniques. My research focuses on finding feasible discontinuous solutions to the image registration problem using both classical (inverse problem) and learning-based (machine/deep learning) methods.

I really like math! I joined the university's Science Café team in the Fall 2018 term, and I provide support with Math and Physics courses.”

Gavin Gosling, undergraduate student in Computer Science

Computer Science TA

"I study Digital Media and Data Science. I want to create personalized and enriched experiences for people, essentially combining both the digital media and data science aspects offered here.

I enjoy being around the university and finding activities to increase my knowledge of myself and others. When I am not at the university I am either trying to enhance my skills in Computer Science, or trying to figure out how to extend some applications in order to bring a more deep and enriched experience."