Biomaterials Awards
Canadian Biomaterials Society Visiting Scholar Award

Award Deadline: 2022-03-01

The Canadian Biomaterials Society is providing a Visiting Scholar Award to give to the most promising young scientists the opportunity to visit another university / lab with common research interests and stimulate their interest to pursuit their career in the field of biomaterials. The award also intends to foster collaborations as well as exchange of technologies and ideas between Canadian universities in the field of biomaterials.

Who is Eligible for the Award?

The award is opened to Ph.D. students in their 2nd year and above and post-doctoral fellows, working in the field of Biomaterials. The student/PDF must fulfill the two conditions given below to be considered for an award:

  • Have been a member of the Canadian Biomaterials Society for at least 1 full year at the time of application for the award. The supervising professors in the student/PDF's home and hosting institutions should also be members of the Canadian Biomaterials Society.
  • Have attended at least one annual meeting of the Canadian Biomaterials Society (which would include a World Biomaterials Congress) prior to the application for the award.

Value of the Award

This award has a value of a maximum of $3,000, to cover travel and housing expenses for a visit of up to 2 weeks.

Application Procedure

  • The student/PDF should submit:
    • a current CV including the list of publications;
    • a short summary describing the proposed research activities during his/her visit in the hosting institution (maximum 2 pages);
    • a one page budget summarizing the expected expenses.
  • The supervising professors (both in the student home and hosting institutions) should submit a support letter.
  • Applications are due on September 1 or March 1 annually, with one award to be distributed annually and announced at the CBS Annual Meeting.  Send applications electronically to the CBS Secretary, Amanda Clifford (e-mail).  
  • New since 2019 : At the end of the visiting period, the awardee must send a report that will be published in the CBS Newsletter (e-mail).  

Current Award Winners

2019

Past Award Winners

2018

2015

  • Juliana Valencia Serna (University of Alberta)
    Q: What research have you proposed doing?
    A: My PhD research at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Hasan Uludag focuses on the development of novel biomaterials for leukemia therapies. This research involves generation of amphiphilic polymers and the evaluation of their ability to delivery molecular therapies (siRNA specifically) in leukemia models. The results of these studies have identified lipid-substituted polyethyelenimines that effectively delivery siRNA in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cell lines. Moreover, this polymeric delivery system facilitates the therapeutic targeting against oncogenes, such as BCR-ABL, which results in decreased cell growth and increased cell dead of CML cell lines. The next goal of my project is to evaluate the performance of these polymeric delivery systems on cells obtained from human leukemia patients. This part of the project is being performed in collaboration with Dr. Xiaoyan Jiang from the University of British Columbia. The expertise of Dr. Jiang’s lab in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, the access to leukemia patient samples, the technical expertise of culture and purification of stem cell portion of CML patient samples, and the specialized assays for their evaluation will provide me with the training and tools required to achieve this goal.

    Q: Why are you doing this research?
    A: I am interested in the delivery of siRNA molecules to the stem cell portion of human leukemia samples to evaluate the translation potential of this therapy. Current therapies mainly kill the more differentiated and fast-growing leukemic cells, but the developed resistance and the survival of the stem cell portion to these therapies allows the progression of the disease. Therefore new therapies that target the stem cell portion are needed so the disease can be controlled. Finally, this non-viral siRNA therapy may be tailored to target virtually any aberrantly over-expressed gene, and may also be used in other types of leukemia.

    Q: How will the award help you to achieve this goal, and how do you plan to spend the funds?
    A: This CBS travel award will facilitate this collaborative research by covering my transportation and living expenses while at Dr. Jiang’s lab at the University of British Columbia. The acquired techniques and expertise will be applied at the Uludag lab so that we can advance in the development of novel therapies for leukemia.

2012

  • Azadeh Goudarzi (University of British Columbia)
    Q: What research have you proposed doing?
    A: In my PhD thesis, I have studied the self-healing ability of calcium silicate cement (CSC) composite in simulated body fluid (SBF) and discovered the significantly enhanced healing ability of CSC in SBF through precipitation of hydroxyapatite and calcium carbonate inside of the stable cracks. I have demonstrated that the narrow cracks can heal entirely at 37°C in SBF in only one week and the cement samples will partially restore their mechanical properties (bending). This discovery is a breakthrough in the field of bioactive ceramic cements. However, further cell culture tests are required to ensure the continued biocompatibility, bioactivity and osteoconductivity of the composite. Some observations anticipate the chance of increased healing ability in presence of the cells. Therefore, we proposed this collaborative research, to use assistance from other Canadian experts in this field. The field of expertise of Dr. Jake Barralet’s group at McGill University includes calcium phosphate cements (CPCs), and their lab has a long history on evaluating biocompatibility, bioactivity and osteoconductivity of biomaterials. The theme of our collaboration is to use their knowledge and expertise as well as their facilities to investigate a) biological properties of our self-healing calcium silicate composite and b) possible self-healing properties of CPCs and combination of CSCs and CPCs.

    Q: Why are you doing this research?
    A: Natural tissues have the self-healing ability to repair their structural defects without external assistance. Achieving the same characteristic in biomaterials could prevent revision surgeries and thus reduce pain, time and money, and ultimately increase the patient’s quality of life. The results of our proposed research might reveal methods to achieve this purpose, not only for the specified CSC composites, but also for other bioactive ceramic bone cements.

    Q: How will the award help you to achieve this goal, and how do you plan to spend the funds?
    A: The award fund will cover my flight ticket to Montreal and accommodation for two weeks. I can grow my professional network, collaborate with other experts in my field, share our knowledge, and use their facilities to evaluate the proposed hypothesis. Hopefully, we can define new research proposals based on our experiments.

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