Lifestyle

Talks with docs at SFU

Dr. David Vocadlo will give the introductory talk at the Oct. 9 Café Scientifique at SFU Surrey. - SFU
Dr. David Vocadlo will give the introductory talk at the Oct. 9 Café Scientifique at SFU Surrey.
— image credit: SFU

The public will once again have an opportunity to engage with Simon Fraser University health researchers at a series of informal sessions this fall billed as “talks with docs.”

The second annual Café Scientifique series includes five new sessions – with topics ranging from Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes to improving how anti-cancer therapies work - designed to connect the community with research on a variety of important health-related issues.

The cafés are free to the public and the first two sessions will be held at the new Surrey City Centre Public Library (10350 University Drive) from 7-8:30 p.m. in meeting room 120 on the main floor (the location of the 2013 cafés is still to be confirmed). Each begins with an introductory talk by a scientist, followed by an open discussion of the topic. Here’s the rundown:

• Tuesday, Oct. 9: SFU chemistry professor David Vocadlo kicks off the series talking about the role of diabetes as one of the existing conditions that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and how lifestyle changes could reduce development of the neurodegenerative disease.

• Wednesday, Nov. 21: Jonathan Choy, an assistant professor of molecular and biochemistry at SFU, will share details about how the human body protects itself from constant exposure to bacteria, viruses, fungi and other infectious organisms, and how the immune system functions.

• Wednesday Jan. 16: Glen Tibbits, a professor of biomedical physiology and kinesiology at SFU, will unravel the mystery of why a young, healthy athlete dies suddenly in the middle of an athletic event. He’ll talk about the mechanisms behind these deaths and steps to reduce the incidence and impact of untoward electrical events in the heart.

• Wednesday, Feb. 20: Chemistry professor Andrew Bennet will examine how the influenza type A viral infection continues to be a serious health problem facing populations worldwide and how anti-viral drugs are being designed.

• Wednesday, March 20: Sharon Gorski, a professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, will explain how cells keep themselves clean and protected from damage by recycling or “self-eating” old or damaged components – and how inhibiting cellular self-eating is being used to improve anti-cancer therapies.

Dean of Science Claire Cupples says: "Having attended many of the cafés in our first season, I’m delighted that we will have more opportunities this year for our faculty to engage with the public and share their expertise in such an informal way."

Canadian Institutes for Health Research, SFU’s Faculty of Science, and the SFU Alumni Association are sponsoring the series.

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