November 27, 2003

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Join the round table
Don't like to lunch alone? Join the round table in front of the fireplace in the Diamond University Centre dining room any weekday between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. for scintillating luncheon companionship.

Foodbank calls for donations
During this season of feasting, spare a thought for the SFU food bank. Each semester, dozens of students turn to this free service, which is run jointly by student services and the SFU student society. Beginning Dec. 1, food bank staff will distribute donation boxes to locations all across campus, including the bookstore, the library, and the child care centre. Coordinator Negar Behmardi urges the campus community to fill them with non-perishable foods - especially high-protein items such as tinned meats and fish. The food bank, which is open two days a week each term, will close on Dec. 8, and will reopen Jan. 5 with replenished shelves.

Brinkman leads genome forum
SFU assistant professor of molecular biology Fiona Brinkman leads the next in a series of public forums connected to The Geee! In Genome exhibition currently on at Science World. The Gene Scene panel discussions feature renowned Canadian scientists, policy-makers and ethicists on aspects of 21st century life science related to genetics. Brinkman will talk about microbes as disease causing agents on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. Her talk will also deal with breakthroughs in conquering bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The public panel discussions continue until Dec. 17 while the exhibition runs through January, 2004.

Workshop reviews salmon studies
Several invited speakers will make presentations at a community workshop to review studies examining correlations between sea lice infestations in salmon farms and declining wild salmon populations off Northern Vancouver Island. Independent biologist Alexandra Morton and SFU biologist Inigo Novales-Flamarique are among 11 speakers from federal and provincial government ministries, academia and fish conservation groups. Over the last few years Morton has worked closely with SFU statistics professor Rick Routledge in analyzing sea lice infestations of wild salmon in the Broughton Archipelago. Novales-Flamarique, an expert on the neuroanatomy of fish, will also share his knowledge about the health of the area's wild salmon population. SFU's centre for coastal studies (CCS), the Inner Coast Natural Resource centre and a node of the national Ocean Management Research Network linking science and local knowledge on the internet will host the workshop in Alert Bay , Dec. 9-10. Email Jennifer Pickett at CCS for more information:

Wanted: good stories
SFU News is looking for human interest story ideas about staff, faculty and students around campus. While we haven't yet tabulated all of the results from the recent SFU News readership survey, it's apparent that everyone would like more profiles about colleagues and students. So please, help us out. With so many new faculty and staff, there must be many people who are significantly involved in on-campus or off-campus volunteerism, who moonlight at interesting jobs, or who have fascinating hobbies or talents. Just send us an e-mail to

Ancient cave worth a visit
Planning a visit to Grande Prairie, Alberta? If so, check out the Charlie Lake cave exhibit at the town's new Heritage Discovery centre. Charlie Lake Cave, 18 kilometres north of Fort St. John, B.C., is the oldest archaeological site in the Peace country. It was originally excavated in the 1980s and 1990s by SFU archaeology professors Knut Fladmark and Jonathan Driver and their students. They unearthed stone tools and butchered bison bones, evidence of the early peoples who visited the site as long as 10,500 years ago.

Brandhorst named to committee
SFU molecular biologist Bruce Brandhorst, an expert on the evolution of cells, is one of 12 researchers recently appointed to the stem cell oversight committee (SCOC). The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) recently created the committee to review research funding applications dealing with human pluripotent stem cells and to recommend which applications should receive CIHR approval.

The CIHR is Canada's leading federal funding agency for health-related research. In the absence of federal legislation identifying what kind of stem cell research is appropriate and what is not, the agency has developed its own national guidelines on the matter. Pluripotent stem cells can be used to harvest special cells, such as blood, muscle or nerve. Embryos are the best source of these cells. Brandhorst is well versed in the ongoing international debate about the use of embryos and the potential for cloning in this kind of research.

Lee wins piping championship
SFU pipe band sergeant Jack Lee has won the top international honour in bag-piping by placing first at the annual Glenfiddich piping championship at Blair Castle in Pitlochry, Scotland. Lee beat out nine other competitors to win the prestigious international event. To qualify, pipers must have won a major Scottish piping event during the past year. Lee has competed in the Glenfiddich about eight times in the past 20 years or so and has won various prizes. But this is the first time he was named overall winner. The event was held before an audience of about 500 in a grand baronial hall at Blair Castle. “It was a big win and I'm very happy about it for sure,” he says.

Lee says the Glenfiddich is considered to be the masters of piping - an invitation only event.

Since he started piping at the age of five - that's 40 years ago - he has won almost every major award in the world of piping. He is in keen demand as a teacher of the pipes. Several generations of the Lee family are pipers or drummers - a love of Celtic music they inherited from Lee's great grandfather, who emigrated from Glasgow and continued playing until he was 80.

Jazz documentary on CBC
A new documentary about the brother of a jazz legend, made by well-known Simon Fraser University filmmaker Colin Browne, airs nationally on CBC television's Opening Night on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. Linton Garner: I Never Said Goodbye is an hour-long, intimate portrait of Linton Garner, the brother of Erroll Garner, considered the greatest pianist to emerge in jazz since World War II. Browne's film documents Linton's creation of a tribute to his younger brother Erroll's work. Browne's documentary captures conversations, working sessions, rehearsals and performances involving the two brothers and traces Linton's development of an eight-song suite in honor of his brother. Erroll died at the age of 56 in 1977. Linton, who passed away in March 2003 at age 87, never attained the recognition of his older brother, but was an accomplished musician in his own right, working with a number of jazz luminaries.

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