At Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Science, we strive to understand and improve our world and the way we live—and we love science for its own sake, too.
Our research addresses some of the most challenging issues facing us today; from the preservation of Arctic glaciers to salmon conservation; and from neurodegenerative diseases to stem cell analysis. Central to this continuum of learning and research are our students who are introduced to leading-edged approaches and the tools to seek solutions, while learning to appreciate the fabulous natural world around us.
We invite you to partner with us to make a meaningful difference in the way we live, for present and future generations to come.
Centre for Stem Cell Research on Cardiovascular Diseases
Our goal is to build a state-of-the art research facility to make and study the effect of stem cells on people with congenital heart diseases that can result in sudden cardiac death and other genetic disorders. The Centre would also conduct research on a number of cardiovascular problems including cardiac arrest, sudden death, cardiac myopathies and vascular diseases.
Philanthropic support will enable SFU to build a state-of-the-art research infrastructure and provide specialized equipment for the Centre. The Centre would allow researchers from a variety of disciplines to collaborate and work as a team.
Environmental Medicine and Physiology Research
SFU is home to Canada’s only civilian research pressure chamber in an educational institution. This unique facility has the capability to develop scientific research and clinical trials for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). HBOT is a proven form of treatment for conditions such as gas gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning and radiation necrosis. Other applications of HBOT that require further research are autism, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Donor support will enable SFU to equip this facility for basic and clinical research and conduct research on medical applications through the establishment of a Professorship position and support of Research Assistants.
Clinical Professorship in Critical Care
Research collaboration between Royal Columbian Hospital and Simon Fraser University will enable clinical trials for life-saving technologies in the field of assisted ventilation for patients in Critical Care. The proposed research partnership will focus on reducing the risks of mechanical ventilation for critically ill patients. While mechanical ventilation (MV) is life-saving for patients, it can also induce direct and indirect lung damage and rapidly lead to diaphragmatic weakness and dysfunction, making weaning failure a serious problem for 30% of ventilated patients. Intensive and Critical Care Unit (ICCU) care is exceedingly expensive and estimated to cost $2.5 billion per year or 0.5% of GDP in Canada. Patients spend approximately 40% of their time on MV in the weaning phase. The diaphragm is the primary muscle responsible for breathing and, for elderly patients in particular, diaphragmatic inactivity during just a few days of ventilation and sedation is thought to directly contribute to current high rates of failure to wean from MV and death in the ICCU.
To address these challenges, SFU and Royal Columbian Hospital will collaborate to develop and test technology that, when proven to be safe and effective, will improve patient survival, enhance health outcomes and generate significant hospitalization cost savings (an anticipated 10% reduction in days on the ventilator will yield a healthcare payer return on investment of over 10:1 and facilitate more efficient use of scarce ICU resources).
Donor support will enable SFU and Royal Columbian Hospital to establish a Professorship in Critical Care, through the establishment of a $2,500,000 Endowed Fund.
Centre for Injury Prevention in Seniors
The frequency and consequences of falls increase dramatically with age. Among those aged 65 and older in Canada, falls are the number one cause of injury, including 95% of hip fractures and 60% of head injuries. Over 25% of hip fracture patients die within one year. Preventing falls is difficult due to the multiple factors that influence risk and the lack of objective evidence on the cause and circumstances of these events. SFU researchers in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology have found that 41% of falls are due to incorrect weight shifting, twice as high as the next most common cause - tripping. They also found that three activities equally accounted for the most falls—walking, sitting down and standing. In a paper recently accepted by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, SFU researchers found that 37% of falls in long-term care involve head impact. While 74% of participants impacted their hands, many were unable to slow downward movement and avoid impact to the head.
Donor support will enable the research team, working in collaboration with local long-term care facilities, to translate research results into guidelines for the design of improved screening tools and exercise programs to prevent falls and their related injuries in older adults.
Endowed Toxicology Entrance Scholarships
SFU has a unique and internationally renowned program in Environmental Toxicology that focuses on the harmful effects of chemical, physical and biological agents on living organisms, including plants, animals and humans. Our Master in Environmental Toxicology (MET) degree fills an important need for trained toxicologists that can address emerging environmental problems associated with toxicant exposure.
Donor support will enable the establishment of entrance scholarship(s) for the strongest applicants to the program each year to ensure British Columbia continues to have the expertise necessary to address environmental challenges.
Endowed Visiting Professorship in Conservation and Biodiversity
SFU has world-class expertise in biodiversity and conservation, with researchers studying population declines in salmon, sharks, birds, bees and other organisms; ecologists investigating the effect of habitat loss and degradation in coral reefs, grasslands and forests; and evolutionary biologists who aim to understand the processes that generate the biodiversity upon which humans as well as natural systems rely.
SFU scientists have a substantial record of translating their science into policy. The Visiting Professorship in Conservation and Biodiversity would bring leaders in the field to SFU for an intensive semester of teaching graduate students, collaborating with faculty and engaging with the public.
Traineeships in Disease Modeling
Researchers at SFU are making exciting discoveries in areas as diverse as neuro-degeneration, parasitology and human metabolic disorders. Our interdisciplinary research environment is ideal for trainees. Donor contributions would allow SFU to attract the best and brightest young researchers to participate in faculty projects, foster idea generation and help to train the next generation of scientists and medical professionals through the establishment of Post-Doctoral Fellowships and Graduate Fellowships. In 2012, the Dean of Science introduced INSPIRE, a $1.25M teaching initiative that aims to transform the way we teach science at SFU. Traditional methods of teaching do not reflect the ways that students learn nor the way that scientists think. INSPIRE supports researchers’ efforts to create and integrate new learning materials and teaching strategies and makes collaborative, large-scale science education innovations possible.
By donating to the following priority projects, you can help to transform the way we teach science for the benefit of society:
- 50 INSPIRE Graduate Teaching Assistantships | $1M
- INSPIRE graduate teaching assistantships supports students who aim to design and implement innovative laboratory programming | $20K
- 50 INSPIRE Undergrad & Graduate Research Awards | $250K
- INSPIRE undergraduate and graduate research assistantships support students who aim to start a new research experience that will guide them to their future. The first research assistantship can often determine a student’s future career path | $5K
- Science Accelerated Research Cohort | $250K
This new program is designed to give elite students a cohort experience with enriched and coordinated coursework and research opportunities within their first year of study. Donor funds would enable each student to complete a paid, summer research internship that would allow them to gain lab experience and valuable research skills.
If you are interested in supporting our research programs, please contact:
Associate Director, Advancement