media release

Café Scientifique lineup – brainpower, bacteria & super seniors

September 12, 2013

Diane Mar-Nicolle: 778.782.9586;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;


Simon Fraser University’s popular Café Scientifique series returns to Surrey this fall and the general public is invited to participate and learn more from what the experts have to say about key topics in health.

Three sessions will be held this fall at Surrey’s City Centre Library (main floor) from 7-8:30 p.m. The events are free.

SFU biological sciences professor Gordon Rintoul kicks off the first session on Wednesday, Sept. 18 with a discussion on the changes that occur in healthy brain cells versus those found in people with age-related brain diseases.

Rintoul, a neuroscientist, focuses on mitochondria, microscopic structures within brain cells, which provide energy for cellular process.

“Mitochondria have been called the powerhouses of the cell,” says Rintoul. “Our lab investigates the role of mitochondria in healthy neurons and in disease mechanisms.”

Rintoul will speak about his research and other recent findings linking changes in mitochondria to Parkinson's disease, stroke and the process of aging.

Sessions to follow include:

Oct. 16: Julian Guttman, an assistant biological sciences professor, will explain how pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli create serious global health concerns, causing disease through their interaction and subsequent control of host cells' normal cellular functions. Guttman will discuss the conditions that transform bacterial infection into disease.

Nov. 20: Angela Brooks-Wilson, an associate professor of biomedical physiology/kinesiology and a Distinguished Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, will shares insights from her study on health aging.

The study involves over 500 "super seniors" between the ages of 85 and 105, who have never been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, major pulmonary disease, Alzheimer disease or diabetes. The study looks at genetic features that correlate with long-term good health in these exceptional individuals.

Speakers will discuss their health or popular-science related topics for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a discussion with the audience. Reserve your free seat at: café

The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), SFU’s Faculty of Science and the SFU Surrey TD Community Engagement Centre are sponsoring the series.

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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