Science Research at SFU

At SFU, our faculty is deeply committed to research that addresses fundamental and cutting-edged topics from an interdisciplinary perspective. The topics below show how our researchers are attacking these problems from a variety of disciplines. Find something that tweaks your curiosity? Get in touch with our investigators to see how you can join the team!

Human Disease

SFU is proud to play a role in the global effort to understand and treat the myriad human diseases affecting our global population. 

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY

  • Ly Vu aims to find therapeutic targets for one of the most common types of leukemia in Canada, Acute Myeloid Lymphoma. She is cross-appointed at the BC Cancer Agency and her overall goal is to understand the control of stem cells in development and diseases
  • Mani Larijani holds the Shrum Chair in Biological Mechanisms of Disease and works to understand how DNA/RNA-mutating processes impact human health and diseases; and how they evolved, presently function or used to function in early-evolved non-human species. 
  • Ryan Morin holds cross appointments at the BC Cancer Angency and Genome Sciences Centre. He uses bioinformatics tools to read entire genomes of tumours to uncover the full suite of mutations that differ between tumour cells and healthy cells and infer those relevant to malignancy. 

CHEMISTRY

  • Caterina Ramogida uses principles of chemistry, radiology and biology to create radiopharmaceuticals that can be used to combat cancer.

Ecology & CLimate Change

Here are just a few of our researchers committed to solving issues that threaten our planet and weaken our biosphere from a variety of disciplines.

EARTH SCIENCES

  • Gwenn Flowers is a glaciologist who studies ice-sheet dynamics, the hydrology of glacierized systems and the relationship of these systems to climate. She leads a field-based glaciological research program in the St. Elias Mountains of Yukon, Canada, aimed at understanding the role of glacier dynamics in modulating regional glacier mass balance.
  • Paul Kench works to understand tropical coral reef systems and the physical response of coastlines to rising sea levels and impacts of sea level change on coastal communities. 

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

  • Nick Dulvy is a 2018 High Cited Researcher who studies the effect of climate change on fisheries, threatened species, coral reefs, sharks and rays worldwide.
  • Leah Bendell's Ecotox lab aims to quantify the effects of stressors on natural populations, communities, or ecosystems. She studies the movement of inorganic and organic contaminants through ecosystems, anthropogenic disruption of nutrient cycles, oceanic acidification as a consequence of climate change and the consequences of a changing community structure on geochemical processes.

New Frontiers

Science holds great promise in improving our world in ways that are hard to imagine. Here are just a few SFU researchers who are making strides in creating new ways of interacting in our world.

PHYSICS

  • Quantum computers will open up a world of opportunities — accomplishing certain computational tasks that are virtually impossible to do now. Stephanie Simmons and her team are ready to change the way we live and work.

MATHEMATICS

  • Artificial intelligence and, specifically, deep learning are reshaping our world. But these tools are poorly understood from a theoretical perspective, and known to sometimes make unreliable or incorrect predictions. Ben Adcock and his team work on the mathematical underpinnings for robust and reliable deep learning in applications such as medical and scientific imaging.

BIOMEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY & KINESIOLOGY

  • The Biomechanical Energy Harvester developed by Max Donelan and his team uses a knee brace that can generate about 5 watts of continuous power during level walking. The energy harvester can be used to store power and operate power battery operated gear.

STATISTICS

  • Jiguo Cao is a nationally recognized expert in developing statistical models using big data for an array of applications that tackle real world problems. Examples include sports analytics, identification of genes related to Alzheimer's disease and other complex phenotypes in biomedicine, understanding impacts of climate change on forest fires and landscape vulnerability, studying effects of air pollution on public health and predicting survival time of patients after organ transplantation.