Lisa Porter, John TrantLisa Porter and John Trant, shown in this 2019 photo, are working with an international team to find improved methods of diagnosing prostate cancer.

UWindsor researchers lead international team in new diagnostics for prostate cancer

Because the first step in successful cancer treatment is diagnosis, UWindsor researchers John Trant and Lisa Porter are working with an international team to find improved methods of diagnosing aggressive drug-resistant forms of prostate cancer.

The team, comprised of researchers from the University of Windsor, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Vancouver Prostate Centre at the University of British Columbia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, has worked to identify alternative proteins present in prostate cancer to increase chances for successful diagnosis in patients.

A current method for detecting and targeting prostate cancer tumours is to search for production of a protein called Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen, or PSMA. PSMA imaging is used to detect prostate cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.

“PSMA is produced by prostate cancer tumours, so several therapies and diagnostic tools work by targeting PSMA,” said Dr. Porter.

“Recent research from our lab and others shows that prostate cancer can evolve into a new type of aggressive cancer, called neuroendrocrine prostate cancer, that stops making PSMA. This presents a potential problem when you are relying on PSMA to see the cancer.”

Dr. Trant says the team’s research involved identifying other PSMA-like proteins present in prostate cancer — NAALADaseL and mGluRs — produced as the presence of PSMA fades.

With new proteins to look for, the team developed a fluorescent probe that would bind to these specific proteins, allowing them to image cancer cells in pre-clinical settings.

“Usually, radiochemists are left with PET scans that can’t look at individual cells for cancer growth. With a fluorescent probe we can look at which specific cells this probe is binding to and exactly where it is located,” Trant said.

Porter says the study provides the groundwork for developing probes that can identify advanced prostate cancer using a multidisciplinary approach.

“If we can catch this progression early, we can save a life,” she says. “We want to help people detect their cancers faster.”

Porter is director of WE-Spark Health Institute; a collaboration among the University of Windsor, St Clair College, Windsor Regional Hospital, and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. The regional network focuses on bringing the results of local research to clinical care and improving the lives of patients in Windsor-Essex.

The work was funded by national grants awarded to each researcher, as well local support from the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation Seeds for Hope Program, and the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation Ride for Dad Windsor Chapter.

Wen TeohWen Teoh is one of two UWindsor recipients of the Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Award of Excellence.

Province hails two UWindsor workers as heroes

Wen Teoh, director of the Entrepreneurship Practice & Innovation Centre (EPICente), and learning specialist Dave Cormier of the Office of Open Learning were among the employees of Ontario universities honoured Friday by Jill Dunlop, provincial minister of colleges and universities.

The two received Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Awards of Excellence, which Dunlop said highlight the “incredible work” being done by Ontario’s faculty, staff, and graduate students.

“We are celebrating everyday heroes who stepped up amidst a global pandemic,” she said to an online gathering of the awardees.

Dave CormierCormier, pictured at left, was recognized for his efforts at “future-proofing,” helping to develop new ways of educating students during restrictions on physical proximity.

“I think the key skill that we can help develop in any student is the ability to deal with uncertainty,” he says. “They have so many options today, so much information and so many ways to communicate, that choosing what to do can be overwhelming.”

Cormier helps students hone practical skills, but says the more important part is getting them to understand how to work when they aren’t sure: by asking questions, taking risks, or fixing their mistakes.

He takes a similar approach to working with instructors on online learning.

“My work encourages teaching approaches that engage students with the complex questions of their fields, through open online practice. Open approaches create space for students to succeed across disciplines, while still learning to make their own decisions,” says Cormier.

Teoh won notice in the category of innovation and entrepreneurship for working with industry and business to drive economic growth and change.

“As a post-secondary institution, we have the opportunity and ability to encourage and support students and entrepreneurs to contribute to the economy in a meaningful way,” she says. “At EPICentre, we help them spot the opportunities, develop entrepreneurship competencies, and support them throughout their entrepreneurial journey.”

In nominating her for the honour, vice-president for research and innovation K.W. Michael Siu cited her “tireless work” for economic development.

“Despite challenges presented by COVID-19, Wen’s determination and passion to support student entrepreneurs never wavered,” he wrote.

Dr. Siu credited Teoh with spearheading six entrepreneurial programs, four of which were first launched during the pandemic, including an effort to source and manufacture face shields for frontline workers, help small businesses pivot to online services, and launching an accelerator program for social enterprises.

The ministry will post messages to its social media channels over the coming weeks congratulating each of the award recipients.

book “The Fabric of Civilization”Students who sign up to participate in the Reading Liberty group will receive a free copy of Virginia Postrel’s “The Fabric of Civilization.”

Reading Liberty group primed to resume sessions

Led by professor Lydia Miljan, the Reading Liberty group gives students the opportunity to explore a set of readings on the intellectual underpinnings of a free society without the stress of grades or assignments.

The book for this semester is Virginia Postrel’s The Fabric of Civilization.

Textiles are one of humanity's oldest and most influential technologies, but nowadays most people take them for granted. Drawing on her widely praised new book The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World, author Virginia Postrel will take members on a tour of some of the innovations — in fibre, spinning, weaving, and dyeing — that gave us today’s textile abundance and the ways textiles shaped civilization as we know it.

Reading Liberty sessions create a space for active discussion with other intellectually engaged individuals and gives students from across the University a chance to achieve unusual depth and perspective on the classical liberal tradition that could not be achieved through solitary study. Reading Liberty is open to all UWindsor students interested in expanding their knowledge of the philosophical ideas of liberty.

As always, membership is free: just sign up and provide your details. You will be added to the Teams channel and will receive a book by mail. Sign up by Jan. 30 to ensure delivery of the book before the first meeting on Feb. 15. The author will join the discussion on March 22. The final meeting will be April 12. All meetings will be held from noon to 2 p.m. As a bonus, if the group is able to meet in person, a light lunch will be served.

Find more information and sign up here:

Chrysler HallThe launch of a new self-serve supplier portal will bring changes to the University’s procure-to-pay process.

Procurement office launching self-service supplier portal

The procurement office will launch a new self-service supplier portal in the coming weeks that will enable suppliers to collaborate directly with the University of Windsor regarding their invoices and payments, as well as self-manage their own profile information.

This will serve to streamline University supplier management, thus increasing procure-to-pay process efficiency.

On Monday, Jan. 31, in advance of the supplier portal launch, the Single Sign-On landing page will change for campus users. Users are directed to select Company Single Sign-On and will need to already be logged into Microsoft Sign-In page. If they are already signed into other UWindsor single sign-on enabled resources, users will be directed straight to UWinsite Finance. If not signed in, they will need to enter their UWindsor credentials. Multi-factor authentication will also be applied to users if they are off campus and not using the GlobalProtect VPN.

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To request a new supplier, University staff will submit a UWinsite Finance ticket and include basic supplier contact details to start the process. The procurement office will review the ticket and send the supplier a link to register its details into the portal. University links to the UWinsite Finance ticket will be provided closer to launch.

The new self-service registration functionality within the portal will allow suppliers to enter or update their contact details, supply their banking information, and submit the online form. A member of the procurement office will review the information for approval, then the supplier will be added to the system. This will then trigger a confirmation email to the supplier and the staff requestor will receive notification that their supplier has been successfully added.

“The new supplier portal will increase efficiencies within the procure-to-pay process by ensuring that supplier information is up to date and correct,” says procurement manager Charlie Simpkins. “It will also relieve the burden of staff members having to work with their suppliers to complete PDF forms and submit them to our team.”

Existing suppliers will be notified of the new self-serve portal by email and will receive a welcome kit to help with the new process. Some more frequently used suppliers have been included in the testing process. Direct questions on helping a supplier to:

Detailed information about the new process will be made available at when the portal launches.

Michaëlle JeanAssumption University will confer the Christian Culture Series Gold Medal on former governor general Michaëlle Jean.

Assumption to confer medal on former governor general

Assumption University has named Michaëlle Jean, governor general of Canada from 2005 to 2010, as the recipient of its 2021 Christian Culture Series Gold Medal, recognizing laypeople for their “efforts in contributing to Christian ideals” in modern society.

A release announcing the choice credited Jean with seeking to build relations with Indigenous peoples, supporting the Canadian forces, working toward diplomacy at a human level, emphasizing the importance of bilingualism, addressing women’s rights, highlighting the power of education and culture, engaging youth, and promoting diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice.

Following her term as vice regent, Jean served as UNESCO special envoy to Haiti to support reconstruction efforts in the wake of its Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. In 2015, she began a four-year term as secretary-general of La Francophonie. With her husband, Jean is co-president and co-founder of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which provides support for excluded youth through the arts for social change and civic participation.

The award ceremony will take place on April 5, with details still to come.

Lancer Gaming Rocket LeagueA win Wednesday in Rocket League would put Lancer Gaming in the Ontario Post-Secondary Esports top three heading into the playoffs.

Esports team faces test in final regular-season match

A win against the Concordia Stingers in Rocket League play on Wednesday, Jan. 26, would put Lancer Gaming in the Ontario Post-Secondary Esports top three heading into the playoffs — “a great achievement” in the squad’s first season, says head coach Yusuf Naebkhil.

“The match will be a big one!” he says.

A live webcast over Twitch will begin at 8 p.m. Tune in here.

The team will virtually meet the Ryerson Rams the very next evening — Thursday, Jan. 27 — but on a different circuit: the National Association of Collegiate Esports. That contest will begin at 7 p.m., also available for live streaming.

Find more information on the Lancer Gaming website.

Globe with China highlightedA Jan. 26 discussion of Chinese culture is intended to help faculty and staff better support international students.

Wednesday presentation to explore the culture of China

Deena Wang, manager of international recruitment and partnerships, will lead an online discussion of the culture, cuisine, and customs of China on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

This free event, presented by the International Student Centre via Microsoft Teams as part of its ISC Culture Series, will begin at noon. Join the webinar here.

Sessions later this semester will focus on Indigenous cultures, Vietnam, and Nigeria, with dates and presenters to be announced later.

Sign up to express interest and receive an email reminder about future events.

Scrabble tiles reading "Pause. Breathe. Resume."Human Resources shares tips to help deal with stress.

Tips support mental health and wellness

When it comes to managing stress, it’s important to remember that our well-being is what matters most.

In a message sent Monday to UWindsor faculty and staff, Human Resources shares strategies to help find the way through challenging times:

  • Practise self-awareness. Get purposeful about taking a few moments throughout each day for mindful check-ins to help you feel more grounded.
  • Prioritize the basics. To help your body and mind function at their best and manage stress, take care of yourself first and meet those basic needs for sleep, hydration, exercise, and nutrition.
  • Create a coping plan. Be proactive and develop a coping plan that you can use to help you bring in the right support when you need it most.
  • Soothe your nervous system. Use coping strategies such as slow, deep breathing, singing, meditation, or connecting with others to help shift your body from stress to calm.
  • Meet yourself with kindness. Shift your inner dialogue away from self-criticism by practising self-compassion.

Read the entire Wellness Tip of the Week.