Research

The way research is conducted at the University of Saskatchewan is changing. Flexible space within the new facilities in D- and E-wing supports modern research activities for life and health science discovery. Faculty, researchers and graduate students now work in open-concept lab environments. With the expansion of the Health Sciences, we can expect research activity at the U of S to stay competitive with other institutions. 

Agriculture Health and Safety

Building on 20 years of leadership in agricultural safety and rural health issues, the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA) has evolved into a new national centre of excellence which has an expanded mandate in the field of agricultural safety, rural health, delivery of training programs and knowledge translation.

The Canadian Centre will continue to focus its resources on addressing public health issues related to the agricultural-rural ecosystem and bridge gaps that occur between the spectra of basic research, applied research, the community and policy.

Primary contact: Niels Koehncke
(306) 966-8286

canadian.centre@usask.ca

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Cancer

The Cancer Cluster occupies more than 6,000 sq. ft. of space on the 4th floor of the new Health Sciences Building at the University of Saskatchewan.This group includes seven Principal Investigators studying various aspects of cancer cell biology, including: 

  • alterations in cellular signaling pathways that contribute to oncogenesis
  • the impact of cancer-associated mutations on protein function and cell regulation
  • epigenetic mechanisms to regulate gene expression
  • DNA repair mechanisms
  • understanding the genetic dependencies of cancer cells via synthetic lethality to define new therapeutic targets
  • tumor immunology and immunotherapeutics

This group provides high caliber interdisciplinary training in the study of cancer cells utilizing a blend of cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, protein structure-function, enzymology, cell-based assays, and animal models to answer fundamental questions about the nature of cancer cells and how this information could be used to identify and validate new targets for therapy.The Cancer Cluster contains four Research Scientists from the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency and three Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan.The combined group size is about 35 people, including: graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, research technicians, summer students and undergraduate research project students. 

Primary contact: Deborah Anderson
(306) 966-7038

deborah.anderson@saskcancer.ca

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Cardiovascular

The Cardiovascular Research Group was established in 2003 with the mission of fostering excellence in cardiovascular research by facilitating activity and collaboration among cardiovascular researchers at the University of Saskatchewan along the common theme of integrated translational cardiovascular research from bench to bedside. The group is comprised of 20 scientists from Agriculture and Bioresources, Medicine, Pharmacy and Nutrition, Public Health and Veterinary Medicine.

Primary contact: Scot Stone
(306) 966-4217

scot.stone@usask.ca

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Drug Discovery and Development

The Drug Discovery and Development Research Group (DDDRG) provides pharmaceutical, nutritional, and molecular sciences expertise with an aim to develop effective and sustainable therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. They support and advance research leading to new therapeutic applications for existing drugs as well as the discovery of bioactive compounds found in prominent Saskatchewan agricultural products (e.g. flaxseed and pulse crops) as a value-added benefit to the agricultural economy.

Current research targets the metabolic dependencies in cancer and metabolic syndrome; focusing on flaxseed lignans and cyclopeptides and anthocyanidins of Saskatoon berries. The team is also investigating the repurposing of agents to break cancer resistance and is developing pharmaceutical analytical technology to improve cost effectiveness and analytical throughput.

 

Primary contact: Jane Alcorn
(306) 966-6365

jane.alcorn@usask.ca

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Immunology

The Immunology Research Group was formed during the early months of 2003 by a consortium of our university's immunologists. We comprise a large number of scientists from some five departments at the University of Saskatchewan as well as five associated research or diagnostic organizations. Our mandate is to foster immunology research within our community that is recognized both nationally and internationally for its excellence. Given that our discipline intersects deeply with so many others, our researchers focus their efforts on an array of specialities, including tumour and transplant immunology, allergy and asthma, infectious diseases, inflammation, toxicology, basic immunology and immunoregulation, at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. 

Primary contact: Peter Bretscher
(306) 966-4322

peter.bretscher@usask.ca

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Indigenous People

The Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre (IPHRC) is a partnership between the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan, with broad support from various health boards and Aboriginal health organizations. 

​IPHRC is focused on building capacity for community-based Indigenous health research in Saskatchewan, and creating networks of Indigenous health researchers regionally, nationally and internationally. We are researchers, students and community members who envision thriving, healthy, self-determining Indigenous peoples, families and communities.

Primary contact: Jo-Ann Episkenew
(306) 337-3318

jo-ann.episkenew@uregina.ca

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Mass Spectrometry

The Core MS Facility works to support research in which mass spectrometry plays a major role. With recent technology advancements, mass spectrometry has clearly become a critical tool for use in the qualitative and quantitative identification of biologically relevant molecules. As a consequence there has been an exponential growth of projects and applications with direct input coming from mass spectrometry.

The Core MS Facility is supported by individual faculty and their research projects with additional support coming from the College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA).

Primary contacts: George Katselis, Anas El-Aneed and Randy Purves

(306) 966-2937
coremassspeclab@usask.ca

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Molecular Design

The U of S currently conducts vigorous research into providing innovative treatments for infectious diseases, using molecular design of new drugs. Using this research and investments in unique synchrotron technologies at the Canadian Light Source, biological and containment facilities at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) with InterVac, the Molecular Design Research Group has submitted a proposal for a Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) position, which would provide a focal point for a team-driven aggressive attack on these infectious diseases that threaten our society.

Primary contact: Mirek Cygler
(306) 966-6307

mirek.cygler@usask.ca

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Neuroscience

The neuroscience cluster is a group of basic scientists and clinicians conducting neuroscience-related research at the University of Saskatchewan. Here, they share contiguous laboratory and office space within the new Health Sciences building. As a team, we are making great progress in understanding what causes certain brain disorders and how best to treat patients who suffer from these brain disorders. Twenty-one faculty members and over 60 trainees and research staff work in the areas of mental health, psychiatric disorders, and related illnesses, including:

  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Pain
  • Diabetes
Primary contact: Lisa Kalynchuk
(306) 966-7038

lisa.kalynchuk@usask.ca

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Population Health

The Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit is a bi-university health research unit based at the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan. Since 1999, SPHERU has established itself as a leader in cutting edge population health research that not only looks at what and the why of health inequities - but also how to address these and take action.

While much population health research focuses on describing health inequities, SPHERU’s focus is on population health intervention research: We look at how to address inequities by taking action on the social determinants of health. By intervention, we mean any developments or changes to policies, programs, research, funding, or any other action that influences the determinants of health and positively affect population health outcomes.

SPHERU’s work includes the creation of new knowledge, independent policy analysis, collaborative research with policy makers, and collaboration with communities to develop strategies to reduce health inequities. Much of our work falls within the following main themes:

  • Northern and Aboriginal Health
  • Healthy Children
  • Rural Health and
  • History of Health Inequities

Primary contact: Sylvia Abonyi
(306) 966-2194
sylvia.abonyi@usask.ca

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Protein Science

The Proteomics Research in Interactions and Structure of Macromolecules (PRISM) Centre brings together a large group of scientists with diverse research programs with protein science as a common denominator. The research themes of PRISM members are related to the understanding and utilization of molecular processes in the cell and in cell-cell interactions, and include:

  • signal transduction and molecular mechanisms of cancer
  • protein-protein interactions and molecular mechanism of pathogenicity
  • molecular mechanisms of immunity and vaccine development
  • small molecular inhibitors as therapeutic agents

PRISM maintains the Protein Characterization and Crystallization Facility (PCCF), which provides access to specialized equipment guided by knowledgeable PhD-level staff.  

Primary contact: Miroslaw Cygler
(306) 966-4361
miroslaw.cygler@usask.ca

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