Can't sleep? Blame these neurons

A “sleep switch” in the brain that helps explain why older people can't get a good night's rest
Michael Kennedy

New research led by University of Toronto neurologist Andrew Lim sheds light on sleep disruption in aging adults.

"In many older people with insomnia and other patterns of sleep disruption, the underlying cause is unknown,” said Lim, assistant professor of neurology and neuroscientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences.

“We provide evidence that loss of neurons in a particular region of the brain that controls sleep may be an important contributor to insomnia in many older individuals.”

Why this U of T biotech entrepreneur made MIT’s Innovators Under 35 list

Engineering alumnus David He tapped for work on covert startup, Quanttus
Brianna Goldberg

David He finds himself in good company today: MIT Technology Review just named him to its list of Innovators Under 35.

It's a title the University of Toronto engineering alumnus shares with past honourees such as Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Jonathan Ive (designer of the iPod and iPad), to name a few.

So what market disrupting innovation has He produced to get added to this list of game-changers?

Helping people with disabilities in Cameroon

Vitaly Kazakov

If you have a special connection to a place, it lasts a lifetime. When Lynn Cockburn was 11 years old, her father got a teaching job at a school in a small village near Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s North West Region. Her whole family ended up moving to Africa for two years.

“At first, it was really difficult for a small town Ontario girl to adjust to living in an African village,” says Cockburn. “That was quite an experience, but I loved it.”

What you need to know about the Ebola virus

A Q & A with experts from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Nicole Bodnar

The world is watching the outbreak of Ebola virus infection that has spread across West Africa, through the countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and most recently Nigeria, since early 2014. 

While the outbreak was first reported by North American sources in March, cases appear to have occurred as early as December 2013.

Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils increase fullness and could help manage weight

Leslie Shepherd

Eating about one serving a day of  beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can increase fullness, which may lead to better weight management and weight loss, a new study from a University of Toronto expert has found.

How a concussion started a career

In the clinic and the lab, Michael Hutchison is making his mark
Lanna Crucefix

It was the second concussion he received as a University of Toronto Varsity Blues hockey player that really piqued Michael Hutchison’s interest.

“Although the injuries were identical in terms of the diagnosis, I felt completely different,” he says. “I wanted to know why.”

Hope for ALS patients? Discovery of a gene's function offers clues

“This is an extremely important finding"
Katie Babcock and Heidi Singer

U of T researchers have found a missing link that helps to explain how ALS, one of the world’s most feared diseases, paralyses and ultimately kills its victims.

The breakthrough is helping them trace a path to a treatment or even a cure.

“ALS research has been taking baby steps for decades, but this has recently started changing to giant leaps,” said Karim Mekhail, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology. 

U of T researchers shed new light on biology underlying schizophrenia

Genes, pathways identified by international team could inform new approaches to treatment
Heidi Singer

It's the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date.

As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have helped identify more than 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Helping Botswana doctors build surgical capacity

"Our results are now equal to, and in some areas, even better than those of our North American partners”
Vitaly Kazakov

When Georges Azzie first arrived in Gaborone, Botswana, he was the only paediatric surgeon in that country. Not anymore.

Over the last decade, the University of Toronto associate professor has been spending three months a year in Gaborone performing surgeries and working with colleagues to address Botswana’s surgical care and education needs.

Using tiny technology to aid in the fight against cancer

Sarah McDonald

This year’s McLean award winner Aaron Wheeler believes the solution to the colossal challenge of personalizing medicine for cancer patients may be a tiny one.

The McLean award is funded jointly by U of T alumnus William McLean and U of T’s Connaught Fund. The $100,000 prize is awarded annually to support outstanding basic scientific research at the University of Toronto in the fields of physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, engineering sciences, and the theory and methods of statistics.

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