• Tetrathiafulvalene and 2,2'-Bipyridine: Bridging both Worlds in the Pursuit of Novel Molecular Materials

      Gumbau-Brisa, Roger; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2013-04-04)
      The preparation and characterization of two families of building blocks for molecule-based magnetic and conducting materials are described in three projects. In the first project the synthesis and characterization of three bis-imine ligands LI - L3 is reported. Coordination of LI to a series of metal salts afforded the five novel coordination complexes Sn(L4)C4 (I), [Mn(L4)(u-CI)(CI)(EtOH)h (II), [CU(L4)(u-sal) h(CI04)2 (sal = salicylaldehyde anion) (III), [Fe(Ls)2]CI (IV) and [Fe(LI)h(u-O) (V). All complexes have been structurally and magnetically characterized. X-ray diffraction studies revealed that, upon coordination to Lewis acidic metal salts, the imine bonds of LI are susceptible to nucleophilic attack. As a consequence, the coordination complexes (I) - (IV) contain either the cyclised ligand L4 or hydrolysed ligand Ls. In contrast, the dimeric Fe3+ complex (V) comprises two intact ligand LI molecules. In. this complex, the ligand chelates two Fe(III) centres in a bis-bidentate manner through the lone pairs of a phenoxy oxygen and an imine nitrogen atom. Magnetic studies of complexes (II-V) indicate that the dominant interactions between neighbouring metal centres in all of the complexes are antiferromagnetic. In the second project the synthesis and characterization two families of TTF donors, namely the cyano aryl compounds (VI) - (XI) and the his-aryl TTF derivatives (XII) - (XIV) are reported. The crystal structures of compounds (VI), (VII), (IX) and (XII) exhibit regular stacks comprising of neutral donors. The UV -Vis spectra of compounds (VI) - (XIV) present an leT band, indicative of the transfer of electron density from the TTF donors to the aryl acceptor molecules. Chemical oxidation of donors (VI), (VII), (IX) and (XII) with iodine afforded a series of CT salts that where possible have been characterized by single crystal X -ray diffraction. Structural studies showed that the radical cations in these salts are organized in stacks comprising of dimers of oxidized TTF donors. All four salts behave as semiconductors, displaying room temperature conductivities ranging from 1.852 x 10-7 to 9.620 X 10-3 Scm-I. A second series of CT salts were successfully prepared via the technique of electrocrystallization. Following this methodology, single crystals of two CT salts were obtained. The single crystal X-ray structures of both salts are isostructural, displaying stacks formed by trimers of oxidized donors. Variable temperature conductivity measurements carried out on this series of CT salts reveal they also are semiconductors with conductivities ranging from 2.94 x 10-7 to 1.960 X 10-3 S em-I at room temperature. In the third project the synthesis and characterization of a series of MII(hfac)2 coordination complexes of donor ligand (XII) where M2+ = Co2+, Cu2+, Ni2+ and Zn2+ are reported. These complexes crystallize in a head-to-tail arrangement of TTF donor and bipyridine moieties, placing the metal centres and hfac ligands are located outside the stacks. Magnetic studies of the complexes (XV) - (XVIII) indicate that the bulky hfac ligands prevent neighbouring metal centres from assembling in close proximity, and thus they are magnetically isolated.
    • Theory and Application of a Pure-sampling Quantum Monte Carlo Algorithm

      Ospadov, Egor; Department of Physics
      The objective of pure-sampling quantum Monte Carlo is to calculate physical properties that are independent of the importance sampling function being employed in the calculation, save for the mismatch of its nodal hypersurface with that of the exact wave function. To achieve this objective, we describe a pure-sampling algorithm that combines features of forward-walking methods of pure-sampling and reptation quantum Monte Carlo. The importance sampling is performed by using a single-determinant basis set composed of Slater-type orbitals. We implement our algorithm by systematically increasing an algorithmic parameter until the properties sampled from the electron distributions converge to statistically equivalent values, extrapolated in the limit of zero time-step. In doing so, we are able to unambiguously determine the values for the ground-state fixed-node energies and one-electron properties of various molecules. These quantities are free from importance sampling bias, population control bias, time-step bias, extrapolation-model bias, and the finite-field approximation. We applied our algorithm to the ground-states of lithium hydride, water and ethylene molecules, and found excellent agreement with the accepted literature values for the energy and a variety of other properties for those systems. Some of our one-electron properties of ethylene had not been calculated before at any level of theory. In a detailed comparison, we found reptation quantum Monte Carlo, our closest competitor, to be less efficient by at least a factor of two. It requires different sets of time-steps to accurately determine the ground-state energy and one-electron properties, whereas our algorithm can achieve the same objective by using a single set of time-step values.
    • Thermal tasting: methodological considerations and implications for alcohol behaviour.

      Thibodeau, Margaret; Department of Biological Sciences
      Thermal tasting is a phenomenon whereby some individuals perceive thermally-induced taste sensations when their tongue is warmed or cooled. These individuals, known as thermal tasters (TT), report a variety of thermally-induced tastes and the tastes reported can vary with temperature regime used and location on the tongue tested. TT are typically compared to thermal non-tasters (TnT), individuals who do not experience thermally-induced sensations. The literature suggests that TT give higher intensity ratings to orosensory stimuli than TnT; however, small sample sizes and differences in classification schemes between studies confound our understanding of TTS (thermal taste status). It is unknown whether the increased orosensory responsiveness of TT is universal or whether it is driven by a subgroup of TT. Furthermore, up to 50% of individuals are non-classifiable (NC). The largest database of individuals who have undergone TTS screening was compiled to address the literature gaps. Findings indicate that TT are more responsive than TnT to orosensory stimuli, regardless of the classification scheme used. The orosensory responsiveness of NC is not homogeneous, suggesting that NC are not a separate group but rather misclassified TT and TnT. Sweet TT are more likely than non-sweet TT to experience thermally-induced sensations during lingual warming. Similarly, sour TT are more likely than non-sour TT to report thermally-induced tastes during cooling. However, no differences in orosensory responsiveness based on these or other subgroups are identified, suggesting that the heightened orosensory responsiveness of TT is universal across this phenotype. The final study sought to characterize the binary interactions between ethanol and four orosensory stimuli (fructose, quinine, tartaric acid and alum sulphate) both overall and by comparing TT and TnT. In general, TT are more responsive than TnT to all stimuli in the study. Few interactions between TTS and stimulus intensity exist suggesting that TT and TnT perceive the sensations elicited by alcoholic beverages similarly, albeit at different intensities. Together, the thesis helps inform best practices for TTS screening and classification, provides insights into TTS mechanisms and furthers our understanding of alcoholic beverage perception.
    • Top-down and Bottom-up influences on ACC activation: Evaluation of a proposed model of the feedback-related negativity

      Dzyundzyak, Angela; Department of Psychology (Brock University, 2014-07-18)
      The Feedback-Related Negativity (FRN) is thought to reflect the dopaminergic prediction error signal from the subcortical areas to the ACC (i.e., a bottom-up signal). Two studies were conducted in order to test a new model of FRN generation, which includes direct modulating influences of medial PFC (i.e., top-down signals) on the ACC at the time of the FRN. Study 1 examined the effects of one’s sense of control (top-down) and of informative cues (bottom-up) on the FRN measures. In Study 2, sense of control and instruction-based (top-down) and probability-based expectations (bottom-up) were manipulated to test the proposed model. The results suggest that any influences of medial PFC on the activity of the ACC that occur in the context of incentive tasks are not direct. The FRN was shown to be sensitive to salient stimulus characteristics. The results of this dissertation partially support the reinforcement learning theory, in that the FRN is a marker for prediction error signal from subcortical areas. However, the pattern of results outlined here suggests that prediction errors are based on salient stimulus characteristics and are not reward specific. A second goal of this dissertation was to examine whether ACC activity, measured through the FRN, is altered in individuals at-risk for problem-gambling behaviour (PG). Individuals in this group were more sensitive to the valence of the outcome in a gambling task compared to not at-risk individuals, suggesting that gambling contexts increase the sensitivity of the reward system to valence of the outcome in individuals at risk for PG. Furthermore, at-risk participants showed an increased sensitivity to reward characteristics and a decreased response to loss outcomes. This contrasts with those not at risk whose FRNs were sensitive to losses. As the results did not replicate previous research showing attenuated FRNs in pathological gamblers, it is likely that the size and time of the FRN does not change gradually with increasing risk of maladaptive behaviour. Instead, changes in ACC activity reflected by the FRN in general can be observed only after behaviour becomes clinically maladaptive or through comparison between different types of gain/loss outcomes.
    • Towards reverse engineering of Photosystem II: Synergistic Computational and Experimental Approaches

      Mahboob, Abdullah; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2014-10-01)
      ABSTRACT Photosystem II (PSII) of oxygenic photosynthesis has the unique ability to photochemically oxidize water, extracting electrons from water to result in the evolution of oxygen gas while depositing these electrons to the rest of the photosynthetic machinery which in turn reduces CO2 to carbohydrate molecules acting as fuel for the cell. Unfortunately, native PSII is unstable and not suitable to be used in industrial applications. Consequently, there is a need to reverse-engineer the water oxidation photochemical reactions of PSII using solution-stable proteins. But what does it take to reverse-engineer PSII’s reactions? PSII has the pigment with the highest oxidation potential in nature known as P680. The high oxidation of P680 is in fact the driving force for water oxidation. P680 is made up of a chlorophyll a dimer embedded inside the relatively hydrophobic transmembrane environment of PSII. In this thesis, the electrostatic factors contributing to the high oxidation potential of P680 are described. PSII oxidizes water in a specialized metal cluster known as the Oxygen Evolving Complex (OEC). The pathways that water can take to enter the relatively hydrophobic region of PSII are described as well. A previous attempt to reverse engineer PSII’s reactions using the protein scaffold of E. coli’s Bacterioferritin (BFR) existed. The oxidation potential of the pigment used for the BFR ‘reaction centre’ was measured and the protein effects calculated in a similar fashion to how P680 potentials were calculated in PSII. The BFR-RC’s pigment oxidation potential was found to be 0.57 V, too low to oxidize water or tyrosine like PSII. We suggest that the observed tyrosine oxidation in BRF-RC could be driven by the ZnCe6 di-cation. In order to increase the efficiency of iii tyrosine oxidation, and ultimately oxidize water, the first potential of ZnCe6 would have to attain a value in excess of 0.8 V. The results were used to develop a second generation of BFR-RC using a high oxidation pigment. The hypervalent phosphorous porphyrin forms a radical pair that can be observed using Transient Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (TR-EPR). Finally, the results from this thesis are discussed in light of the development of solar fuel producing systems.
    • Trading nitrogen for carbon: Nitrogen and carbon translocation in a plant/fungal (Metarhizium spp.) symbiosis

      Behie, Scott William; Centre for Biotechnology
      While nitrogen is critical for all plants, they are unable to utilize organically bound nitrogen in soils. Therefore, the majority of plants obtain useable nitrogen through nitrogen fixing bacteria and the microbial decomposition of organic matter. In the majority of cases, symbiotic microorganisms directly furnish plant roots with inorganic forms of nitrogen. More than 80% of all land plants form intimate symbiotic relationships with root colonizing fungi. These common plant/fungal interactions have been defined largely through nutrient exchange, where the plant receives limiting soil nutrients, such as nitrogen, in exchange for plant derived carbon. Fungal endophytes are common plant colonizers. A number of these fungal species have a dual life cycle, meaning that they are not solely plant colonizers, but also saprophytes, insect pathogens, or plant pathogens. By using 15N labeled, Metarhizium infected, wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella) in soil microcosms, I demonstrated that the common endophytic, insect pathogenic fungi Metarhizium spp. are able to infect living soil borne insects, and subsequently colonize plant roots and furnish ts plant host with useable, insect-derived nitrogen. In addition, I showed that another ecologically important, endophytic, insect pathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana, is able to transfer insect-derived nitrogen to its plant host. I demonstrated that these relationships between various plant species and endophytic, insect pathogenic fungi help to improve overall plant health. By using 13C-labeled CO2, added to airtight plant growth chambers, coupled with nuclear magnetic resosnance spectroscopy, I was able to track the movement of carbon from the atmosphere, into the plant, and finally into the root colonized fungal biomass. This indicates that Metarhizium exists in a symbiotic partnership with plants, where insect nitrogen is exchanged for plant carbon. Overall these studies provide the first evidence of nutrient exchange between an insect pathogenic fungus and plants, a relationship that has potentially useful implications on plant primary production, soil health, and overall ecosystem stability.
    • Transmission Dynamics and Epidemiology of West Nile Virus in Ontario, Canada

      Giordano, Bryan; Centre for Biotechnology
      The resurgence of West Nile virus (WNV; Family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) in Ontario, Canada in 2012 demonstrated that there is a great need for a reassessment of the local mosquito fauna, estimation of risk of WNV transmission, and the creation of effective arboviral awareness campaigns. A review of the current literature and collection databases revealed that there are 68 mosquito species known from Ontario (Chapter 2). Ten species were added to the list of species including Culex erraticus (Chapter 3) and Aedes albopictus (Chapter 4), both of which are capable of transmitting West Nile virus. Ae. albopictus was repeatedly collected from Windsor, Ontario in 2016 (Chapter 4). Immatures (n=78) were collected from tires, StyrofoamTM containers, and discarded garbage. Adult female (n=17) and male (n=2) specimens were collected from light traps (n=7) and Biogents-Sentinel traps (n=10). Additional specimens were obtained from Franklin County, Ohio. The generated gene tree and Bayesian cluster analysis grouped sequences described from Ohio and Windsor together on the same branches. Together these data suggest that the population in Windsor originated as a founder population of North American origin by means of human-aided dispersal. Mosquito abundance predication surfaces and seasonal distributions were attempted for each vector species to identify where and when vector species are most abundant in southern Ontario (Chapter 5). Spatial prediction surfaces using kriging were created for Aedes vexans, Aedes japonicus, Culex pipiens, Culex restuans, and Ochlerotatus trivittatus. Proximity to landscape variables was observed to improve model prediction. An epidemiological analysis of WNV human case prevalence and mosquito infection was conducted (Chapter 6). A strong quadratic relationship between the number of human cases and positive mosquito pools at the end of each year was observed (R2=0.9783, p < 0.001). Spearman rank correlation tests identified mosquito infection rates as the strongest predictors of human case prevalence at a one-week lag period. Average temperature was a strong predictor of mosquito infection rates. Cumulative positive Culex pools recorded by epidemiological week 34 is a sufficient action threshold for West Nile virus epidemics. These data have the potential to contribute to a more efficient West Nile virus awareness campaign.
    • Trends Shaping Education and Innovative Learning Environments: A Discourse Analysis of OECD CERI Projects

      Rigas, Bob; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was created in 1960 to advance economic expansion and world trade. Although it lacks a specific mandate for education, it has shaped national educational policy through the dissemination of ideas and transnational research. The Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI), a branch of the OECD, was created in 1968. Its potential influence on the educational policy of nation states suggests a need to investigate its vision for K-12 education. The purpose of this research was to critically analyse two major projects undertaken by CERI: Trends Shaping Education and Innovative Learning Environments, with respect to the nature of their embedded political discourse, as well as their constructions of K-12 schooling, teachers, and learners. Additionally, it critically explored how the discourse of innovation, accountability, and governance shapes education in particular ways. Drawing from Fairclough’s methods of critical discourse analysis (CDA), as adapted by Grewal, it examined the ideological and discursive nature of the CERI projects. Texts were interpreted through a liberal theoretical framework. Findings suggest the CERI Projects frame a neoliberal vision for K-12 education focussed primarily on economic ends. Although the social dimension of education is recognized with respect to its need to foster equity, equality and social cohesion, its discourse is best characterized as a form of flanking and roll-out neoliberalism. Both Projects embrace a human capital approach to education and advance a neoliberal subjectivity in which learners are defined by their economic utility and are framed as future workers who are flexible, adaptable, resilient, responsible, innovative, entrepreneurial, and good problem solvers. The ILE Project’s promotion of networks and partnerships with other sectors and business reflects a transition away from government to governance as promoted by New Public Governance, which also reflects a neoliberal orientation. In both Projects, innovation, accountability, and governance are nominalizations that reinforce a neoliberal policy perspective of education.  
    • Triarylamminium radical-cation complexes: design and magnetic properties and Base-catalyzed hydrosilylation: mechanism and substrate scope

      Revunova, Kseniya; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2014-02-20)
      1. Triarylamminium radical-cation complexes. The detailed study of manganese, copper and nickel metal-radical complexes with triarylamminium ligands was conducted. Stable, neutral and pseudo-octahedral coordination monometallic complexes with simple monodentate 2,2`-bipyridine ligand containing a redox-active N,N`-(4,4`-dimethoxydiphenyl-amino) substituent were synthesized and fully characterized. The one-electron oxidation process and formation of persistent radical-cation complexes was observed by cyclic voltammetry and spectroelectrochemical measurements. Evans method measurements were performed with radical-cation complexes generated by chemical one-electron oxidation with NOPF6 in acetonitrile. The experimental results indicate ferromagnetic coupling between metal and triarylamminium cation in manganese (II) complex and antiferromagnetic coupling in nickel (II) complex. This data is supported by DFT calculations which also lend weight to the  spin polarization mechanism as an operative model for magnetic exchange coupling. Neutral bimetallic complexes with a new ditopic ligand were synthesized and fully characterized, including magnetic and electrochemical studies. Chemical oxidation of these precursor complexes did not generate radical-cations, but dicationic complexes, which was confirmed by UV-vis and EPR-experiments, as well as varied temperature magnetic measurements. DFT calculations for radical-cation complexes are included. A synthetic pathway for polytopic ligand with multiple redox-active triarylamine sites was developed. The structure of the ligand is presumably suitable for -spin polarization exchange model and allows for production of polymetallic complexes having high spin ground states. 2. Base-catalyzed hydrosilylation. A simple reductive base-catalyzed hydrosilation of aldehydes and ketones was adapted to the use of the cheap, safe, and non-toxic polymethylhydrosiloxane (PMHS) instead of the common PhSiH3 and (EtO)3SiH, which present significant cost and safety concerns, respectively. The conversion of silane into pentacoordinate silicate species upon addition of a base was studied in details for the cases of phenyl silane and PMHS and is believed to be essential for the hydrosilylation process. We discovered that nucleophiles (a base or fluoride-anion) induced the rearrangement of PMHS and TMDS into light silanes: MeSiH3 and Me2SiH2, respectively. The reductive properties of PMHS under basic conditions can be attributed to the formation of methyl silane and its conversion into a silicate species. A procedure for the generation of methyl silane and its use in further efficient reductions of aldehydes and ketones has been developed. The protocol was extended to the selective reduction of esters and tertiary amides into alcohols and aldimines into amines with good isolated yields and reduction of heterocyclic compounds was attempted.
    • Two enantiodivergent syntheses of balanol and the chemoenzymatic synthesis of oseltamivir

      Sulliva, Braddord Thomas; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2010-10-25)
      The present thesis outlines our latest findings on the reactivity of the Burgess reagent with oxiranes. Structural, mechanistic, and computational studies are presented. Included is the development of a (-)-menthyl version of the Burgess reagent and its application to the synthesis of enantiomerically pure ~-amino alcohols. This methodology has been exploited in the formal enantiodivergent synthesis of the (+)- and (-)-isomers of balanol. Also described is a second generation approach to both balanol enantiomers; each commencmg with the chemoenzymatic dihydroxylation of bromobenzene. This study also describes the steric and functional limitations of the toluene dioxygenase-mediated oxidation of benzoate esters. The metabolite derived from ethyl benzoate was employed in a formal synthesis of oseltamivir. Finally, several synthetic approaches to oseltamivir and its analogs are presented, each proceeding through a different vinyl aziridine derived from bromobenzene and ethyl benzoate.
    • Understanding Nepali Youth’s Community Participation in the Post-Disaster Context

      Maharjan, Nabin; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      As Nepal witnessed the significant contribution of youth in the 2015 earthquake crisis, their community participation received nation-wide attention and acknowledgement (GoN, 2015, and Sherriff, 2016); however, a little attention has been paid to understand their participation practices and perspectives. Witnessing youth active participation in the community, this study has attempted to explore their engagement in the post-disaster context of Nepal by using Cornwall’s (2000a) situated practices, and Stammers’ (2009) paradox of institutionalization as conceptual frameworks. This study adopted Participatory Action Research (PAR) method to explore the nature of youth engagement, factors for their community (dis)engagement, and youth’s conceptualization of participation based on their own lived experiences. 36 Nepali youth, who were actively engaged in the community (seven as co-researchers and 29 as research participants), participated in this study. Data were collected using Cooperative Inquiry (CI) workshops, interviews and focus group discussions, field visits, and social media content analysis. Later, data were analyzed using thematic analysis; and five key themes emerged from the collected data. These themes not only illustrated how youth were engaged in complex and hybrid ways, but also revealed the influence of socio-cultural and economic situation, and institutional practices on youth (dis)engagement in the community. The study exhibits the necessity of incorporating youth’s perspectives on participation and changing youth participation practices rather than mere adult-centric narratives of youth participation or institution-driven, tokenistic and unsustainable youth mobilization practices in Nepal.
    • Understanding the Complex Mental Health Challenges of Children and Adolescents Seeking Community-based Care

      Gallant, Caitlyn; Department of Psychology
      Studies have shown that children and adolescents with neurostructural and/or neurodevelopmental challenges experience worse mental health outcomes than their neurotypical peers, including more extensive service use, more severe symptomatology, and greater functional impairment. Despite the poor prognoses of these children and adolescents, few studies have investigated the neurocognitive contributions to mental health complexity among those seeking community-based mental health services. At present, environmental/social and behavioural factors remain the primary focus of treatment plans and much of the research examining this complex population has targeted psychosocial determinants. However, interventions based on these factors alone are not always effective, as they fail to account for neurocognitive challenges, which can significantly contribute to psychiatric presentations. This dissertation involves two studies that aimed to address these gaps in the literature and inform current practices in paediatric community mental health settings. Using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), Study 1 tested the generalizability of a path model predicting service use among those with (n = 66) and without (n = 97) neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs). As expected, those with NDs had higher levels of symptomatology and greater service use than those without, and there were notable differences in the predictive pathways across ND groups. Similar paths were found between externalizing challenges and service use among all children/adolescents; however, the paths from internalizing challenges, early life adversity, and sex were only significant among the ND group, indicating that neurodevelopmental status is an important moderator of outcomes. In Study 2, a mixed methods approach was employed to examine how neuropsychological information could help inform current practice. Qualitative results confirmed that neuropsychological factors are often overlooked when utilizing current approaches and that observable symptoms, rather than underlying causes, are a primary focus of treatment. Further, neurocognitive deficits were found to be associated with self-reported interpersonal difficulties and caregivers’ reports of externalizing; however, only caregiver-reported externalizing challenges correlated with poorer treatment outcomes. Importantly, neurocognitive challenges were associated with long-term treatment responses, suggesting that these factors may be an important therapeutic target. Collectively, these findings indicate that using an exclusively psychosocial treatment approach, without considering neuropsychological factors, may not be effective among complex cases.
    • Understanding the Intersection of Reformed Faith and Dutch Immigrant Culture in Ontario Independent Christian Schools: Principals’ Experiences and Perspectives

      Teeuwsen, Philip; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      In the aftermath of World War II, a wave of Dutch Reformed immigrants arrived in Ontario, many of whom joined the Christian Reformed Church. Following familiar cultural patterns, history, and their Reformed Christian faith, these immigrants settled in Ontario with remarkable institutional completeness (Breton, 1964). They quickly established independent, parent-operated Christian schools across Ontario. The primary purpose of the schools was to educate children through a comprehensive biblically based school program, yet this religious purpose often intersected with a Dutch immigrant ethnic culture. Van Dijk (2001) states that “the schools were the most important organization in maintaining the religious and ethnic identity of Calvinists” (p. 66). In this qualitative study I explore the intersection of Reformed faith and Dutch Canadian immigrant ethnic culture in Christian schools through the experiential and professional lens of eight retired principals. Employing a theoretical framework informed by Berger’s (1967) Sacred Canopy, I suggest that the intersection of faith and culture was experienced in the schools and was embodied by the schools themselves. Findings point to this intersection being located in the participants’ experience of (a) Dutchness, (b) the struggle for Christian education, (c) the ties that bound the school community together, and (d) the cloud of witnesses that founded and continues to support and encourage the Christian school community. The study offers insight into a Dutch Reformed immigrant group’s experience carving out a niche for themselves on the educational landscape in Ontario. This study also offers suggestions on how Christian schools can broaden their canopy and become more ethnically and denominationally diverse in the future.

      Abbas, Basma; Centre for Biotechnology
      Adenoviruses are the most commonly used in the development of oncolytic therapy. Oncolytic adenoviruses are genetically modified to selectivity replicate in and kill tumor cells. The p53 molecule is a tumor suppressor protein that responds to viral infection through the activation of apoptosis, which is inhibited by adenovirus E1B55kDa protein leading to progressive viral lytic cycle. The non-specificity of replication has limited the use of wild type adenovirus in cancer therapy. This issue was resolved by using an E1b deleted Ad that can only replicate in cells with a deficiency in the p53 protein, a common feature of most cancer cells. Although demonstrating a moderate success rate, E1b55kDa deleted Ad has not been approved as a standard therapy for all cancer types. Several studies have revealed that E1b deleted Ad replication was independent of p53 status in the cell, as the virus replicated better in some p53 deficient cancers more than others. However, this mechanism has not been investigated deeply. Therefore, the objective of this study is to understand the relationship between p53 status, levels and functional activity, and oncolytic Ad5dlE1b55kDa replication efficiency. Firstly, five transient p53 expression vectors that contain different regulatory elements were engineered and then evaluated in H1299, HEK293 and HeLa cell lines. Data indicated that vector that contains the MARs and HPRE regulatory elements achieved the highest stability of p53 expression. Secondly, we used these vectors to examine the effect of various p53 expression levels on the replication efficiency of oncolytic Ad5dlE1b55kDa. We found that the level of p53 in the cell had an insignificant effect on the oncolytic viruses’ replication. However, the functional activity of p53 had a significant effect on its replication, as Ad5dlE1b55kDa was shown to have selective activity in H1299 cells (p53-null). In contrast, a decrease in viral replication was found in HeLa cells (p53-positive). Finally, the effect of p53’s functional activity on the replication efficiency of oncolytic Ad5dlE1b55kDa was examined. Viral growth was evaluated in H1299 cells expressing number of p53 mutants. P53-R175H mutant successfully rescued viral growth by allowing the virus to exert its mechanism of selectivity. The mechanism entailed deregulating the expression of specific genes, cell cycle and apoptosis, in the p53 pathway to promote its production leading to efficient oncolytic effect. These results confirmed that oncolytic Ad5dlE1b55kDa sensitivity is mutation-type specific. Therefore, before it is applied clinically as cancer therapy for p53 deficient tumors, the type of p53 mutation must be determined for efficient antitumor effect.
    • Unique and unifying themes in the mechanisms regulating the expression of the arabidopsis thaliana PR-1 and Solanum tuberosum PR-10a inducible defense genes

      Boyle, Patrick; Centre for Biotechnology (Brock University, 2010-10-25)
      Arabidopsis is a model plant used to study disease resistance; Solanum tuberosum or potato is a crop species. Both plants possess inducible defense mechanisms that are deployed upon recognition of pathogen invasion. Transcriptional reprogramming is crucial to the activation of defense responses. The Pathogenesis-Related (PR) genes are activated in these defense programs. Expression of Arabidopsis PR-l and potato PR-10a serve as markers for the deployment of defense responses in these plants. PR-l expression indicates induction of systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Activation of SAR requires accumulation of salicylic acid (SA), in addition to the interaction of the non-expressor of pathogenesis-related genes I (NPRI), with the TGA transcription factors. The PR-10a is activated in response to pathogen invasion, wounding and elicitor treatment. PR-10a induction requires recruitment of the Whirly I (Whyl) activator to the promoter. This locus is also negatively regulated by the silencer element binding factor (SEBF). We established that both the PR-l and PR-10a are occupied by repressors under non-inducing conditions. TGA2 was found to be a constitutive resident and repressor of PR-l, which mediates repression by forming an oligomeric complex on the promoter. The DNA-binding activity of this oligomer required the TGA2 N-terminus (NT). Under resting conditions we determined that the PR-10a is bound by a repressosome containing SEBF and curiously the activator Pto interacting protein 4 (Pti4). In the context of this repressosome, SEBF is responsible for PR-10a binding, yet rWe also showed that PR-l and PR-10a are activated by different means. In PR-l activation the NPRI NT domain alleviates TGA2-mediated repression by interacting with the TGA2 NT. TGA2 remains at the PR-l but adopts a dimeric conformation and forms an enhanceosome with NPRl. In contrast, the PR-10a is activated by evicting the repressosome and recruiting Why! to the promoter. These results advance our understanding of the mechanisms regulating PR-l and PR-10a expression under resting and inducing conditions. This study also revealed that the means of regulation for related genes can differ greatly between model and crop s
    • University Faculty Members’ Understanding of Their Role: Identity, Power, and Silence

      Kumar, Rahul; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This qualitative study was conducted to explore tenured faculty members’ understandings of their roles as professors. Tenure is an institutional means to enact academic freedom, which allows tenured faculty members to investigate topics of their choosing free from external influence. Academic freedom also enables faculty members to be public intellectuals who shape and critique social policies and make knowledge assertions. In effect, the faculty members are institutionally protected to speak truth to power. Purposeful sampling of 9 participants from 2 universities yielded 3 major themes: professorial identity (shaped by such factors as career stage, university culture, and faculty affiliation), professorial power (powers that participants experienced as well as the ways in which they exercised power), and professorial silencing (as a response to fiscal realities coupled with numerous governance issues). While participants were cognizant of the powers that affected their freedoms, they were less aware of the ways in which their position afforded them powers. Subtle but more potent forms of power were at play for tenured professors, but the participants saw themselves as having to work within institutional and financial constraints that limited their freedom to speak out on controversial issues. Faculty members were, thus, silenced and at times chose to self-silence. The context of the present-day university, governance models, and the financial issues affecting universities and departments worked in concert to silence this critical voice in society.
    • The Untried Path: Exemplary Elementary School Teachers’ Understanding of and Experiences with Classroom Assessment

      Beckett, Danielle; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This qualitative phenomenological research study sought to describe teachers’ understanding of and experiences with AfL, AaL, and AoL when using 21st Century approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment. Purposeful sampling was used to select 4 exemplary Canadian elementary school teachers who had a history of using a professional blog for reflective practice. Data collection methods included elementary school teachers’ professional blogs and semi-structured interviews. Data analysis revealed exemplary elementary school teachers’ understandings and living examples of classroom assessment in a 21st Century context. Results also illustrated how technology-integrated assessment gave students the “power to create” and demonstrate their learning in unprecedented ways and provided teachers with rich assessments of student learning. The study discusses implications for classroom practice and educational research, and offers some initial thoughts on the interactions among the purposes of assessment. The study will be of particular interest to teachers who are interested in improving assessment practices in their classrooms and will provide teacher education programs with insight on how to best prepare teacher candidates for 21st Century education.
    • Unveiling Shi’i Religious Identities: Case Studies of Hijab in Culturally Homogeneous Canadian Schools

      Al-Fartousi, May; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-01-24)
      This qualitative case study explored 10 young female Shi’i Muslim Arabic-Canadian students’ experiences associated with wearing the Hijab (headscarf) within their home, community, and predominantly White Canadian public elementary school environments. The study integrated several bodies of scholarly theories in order to examine the data under a set of comprehensive lenses that more fully articulates and theorizes on the diversity of female Shi’i Muslim Canadian students’ experiences. These theories are: identity theories with a focus on religious identity and negative stereotypes associated with Muslims; feminism and the Hijab discourses; research pertaining to Muslims in school settings; and critical race theory. In order to readdress the dearth of information about Shi’is’ experiences in schools, this study provides an in-depth case study analysis in which the methodology strategies included 10 semi-structured in-depth interviews, 2 focus-group meetings, and the incorporation of the researcher’s fieldnotes. Data analysis revealed the following themes corresponding to participants’ experiences and values in their social worlds of home, community, and schools: (a) martyrdom and self-sacrifice as a means for social justice; (b) transformational meaning of the Hijab; (c) intersectionality between culture, religion, and gender; and (d) effects of visits “back home” on participants’ religious identities. Additional themes related to participants’ school experiences included: (a) “us versus them” mentality; (b) religious and complex secular dialogues; (c) absence of Muslim representations in monocultural schools; (d) discrimination; (e) remaining silent versus speaking out; and (f) participants’ strategies for preserving their identities. Recommendations are made to integrate Shi’i Muslim females’ identity within the context of Islam and the West, most notably in relation to: (a) the role of Muslim community in nondiverse settings as a space that advances and nurtures Shi’i Muslim identity; and (b) holistic and culturally responsive teaching that fosters respect of others’ religiosity and spirituality. This study makes new inroads into feminist theorizing by drawing conceptual links between these previously unknown connections such as the impact of the historical female exemplary role model and the ritual stories on the experiences of Muslim females wearing the Hijab.
    • The Use of Ipso-dihydrodiols Enzymatically Derived from Benzoic Acid in Enantioselective Synthesis. Appoaches to Total Synthesis of Vinca Alkaloids

      Adams, David; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2014-07-18)
      The present studies describe our recent progress in target oriented synthesis of complex organic molecules from aromatic precursors. The latest synthetic approaches toward vinca alkaloids are described and include the construction of model substrates for the investigation into Diels-Alder, radical cascade, and tandem Michael addition reactions as possible routes to the family of alkaloids. Also described are the chemoenzymatic syntheses of the natural product (-)-idesolide and unnatural polyhydroxylated pyrrolidines generated from the biotransformation of benzoic acid with Ralstonia eutropha B9.
    • Use of micro-computed tomography to evaluate changes to bone structure due to ovariectomy and polyunsaturated fatty acid intervention in a rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis

      Longo, Amanda; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The testing of osteoporosis-related therapies and the investigation into their mechanism of action largely relies on the use of the preclinical model of postmenopausal osteoporosis, the ovariectomized (OVX) rat. Study 1 evaluated the time-course of changes to the trabecular and cortical microarchitecture of the proximal tibia of the Sham-control and OVX rat over a 3-month period following surgery at 3-months of age, a typical period used in the testing of nutritional and/or drug intervention. This study confirmed the use of the 3-month OVX rat as a model for trabecular microarchitecture changes, but did not support its use as a model for cortical bone changes. The OVX rat was also used to test its resistance to repeated radiation exposure from micro-computed tomography (μCT), a method necessary for the longitudinal evaluation of a single animal (Study 2). The method of μCT and its scanning parameters were also investigated to confirm their use in appropriately quantifying the 3-dimensional microarchitecture of the rat hind limb both in vivo and ex vivo (Study 3). Together, findings from these methodological studies led to its use in the evaluation of changes to bone structure in response to a nutritional intervention in the OVX rat (Study 4). Previous studies of growing rats and of OVX rats suggest a benefit to bone with supplementation with a lower n-6 to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) dietary ratio, and to altered sources of n-3 PUFA, but no study has investigated the impact of these nutritional patterns over the life course. Therefore, Study 4 determined the effect of the dietary ratio and source of n- 3 PUFA on bone during periods of growth (1 through 3 months of age) and following Sham or OVX surgery (at 3 months of age). A low PUFA ratio with n-3 provided from flaxseed oil provided benefits to bone health during growth, but these changes were not maintained following OVX. These data suggest that dietary PUFA, at levels attainable in humans through a healthful diet, are not an adequate strategy for the prevention of the rapid and drastic bone loss induced by OVX.