Thursday, February 23, 2012

Student researchers inspired by legacy of cancer patient

Every morning when they go to work in their Essex Hall biochemistry lab, Ph.D. students Pam Ovadje and Dennis Ma get an inspirational reminder of why they’re there. Mounted on the door to that lab is a plaque dedicating the space to the memory of Kevin Couvillon, who died at the age of 26 in November 2010, after a three-year battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

Last week, Ovadje, Ma and other graduate students from the lab of professor Siyaram Pandey met with Couvillon’s parents to give them an update on their research into how such natural products as dandelion root extract and pancratistatin – derived from a Hawaiian spider lily plant – cause certain cancer cells to effectively commit suicide.

After an emotional presentation in the Toldo Health Education building on what would have been Kevin’s 28th birthday, his father Dave discreetly handed Dr. Pandey a cheque for $20,000 to help fund the research, bringing the total the family has donated to the lab to $40,000. It was gesture that didn’t go unnoticed by the students.

Read more of this story here on the Daily News.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rio Tinto Alcan Award Winner: Stephen Loeb

Congratulations to Prof. Stephen Loeb (Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular and Inorganic Chemistry), who was awarded the Rio Tinto Alcan Award for distinguished contributions to the field of inorganic chemistry.


Stephen Loeb is clearly reticent about tooting his own horn, but as far as friends and colleagues are concerned, it’s high time the chemistry professor was recognized for a career of consistently producing cutting edge research and cranking out top quality graduate students from his lab.

A professor and Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular and Inorganic Chemistry who joined UWindsor in 1990, Dr. Loeb recently learned the Canadian Society for Chemistry awarded him the highly coveted Rio Tinto Alcan Award for distinguished contributions to the field of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry.

“He’s clearly among Canada’s elite in chemistry, and because of his low-key nature this has been a long time coming,” said Doug Stephan, a past recipient of the award and former UWindsor professor who nominated him for the award. “He’s been quietly publishing stellar material but not making a lot of noise about it.”

Click here to read the full story on the University of Windsor Daily News!