Meet Ontario Women in Nanotechnology

Hind A. Al-Abadleh

Hind A. Al-Abadleh

Associate Professor & Board Member of Nano Ontario
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Wilfrid Laurier University

Nanoscience research/industry/standards/management expertise:
Environmental impacts of nanomaterials on the chemical balance of atmospheric and geochemical systems

Highlights of nanoscience /industry/standards/management:
We investigate the surface chemistry of iron-containing nanomaterials relevant to environmental and industrial settings. Using a suite of analytical techniques coupled with mathematical modeling and computational chemistry methods, we showed how the high affinity of iron oxide nanoparticles towards arsenic compounds in aqueous environments has implications on the (1) mobility of these pollutants in geochemical environments, and (2) design of technologies for arsenic removal from fuels and industrial waste water. We also study the formation of nanomaterials and their chemical transformation in atmospheric aerosols from secondary processes to better understand their effect on the climate. The ultimate goal of our work is to provide science-based insights into the environmental impacts of nanomaterials, which are aligned with Ontario’s strategic plan for building an environmentally-friendly economy heavily enabled by nanotechnology. In recognition of my research and teaching, I received the U.S. Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award (2007), the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award (2008), the American Chemical Society–Petroleum Research Fund Award (2009), the Early Researcher Award by Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation (2011), and Faculty Mentoring Award from Laurier’s Alumni Relations (2015).

Connections with industry/government in Ontario/Canada:
Recently received the Imperial Oil University Research Award to investigate innovative processes to cleanup nitrogen oxide emissions. I also serve as a member of the Standards Committee of Nano Ontario, and Canada’s ISO/TC229 (International Organization for Standardization/Technical Committee) for Nanotechnologies.

Link to research group/company/employer website:
www.wlu.ca/science/chemistry/halabadleh


Rina Carlini

Rina Carlini

CEO & President, Haltech Regional Innovation Centre;
President & Founder, Optimal Science Consulting

Nanoscience research/industry/standards/management expertise:
Design, development and commercialization of nanoscale organic particles including high-performance pigments, polymer latex, nanocapsules, sol-gel nano-silicas, and composites.

Highlights of nanoscience /industry/standards/management:
Rina Carlini is an accomplished business leader with 20 years industry experience in science and technology innovation, commercialization and developing new ventures in the areas of advanced materials, cleantech, nanotechnology, process manufacturing, and life science. Her professional experience spans across many industry sectors and functional roles, including pharmaceutical drug discovery (Merck-Frosst, Syntex), Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology and directing a global technology incubator program (Xerox), and in the cleantech sector as Director of Commercial Development at GreenCentre Canada. In 2012, Rina established an innovation consulting firm that works with technology-based companies and non-profit organizations to accelerate product innovation, business development and commercialization. Rina’s credentials include a Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Waterloo, certificates in Executive Management from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business and in Business Model Innovation from Harvard University, and Green-belt certification in Lean Six Sigma Design for Innovation. She is very committed to helping technology companies achieve business success through her volunteer work on non-profit boards (Nano Ontario and Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology) and grant funding committees including NSERC Research Partnerships Programs, Canada Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Link to research group/company/employer website:
www.haltech.ca
www.optimalscienceconsulting.com/rina-carlini.html


Emily D. Cranston

Emily D. Cranston

Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
McMaster University

Nanoscience research/industry/standards/management expertise:
My expertise lies in (i) tailoring interfacial properties of (bio)surfaces and colloids to control material performance and functionality, with a focus on nanocellulose, and (ii) advanced nanomaterial characterization techniques, including atomic force microscopy, surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy and quartz crystal microbalance gravimetry.

Highlights of nanoscience /industry/standards/management:
• Development of new nanocomposites based on nanocellulose
• Novel surface modification routes for nanocellulose
• Enhanced formulated aqueous products (emulsions, gels, foams) with nanocellulose
• Nanocellulose aerogels as flexible supports for energy storage, water treatment and separations applications
• Advanced AFM of nano and biomimetic materials (surface forces, adhesion, friction)

Connections with industry/government in Ontario/Canada:
My research program is directly aligned with Canada’s focus on the bioeconomy and clean technologies where Ontario and Canada stand to reap significant social, environmental and economic benefits from this work which aims to establish nanocellulose (from Canadian wood pulp) as a material platform. I work extensively with nanocellulose producers and end-users across Canada and worldwide looking at both large-scale applications and value-added applications of nanocellulose.

Link to research group/company/employer website:
www.cranstongroup.mcmaster.ca


Maria DeRosa

Maria De Rosa

Associate Professor & Board Member of Nano Ontario
Chemistry
Carleton University

Nanoscience research/industry/standards/management expertise:
Applying bionanotechnology to problems in biosensing and controlled delivery

Highlights of nanoscience /industry/standards/management:
Our research examines a type of synthetic nucleic acid called ‘aptamers’ that can fold into 3D nanoscale shapes capable of binding tightly to a specific molecular target. I run the CFI-funded facility known as the LADDER (Laboratory for Aptamer Discovery and Development of Emerging Research). My group has developed aptamers for targets applicable to medical and food safety testing (e.g. dopamine, mycotoxins, and norovirus). I am also actively involved with researchers at Agriculture and Agrifood Canada to develop an aptamer-based responsive material for a “smart fertilizer”. These coatings become more permeable in response to a molecular signal, and could improve the economic and environmental sustainability of fertilizer nutrients. In recognition of my research and teaching, I received the John Charles Polanyi Research Award for new researchers in 2006, an Ontario Early Researcher Award in 2010, and a Capital Educator’s Award in 2015.

Connections with industry/government in Ontario/Canada:
My connections with government and industry are primarily in the area of food and agriculture. For example, I am working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) on the smart fertilizer project, with Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement for the development of an aptamer-based test for Boar Taint, and Canadian National Millers Association for mycotoxin assays.

Link to research group/company/employer website:
www.carleton.ca/~mderosa


Molly Shoichet

Molly Shoichet

University Professor
Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto

Nanoscience research/industry/standards/management expertise:
The Shoichet lab is expert in the design of polymeric nanomicelles for drug delivery, polymeric nanospheres for protein delivery, and stabilized nanodrugs.

Highlights of nanoscience /industry/standards/management:
The Shoichet lab has invented a series of composition of matter patents and published a series of papers that demonstrate the advantage of their polymeric nano micelles and polymeric nano spheres.

Connections with industry/government in Ontario/Canada:
The Shoichet lab collaborates with Hammock Pharmaceuticals Inc (Ontario) and has worked with the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science on Research2Reality.

Link to research group/company/employer website:
www.ecf.utoronto.ca/~molly

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