Paper published

John’s paper on “Modeling the microrheology of inhomogeneous media” has been published in Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 130, pp. 21-27. This issue of JNNFM includes the proceedings of a conference on Viscoplastic Fluids: from theory to application that was held in Rio in Nov. 2011.  John gave an invited talk and was one of the co-editors of the proceedings.


DInner out


DInner out

This photo’s a few months out of date, but back in the fall several of us went out to dinner at Abruzzi with Kamran Alba, a friend and collaborator from UBC who dropped in to visit John. Left to right: Sally de Bruyn, Maryam Mozaffari, Cameron Hopkins, Kamran Alba, and John de Bruyn.

Curling night


Curling night

A courageous company of curlers, photographed during an intense strategy meeting following the Physics and Astronomy Department’s curling night. Left to right: Dave Stock, John de Bruyn, Robert de Bruyn (in the back), Paul Wiegert, and Sarah Malek. In curling, the winning team buys the beer, so we got to drink for free.

Biomineralization paper accepted

Our paper “Dynamic light scattering study of inhibition of nucleation and growth of hydroxyapatite crystals by osteopontin” has been accepted for publication in the journal PLoS ONE. This paper has been a long time in the making – Harvey Goldberg from the Dentistry school first talked to me about light scattering experiments seven years ago. We wrote a grant application together, got the money and bought the instrument. Since then we’ve had several students work on this project. This paper includes contributions from five grad and undergrad students, including current students Masha Goiko, who did the light scattering experiments, and Maryam Mozaffari, who harvested crystals for X-ray diffraction experiments. Past students Ron Dauphinee and Dan Bator did earlier iterations of the light scattering work, and Earth Science undergrad Michael Bramble did the XRD measurements.

CFI grant funding!

I have known about this for a while, but I couldn’t post about it until the politicians made their formal announcement.

Blaine Chronik (Physics and Astronomy), John de Bruyn (Physics and Astronomy), Sean Salisbury (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and others have been awarded a grant of $705,911 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to fund a “Centre for the Development and Testing of MR-Compatible Medical Devices and Technology” at Western. My role in this project will be to characterize materials to be used in testing MR-compatible devices, and to develop “new and improved” materials for this application. This includes, for example, studying and trying to optimize the rheological, thermal, and electrical properties of gels that are used as phantoms intended to mimic human tissue in MR testing.

We are still waiting to hear about the provincial contribution to the project, which would come from the Ontario Research Fund.

This is going to be a really great project, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Here is a link to the CFI press release:

Journal Club

Our long-delayed Journal Club discussion of  “The zipper mechanism in phagocytosis: energetic requirements and variability in phagocytic cup shape” by S. Tollis et al., BMC Systems Biology 4, 149 (2010) will take place on Friday, Jan 17 at 1:30.