CFI invests in pet health project

WCVM graduate student Jennifer Briens demonstrates an ultrasound exam on "Toffee." Photo: Derek Mortensen, Canadian Press Images.

WCVM graduate student Jennifer Briens demonstrates an ultrasound exam on “Toffee.” Photo: Derek Mortensen, Canadian Press Images.

Two researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are among a group of University of Saskatchewan scientists who received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

U of S researchers will share a total of $844,000 from the CFI for wide-ranging research.

The four U of S projects were announced January 20 on the U of S campus by Ed Holder, Canada’s Minister of State for Science and Technology, as part of a national announcement involving $35 million from the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund for 37 universities across Canada.

“This major CFI investment will provide the tools and facilities to develop new knowledge that benefits the health of people, pets, and environment, and new technologies that add value to Canadian commodities such as our multi-billion-dollar pulse crops,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research.

From left: MP Randy Hoback and Toffee, Minister of State Ed Holder and Patch, MP Kelly Block and WCVM researcher Dr. Lynn Weber with Pongo. Photo: Derek Mortensen, Canadian Press Images.

From left: MP Randy Hoback and Toffee, Minister of State Ed Holder and Patch, MP Kelly Block and WCVM researcher Dr. Lynn Weber with Pongo. Photo: Derek Mortensen, Canadian Press Images.

“In the process, our talented researchers create training opportunities for the next generation of Canadian innovators.”

The WCVM project, led by Drs. Lynn Weber and Jaswant Singh of the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, received $172,000 toward a high-resolution ultrasound microscope to examine the effects of pulse crop-based diets on the cardiovascular and reproductive health of dogs, cats and fish.

Understanding how cells respond to a diet partially made of pulses such as chickpeas, beans and lentils will help the team develop nutritious pet food options to ensure the health and vitality of pets. The microscope will also be an essential tool for other studies such as using vitamin D and lentil hulls to protect against the effects of high-fat diets or tobacco smoke on humans.

For more details about the research, read “Do pulse crops belong in pet food?”

The other U of S projects will explore energy-efficient technology for removing water from biofuels, catalysts to clean up air and water, and genetic and environmental factors underlying diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis.

To view the original news release, visit On Campus News.

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