Public invited to discuss the future with the researchers who are creating it, as popular Research Matters speaker series sweeps into London, Ont. Nov. 26

TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - What drives seemingly ordinary people to take up arms against their own country? Is it possible to eradicate the parasitic plagues that afflict hundreds of millions of people around the world? And how can we unlock the huge potential of the brain to improve life for those with artificial limbs?

These are among the fascinating research topics being explored by five of Ontario's top university researchers when the popular, travelling speaker series Research Matters arrives at the London Children's Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 26 between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

"There couldn't be a better title for this terrific series, because research does indeed matter in so many ways," says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). "University researchers improve our lives every day - combating disease, solving social problems, helping to shape public policy and discovering the next big thing."

Researchers will present their topic and then ask audiences in the room and online to decide What Matters Now? The London event is the second of five free talks in the 2014 speaker series, which is a collaborative effort of COU and its members.

The series is being moderated by well-known radio and television personality Piya Chattopadhyay, who is often a host on both CBC radio and TVO's flagship current affairs program, The Agenda.

Western University neuroscientist Dr. Jody Culham will explore how tracking blood flow within the brain helps predict what a person is going to do two or three seconds before they do it. This important research is paving the way for using brain signals to control artificial limbs and improve quality of life for people with loss of motor control disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Brock University Prof. Ana Sanchez will look at our ability to eradicate infectious diseases; while Prof. Lorne Dawson, of the University of Waterloo, will look at the threat of Canadian terrorists. Prof. Bill Anderson, of the University of Windsor, will discuss the economic impact of improving our cross-border relationship with the U.S. and kinesiologist Dr. Stephen Perry, of Wilfrid Laurier University, will examine ways to help seniors avoid falling by increasing the sensory information needed from the feet to maintain balance.

University researchers are improving the health, happiness and richness of life for people around the world. Their work, which crosses all disciplines, not only changes lives but also is essential to helping government, businesses and communities make informed decisions.

Research Matters travels to Thunder Bay on March 4, 2014, Toronto on April 9 and wraps up in Kingston on April 23. The series kicked off in Hamilton on Nov. 4.

For more details on Research Matters please check out www.yourontarioresearch.ca and follow @OntarioResearch on Twitter.

COU is a membership organization of 21 publicly assisted universities in Ontario. It works closely with the provincial and federal governments to shape public policies that help universities deliver high-quality programs for students and advance the research and innovation that improves the social, cultural and economic well-being of Ontarians.

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SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities

For further information:

Wendy McCann
Director, Strategic Communications and Media Relations
Telephone: 416-979-2165 x233
Cellphone: 647-271-0825
Email Wendy McCann


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