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News, Awards and Blogs

Team Highlights
A brief glimpse into our team, as explained by an unreliable narrator...

Eric Jumaga

Unfortunately, 15% of couples are infertile with male factors contributing to 50% of the cases. Meaning there are lots of men that can’t live out their dreams of becoming fathers; this is so sad. Eric, a cellular biomedical engineering student, was tasked with solving this problem by developing a testis-on-a-chip. The chip aimed to bring testicles down to the microscopic level, imagine tiny basketballs but way more scientific. Eric’s co-op began with him learning the basics of cell culture and how tissue engineers work based on their cell’s schedules, not their own. After imaging his cells and perfecting their diet, Eric started working on integrating them into a microfluidic chip. While at the Laboratory of Microtechnologies for Quantitative Biomedicine, Eric was exposed to a very independent and self-directed style of work. He learned life-long skills while prototyping and iterating through many different testis-chip designs. In the end, Eric did not manage to make the dreams of infertile males come true but his work has been a major leap forward in the right direction. Eric would like to thank those whom he worked with while on his co-op, he states “Their support and camaraderie have added a meaningful and personal touch to my co-op journey.”

Jack Plant

Jack Plant is a reasonably impressive Biomedical Engineering student at the University of British Columbia. In his limited free time, Jack enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and lamenting over cancer statistics. Driven by these interests (one of them more so than the others), Jack secured an 8-month co-op term with TRIUMF and μQB in May 2023. In this position, Jack focused on developing a microfluidic platform for generating radiopharmaceuticals - highly precise radioactive cancer drugs. These radiopharmaceuticals are specialized weapons that are really good at two things: finding cancer cells and blowing them up. They are essentially guided missiles that hate cancer almost as much as Jack does. Using microfluidics, Jack endeavoured to create a miniaturized factory capable of manufacturing gazillions of these cancer assassins at a time. When Jack first arrived at μQB, he had zero lab skills. Now, 8 months later, he has about 2 or 3 lab skills - a fact that he is very proud of. He also had the chance to visit Waterloo for an undergraduate research conference. This was a fantastic opportunity for learning, networking, and taking in the natural beauty of Ontario’s 4th largest industrial urban region. Though he would never admit it publicly, Jack will miss his time at μQB, and is very grateful for the friends, mentors, and enemies he met along the journey.
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