Lakehead University Announces $100 Million Debenture Issue

(Thunder Bay, November 2, 2005) Lakehead University announced today that it has engaged RBC Capital Markets to act as its exclusive selling agent in connection with the issuance and sale by the University of an estimated $100 million principal amount of senior unsecured debentures by way of private placement to institutional and other accredited investors. The offering is expected to close on November 15, 2005.
The net proceeds from the proposed offering will be used to refinance existing debt, for general corporate purposes, and to establish an internal endowment fund. Michael Pawlowski, Vice President (Administration and Finance), commented that "The debenture financing will increase our financial flexibility because the University intends to apply a significant portion (approximately $30 million) of the total net proceeds of the issue to an internally restricted endowment, which will provide the University with substantial liquidity. The proceeds of the private placement will provide the University with the funding necessary to continue its managed growth and next-level success in the near future."
On October 11, 2005, Moody's Investors Service announced a rating of A1 for the University's debentures. Details of the rating can be seen at:
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
Media: University President Dr. Fred Gilbert and Michael Pawlowski are available for interview. Please contact Marla Tomlinson at 807-343-8177 or 807-472-9113 to arrange to speak with either spokesperson.

Lakehead U Researchers Receive Funding from Ontario Research Fund

(Thunder Bay - November 1, 2005) Lakehead University has received $487,074 for five researcher projects from the Ontario Research Fund (ORF).
The ORF is part of the newly created Ministry of Research and Innovation. The Ministry was created to ensure that Ontario is competing and winning in the marketplace of ideas. The creation of this new ministry signals the importance the government places on strengthening Ontario as a leading, innovation-based economy and society.
Lakehead University's funded projects are:
Dr. Matthew Boyd, Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology, received $73,493 for his project "Collaborative Northern Environmental and Archaeological Research Initiative."
Understanding Responses to Rapid Climate Changes
The future sustainability of our society is closely tied to knowledge of how environmental resources will be affected by rapid climate change. Although general circulation models provide important predictive scenarios, the only test for these predictive models is the actual record of past climate change and biotic responses preserved in the sedimentary record. Dr. Boyd's project will establish two new facilities at Lakehead U (an Environmental Archaeology and Paleoecology Lab, and Micromorphology Lab), which will enable detailed understanding of earth-surface, ecological, and human responses to rapid climate changes. The data collected will be used to model the potential impacts of future global warming on ecosystems, landscapes, and traditional Aboriginal life-ways in Northern Ontario.
Dr. David Law, Assistant Professor with the Department of Biology, received $103,714 for his project "Chromatin Architecture, Epigenetic, Biochemical and Molecular Approaches for Systems Biology Based Investigation of Gene Expression During Development and Stress in Plant Cells."
Benefiting the Agriculture Industry while Creating a Environmental Benefits
This research project will increase the understanding of the regulation of gene expression during plant development and how it is impacted by development as well as exposure to stress. This funding will allow Dr. Law to look at how stress impacts plant metabolism from multiple metabolic angles by use of modern biochemistry and molecular biology equipment. Specific research projects include investigation of gene expression in the stem cells and differentiating cells of potato meristems. Potato meristem research will reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying apical bud (eye) growth and may suggest a mechanism for its control in stored tubers, which will directly benefit Ontario farmers and agricultural processors. Dr. Law will also research the improvement of the efficiency of atmospheric carbon assimilation in tree species. The use of biotechnology to produce plants expressing therapeutic proteins, improved nutraceutical profiles, and high capacities as carbon sinks have obvious societal, health, and environmental benefits.
The research conducted with this funding will have an added benefit of increased acceptance of genetically modified crops in Ontario, and will foster a greater understanding of plant metabolism so that it may benefit both the health of Ontarians and the environment of Ontario.
Dr. Wilson Wang, Assistant Professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, received $110,366 for his project "Laboratory for Intelligent Mechatronic Systems."
Enhancing Economic Activities and Global Competitiveness of Ontario Companies
Dr. Wang's Laboratory for Intelligent Mechatronic Systems will be a leading-edge research lab consisting of a machinery dynamics simulator, a parallel manipulator, and some supplementary mechatronics facilities. The objective of this work is to develop new intelligent systems to avoid machinery performance degradation, malfunction and sudden failure. Three innovative research areas will be explored in this lab: diagnosis, prognosis, and fault-tolerant control. Specific research projects include proposing new signal processing techniques for the fault detection in mechanical and electromechanical systems; developing more reliable intelligent tools for real-time fault diagnosis; suggesting new machinery condition prognostic systems; and developing robust control strategies to accommodate machinery faults.
These research projects have great potential to enhance the economic activities and increase the global competitiveness of a wide array of Ontario companies by improving quality, reliability, and safety while reducing costs.
Dr. Baoqiang Liao, Assistant Professor with the Department of Chemical Engineering, received $$73,588 for his project "Laboratory for Particle Science and Technology."
On the Cutting-Edge of Micro- and Nano Technology
Dr. Liao's funding will go towards infrastructure for the Laboratory for Particle Science and Technology. This laboratory will conduct cutting-edge research in the field of particle science and technology in the micro- and nano-scale. This laboratory is a timely response to the rapid growth of micro- and nano-particle technology, and to the urgent demands of environmental pollution control, pulp and paper processing, and mineral processing in Northwestern Ontario -- and Canada -- for innovative particle technologies. Specific emphasis of this lab will be placed on the emerging, yet poorly researched, area of micro- and nano-scale particle technology in aquatic environments.
Dr. Andrew Conly, Assistant Professor with the Geology Department, received $125,913 for his project "Infra-Red (IR) Spectroscopy and Hydrothermal Experimental Facility."
Enhancing the Sustainability of Northwestern Ontario's Mineral Resources
Dr. Conly's funding will go towards infrastructure for the IR Spectroscopy and Hydrothermal Experimental facility. This facility is a modern, state-of-the-art experimental and microanalytical laboratory for applied and pure research into the nature of fluid-rock reactions responsible for the formation of mineral deposits, and for the generation of contaminated mine waters. Such research will serve to enhance the sustainable development of Northwestern Ontario's mineral resources. However, the facility will also benefit research in the general areas of chemical and material sciences.
Lakehead University is a comprehensive University located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Superior. It has a worldwide reputation for innovative programs and research. With over 7,700 students and 1,600 faculty and staff, Lakehead University is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and is developing a satellite campus in Orillia, Ontario, planned to open in September 2006. For more information on Lakehead University, visit
Media Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, 807-343-8177 or 807-472-9113.

Lakehead U's Shad Students Win Major Award

(Thunder Bay - November 1, 2005) The Shad Valley Team Lakehead 2005 won the best Business Plan award at the RBC Shad Cup Competition.
The RBC/Shad Entrepreneurship Cup is a team-based entrepreneurship competition designed to showcase entrepreneurship, science, and technology in a format for young adults. Teams of Shad students (high school level) who have won Shad regional entrepreneurship competitions, are invited to fine-tune their prototypes and business plans with the help of mentors from both business and technological fields.
Students have five weeks following the completion of the Shad Valley program to upgrade their prototypes using their mentors, fellow Shads, Shad alumni, and any entrepreneurial contacts. Using their original ideas, students develop and submit working prototypes, complete business plans, prepare a marketing/promotional piece and design websites for their creations.
The Lakehead Shads created Validus Enterprises. Their website,, states: "Validus Enterprises was founded to address and capitalize on the need for common cold remedies. Existing products pose inconveniences to the consumers because they have to be taken internally or applied directly to the skin. The Evaroma is a thin pad that is inserted between the pillow and the pillow case. It contains a gel that consists of all-natural essential oils encased in permeable plastic. Essential oil vapours diffuse through the pillow case and are inhaled by the consumer. This promotes nasal decongestion, allowing the customer to enjoy a deep, relaxed sleep."
"We are very proud of our Shads," says Sultan Siddiqui, Lakehead's Shad Valley Program Director and Engineering Faculty member. "The students showed innovation, dedication, and a level of professionalism that proves they will go far in their careers and in life."
The Lakehead Shad's also came in third in the best overall category. This year's Shad theme was Health & Wellness. All projects were judged in prototype design and construction; business plan creation; application of scientific principles; marketing plan and promotional materials; and website creation. There were 11 universities taking part in Shad Valley 2005.
For more information, contact Dr. Siddiqui on his cell phone at 252-2162.
Lakehead University is a comprehensive University located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Superior. It has a worldwide reputation for innovative programs and research. With over 7,700 students and 1,600 faculty and staff, Lakehead University is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and is developing a satellite campus in Orillia, Ontario, planned to open in September 2006. For more information on Lakehead University, visit
Media Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, 807-343-8177 or 807-472-9113.

Holocaust Education Week Events at Lakehead University

(Thunder Bay - October 31, 2005) This week is the 25th Annual Holocaust Education Week in Canada. As part of this, Hillel@Lakehead, formally known as the Lakehead University Jewish Students Society (LUJSS), is hosting two events.
Vera Schiff will present "My Personal Testimony" on Tuesday, November 1, at 7 p.m. in the Bora Laskin Building.
Vera Schiff, award-winning author of Hitler's Inferno: Eight Intimate and Personal Histories from the Holocaust and Theresienstadt: The Town the Nazis Gave to the Jews, will discuss her personal experiences during the Holocaust. As a young girl, she witnessed the Nazi occupation of Prague, her native city, and later was interned along with her entire family in Theresienstadt concentration camp. She is the sole survivor of her family. A question and answer period will follow.
Movie Screening of "PaperClips" on Thursday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Centre, Room 1017
PaperCilps details an inspiring story that happened in the town of Whitwell, TN. The "PaperClips" project sparked one of the most inspirational and profound lessons in tolerance, in one of the least likely places. Everyone is welcome to attend for a donation of $5.
For more information, contact Michael Kipper, Hillel@Lakehead contact, at 577-6462.
Lakehead University is a comprehensive University located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Superior. It has a worldwide reputation for innovative programs and research. With over 7,600 students and 1,600 faculty and staff, Lakehead University is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and is developing a satellite campus in Orillia, Ontario, planned to open in September 2006. For more information on Lakehead University, visit
Media Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, 807-343-8177 or 807-472-9113.

Lakehead University Appoints New Associate Vice-President Research

(Thunder Bay - October 27, 2005) After an extensive search, Lakehead University is pleased to announce that Dr. Umed Panu has been appointed Associate Vice-President Research of Lakehead University, effective November 1, 2005.

The appointment of Dr. Panu is part of Lakehead University's commitment to become one of the top 25 research-intensive universities in Canada in the next 5-10 years. As a senior member of the Lakehead University research executive team, Dr. Panu will work with the Vice-President Research to launch and manage key research initiatives, including the development of the Lakehead University Research Plan (2006-2011) and the related implementation plan; establish a research grant internal peer-review system; institute new internal research funding mechanisms; improve the quality of major grant applications to external funding agencies; create and lead an Awards Nomination Committee, to name a few.

Dr. Panu joined Lakehead University in 1986. He is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of water resources engineering, and more specifically in hydrologic and hydraulic systems, drainage engineering, and water supply engineering. He has extensively published the results of his research in national and international journals, supervised highly qualified personnel, and continuously received substantial external research funding. In recognition of his research contributions, Dr. Panu received the Lakehead University Distinguished Researcher Award in 2002.

"Dr. Panu is an excellent team player and collaborator and has an extensive national and international outreach," says Dr. Rui Wang, Vice-President (Research) at Lakehead University. "His comprehensive research background and dedication to Lakehead make him the perfect Associate Vice-President Research for Lakehead."

Dr. Panu has collaborated in joint research projects with colleagues from several Lakehead departments, and with co-investigators from other Canadian universities. Internationally, he has collaborated with Gifu University for adopting the pattern recognition technique in fuzzy theoretic concepts in the analysis and interpretation of radar-based rainfall forecasting. He has also been collaborating with Kyoto University for analyzing streamflow data from the Japanese rivers, to test the applicability of the pattern recognition technique.

Dr. Panu has also been involved in a variety of activities both inside and outside of the University. At Lakehead, he has served and continues to serve with distinction on several committees at the department and University levels. Before assuming the responsibility of Associate Vice-President Research, Dr. Panu was Chair of Senate Research Committee. Outside of Lakehead, he serves on several community boards and contributes to the general benefit of the community. For over ten years, Dr. Panu has been Chief Judge for the Annual Northwestern Ontario Regional Science Fair.

For more information or to interview Dr. Panu or Dr. Wang, please contact Marla Tomlinson at 343-8177.

Lakehead U Board of Governors and Faculty Association Ratify 2-Year Contract

(Thunder Bay - October 25, 2005) An agreement between the Lakehead University Board of Governors and the Lakehead University Faculty Association (LUFA) has been reached.
The agreement is an extension of the current collective agreement for two years, beginning July 1, 2006, and ending June 30, 2008, and includes a 3% scale increase in each of the two years of the extension as well as a phased retirement program for faculty.
"The agreement was ratified by an overwhelming majority of LUFA members and has the support of the Lakehead U Board of Governors," says Jerry Phillips, Chief Negotiator of LUFA. "The ratification by both parties reflects the continuing support of LUFA and the Board for the future development of Lakehead University."
"Lakehead University is pleased with the process followed and the agreement with the Faculty Association. We look forward to continuing to work with LUFA to ensure that Lakehead's trajectory into the future is positive and fulfills the mandate to become one of Canada's most respected comprehensive post-secondary institutions," says Dr. Fred Gilbert, President, Lakehead University.
"Both teams involved in the negotiations were dedicated to finding a contract which is in the best interest of all involved," says Diana Pallen, President of LUFA. "It is through the hard work and dedication of negotiators on both sides that we make this announcement today."
Members of the Media: Dr. Fred Gilbert can be reached between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. today by contacting Karen Ramsdale at 343-8200. Diana Pallen, LUFA President, can be reached at 343-8565.

Lakehead Professor Wins Unique Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights Decision

(Thunder Bay - October 24, 2005) The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has approved the application from Lakehead University Professor Dr. Tom Puk to have the Ministry of Education prescribed to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR).

"In 1998, the Government eliminated the only discrete subject matter we had in secondary schools that focused on environmental science," says Dr. Puk, whose expertise focuses on outdoor ecological and experiential education. "In order to put increased pressure on the current government to create a provincial curriculum for ecological literacy that all students would take on a daily basis, I proceeded with this initiative. This decision will allow for public input. Our ecological systems are being seriously degraded and we need to make sure everyone is ecologically literate in order to prevent severe repercussions in the near future."

While this has been a long process, starting with his initial application being turned down in 1999, Dr. Puk continued working towards the goal of having the Ministry of Education included in the EBR. In the Fall of 2004, Dr. Puk organized the Ontario Provincial Roundtable for Curriculum, the Ecosphere, and Life, and was able to invite eight independent associations from Southern Ontario to join the Roundtable and provide their support for this application. Various boards of education such as the Toronto District School Board and the Waterloo Region District School Board as well as the Ontario Association of Public School Boards passed motions in support of this application.
The EBR requires each prescribed Ministry to develop a Statement of Environmental Values. Dr. Puk's application was unique in that he was asking for a new Ministry to fall under the EBR.
"I hope to be able to pressure the Ministry of Education to create a provincial curriculum that would require all students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 receive daily ecological literacy. Currently there is no provincial curriculum that does this," Dr. Puk says.
Dr. Puk's research studies (the first co-authored with a Lakehead U Master of Education student and the second with a PhD student) have demonstrated that ecological literacy is not being encouraged in Ontario schools at a time when many international studies are demonstrating that our global ecosystems are being seriously degraded. Just this week, it was reported that once again Canada ranks near the bottom (28th out of 30) OECD countries in terms of 29 key environmental indicators. He also hopes to convince the Ontario Government to develop a policy that would ensure that all citizens are lifelong ecologically literate.
Dr. Puk is available for interview by calling him directly at 807-343-8710.

Meteorite Impacts on Earth

Two presenters share their expertise with the Thunder Bay community
(Thunder Bay - Monday, October 17, 2005) Meteorites and their impacts on Earth is the topic of discussion during two presentations on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m.
The talks, jointly sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Thunder Bay Branch and the Meteorites and Impacts Advisory Committee to the Canadian Space Agency, take place in ATAC, Room 2001 at Lakehead University, and are open to and designed for the public.
The speakers are Dr. Graham Wilson, Turnstone Geological Services Ltd., and Mr. Bill Addison of Thunder Bay
Dr. Wilson's talk is entitled "The cosmos comes to visit: Tales told by meteorites." Dr. Wilson will provide a general introduction to meteorites and their scientific significance.
Mr. Addison's talk is entitled "Evidence of cosmic hammering: Discovery of distal ejecta from the 1850 Ma Sudbury impact." He will describe the research he and colleagues at Lakehead U, the University of Toronto, and the University of Western Australia did on the fallout from the Sudbury impact. The impact produced a red hot rain of glowing glass that fell on the Thunder Bay area 1.85 billion years ago. It was produced when a large meteorite struck near Sudbury, shattering and melting rock, throwing it high above the atmosphere before it fell back to Earth. Over a metre of this hot debris, mostly rock glass, fell in the Thunder Bay area. The last debris to fall was fine dust, and it took as long as a year to fall, scattering a dusty film right around the world. The evidence of this has been discovered in the Thunder Bay area and near Hibbing, Minnesota.
Members of the Media: Dr. Steve Kissin, Geology faculty member at Lakehead U and organizer of the talk, and speaker Bill Addison are both available for interviews. Please call Marla Tomlinson at 343-8177.

Lakehead University and Genesis Genomics Inc. Open New Microarray Facility

(Thunder Bay - October 13, 2005) Lakehead University's Paleo DNA Laboratory and Genesis Genomics Inc. have officially opened the new Microarray Facility in the Northwestern Ontario Technology Centre (NOTC). This facility will aid in the research conducted by both laboratories.
"Genesis Genomics Inc. is pleased to see the opening of this state-of-the-art facility," says Dr. Bob Thayer, President and CEO of Genesis Genomics Inc. "Our partnership with Lakehead University and the Paleo DNA Laboratory is a mutually beneficial one, and the sharing of the Microarray facility is an example of our partnership."
Dr. Bob Thayer, Dr. Lesley Lovett-Doust, and John Guerard cutting the ribbon at the Microarray facilities in NOTC.
"Lakehead University is well known for its collaborations, both internally, and with industry partners such as Genesis Genomics Inc., which shares the NOTC with our world-renowned Paleo-DNA lab," says Dr. Lesley Lovett-Doust, Dean, Science and Environmental Studies, Lakehead U. "I am very pleased that researchers from Genesis Genomics Inc. are affiliated with our departments as adjunct professors; this new microarray laboratory will provide even more opportunities for exciting, synergistic research with our students and faculty. Novel research projects are already under way in this facility. The development of microarray systems for applications in health, the environment and industry opens up a wonderful future of innovation and discovery that will benefit our university and our community."
Funding for the Microarray been received from FedNor (Industry Canada), the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Genesis Genomics Inc, and Lakehead University.
Microarray System Background
It is widely believed that the thousands of genes and the biochemical products (RNA and proteins) in every organism work together in a complicated and orchestrated way to function as the mystery of life.
Traditionally, the methods and technology used in molecular biology have been on a "one gene in one experiment" basis. This has resulted in a very tedious and extremely slow process in studying genes and their RNA and protein products. In addition, the "whole picture" of gene function has been extremely hard to obtain.
In the past few years, new technology had been developed that has attracted a tremendous amount of interest among all biologists. It is called the DNA microarray. It is believed that this new technology will enable the monitoring of the whole genome on a single chip, enabling researchers to get a better picture of the interactions among the thousands of genes in each organism simultaneously.
There are two major application forms for the DNA microarray technology:
1) Identification of sequence (gene / gene mutation), and
2) Determination of expression level (abundance) of genes
DNA microarray, or DNA chips, are fabricated by high-speed robotics, generally on glass but sometimes on nylon substrates, for which probes with known identity are used to determine complementary binding, thus allowing massively parallel gene expression and gene discovery studies. An experiment with a single DNA chip can provide researchers information on thousands of genes simultaneously -- a dramatic increase in throughput.
Some uses of Microarrays:
  • Clinical researchers are using microarray systems to more rapidly discover RNA and DNA patterns which can better classify disease, understand mechanism-of-action, and predict response to therapy in a number of disease areas.
  • In drug development, pharmaceutical companies are using microarray systems to increase certainty in drug development via improved target identification, a better understanding of mechanism-of-action, and predicting which subset of patients will respond to a particular drug. Using this technology, researchers may employ strategies to rescue drugs that demonstrate low efficacy rates in later-stage clinical trials.
  • Researchers, using either tissue or blood, may also discover genomic patterns to facilitate understanding of heterogeneity of disease, patients, and targets to ultimately improve patient survival and quality of life.
Lakehead University's Paleo-DNA Laboratory
Lakehead University's Paleo-DNA Laboratory has been among the pioneers in the application of modern molecular genetic techniques and technologies to the study of archaeological, degraded, and Paleo-DNA. Experience gained through the analysis of very
-difficult-to-work-with exceptionally degraded material allows the Laboratory to offer very high-quality genetic analytical services for forensic and paternity purposes. In addition, the Laboratory undertakes research projects involving the study of disease in ancient populations, wildlife classifications, and both modern and ancient human identification, among others. For more information, visit:
Genesis Genomics Inc.
Genesis Genomics Inc. is a cutting-edge biotech research corporation currently developing a new universal detection tool that will identify the early stages of cancer, for early effective treatment. For more information, visit:
Media Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Communications Officer, Lakehead University, 343-8177 or

Lakehead U Speaker Series Presents Maude Barlow

Lakehead University Speaker Series welcomes Maude Barlow, Activist and Author, who will present "Too Close for Comfort -- Canada's Future in Fortress North America."
Ms. Barlow's talk will focus on Canada-US relations. Before her presentation, she will be presented with her Lakehead University Honorary Degree which was conferred to her in absentia in May, 2005.
Who: Maude Barlow
What: Lakehead University Speaker Series and
Honorary Degree presentation
When: Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Honorary Degree presentation, 6 p.m.
Speaker Series, 6:15 p.m.
Where: Lakehead University, Agora
(University Centre, by main entrance)
Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians, Canada's largest citizens' advocacy organization with over 100,000 members, and the founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works to stop commodification of the world's water. She is also a Director with the International Forum on Globalization, a San Francisco-based research and education institution opposed to economic globalization.
This Speaker Series is a free public lecture offered by Lakehead University as an information-sharing event in partnership with The Chronicle-Journal and Travelodge Airlane. Parking is free. Everyone is welcome, but seating is limited - come early.