Research and Innovation Week at Lakehead University will feature exceptional speakers and events

Photo of Wolfie with two people in the emergency room simulation at the Intercity Shopping Centre.


By Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation

The theme of this year’s Research and Innovation Week is Connections. Several public talks will highlight how we make our world a stronger place when we connect our knowledge, our curiosity, and our findings.

With events at Lakehead University, the Intercity Shopping Centre and other Thunder Bay locations from March 2 to 8, R and I Week is an annual showcase of the exceptional research being undertaken at the University.

There will be something of interest for people of all ages.

I invite you and your family to meet our faculty, staff and students at the Intercity Shopping Centre on Saturday, March 3 from 10 am until 6 pm.

Interactive displays will dazzle you with the cutting-edge research and innovation happening at Lakehead University. Some of the booths will include an interactive driving simulator, drones, a Superior Science activity for kids, the Paleo DNA lab, artifacts from the Anthropology department, and more.

We have some great prizes for visiting the displays. You could win $100 and $50 gift certificates for the Intercity Shopping Centre or a full week at the Superior Science summer camp.

That Saturday (March 3) at 7 pm, Dr. Carney Matheson from Anthropology is hosting Ancient Brews Rediscovered and Re-created in the Provincial room at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel.

Attendees will learn about and sample two ancient beers, both brewed by the Sleeping Giant Brewery – one from the Etruscans, a pre-Roman people in Italy from around 800 B.C., and the other from Scandinavia from approximately 3,500 B.C.

These beers were brewed using instructions from a book by Dr. Patrick McGovern, a chemist with the University of Pennsylvania Museum who will participate in the talk and sign copies of his book.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Anthropology booth at Intercity mall on Saturday, March 3, at the Sleeping Giant Brewery, through Lakehead’s Anthropology department, and at the Prince Arthur Hotel. This event is offered in partnership with the Sleeping Giant Brewery, the Prince Arthur Hotel, the Institute of Italian Studies, Lakehead University, and the Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies.

On Sunday, March 4 from 1 to 3 pm, join faculty from Lakehead University’s Department of English and local community members in a public discussion about what graphic novels can teach us about democracy in the Fireside Reading Room at the Brodie St. Library.

This roundtable discussion will include Drs. Daniel Hannah and Judith Leggatt from the Department of English, Laura Prinselaar from the Thunder Bay Public Library, and graphic artist Christopher Merkley (known as Merk).

The following Social Innovation Forums will be on Monday, March 5 at Lakehead University: Agrobiodiversity to Sustain Community Food Systems, 9 to 11 am in ATAC 5036; Who’s in Charge Here? Community-Based Research and Social Innovation, 12 to 2 pm in the Faculty Lounge; Strategies for Fostering Social Innovation in Northwestern Ontario: A community-University Research Conversation, 2 to 4 pm in the Faculty Lounge.

The final forum, City Limits: Addressing Social Injustice through Community-Based Research, will be held from 6 to 9 pm on Monday, March 5 at the Community Auditorium. Dr. Pauline Sameshima, Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Research Studies, will facilitate that discussion.

Lakehead’s Aboriginal Initiatives office will host a panel discussion called Strengthening Partnerships with Northern Aboriginal Institutes, including Rosie Mosquito, the Executive Director from Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Institute; Brent Tookenay, CEO of Seven Generations Education Institute; and Murray Waboose, Education Director of Anishinabek Nation. Lakehead’s Denise Baxter will moderate the discussion on Tuesday, March 6 at 11:30 am in the Faculty Lounge. Please visit to register by March 1.

Northern Ignite will be on Tuesday, March 6 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm in the Faculty Lounge. This photo-only presentation will allow researchers to describe their passion and process during their research journey. This event is open to community members and includes a dinner. Please register by visiting

FINTech: Connecting Innovations with the New Frontiers of Commerce will be on Wednesday, March 7 from 6 to 9 pm in the third floor auditorium at PACI (401 Red River Rd.). Register before Friday, March 2 by visiting

The power of gene silencing to fight lethal viral infections and cancer will be on Wednesday, March 7 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in UC 1017, featuring a talk by Dr. Jyoti Chattopadhyaya, University of UppsalaSweden, a scientist in RNAi for drug treatment of viral diseases.

The International Women’s Day Entrepreneur Panel will celebrate faculty and student start-ups from Confederation College and Lakehead University. Through the Partnerships in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) program, female faculty and students who have ventured into the world of entrepreneurship will share their accomplishments and discuss challenges along the journey to running their own business. This discussion will be on Thursday, March 8 from 8:30 to 10 am in the Faculty Lounge. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

We hope to see you at these events. Registration is not required unless mentioned above. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please visit for more information.