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SFU Café Scientifique: Viruses, Treatments, and Epidemics

May 8, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

SFU faculty researchers talk about how vaccines work, how to fight cancer with radioactive drugs and how to apply mathematics on high-dose targeted radiation therapy for rectal cancers. This promises to be a science-loaded discussion!

SFU Café Scientifique is a series of presentations that SFU Science puts together to encourage discussions around science with some of our university faculty researchers. This discussion is around the science behind viruses and treatments

Facilitator: Danielle Hoefele
Presented by: SFU Faculty of Science and Burnaby Public Library

“How Do Vaccines Work?”
Dr. Mark Brockman, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Vaccines have contributed to dramatic declines in illness due to pathogens. Recent outbreaks of Measles and other vaccine-preventable infections highlight the vital role that they play in our healthcare system. Mark Brockman will introduce the science behind vaccines and discuss how they help to protect individuals and populations from disease.

“Fighting Cancer with Radioactive Drugs”
Dr. Caterina Ramogida, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University & Life Sciences Division, TRIUMF
Cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in Canada. A new class of radioactive drugs shows immense potential for the treatment of difficult to treat cancers. Caterina Ramogida will introduce how these radioactive isotopes can be used to safely and effectively treat disease and discuss some of the current challenges associated with developing these drugs for wide spread use.

“Are you really good with numbers?”
Dr. Nilima Nigam, Professor, Department of Mathematics
Many of us view mathematics as this topic that caused us discomfort at some juncture, though we hear it is very useful. A closely-guarded secret is that many mathematicians are terrible with arithmetic, and prefer problems which are challenging or fun. Nilima Nigam will talk about the mathematics of a high-dose targeted radiation therapy for rectal cancers, and of the zombie apocalypse (hint: get the anti-zombie vaccine!).

Schedule of the Night



6:00PM – 6:30PM

Registration & Sign-in


Welcome & Introductions

6:45PM – 7:00PM

“How Do Vaccines Work?” with Mark Brockman

7:00PM – 7:15PM

“Fighting Cancer with Radioactive Drugs” with Caterina Ramogida

7:15PM – 7:30PM

“Are you really good with numbers?” with Nilima Nigam

7:30PM – 8:15PM


8:15PM – 8:45PM

Recap & Informal Discussions

Spots are limited. Email cafe_scientifique@sfu.ca to reserve your spot.


May 8, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:45 pm


Held in
Program Room


Burnaby Public Library, Bob Prittie Metrotown
6100 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC V5H 4N5 Canada
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