Wednesday, Oct. 17 20123
Thanks to grants worth almost half-a-million dollars from the Cana-dian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR), Roberto Botelho, a chem-istry and biology professor at Ryer-son, will be at the helm of a poten-tial scientic breakthrough over thenext ve years.While the CIHR awarded Botel-ho the ve-year operating grant in June, he was recently awarded theIG Maud Menten New PrincipalInvestigator Prize for an additional$30,000 in May.Botelho had the highest rankedapplication for a new investigator inhis category, Cell Physiology, whichwas unusually competitive this year.The CIHR awards 400 grants ayear, with only 17 per cent of 2,000applicants receiving funds. Thefunds will be used to pay graduatestudents involved in the research aswell as for experimentation mate-rial.The grants will help Botelho focuson studying tubular lysosomes, aminor mystery in the molecular sci-ence eld.Normal lysosomes function likestomachs within cells: they containdigestive enzymes which eliminateforeign bacteria and waste. Botelhohopes to establish why they mutatein a tubular fashion and how theyare maintained.Botelho began this research in2010, with PhD molecular sciencestudent Amra Saric as the drivingforce behind experiments and incollaboration with the Hospital forSick Children. Since then, his teamhas discovered the rst proteins in-volved in the tubulation and muta-tion processes.Botelho says there are hints tubu-lation is linked to creating antibod-ies and removing bacteria.“Ultimately, we’re hoping bystudying [tubular lysosomes] wecan target drug development,” saysBotelho.If his research can open up theseopportunities, it may lead to elimi-nating autoimmunity, a conditionwhich prevents an organism fromdistinguishing its own healthy cellsfrom diseased ones. It attacks both,leading to auto-immune diseasessuch as lupus and a form of arthritis.“There’s a considerable potentialthat this can be important,” saysBotelho. “Only time will tell.”But the success hasn’t gone to hishead. For Botelho, the research rep-resents a mere fraction of what hehopes to accomplish.“In many ways, it’s business asusual. You’ve got the money, gottado the work now,” he says. ”It’s alittle blip in what we want to keepdoing if we want to make a differ-ence.”In the future, Botelho’s researchdevelopment can be found at hisprole page on ryerson.ca.
By Alfea Donato
Research grants could lead to breakthrough
Professor Roberto Botelho earned nearly $500,000 in grants for his work in molecular science and cell physiology
Chemistry professor Roberto Botelho (centre, left) and some of his star pupils
PHOTO: MARISSA DEDERER
The entrance to the Student Service Centre, home to the Access Centre
PHOTO: MARISSA DEDERER
Hundreds of condential email ad-dresses belonging to students regis-tered with Ryerson’s access centrewere compromised in a mass emailsent out by the centre on Monday.The email, titled “RE: ImportantTest Centre Procedure Change,”was sent out at 10:36 a.m. on Oct.15 to more than 200 students whouse both the Access and Test Cen-tres. Under policies set forth byRyerson’s senate, mass messages of this kind are not permitted to dis-close personal information aboutthe recipients. This one had all of their email addresses listed in theaddress line.It was the rst thing Mark Dukesnoticed when he opened the email.“I had to walk around [my room]because it boiled my blood,” saidDukes, a formerly registered AccessCentre member with chronic mentalhealth disabilities. “I feel violated.”According to Senate Policy 159:Academic Accommodation of Stu-dents with Disabilities, “informa-tion on accommodation is onlyreleased on a need-to-know basiswithin the university communityor when the student consents to abroader release of information.”This includes members’ contact in-formation.Shortly after noticing that all of the recipients’ email addresses werelisted in the address line, Dukes sentout a mass email of his own.“I wrote an email to everyone onthat list asking them if they thoughtit was wildly inappropriate thatemails were disclosed therefore re-vealing our identities as members of the access centre,” said Dukes, whois not registered with the AccessCentre this semester.By the end of the day, Dukes re-ceived nearly 20 responses fromstudents who shared his concerns,primarily because most email ad-dresses use full names, making themeasy to identify.“I’ve gone out and I’ve advocat-ed [for mental health rights], I’vedisclosed my name before but thatwas of my own volition, that wasmy choice because it is my issue andmine alone,” he said.“I’m supposed to be safe [at Ryer-son], anonymous. I don’t need otherstudents in my class looking at methinking I’m nuts.”Marc Emond, the manager of Ryerson’s access centre, admits thatthe centre made a mistake in reveal-ing the email addresses of its recipi-ents and assures that no other infor-mation was revealed.“This was a human error and thelist of recipients was added to the[email] and our procedure is to addthat list of names to the ‘blind copy’eld,” said Emond.“We’re aware that people canmake assumptions about who’s onthat list and they are somehow con-nected with the Access Centre, butthere’s nothing beyond that that’sevident by the list of email address-es.”It was the rst mass email that theAccess Centre has sent since Ryer-son switched to Gmail on Oct. 9.Since the message was sent,Emond has received various emailsfrom students voicing their con-cerns.“We consider this a mistake, it’snot something that I’m happy aboutand it certainly is something thatwe’re sorry occurred,” he said. “I’mfollowing up with the privacy ofceat Ryerson and certainly lookingat our practices and proceduresthat will further guard against hu-man error.”Still, Dukes is wary of the poten-tial repercussions of this breach of privacy.“From here on out I don’t knowwhere this email list went,” hesaid. “Once it left the hands of theAccess Centre and went to everystudent on the list I don’t knowwhere the hell it went.”
No specic names or email address-es were revealed during the process of writing this article.
Access Centre leaks private email addresses
Ryerson’s Access Centre accidentally revealed more than 200 condential email addresses in a mass message distributed Monday