Senator Paula Simons gets the sweet scoop on GlycoNet and glycomics

Posted: September 12, 2023

Last week, GlycoNet had the pleasure of hosting Senator Paula Simons, a respected figure known for her profound career as a journalist and columnist for the Edmonton Journal. Senator Simons toured our facilities at the University of Alberta (U of A) and got a firsthand look at glycomics (the study of sugars or carbohydrates) while learning how GlycoNet fosters research
and commercialization in glycomics.

During her visit, Senator Simons learned about GlycoNet’s role in advancing glycomics and some of the transformational research GlycoNet supports, driving innovation in different areas of One Health. Dr. Elizabeth Nanak, CEO of GlycoNet, shared important insights about the significance of glycomics in human and animal health, the development of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines, and agricultural applications.

Senator Simons’ Lab Tour

The highlight of Senator Simons’ visit was her tour of two of our state-of-the-art labs—the Derda Labs and the Klassen Labs at the U of A—where she had the opportunity to see passionate GlycoNet researchers in action. These world-class facilities are at the cutting edge of glycomics research, with scientists and researchers dedicated to pushing the limits of what is possible in this field. Senator Simons met with Mr. Adam brown, Vice-President Marketing at 48Hour Discovery—a start-up company spun out of the Derda Lab—and learned how the company is driving advances in drug discovery Dr. John Klassen, professor at the U of A, also shared with Senator Simons how host glycans (sugars) are differentially recognized by the COVID-19 variants and how this might impact infection. Additionally, Dr. Matthew Macauley, associate professor at the U of A, shared his groundbreaking research on potential drug targets for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Fostering Collaborations and Building Partnerships

Senator Paula Simons’ visit to GlycoNet demonstrates the value of engagement in strengthening connections between legislators and organizations such as ours. We share a goal for a prosperous future, and through continued collaborations, we can continue to improve healthcare and grow a diverse bioeconomy. We thank Senator Paula Simons for taking the time to visit GlycoNet and learn about the critical role glycomics research plays in infectious diseases, immunology, precision medicine, animal health and agriculture.

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